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

Via Inside Higher Ed: “The U.S. Department of Education has approved the first program under its Educational Quality Through Innovative Partnerships (EQUIP) initiative.”

StraighterLine, an unaccredited online course provider, will partner with Brookhaven College in Texas to offer a joint associate degree to students this August. Students will complete more than 50 percent of their course work online through the StraighterLine platform.

The US Senate confirmed Carlos G. Muñiz as the Education Department’s General Counsel. Here’s the official statement from Betsy DeVos.

More news from the Department of Education in the student loan section below.

FCC Delays Are Keeping Broadband From Rural School Kids,” says Wired.

Via Education Week: “Democratic FCC Commissioner, Advocate For Net Neutrality and Lifeline, Resigns.”

(State and Local) Education Politics

Via The New York Times: “Maryland Schools May Tell Children When It’s Time to Log Off.”

Via NPR: “Kentucky Governor Claims Kids Were Assaulted While Teachers Absent From Classroom.” Later…: “Kentucky Governor Apologizes For Comments On Teachers’ Strike.” (It wasn’t really much of an apology.)

Via NPR: “Arizona Governor Agrees To 20 Percent Raise For Protesting Teachers.”

There’s a lot more about teachers and labor issues in the “labor and management” section below.

Via Chalkbeat: “Colorado Democrats overwhelmingly reject Democrats for Education Reform at state assembly.”

Via NPR: “Wyoming District To Decide On Teachers Carrying Guns.”

Via Chalkbeat: “Antwan Wilson being paid $60,000 to consult for Denver Public Schools.”

Via Chalkbeat: “Internal memo offers candid postmortem of charter fight in Massachusetts.”

Via Chalkbeat: “Tennessee lawmakers call for McQueen’s resignation, scrapping TNReady over more testing failures.”

Education in the Courts

Via The Journal Sentinel: “Marquette’s discipline of conservative professor gains national spotlight as it hits high court.”

Via The AP: “Georgia’s Top Court Won’t Hear Appeals for 2 Convicted in Cheating Case.”

Via The New York Times: “Sandy Hook Parents Sue Alex Jones for Defamation.”

“Free College”

Apple should open a university that’s free for everyone,” says Wired. Nope. We should demand corporations pay more taxes so that public education is adequately funded.

The Business of Financial Aid

From the Department of Education press release: “U.S. Department of Education and U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs Team Up to Simplify Student Loan Discharge Process for Disabled Veterans.”

The “New” For-Profit Higher Ed

There’s coding bootcamp news in the venture capital section below.

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

“How Liberty University Built a Billion-Dollar Empire Online” by Alec MacGillis. (And some follow-up from Tressie McMillan Cottom.)

Meanwhile on Campus…

Via The New York Times: “25-Year-Old Textbooks and Holes in the Ceiling: Inside America’s Public Schools.”

Via inside Higher Ed: “The Pros and Cons of Purdue‘s 7-Year Freeze.“ In other Purdue news, ”Purdue University President Mitch Daniels weighed in the PROSPER Act – House Republicans’ plan to reauthorize the Higher Education Act – Tuesday, offering praise for several of the bill’s reforms,” says Inside Higher Ed.

Via The Washington Post: “‘Black Panther’ star Chadwick Boseman to speak at Howard’s commencement.”

Via The Chronicle of Higher Education: “Thanks to Beyoncé, All Eyes Are on Black Colleges. A Historian Says They Should Capitalize on the Hype.”

The New York Times looks at school dress codes (and gender).

Via The Chronicle of Higher Education: “U. of Maryland Removes ‘Misogynistic’ Guidelines for TAs.”

The New York Times on a fire at Cornell in 1967: “Never Solved, a College Dorm Fire Has Become One Man’s Obsession.”

Via Inside Higher Ed: “Swedish University Ordered to Refund Tuition Over Quality Concerns.” The university in question: Mälardalen University.

Via The Chronicle of Higher Education: “Nassar Victim Says Michigan State’s Interim President Pressured Her to Accept a Cash Payoff.”

“When Disadvantaged Students Overlook Elite Collegesby The Atlantic’s Adam Harris.

Via NPR: “100 Top Colleges Vow To Enroll More Low-Income Students.”

Via Inside Higher Ed: “Chinese Communist Party Cells Pop Up at U.S. Universities.”


Via Chalkbeat: “TNReady is back online, and technical problems are back too.”

There’s more about testing in Tennessee in the state politics section above.

Via Jacobin: “The Socialist Case Against the SAT.”

Via Inside Higher Ed: “ABA Panel Seeks to End LSAT Requirement.”

Via The Washington Post: “Teacher in trouble for making pancakes for kids taking standardized test.”

