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Charlottesville and UVA


Hundreds of white supremacists marched at the University of Virginia campus Friday night, carrying torches and chanting “blood and soil.” On Saturday, the Unite the Right rally met again in the streets of Charlottesville. A counter protester was killed when a white nationalist allegedly ran his car into a crowd of people.

President Trump did not condemn the violence of the white supremacists. Instead he blamed “both sides,” later insisting that “very fine people” were marching with the neo-Nazis.

There’s more on white nationalists on campus in the “meanwhile on campus” section below.

Via The Chronicle of Higher Education: “As White Supremacists Wreak Havoc, a University Becomes a Crisis Center.”

Via The Chronicle of Higher Education: “As UVa’s Leaders Equivocate, Professors Shine an Ethical Light.”

UVA’s Siva Vaidhyanathan in The New York Times: “Why the Nazis Came to Charlottesville.”

Via The Chronicle of Higher Education: “UVa Employee Suffers a Stroke After Campus Clash With White Supremacists.”

Via The LA Times: “Who was responsible for the violence in Charlottesville? Here’s what witnesses say.”

An op-ed in The LA Times: “What UVA did wrong when white supremacists came to campus.”

Tennessee’s former education commissioner called on Betsy DeVos to resign as the nation’s education chief Thursday because of her boss’s ambivalent response to racist violence in Charlottesville, Virginia,” Chalkbeat reports.

Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos’ first response – two tweets, inititally – just talked about “hate-filled rhetoric,” but she sent an email to her staff on Thursday that was more forceful. Via Chalkbeat: “In departure from Trump, Betsy DeVos calls out ‘racist bigots’ in Charlottesville.” Her note did not mention Trump. Actions, of course, speak louder than words.

“Nazis in Charlottesville” by UVA’s Daniel Willingham.

Via NPR: “Resources For Educators To Use In The Wake Of Charlottesville.”

“7 Ways Teachers Can Respond to the Evil of Charlottesville, Starting Now” by Xian Franzinger Barrett.

Tune into the Contrafabulists podcast this weekend, when Kin Lane and I will discuss the response (or lack thereof) from the tech industry, including Cloudflare, Spotify, Squarespace, GoDaddy, Google, the EFF, and others.

(Other National) Education Politics


“Transcript of Education Secretary DeVos’ Interview with AP” – via the AP, of course.

“How Did ‘Copyright Piracy’ Language Get Into ESSA, the K–12 Law?” asks Education Week.

Via Inside Higher Ed: “President Trump Wednesday signed an update of the Post–9/11 GI Bill into law after the bipartisan legislation swiftly made it out of both chambers of Congress.”

Via Inside Higher Ed: “In a letter sent today to Education Secretary Betsy DeVos, Senator Elizabeth Warren, a Massachusetts Democrat, asked for information about the work of senior counsel Robert Eitel to determine if he broke conflict-of-interest laws.” Eitel was an exec at Bridgepoint Education.

Via Pacific Standard: “The Afterlife of Big Ideas in Education Reform.”

More about (US) national education politics and policies in the student loan section and for-profit higher ed sections below.

Meanwhile, in the UK: “Learndirect training contract withdrawn over standards concerns,” the BBC reports. “Learndirect, which offers apprenticeships and adult training at sites across England, is responsible for almost 73,000 trainees and employs more than 1,600 staff.”

(Other State and Local) Education Politics


Via The Buffalo News: “Carl Paladino’s polarizing time on [the Buffalo NY] School Board comes to an end.” “Polarizing” is a nice way of putting it, I suppose.

Via Politico: “Following months of criticism, Eva Moskowitz distances herself from Trump.” Moskowitz is the head of the Success Academy chain of charter schools.

Via the AP: “A new Tennessee law requiring public school districts to provide student data to charter schools faces its first tests with pushback from districts.”

Immigration and Education


“Five Years In, What’s Next For DACA?” asks NPR’s Claudio Sanchez.

Via Inside Higher Ed: “Law Professions: ‘No Question’ DACA is Legal.”

Education in the Courts


From a press release issued by the US Attorney for the Southern District of New York: “Individual Who Compromised Over 1,000 Email Accounts At A New York City University Pleads Guilty.”

