Education Politics

Via The Military Times: “There’s a plan in Congress to start charging troops for their GI Bill benefits.”

“Should DeVos Block an Embattled Student Loan Giant’s Expansion?” Bloomberg asks. That’s poor embattled Navient.

Via The New York Times: “DeVos Halts Obama-Era Plan to Revamp Student Loan Management.”

More on the business of student loans in the upgrades/downgrades section below.

Via Pacific Standard: “Department of Education to Investigate Alleged Discrimination in Richmond Schools.”

Via The Verge: “Trump administration says it won’t release White House visitor records.” The White House has also discontinued

“The Next Higher-Ed Funding Battle to Watch May Be in New Mexico,” says The Chronicle of Higher Education.

Immigration and Education

Via USA Today: “First protected DREAMer is deported under Trump.”

Tech Is Dominating Efforts To Educate Syrian Refugees,” reports NPR.

Would-be students have many immediate needs. They have universally experienced some form of trauma. There is a lack of schools, teachers, books, uniforms and food. Yet, according to this study, nearly half of the donors have chosen to supply educational technology, far more than are building schools, providing basic books and materials or employing teachers.

Trump Signs Order That Could Lead to Curbs on Foreign Workers,” The New York Times reports. More on changes to the H1-B visa program via The Chronicle of Higher Education and Axios.

Education in the Courts

Via The Washington Post: “Supreme Court case could pave the way for vouchers for Christian schools – or do just the opposite.”

Via Fortune: “These Popular Headphones Spy on Users, Lawsuit Says.” These popular headphones are the very expensive Bose headphones. Good thing no one in education is predicting that connected devices or the Internet of Things are the future, otherwise we’d have to be concerned about privacy in schools, right?

Testing, Testing…

Via Education Week: “Rhode Island drops unpopular standardized test system.”

“Free College”

NYT bore David Brooks has thoughts on “The Cuomo College Fiasco.”

“Shut Up About Financial Literacy,” says Sara Goldrick-Rab.

The “New” For-Profit Higher Ed

ESPN on the downfall of Forest Trail Sports University, an all-sports for-profit university.

Via Edsurge: “Reactions to a College Alternative: Debating the Merits of MissionU.”

Online Education and the Once and Future “MOOC”

Via “Boy, 8, drives to McDonald’s after learning how online.”

MOOCs Started Out Completely Free. Where Are They Now?” asks Dhawal Shah, founder of the site Class Central. (Disclosure alert: no mention that Edsurge, which published this article, shares an investor with Class Central.)

Via the Udacity blog: “Udacity Launches Mobile Developer Education with Facebook at F8.”

Meanwhile on Campus…

Via Mother Jones: “I Went Behind the Front Lines With the Far-Right Agitators Who Invaded Berkeley.”

Via The Chronicle of Higher Education: “After one of its students was seen on video punching a woman at a protest in Berkeley, Calif., the president of California State University at Stanislaus said on Monday it had opened an investigation.”

White supremacist Richard Spencer’s talk at Auburn was canceled, then un-canceled.

Right-wing agitator Ann Coulter’s speech at UC Berkeley was canceled, then un-canceled.

The Atlantic’s Conor Friedersdorf wants to write about something other than how students are protesting free speech on campus and destroying democracy; so college students, I guess you’re supposed to email him with your thoughts.

Via The Washington Post: “‘I don’t like to be touched’: Video shows 10-year-old autistic boy getting arrested at school.”

More handwringing about distracted students and technology in the classroom in The Chronicle of Higher Education.

Via Inside Higher Ed: “A group of scholars object to a decision by the University of California, Berkeley, to remove many video and audio lectures from public view as a result of a Justice Department accessibility order.”

Via NPR: “Schools Will Soon Have To Put In Writing If They ‘Lunch Shame’.”

Salon plugs charter schools in rural areas.

Last week, NPR covered the lack of clean water at schools on the Navajo Nation. This week, Edsurge covers a charter school there and its promotion of “personalized learning” and assessment technologies. Priorities.