Go, School Sports Team!

There’s more on Nassar and Michigan State in the “meanwhile on campus” section above.

Labor and Management

Via The Intercept: “Politicized by Trump, Teachers Threaten to Shake Up Red-State Politics.”

Via The Denver Post: “Colorado teachers stage rally at statehouse to lobby for higher pay.”

Via NBC Los Angeles: “LAUSD School Workers Vote to Authorize Strike.”

Via The Chronicle of Higher Education: “Who Doesn’t Get Overtime Pay? Online Instructors, for One.”

Via Inside Higher Ed: “Furor Over Professor Who Called Barbara Bush Racist.”

“5 Thoughts on the Teacher Strikesfrom Rick Hess.

Via NPR: “Why More Than A Million Teachers Can’t Use Social Security.”

Via Techcrunch: “Former DreamWorks exec Shawn Dennis joins GoldieBlox as president.”

The Business of Job Training

Via Techcrunch: “Grasshopper, a learn-to-code app from Google’s Area 120 incubator, goes live.”

Via Edsurge: “Google and Udacity Offering 5,000 Scholarships for Nanodegree Programs.”

Contests and Conferences

Here are some of the dispatches from the ASU+GSV Summit. (And I should have my write-up done by today or tomorrow). From Edsurge: “This Year’s ASU+GSV Summit Is Hard to Describe. Here’s Our Best Attempt.” Also from Edsurge: “Angela Duckworth Says Grit Is Not Enough. She’s Building Tools to Boost Student Character.” From GeekWire: “For investors, the future of education technology is now the workplace.” From the ASU website: “Panelists discuss future of personalized learning.” Via EdWeek’s Market Brief: “ACT, Arizona State University Partner on Ed-Tech Research, Product Development Institute.” Via EdScoop: “Edtech and industry leaders say they’re stuck if they can’t scale.” Via EdWeek’s Market Brief: “Ed-Tech Vendors Asked to ‘Pledge’ Efforts Around Interoperability.” Via Edsurge: “What’s Next for Pearson? (Not Buying Your Education Startup.)” Via EdWeek’s Market Brief: “George W. Bush Defends Legacy of No Child Left Behind at Education Business Conference.”

This Week in Betteridge’s Law of Headlines

Do you need a blockchain?asks Techcrunch.

(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 Verge: “OLPC’s $100 laptop was going to change the world – then it all went wrong.” (A good thread on Twitter in response.)

Via EdWeek’s Market Brief: “ISTE Unveils Plans to Match Ed-Tech Companies With Educators for Feedback on Apps.” Teachers will not be compensated for this work.

Via Edsurge: “Amazon’s Recent Account Closures Have Affected College Students Too.”

Via The Washington Post: “Battle over college course material is a textbook example of technological change.”

Via Technode: “Tsinghua University is using the cloud to make it rain in the classroom.” “Make it rain” here is a reference to an analytics app. I guess it could also be a reference to the money to be made off of collecting, analyzing, and selling student data.

Robots and Other Education Science Fiction

Via Wired: “Ex-Google Executive Opens a School for AI, With China’s Help.”

From the Amazon press release: “Now Anyone Can Create Their Own Personalized Alexa Skill in Just Minutes.”

(Venture) Philanthropy and the Business of Education Reform

The New Schools Venture Fund announces the latest cohort of “new, innovative [charter] schools.”

Via Variety: “Beyonce Follows Coachella Triumph by Announcing $100,000 in Scholarships for Historically Black Colleges.”

Via Chalkbeat: “Walton memo recommends charter advocates do more to persuade Democrats and appease unions.”

Content, sponsored by the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative, on Edsurge: this and this and this and this.

Content, sponsored by the Gates Foundation, on Edsurge: this.

Venture Capital and the Business of Education

Embibe has raised $180 million from Reliance. The company “provides personalized educational feedback services for students,” and according to Crunchbase has raised $184 million total.

Edmentum has raised $25 million in debt financing from New Mountain Finance Corporation and Tennenbaum Capital Partners. The company, formerly known as PLATO Learning, is owned by Thomas Bravo.

Aula, which Edsurge says is “akin to Slack,” has raised $4.2 million from Project A, Brighteye Ventures, Sunstone, and Nordic Makers.

Teachable has raised $4 million from Accomplice Ventures and Naval Ravikant. The online education company has raised $12.5 million total.

Language-learning startup Lingumi has raised $1.7 million from ADV.

General Assembly has been acquired by the Adecco Group for $412.5 million. (Some thoughts from Anil Dash.)

Key Data Systems has acquired Progress Testing.

Paxen Publishing has bought the adult education assets of Houghton Mifflin Harcourt.