Via The New York Times: “Another Silicon Valley Start-Up Faces Sexual Harassment Claims.” This time, it’s SoFi, a private student loan provider.

Via The Chronicle of Higher Education: “Lawsuits From Students Accused of Sex Assault Cost Many Colleges More Than $200,000.”

Testing, Testing…


PARCC Inc, best known as one of the Common Core test-makers, is “moving in a new direction,” Politico reports. The new focus: “classroom tools and services geared toward school districts.”

The Business of Student Loans


Via Inside Higher Ed: “The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau is seeking a proposed settlement against Aequitas Capital Management for assisting Corinthian Colleges with providing private loans to its students.”

The “New” For-Profit Higher Ed


The Charlotte School of Law has closed its doors. Story via Inside Higher Ed.

Via Inside Higher Ed: “U.S. Continues to Delay, Soften Gainful-Employment Rules.”

Via Vice: “Trump’s ‘Forever GI Bill’ won’t stop for-profit schools from preying on vets.”

Via Bloomberg: “This Coding School Wants Graduates to Share Their Income.” That’s the New York Code and Design Academy, which is owned by Strayer Education.

App Academy, another bootcamp that uses income-sharing agreements in lieu of tuition, reportedly announced in an email this week that it would move from a percentage of income – 18% of graduates’ first year salary – to a flat fee: $28,000.

Online Education and the Once and Future “MOOC”


Via The Chronicle of Higher Education: “Cumulative Growth in Number of MOOCs, 2011–17.”

Meanwhile (Elsewhere) on Campus…


White Nationalists Are The New Face Of Campus Free Speech,” says Buzzfeed.

Via The New York Times: “After Charlottesville Violence, Colleges Brace for More Clashes.”

Since the events at UVA last weekend, several universities have declined white nationalists’ requests to hold events on their campuses. These include Michigan State University, University of Florida, Louisiana State University, and Texas A&M.

Via Inside Higher Ed: “When Your Students Attend White Supremacist Rallies.”

Via the Southern Poverty Law Center: “The Alt-Right On Campus: What Students Need To Know.”

“Have You Experienced or Witnessed a Hate Crime or Bias Incident?” asks Education Week, which has joined the Documenting Hate project.

An interactive from Politico: “Symbols of the Confederacy still dot the South.” This includes some 109 public schools named for Confederate icons. “Of these schools, nearly 25 percent have a student body that is primarily black.”

Via NPR: “Ethnic Studies: A Movement Born Of A Ban.”

Via NPR: “High-Achieving, Low-Income Students: Where Elite Colleges Are Falling Short.”

Via Boing Boing: “School to parents: a $100 donation gets your kids to the front of the lunch line.”

“In some districts, free summer ‘crash courses’ are trying to meet the needs of students who can’t afford to attend traditional pre-K programs,” The Atlantic reports.

Accreditation and Certification


Via Education Week: “Records show five more administrators in an Ohio school district could lose their state educator licenses in connection with an investigation that found student data was falsified to improve district performance ratings.”

Via The Atlantic: “The Onerous, Arbitrary, Unaccountable World of Occupational Licensing.”

From the HR Department


Via The Houston Chronicle: “Texas assistant principal reassigned after writing alt-right kids’ book.”

“The superintendent of one of the nation’s largest online charter schools is retiring amid its court battle with Ohio officials over at least $60 million in disputed funding,” the AP reports. That’s Rick Teeters, head of the Electronic Classroom of Tomorrow.

The Business of Job Training


Via Edsurge: “Nonprofit Bootcamps Want to Make Coding Accessible to Low-Income Learners.”

Via Inside Higher Ed: “Purdue University unveiled another outside-the-box move Thursday, announcing a five-year deal with one of India’s largest technology outsourcing firms, Infosys, under which the university will perform joint research and provide training and classes for the company’s employees.”

Via Techcrunch: “UPS is developing virtual reality tech to train its drivers.”

This Week in Betteridge’s Law of Headlines


Are pre-K ‘cram courses’ an adequate substitute for full programs?asks Education Dive.

