Each week, I gather a wide variety of links to education and education technology articles. All this feeds the review I write each December on the stories we are told about the future of education.

(National) Education Politics

In the long list of things the POTUS doesn’t “get,” we can add this (via The Atlantic): “Donald Trump Doesn’t Understand Community Colleges.”

Via The Washington Post: “Education Secretary Betsy DeVos asked whether leakers could be prosecuted, internal report shows.”

New America on “The Department of Deregulation: DeVos’ New Regulatory Agenda to Roll Back Protections for Students.”

Via Buzzfeed: “17 Colleges Fell Short On Campus Safety, But The Education Department Didn’t Tell The Schools.”

There’s some accreditation news out of the Department of Education in the accreditation section below.

Via Education Week: “FCC Chair Moves to Block E-Rate Funds for Companies Deemed ‘Security Risk’.”

(State and Local) Education Politics

From The New York Times’ Dana Goldstein: “Teachers in Oklahoma and Kentucky Walk Out: ‘It Really Is a Wildfire’.”

Via NPR: “Oklahoma’s Teachers Continue Walkout As Lawmakers Vote On More Education Funds.”

There are a few more stories about teachers’ strikes in the HR section below.

Via Chalkbeat: “In Betsy DeVos’ home state, a program that steers public dollars to private school students is under fire from the governor.” That’s Michigan, for what it’s worth. Add those are vouchers.

Via Detroit Free Press: “More Michigan schools are failing: Most are charters.”

Via The New York Times, a profile on the Indiana charter chain Excel Schools: “A Chance for Dropouts, Young and Old, to Go Back to School.”

Via Edsurge: “Data is Good – But Not Enough – to Improve Education, Says Baltimore City Public Schools CEO.” This is my shocked face.

Immigration and Education

Via Inside Higher Ed: “The State Department is proposing to ask additional questions of visa applicants regarding their social media usage.”

There’s more visa-related news in the for-profit section below.

“Free College”

New Jersey Moves Toward Free Community College,” says The Wall Street Journal.

Via Inside Higher Ed: “Missouri Has Free Tuition… for Its Legislators.”

College Affordability and the Business of Financial Aid

Via The New York Times: “Even With Scholarships, Students Often Need Extra Financial Help.”

Via The New York Times: “Middle-Class Families Increasingly Look to Community Colleges.”

Via The New York Times: “An International Final Four: Which Country Handles Student Debt Best?”

There’s more data on debt in the data and research section below.

The “New” For-Profit Higher Ed

Via Republic Report: “Grassley Attacks ACICS-Approved For-Profit Colleges As ‘Visa Mills’.” That’s Senator Chuck Grassley.

There’s some ACICS accreditation news in the accreditation section below.

Online Education (and the Once and Future “MOOC”)

“The MOOC is not dead, but maybe it should be,” says Rolin Moe.

Via Mindwires Consulting’s Phil Hill: “Online Program Management: Spring 2018 view of the market landscape.”

Meanwhile on Campus…

The first byline (I think) from The Atlantic’s Adam Harris: “How the Howard University Protests Hint at the Future of Campus Politics.” More on how the school is responding to student protests by Harris’s former employer, The Chronicle of Higher Education. And more in The New York Times.

Via The Chicago Tribune: “Video captures University of Chicago police officer shooting student near campus; charges filed against student.”

Via NPR: “Parkland Students Return To School Skeptical Of Clear Backpacks.”

Via NPR: “Professors Are Targets In Online Culture Wars; Some Fight Back.”

Inside Higher Ed looks at how the North Dakota University System is “Blocking Child Porn on Campus.”

Accreditations and Certifications and Competencies

Via Inside Higher Ed: “Education Secretary Betsy DeVos said in a signed order Tuesday that she was restoring the federal recognition of the Accrediting Council for Independent Colleges and Schools, the for-profit accreditor that had waged a fight for reinstatement since the Obama administration withdrew its recognition in 2016.” More via The Chronicle of Higher Education.