PowerSchool and PeopleAdmin will merge.

Pluralsight files for an IPO. More via Crunchbase.

Related, via The New York Times: “Silicon Valley Venture Capitalists Prepare for an I.P.O. Wave.”

Data, Surveillance, and Information Security

Via Education Week: “Thousands of Android Mobile Apps Improperly Track Children, Study Says.” Via The Verge: “Report finds more than half of Android apps for children are in violation of COPPA.”

Via Bloomberg: “Palantir Knows Everything About You.” (Related: the Peter Thiel Ed-Tech Network.)

Via Wired: “The Young and the Reckless – A gang of teen hackers snatched the keys to Microsoft’s videogame empire. Then they went too far.”

Via Motherboard: “Students Are Using VPNs to Play ‘Fortnite’ on School Wi-Fi.”

Via The MIT Technology Review: “Bill Gates and Masayoshi Son are backing a plan to have video cameras watch every inch of Earth from space.”

Via Techcrunch: “Login With Facebook data hijacked by JavaScript trackers.” Good thing no one in education uses … Oh.

Via The Verge: “Verizon‘s new parental control app lets parents track their kids’ locations.”

Precision education

Via The Chronicle of Higher Education: “College Consultants’ Client Information Was Exposed on Web Servers.” That’s CollegePlannerPro.

Via Education Week: “Teens Worry About Online Privacy: Q&A With Researcher Claire Fontaine.”

Research, “Research,” and Reports

“The Future of College Looks Like the Future of Retail,” says Jeff Selingo. Gonna be so great for Black students if it looks like Starbucks, eh? Gonna be so great for teaching and research if it’s staffed with low-paid, precarious workers.

Education Week’s latest survey on what principals believe about the future of technology prompts a series of stories: one arguing that “Principals Warm Up to Computer Science, Despite Obstacles,” one on “Why Principals Are Embracing Personalized Learning,” one pointing out that “School Principals Overwhelmingly Concerned About Children’s Screen Time.” In other words, principals have pretty incoherent beliefs about ed-tech.

Via Pew Research: “The Future of Well-Being in a Tech-Saturated World.”

Wrench in the Gears’ Allison McDowell traces the business and politics of ed-tech in North Dakota.

Techcrunch examines what venture capitalists studied in college.

Via Edsurge: “New Report Sheds Light on Higher Ed’s Innovation Challenges.”

Via Mindwires Consulting’s Phil Hill: “Comparing the First Ten Years of Blackboard and Instructure in LMS Market.” (Psst. Phil. I’d love to see a comparison between Pluralsight and

Via Campus Technology: “Report: It’s Time for Ed Tech to Tackle the Adult Learner.” The report comes from the Department of Education and Luminary Labs. Ed-tech has always addressed this, particularly since so much of its roots are in military training, but hey.

“The NYT Says We’re Forgetting About the Holocaust. History suggests otherwise,” says Slate’s Rebecca Onion.

Via Chalkbeat: “One big upside of career and tech programs? They push more kids to graduate.”

“Why collective action is the wrong approach for developing personalized learning teachers,” says the Clayton Christensen Institute. It’s interesting that the phrase “collective action” was used here, which in my mind implies teachers’ unions; this article actually says that teachers shouldn’t even collaborate.

Research from S. Trenholm, B. Hajek, C.L. Robinson, M. Chinnappan, A. Albrecht, and H. Ashman: “Investigating undergraduate mathematics learners’ cognitive engagement with recorded lecture videos.”

Via Campus Technology: “Study Finds Flipped Classroom Model Does Not Improve Grades in Health Science Course.”

Via The Chronicle of Higher Education: “How Are Black Colleges Doing? Better Than You Think, Study Finds.”

Via The Chronicle of Higher Education: “Facebook Says It Will Help Academics Use Its Data. Here’s How That’s Supposed to Work.”

Via Education Week: “Pearson Tested ‘Social-Psychological’ Messages in Learning Software, With Mixed Results.” Gizmodo also picked up the story: “Pearson Embedded a ‘Social-Psychological’ Experiment in Students’ Educational Software [Updated].” From MIT’s Justin Reich: “Five Answers About EdTech Experiments: A Response to Benjamin Herold.”

Via Education Dive: “America ‘still a nation at risk,’ education experts say.” Honestly, you’re not much of an expert if you think A Nation at Risk was much more than a highly politicized narrative criticizing the state of public education to make a specific political point – that is, a “study” with a predetermined outcome and one based on flawed statistics. And we wonder why no one trusts “experts.”

Icon credits: The Noun Project

Audrey Watters


Hack Education

The History of the Future of Education Technology

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