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Education Politics


Via The New York Times: “North Carolina’s Love of College Sports Spurred Move to Repeal Bathroom Law.” Welp. It’s not clear, however, if the NCAA and others will end their boycott of the state.

Via PBS Frontline: “Climate Change Skeptic Group Seeks to Influence 200,000 Teachers.” The group in question is the Heartland Institute, a libertarian think tank.

Via The New York Times: “Student Loan Forgiveness Program Approval Letters May Be Invalid, Education Dept. Says.”

It seems like the Department of Education is doing everything it can to screw over students’ financial aid.

From the Department of Education press release: “To protect sensitive taxpayer data, the IRS and FSA announced today the Data Retrieval Tool on fafsa.gov and StudentLoans.gov will be unavailable until extra security protections can be added. While we are working to resolve these issues as quickly as possible, students and families should plan for the tool to be offline until the start of the next FAFSA season.”

Via The Washington Post: “Trump signs bills overturning Obama-era education regulations.”

Via Politico: “After proposing a $9.2 billion cut to the Education Department’s budget for next year, the President Donald Trump is now calling on Congress to slash nearly $3 billion in education funding for the remaining five months of this fiscal year, according to a document obtained by POLITICO.”

Via The Chronicle of Higher Education: “Trump Proposal to Cut Indirect Research Payments Would Hit State Universities Hardest.” And via WaPo: “Trump budget cuts could hit research universities hard, Moody’s warns.”

More on the Trump budget via Inside Higher Ed: “Cutting College Prep.”

Via The Chronicle of Higher Education: “Trump‘s Proposed Cuts Threaten Colleges’ Key Job-Training Programs.”

Via Education Week: “DeVos Compares School Choice Fight to Uber vs. Taxis; Decries State of Test Scores.” (Nice timing, Betsy, as this was a useful comment to include in the talk I gave this week on the future of the "driverless school.")

Via The Washington Post: “Trump taps Kushner to lead a SWAT team to fix government with business ideas.” That’s Jared Kushner, his son-in-law, and that’s SWAT, as in a militarized police force.

“The Mad Rush to Undo Online Privacy Rulesby Siva Vaidhyanathan writing for Bloomberg. “ISPs Can Continue to Collect and Sell All of Our Browsing History, and We’ll Never Know,” says Bill Fitzgerald.

“Higher education and library associations called on the Federal Communications Commission Thursday to uphold Obama-era rules requiring broadband providers to treat all traffic on the internet equally,” Inside Higher Ed reports. (Sadly, I think “net neutrality” under Trump is toast.)

“House bill would further politicize the Register of Copyrights,” Creative Commons cautions.

Immigration and Education


Via The Washington Post: “Virginia judge sides with Trump administration on new travel ban.”

Via The Guardian: “Hawaii judge refuses to overturn block on Trump travel ban.”

Via The New Yorker: “After an Immigration Raid, a City’s Students Vanish.”

Via the Daily Kos: “Fearing deportation, immigrant parents are now canceling their U.S. citizen kids’ food assistance.”

Via Education Week: “High School Rape Case Becomes Flashpoint in Immigration Debate.”

Education in the Courts


Via The Chronicle of Higher Education: “Spanier Is Found Guilty of Child Endangerment in Sandusky Sex-Abuse Case.” That’s Graham Spanier, the former president of Penn State.

More on Penn State in the “meanwhile on campus” section below.

Testing, Testing…


“How the SAT and PSAT collect personal data on students – and what the College Board does with it,” by The Washington Post’s Valerie Strauss.

“Free College”


Via The Chronicle of Higher Education: “Here’s a Map of ‘Free College’ Programs Nationwide.”

Via the Pasadena Star-News: “Pasadena City College offering tuition-free first year for local high schools students.”

The “New” For-Profit Higher Ed


Via Inside Higher Ed: “The Trump administration defended the gainful-employment rule in federal court Wednesday, suggesting that it may not quickly roll back the regulation designed to crack down on programs graduating students unable to pay down high student loan debt loads.”

Also via Inside Higher Ed: “A new report from the American Enterprise Institute argues that state and local funding of public colleges stacks the deck against for-profit institutions under the gainful-employment rule, an Obama administration regulation that measures the ability of graduates of vocational programs to repay their student loans.”

Via The Atlantic: “The Closing of the Republican Mind on For-Profit Colleges.”

Fresh Air’s Terry Gross talks to Tressie McMillan Cottom about her new book, Lower Ed, and “How For-Profit Colleges Sell ‘Risky Education’ To The Most Vulnerable.”

Via The New York Times: “Arizona Summit Law school, a troubled for-profit institution owned by the InfiLaw System, has been placed on probation by its accrediting body, the American Bar Association.”

Via The Wall Street Journal: “Coding Schools Build Tuition-Back Guarantees Into Business Model.”