(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


Me in The Baffler on “How Silicon Valley’s brand of behaviorism has entered the classroom.” Featuring ClassDojo and HeroK12.

Via Edsurge: “Software Helps Instructors Stop Mangling Hard-to-Pronounce Student Names.”

Via The New York Times: “Cambridge University Press Removes Academic Articles on Chinese Site.”

Mindwire Consulting’s Michael Feldstein reports from BbWorld: “Blackboard May Be Turning Around.”

“What Do We Mean When We Say ‘Social And Emotional Skills’?” asks Mindshift.

Robots and Other Ed-Tech SF


Via MIT Technology Review: “Growing Up with Alexa.”

Via The Atlantic: “The Value of Bringing Drones to the Classroom.”

(Venture) Philanthropy and the Business of Ed Reform


Venture Capital and the Business of Ed-Tech


Zuoyebang, a tutoring app owned by Baidu, has raised $150 million in Series C funding from H Capital, GGV Capital, Legend Capital, Sequoia Capital, Tiger Global Mauritius Fund, and Xianghe Capital. The subsidiary has raised $210 million total.

Lightneer has raised $5 million in seed funding from Reach Capital, Brighteye Ventures, GSV Acceleration, and IPR.VC. The educational game-maker has raised $9.04 million total.

Curriculum maker Activate Learning has acquired curriculum maker IT’S ABOUT TIME.

Harris School Solutions has acquired JR3 WebSmart.

Andrew Ng is raising a $150M AI Fund,” Techcrunch reports.

Privacy, Surveillance, and Information Security


“2017 Data Breaches Hit Half-Year Record High,” says the Identity Theft Resource Center. Breaches in education account for 11% of these.

“Everything’s Bigger in Texas ... Including (Maybe) the Data Breaches,” says EdTech Strategies’ Doug Levin.

Via Fox Business: “Texas schools create high-tech ID badges to track students on buses.”

Edsurge on data interoperability.

Via GeekWire: “Alexa goes to college: Amazon and Arizona State putting 1,600 Echo Dots in dorm rooms.” What happens to students’ data here?!

From the Future of Privacy Forum: “Location Controls in iOS 11 Highlight the Role of Platforms.”

Via Go To Hellman: “PubMed Lets Google Track User Searches.”

JISC lauds the “intelligent campus,” and I have to say, touting Chinese universities’ surveillance of students is not really such a great model, folks.

There’s more on information security (or lack thereof) in the courts section above.

Research, “Research,” and Reports


“Surprise, Trump’s Education Ideas Are Polarizing,” says NPR’s Anya Kamenetz, reporting on the latest Education Next poll. Support for charter schools, for example, fell by 12% from last year’s survey. (The poll data.) EdTech Strategies’ Doug Levin says that this year’s poll is “much improved.” More on the survey from Inside Higher Ed and from Politico.

Via Education Week: “Ed-Tech Companies Should Open Algorithms to Scrutiny, Report Suggests.” The report in question – “Asleep at the Switch: Schoolhouse Commercialism, Student Privacy, and the Failure of Policymaking” – comes from the National Education Policy Center.

“Are Small Colleges Doomed? Not So Fast,” says The Chronicle of Higher Education.

Via Crunchbase: “Here Are The Top Schools Among Founders Who Raise Big Dollars.” I’m sure you’ll be shocked to learn that the top school is Stanford.

Via The Chronicle of Higher Education: “Colleges With the Highest Average Pay for Full Professors, 2015–16.”

Via Inside Higher Ed: “The percentage of student loan borrowers leaving college owing $20,000 or more doubled over about a decade, according to a report released Wednesday by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.”

Via Chalkbeat: “Silicon Valley’s school integration paradox: More black and Hispanic students get to college – and get arrested.”

Studies Are Usually Bunk, Study Shows,” The Wall Street Journal claims, in an attempt to support the arguments made by fired Google engineer James Damore (and undermine those challenging him).

Science doesn’t explain tech’s diversity problem – history doesby Sarah Jeong and Rachel Becker.

Icon credits: The Noun Project

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Audrey Watters


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