Via The New York Times: “Whittier Law School Says It Will Shut Down.”

University of California’s Payroll Project Reboot Now At $504 Million,” says Mindwire Consulting’s Phil Hill.

Via The San Francisco Chronicle: “Audit to examine questions on Peralta College district spending.”

Via KHOU: “AR–15 raffled for New Caney school charity.” That’s New Caney, Texas.

Via The New York Times: “Dolly Parton College Course Combines Music, History and Appalachia Pride.” The course will be offered at the University of Tennessee’s Knoxville campus.

Accreditation and Certification

Via Campus Technology: “Education Department Database Publishes Accreditation Warnings.”

Go, School Sports Team!

Via Inside Higher Ed: “NCAA Moves to Alter Football Recruiting Rules.”

Via “New IU policy bans athletes with history of sexual or domestic violence.” That’s Indiana University.

More on sports and for-profit universities in the for-profit higher ed section above.

From the HR Department

DPLA executive director Dan Cohen will be stepping down from that role in June and joining Northeastern University as a provost/dean.

Dallas Dance resigns as Baltimore County Schools superintendent,” The Baltimore Sun reports.

Via Buzzfeed: “Black Teachers Are Leaving The Profession Due To Racism.”

Contests and Awards

Via the Education Writers Association: “2016 Finalists for the National Awards for Education Reporting.”

This Week in Betteridge’s Law of Headlines

“Can There Be a Microscope of the Mind?” asks Mindwire Consulting’s Michael Feldstein.

“Do controversial figures have a right to speak at public universities?” asks The USA Today.

“Can a District Disrupt the Edtech Industry?” 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

Via The Hechinger Report: “Using virtual reality to step into others’ shoes.” Related from the radiator design blog: “‘If you walk in someone else’s shoes, then you’ve taken their shoes’: empathy machines as appropriation machines.”

Via NBC Los Angeles, a profile on Caine Monroy, who five years ago create the cardboard Caine’s Arcade.

Via Inside Higher Ed: “American Historical Review, a flagship journal in history, has apologized for assigning a book about inequality and urban education to a professor who has been criticized by many as a white supremacist.”

Via Education Week: “‘Personalized Learning’ Guidebook Geared to Rural Districts’ Needs.”

Via MarketWatch: “America’s student loan giant Navient is about to get even bigger.”

Via The Washington Post: “ Government watchdog investigating discrimination in student loan servicing.”

Via Edsurge: “Why Language Learning Apps Haven’t Helped Struggling ELL Students.”

I didn’t pay close attention to Facebook’s developer event this week. But there were others there to transcribe the PR, so I’m sure you can easily find what glorious products and futures were promised. Via MIT Technology Review: “Facebook’s Sci-Fi Plan for Typing with Your Mind and Hearing with Your Skin.”

In other FB-related news: “Facebook’s algorithm isn’t surfacing one-third of our posts. And it’s getting worse.”

Via Business Insider: “Planned Parenthood is following the ACLU’s lead and is joining a Silicon Valley startup accelerator.” Gross.

Via The Economist: “Silicon Valley’s sexism problem” – “Venture capitalists are bright, clannish and almost exclusively male.”

What higher ed can learn from American Express, according to venture capitalist Ryan Craig.

Via Boing Boing: “Prison inmates built working PCs out of ewaste, networked them, and hid them in a closet ceiling.”

Robots and Other Ed-Tech SF

Via Techcrunch: “Robot tutor Musio makes its retail debut in Japan.”

Venture Capital and the Business of Ed-Tech

Lumen Learning has raised $3.75 million in Series A funding from the Follett Corporation, Alliance of Angels, and the Portland Street Fund. The open courseware startup has raised $6.25 million total. Coverage and reactions from Edsurge, Inside Higher Ed, Geek Wire, Lumen co-founder David Wiley, Stephen Downes, Wiley again (responding to Downes), Mindwire Consulting’s Phil Hill, and Mindwire Consulting’s Michael Feldstein.