Online Education and the Once and Future “MOOC”


Via Inside Higher Ed: “Online education platform Coursera has set a goal of offering 15 to 20 degree programs by the end of 2019. The company took another step toward that goal Wednesday, announcing new degree offerings from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and France’s HEC Paris.”

Via Edsurge: “Coursera’s Rick Levin on the Evolution of MOOCs and Microcredentials.”

Meanwhile on Campus…


Via MuckRock: “The same billionaire that funded Trump’s campaign bankrolled Milo’s college speaking tour.” That’s Milo Yiannopoulos, the speaker, and Robert Mercer, the billionaire. Small world!

Via The New York Times: “In School Nurse’s Room: Tylenol, Bandages and an Antidote to Heroin.”

Via The LA Times: “After therapy dog refuses to drink, San Diego Unified finds lead in water.”

Via The Chronicle of Higher Education: “Louis J. Freeh, who five years ago produced a scathing report on the culpability of Pennsylvania State University administrators in the Jerry Sandusky child-molestation scandal, released a two-page statement on Friday that tore into the university’s leaders and called for the resignation of President Eric J. Barron.”

Via The LA Times: “UC Berkeley chancellor improperly accepted free fitness benefits, probe finds.”

“What it’s like at San Quentin’s coding school,” according to Techcrunch.

Via Education Dive: “‘Mall of America of colleges’ provides one-stop shop for local ed needs.”

Via NPR: “Concerns After Texas School Opens ‘Prayer Room’ That’s Attracting Muslim Students.”

Via NPR Code Switch: “Muslim Schoolchildren Bullied By Fellow Students And Teachers.”

Camelot Education, a for-profit manager of alternative schools, is facing challenges nationwide after our report on alleged physical abuse of students by staffers,” says ProPublica.

Via Inside Higher Ed: “Louisiana Monroe says it’s getting rid of two major natural history collections to make way for a sports field.”

Via the BBC: “Students must swim before they graduate, says China university.” That’s Tsinghua University, a.k.a. “Harvard of the East.”

Via The Chronicle of Higher Education: “After a Student Dies, Penn State Bans a Fraternity and Liquor at All Greek Houses.”

Via The Wall Street Journal: “Schools Shift to Free, Public-Domain Curricula.”

The Wall Street Journal is concerned that students at Harvard are studying authors “marginalized for historical reasons.”

“Western-style universities are challenged in Hungary and Russia,” Inside Higher Ed reports.

Via the Starbucks press release: “Starbucks and ASU Expand College Achievement Plan.”

Accreditation and Certification


Via Inside Higher Ed: “2 Think Tanks Weigh In on Accreditation” – that’d be the Heritage Foundation and the Center for American Progress.

Via Edsurge: “BloomBoard Partnership Gives Teachers Graduate-Level Credit for Micro-Credentials.”

Fast Company profiles David Blake, the co-founder of the alt-credentialing startup Degreed.

Go, School Sports Team!


Via The News & Observer: “Cost of bills in UNC academic scandal nears $18 million.”

“Why Is a Suspect in the Vanderbilt Rape Case Talking to Athletes About Sexual Assault?” asks The Chronicle of Higher Education.

Via The Washington Post: “Transgender high school wrestler to compete against boys thanks to new USA Wrestling policy.”

More on sports in the politics and courts sections above.

From the HR Department


Via The New York Times: “Oculus Founder, at Center of Legal Battle Over VR, Departs Facebook.” That’s Palmer Luckey, funder of anti-Clinton “shit-posting” efforts.

Via WSLS: “Liberty University online education drops, staff layoffs.”

Via Inside Higher Ed: “AAUP report concludes that a professor at Community College of Aurora was likely fired for refusing to compromise on rigor in his courses as part of a ”student success“ initiative.” More on this story from Jonathan Rees.

Via The Detroit News: “In a move rarely seen in academia, Wayne State University is trying to fire multiple faculty members depicted as abusing their tenure by doing as little work as possible.”

Cornell Grad Union Election Too Close to Call,” Inside Higher Ed reports.

Also via Inside Higher Ed: “Ithaca College’s new non-tenure-track faculty union reached a tentative contract agreement with the institution this week, averting a threatened strike.”

The American Arbitration Association declared this w From The New York Times’ “Corner Office” series: “Jessie Woolley-Wilson on Creating Benevolent Friction at Work.” (She is the CEO is Dreambox Learning.)

The Business of Job Recruitment and Training


“Save Your College (and America’s Workforce) Through Corporate Training” – a really god-awful op-ed in Edsurge by venture capitalist Ryan Craig and for-profit higher ed CEO Frank F. Britt.

Via Inside Higher Ed: “The rapid growth of Handshake, a career-services platform, is also raising questions about whether some students’ grades are made visible to employers without permission.”