“Students Want Faster Degrees,” The Chronicle of Higher Education argues. “Colleges Are Responding.”


Chalkbeat on NAEP: “The national test of students’ progress has gone digital. A state leader is raising questions about what that means.”

Via Inside Higher Ed: “GMAT Drops 30 Minutes From Test.”

Via The New York Times: “For the ACT and the SAT, Pencils No Longer Required, but Sometimes Necessary.”

A hate-read from Jacobin that claims it’s making “The Progressive Case for the SAT.” Trigger warning: FdB.

Via Chalkbeat: “Here’s the list of Tennessee school districts choosing to test younger students online this year.” Sorry. You’re going to have to click for the list.

Via The New York Times: “Law Schools Debate a Contentious Testing Alternative.”

Go, School Sports Team!

Via ESPN: “The Arizona Board of Regents will vote this week whether to add language to men’s basketball coach Sean Miller’s contract that would require him to return $1 million if he’s charged with a crime or found guilty of major NCAA violations.” He’d still earn $3.1 million.

Labor Issues and Other Memos from HR

“Why is the media – including the liberal media – supporting these teachers’ strikes?” asks Corey Robin.

Via The Atlantic: “The Larger Concerns Behind the Teachers’ Strikes.”

Via Edsurge (which also ran a number of stories this week to promote an event in which you can get a “gig”): “The Data Tells All: Teacher Salaries Have Been Declining For Years.”

Via The Chronicle of Higher Education: “Rochester Professor at Center of Harassment Controversy Will Return to Teaching.”

Via The New York Times: “Homework Therapists’ Job: Help Solve Math Problems, and Emotional Ones.” “Homework therapist.” Well, I guess I need to keep an eye on how the tutoring industry rebrands itself what with all the investment dollars it’s receiving.

The Business of Job Training

Via The Chronicle of Higher Education: “Colleges Enter Competition With Coding Boot Camps.”

Via Edsurge: “Leif, a fintech investment group, is giving $10 million to support future students at the online coding bootcamp Thinkful.” Warning: income sharing agreements.

Via the AP: “Wyoming begins path to computer science courses in schools.”

This Week in Betteridge’s Law of Headlines

Does Ready Player One reveal the future of VR?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 Edsurge: “Padlet’s Price Update Riles Teachers, Raises Questions About Sustainability of Freemium Models.”

TenMarks joins the ed-tech dead pool. Edsurge has the story. “After Amazon’s TenMarks shuts down, what then for K–12 schools and Amazon?” asks GeekWire’s Frank Catalano.

Via Edsurge: “Still in the K–12 Jungle: Amazon Partners With Edhesive to Bring CS Education to Schools.”

Via the Google blog: “Rolling Study Halls: turning bus time into learning time.” The Verge covers the blog post: “Google is equipping more rural school buses with Wi-Fi and Chromebooks.”

Via Techcrunch: “What Apple’s education announcements mean for accessibility.”

Via The Verge: “Teachers weigh in on Apple’s push for more iPads in school.”

“Schools won’t like how difficult the new iPad is to repair,” says The Verge.

“A Response to Larry Berger’s ‘Confession’ on Personalized Learning” by New Classrooms’ Joel Rose.

Here’s a lede for you: “Once upon a time, the classrooms had four walls, dusty chalkboards and uncomfortable desks in straight little rows. Students were silent, repeated what they were told and limited by their past experiences.” I’m not sure when this was or where this was. And now there’s VR and I guess that changes everything.

Via The MIT Technology Review: “MIT severs ties to company promoting fatal brain uploading.”

Robots and Other Education Science Fiction

“Now you can use your Echo to call the kids for dinner,” Techcrunch wants you to know. Because nothing says “disruptive innovation” like not hollering at your children.

Via The New York Times: “Schools Offering Drone Programs, but Learning to Fly Is Just the Start.”

(Venture) Philanthropy and the Business of Education Reform

Chan Zuckerberg Initiative sponsors content on Edsurge. This week, the sponsorship includes an article on self directed learning, an article on profiling students, an article on a “failing school” in Baltimore.