Thinkster Math, formerly known as Tabtor Math, has raised an undisclosed amount of funding from the Jefferson Education Accelerator. The math tutoring company has previously raised $4.7 million.

Frontline Education has acquired job search site Teachers-Teachers.

(Venture) Philanthropy and the Business of Ed Reform

Via The New York Times: “How Top Philanthropists Wield Power Through Their Donations.” Related, by me: “The Omidyar Network and the (Neoliberal) Future of Education.”

Via Edsurge: “New Profit Dishes Out $1M to 7 Organizations in Personalized Learning Initiative.” New Profit is a new venture philanthropy firm funded by the Gates Foundation and the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative. (Disclosure alert, no surprise.)

Via Edsurge: “Houston Community College Receives $300K to Develop Z-Degree Program.” The money comes from the Kinder Foundation. Z-Degrees are programs with zero dollars worth of textbook costs.

Via Edsurge: “Couragion Receives $750k Through Small Business Innovation Research Grant.”

Privacy, Surveillance, and Information Security

Via Edsurge: “Schoolzilla ‘File Configuration Error’ Exposes Data for More Than 1.3M Students, Staff.” (Disclosure alert: no mention in the story of Edsurge’s shared investor with Schoolzilla.)

“He’s got access to your students’ info and is trying to decide what to do. Now what will YOU do?” asks

The University of California’s press office announced the school “has uncovered a massive scheme targeting students through its student health plan that fraudulently obtained student information and then stole almost $12 million from UC by writing phony medical prescriptions in the students’ names.”

“Online Courses Shouldn’t Use Remote Proctoring Tools. Here’s Why,” says Edsurge.

Via Chalkbeat: “Counting attendance in school ratings could be smart – or completely misleading.”

Via the ANOVA: “Study of the Week: Discipline Reform and Test Score Mania.”

Via Edsurge: “Panorama’s Student Progress Reports Show More Than Grades (Think Behavior and SEL).” (Disclosure alert: no mention that Edsurge shares an investor with Panorama.)

Via iNews: “University to monitor student social media to gauge well-being.” That’s the University of Buckingham, and this idea sounds awful.

Via The Chronicle of Higher Education: “An Instructor Saw Digital Distraction in Class. So She Showed Students What She’d Seen on Their Screens.”

The lack of respect shown for students’ privacy never ceases to amaze me.

Blackboard says it is “Putting data in the hands of students.” (Not really. The LMS is displaying some of students' data back at them.)

Data and “Research”

“So Far in 2017, Pace of Investment Into Ed Tech Bouncing Back,” says EdWeek’s Market Brief, drawing on a report from investment research firm CB Insights. (Reminder: you can find my analysis on ed-tech investment at

Via Inside Higher Ed: “PayScale’s Impact (and Limitations).”

Via Quartz: “For half a century, neuroscientists thought they knew how memory worked. They were wrong.”

UVA’s Daniel Willingham on research on computers and children’s social lives.

Via Edsurge: “Interest in Online Higher Ed Gain (But Campus-Based Programs Wane).” That’s according to a report from a consulting firm, Gray Associates.

Support for public higher education rose in 33 states and declined in 17 in 2016 – including a massive drop in Illinois,” according to figures in the 2016 State Higher Education Finance report.

Via The Chronicle of Higher Education: “The Pathway to a College Presidency Is Changing, and a New Report Outlines How.”

Via Inside Higher Ed: “UNESCO Paper on Gaps in Global Completion Rates.”

“A growing body of research shows that full-time college students are more likely to graduate, yet experts caution against policies that neglect part-time students,” Inside Higher Ed reports.

Via WaPo: “Minority teachers in U.S. more than doubled over 25 years – but still fewer than 20 percent of educators, study shows.”

Bryan Alexander on a report from the Institute for the Future: “Americans versus the future.”

Via Education Week: “Augmented, Virtual Reality Yet to Gain Traction in K–12, Survey Finds.”

Icon credits: The Noun Project

Audrey Watters


Hack Education

The History of the Future of Education Technology

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