Contests and Awards


The 2017–2018 Spencer Education Journalism Fellowships have been awarded by Columbia University’s J-School: Antonio Gois, Cara Fitzpatrick, Nick Chiles, and me. (!!!)

This Week in Betteridge’s Law of Headlines


“Can Grit Be Measured?” asks Edsurge.

“Will Personalized Learning Become the New Normal?” asks The Atlantic.

“Was the ‘Open Education’ movement of the ’70s ahead of its time?” asks Education Dive.

“Do You Have What It Takes to be a Successful Edtech Product Manager?” asks Edsurge.

(Reminder: according to Betteridge’s Law of Headlines, “Any headline that ends in a question mark can be answered by the word no.”)

Upgrades and Downgrades


“Can We Afford Free Textbooks?” is a terrible op-ed by Robert S. Feldman, a deputy chancellor at University of Massachusetts Amherst. Thankfully, IHE added a disclosure to the end of the article: “He also serves as chair of the McGraw-Hill Education Learning Science Research Advisory Council.”

iPads Did Not Revolutionize Campus Teaching,” Edsurge informs us, “(But a Few Colleges Give Every Student One).”

Apple’s Bid To Reclaim The Classroom From Chromebooks May Be Too Late,” says Fast Company.

“Privatizing Recess: Micromanaging Children’s Play for Profit” by Nancy Bailey – a story on Playworks.

Technology ‘Disrupting’ Teaching, Part 1 and Part 2" by Larry Cuban.

Via EdWeek’s Market Brief: “The Future of Curriculum: Playlists, Open Ed., and Tough Choices for Teachers.”

Robots and Other Ed-Tech SF


Via Campus Technology: “AI Market to Grow 47.5% Over Next Four Years.” Education Dive rewrites the story with this headline: “Report predicts AI spike in education.”

Venture Capital and the Business of Ed-Tech


MasterClass has raised $35 million “to expand celebrity-led courses.” Investors in this Series C round include Institutional Venture Partners, Advancit Capital, Bloomberg Beta, GSV Acceleration, Javelin Venture Partners, MX Investments, New Enterprise Associates, Novel TMT Ventures, Sam Lessin, and Yan-David Erlich. The company has raised $56.4 million total.

BYJUs has raised $30 million in Series F funding from Verlinvest. The test prep company has raised $204 million total. Yay! Test prep!

Raise.me has raised $12 million in Series A funding from Redpoint, GSV Acceleration, Owl Ventures, and SJF Ventures. The startup claims it’s “reinventing financial aid” and has raised $16.5 million total.

Voxy has raised $12 million in Series C funding from SJF Ventures, Contour Venture Partners, GSV Acceleration, Inherent Group, Rethink Education, and Weld North. The English language-learning startup has raised $30.8 million total.

Edlio has acquired Sangha.

Excelligence Learning Corporation has acquired ChildCare Education Institute.

Here’s Pearson’s annual report for 2016. It’s bad news. And yet! Via the BBC: “Pearson boss sees pay boost despite firm’s struggles.”

Privacy, Surveillance, and Information Security


“Introducing the K–12 Cyber Incident Mapby Doug Levin.

And speaking of incidents, here’s one from Montana, “Hackers hit Forsyth schools server, cause disruptions,” reports KTVQ.

Via Dark Reading: “Millions of Stolen US University Email Credentials for Sale on the Dark Web.”

Via the EFF: “Privacy By Practice, Not Just By Policy: A System Administrator Advocating for Student Privacy.”

“Who Owns Your Face?” asks The Atlantic. I bet you can guess the answer.

More on testing data in the privacy section above.

Data and “Research”


Forbes perpetuates the worst sorts of stereotypes about college students as it reports on a survey by a student loan company LendEDU: “College Students Using Loans For Spring Break, Alcohol, Drugs.”

“A shortage of job candidates with fluency in data science and analytics is among the nation’s most yawning of skills gaps, one requiring substantial changes by higher education institutions and employers alike,” according to a report by the Business-Higher Education Forum.

Via NPR: “A Surprising Explanation For Why Some Immigrants Excel In Science.”

Higher Ed Analytics Market Is Growing in Complexity,” according to a report by Eduventures.

School-Choice Data Reveals Parents Opting Out of Private Schools for Charters and Virtual,” says Edsurge, drawing on a report from the Brookings Institution’s Education Choice and Competition Index.

Via DML Central: “Google Scientist Tells How Tech Affects Learning.”

“More on demographics: American white people’s declining lifespan and what it means for education” by Bryan Alexander.

Via Inside Higher Ed: “Study: Income-Based Repayment Reduced Defaults.”

“The World’s Top Venture Capitalists” – according to The New York Times at least.

Icon credits: The Noun Project

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Audrey Watters


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