Salesforce also sponsors content on Edsurge. This week’s sponsored stories include several articles on student success: 1, 2.

Via Techcrunch: “Mission Bit, a nonprofit organization that teaches high school students computer science, has received a $1 million five-year grant from the San Francisco Department of Children, Youth and Their Families.”

Via Education Week: “Tech Giants Announce New Funding for 1-to–1 Devices, Computer Science Education.” The giants in question – and to be clear these aren’t necessarily “philanthropic” efforts but I’m not sure where to put them – are Verizon Innovative Learning and Amazon.

Venture Capital and the Business of Education

3DBear has raised $1.5 million in seed funding from LearnStart (Learn Capital) and Rethink Education. The 3D modeling company has raised $2.8 million total.

New Mountain Learning has raised an undisclosed amount of funding from the private equity firm CIP Capital.

Really Good Stuff, a subsidiary of Excelligence Learning Corporation, has acquired Steve Spangler Science.

Corwin has acquired Cognition Education Group.

Via Techcrunch: “Utah education technology unicorn Pluralsight files for IPO.” More from Edsurge.

Pearson’s Annual Report (2017) – my favorite part is how the numbers that are showcased on this web page are all green, even though they’re downward trending. I guessing putting them in red would be too obvious.

Data, Surveillance, and Information Security

Via The New York Times: “Facebook Says Cambridge Analytica Harvested Data of Up to 87 Million Users.”

“Protecting Student Privacy in a Time of Uncertainty” by Summit Public Schools’ Diane Tavenner. (Reminder that Facebook built the Summit Learning Platform.)

Via The Washington Post: “Facebook and the very real problem of keeping student data private.”

Via The Atlantic: “‘Free-Range’ Parenting’s Unfair Double Standard.”

Research, “Research,” and Reports

My ongoing funding research: “The Business of Ed-Tech: March 2018 Funding Data.”

Via EdWeek’s Market Brief: “Procuring digital learning tools and technology to help educate students with special needs are two of 10 ‘hotspots’ in government contracting for 2018, according to an analysis of bids and RFPs conducted by GovWin+Onvia from Deltek.”

From the NCES, a look at “the homework gap”: “Student Access to Digital Learning Resources Outside of the Classroom.” Education Week talks about the study: “Students’ Home Internet, Computer Access: 10 Numbers to Know.”

Edsurge writes a headline that almost goes in the Betteridge section: “Is Technology Bad for the Teenage Brain? (Yes, No and It’s Complicated.)”

Inside Higher Ed on a new survey of KIPP alumni: “A new survey of thousands of college students – most of them low income, minority and first generation – suggests that colleges and universities should emulate historically black colleges and universities’ efforts to make students feel they belong on campus.”

Via Chalkbeat: “How are Indiana charter schools doing? 9 things to know from the state’s first study.”

A study finds it cannot reproduce the “reproducibility crisis.”

Via Campus Technology: “Online Ed Leaders Agree Top 2 Indicators of Program Quality Are Student Success Rates, Student Evaluations.” Considering what we know about student evaluations and bias, this seems like a very very bad thing to agree on.

Via The Outline: “So-called ‘intellectuals’ can’t let go of ‘The Bell Curve’.”

From the Urban Institute: “Debt in America: An Interactive Map.”

A new report from the WI Hope Lab: “Still hungry and homeless in college.” The amazing Sara Goldrick-Rab talked about the study on NPR.

A hate-read from The Next Web: “Researchers are using VR to help teachers understand autism.”

Via Education Week: “Virtual Reality and Children: ‘We Just Don’t Know That Much,’ Report Finds.”

Some history from Stanford’s Larry Cuban: “Progressivism in Schools: the Field Trip.”

From the GAO: “Discipline Disparities for Black Students, Boys, and Students with Disabilities.”

Via The New York Times: “An Expert’s View: Sir Ken Robinson.” What makes Robinson an expert?

Icon credits: The Noun Project

Audrey Watters


Hack Education

The History of the Future of Education Technology

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