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

Arne Duncan Is Serious: Americans Should Boycott School,” writes The Atlantic’s Adam Harris. That is, boycott schools until gun laws are changed.

Via the Department of Education’s press office: “Prepared Remarks by U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos to the House Education and the Workforce Committee.”

Also via the Department of Education’s press office: “U.S. Department of Education Announces Opportunity for Federal Student Loan Borrowers to be Reconsidered for Public Service Loan Forgiveness.”

More about some of the horrible stuff she said in the immigration section below.

Via NPR: “Education Department Launches ‘Top-To-Bottom’ Review Of Teachers’ Grant Program.”

More on the business of financial aid in “the business of financial aid” section below.

Via Inside Higher Ed: “The National Women’s Law Center on Monday blasted the Education Department for investigating Yale University for potentially discriminating against men, saying the Trump administration appears hostile toward a key federal gender discrimination law.”

Via The Chicago Sun-Times: “Dems want to scrap tax cut for rich to fund teachers’ raises.”

Mark Zuckerberg testified before the European Parliament this week. I’m gonna quibble with this “take” from The Verge: “European legislator says Jobs and Gates ‘enriched’ society, asks if Zuckerberg ‘created a digital monster’.”

Via NPR: “German Families Playing Hooky Stopped By Police At Airports, May Be Fined.”

(State and Local) Education Politics

California Governor Jerry Brown says that higher education should be like Chipotle: “You stand in the line, get either brown rice or white rice, black beans or pinto beans. You put a little cheese, a little this, a little that, and you’re out of there. I think that’s a model some of our universities need to follow.”

Via Vogue: “Rape Culture Is on the Ballot ​i​n California.”

There’s more on research about school closures in Chicago in the “research” section below.

Via “Arizona’s Schools Chief Seeks Limits on Teaching Evolution, Big Bang Theory.”

Via “Newark picks its own school superintendent for first time in 22 years.” That’s Roger Leon.

Via EdWeek: “Teacher Beats Kentucky House Majority Leader in GOP Primary.” More via The NYT. That’s Travis Brenda.

Via Chalkbeat: “The Denver school district is exploring the idea of creating its own police officers.”

Rachel Cohen in the Washington City Paper: “Behind the Consulting Firm Raking In Millions From D.C. Charter Schools.” That firm: TenSquare.

Via Chalkbeat: “Charter schools advocates’ next push: Funding for school security.”

Via Inside Higher Ed: “New York Doubles Down on Open Educational Resources.”

Via Education Week: “Wyoming school district begins search for firearms trainers.” That’s the Cody School District.

Immigration and Education

Via Politico: “DeVos: Schools should decide whether to report undocumented kids.” This is, in fact, unconstitutional, but I gather we no longer expect government officials to worry about such things.

Education in the Courts

Via NPR: “Court Sides With Transgender Student In Bathroom Case.” Also via NPR: “‘I Hope This Will Set A Precedent,’ Says Trans Teen Who Won Case Over Bathroom Access.” The student: Gavin Grimm. Hero.

Via the ACLU: “ACLU of Oregon Reaches Sweeping Settlement with North Bend School District Over LGBTQ Discrimination and Bible Reading.”

Via The Detroit Free Press: “Michigan State to pay Larry Nassar victims $500 million in settlements.” Via Deadspin: “Michigan State’s Nassar Settlement Could Set A Troubling First Amendment Precedent.”

Via Wired: “Supreme Court Rules Against Workers In Arbitration Case.”

Via the AP: “Families of Sandy Hook victims sue Infowars’ Alex Jones.”

Via The Charlotte Observer: “Charlotte School of Law turns to one of America’s top lawyers to fight back in lawsuit.”

The Business of Financial Aid

“The Department of Education on Wednesday announced the process by which borrowers who had made ineligible payments for the Public Service Loan Forgiveness program could be reconsidered for the benefit,” Inside Higher Ed reports.

The “New” For-Profit Higher Ed

Via Inside Higher Ed: “The biggest chain of for-profit colleges that is still overseen by an accreditation group axed by the Obama administration – and given a second chance by Betsy DeVos – failed this month in its initial bid to get recognition elsewhere.” That’s Virginia College.

There’s more for-profit higher ed news in the “courts” section above.

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

Oh look. MOOCs are back in the headlines again.

Via Edsurge: “The Second Wave of MOOC Hype Is Here, and It’s Online Degrees.”

IHE blogger Joshua Kim offers “25 Million Reasons Why LinkedIn / Microsoft Will Buy Coursera.”

Cyber Charters in at Least 5 States Face Closure. What’s Going On?” asks Education Week’s Ben Herold.

Meanwhile on Campus…

Via Education Week (from last Friday – as I work on the week’s round-up of news, I try to avoid looking at social media, but I think there was another school shooting this morning): “10 Dead, Most of Them Students, and 10 Wounded in Texas High School Shooting.”

The Washington Post claims that, “2018 has been deadlier for schoolchildren than deployed service members.” (It is a stretch to argue that schools are more dangerous than the military. Puh-lease. Schools are – statistically speaking, at least – the safest place for children to be.)

Via Haaretz: “ Spying on Linda Sarsour: Israeli Firm Compiled BDS Dossier for Adelson-funded U.S. Group Battling Her Campus Appearances.” I haven’t seen anyone who argues that left-leaning college students are the greatest threat to free speech comment on this. (Or on this. Or on this.)

Via SPLC: “Texas principal censors paper, bans all editorials and ousts award-winning adviser.” That’s the Eagle Nation Online at Prosper Higher School in the Dallas-Fort Worth area.

Via the Harvard Crimson: “Star Economics Prof Fryer Facing Harvard and State-Level Investigations, Barred from Lab He Heads.” That’s Roland Fryer and these are harassment allegations, in case the headline isn’t clear.

Via The LA Times: “Students warned USC about gynecologist early in his career: ‘They missed an opportunity to save a lot of other women’.”

Via The Chronicle of Higher Education: “Amid Scandal of Campus Gynecologist, USC Faculty Members Call on President to Resign.”

Via Buzzfeed: “This Professor Was Accused Of Sexual Harassment For Years. Then An Anonymous Online Letter Did What Whispers Couldn’t.” The professor in question: UC Santa Cruz’s Gopal Balakrishnan.

Via The Chronicle of Higher Education: “Inside Gay Students’ Fight to Be Heard at BYU.”

Via The Boston Globe: “‘Shame on you, Jared Kushner’: Harvard alumni tear apart classmate in 15th reunion notes.”

Via The Chronicle of Higher Education: “U. of Oregon Officials Apologize for Linking Student’s Death to ‘Poor Life Choices’.”

Via Inside Higher Ed: “Western Governors’ New Fund-Raising Arm for Scholarships.” The Chronicle of Higher Education headline: “Here’s How Western Governors U. Aims to Enroll a Million Students.”

Via The New York Times: “Oxford Lifts the Veil on Race, Wealth and Privilege.”

The Atlantic’s Adam Harris on “The Schools That Are Bringing Poor Kids Into the Middle Class.”

Via NPR: “For Troubled Kids, Some Schools Take Time Out For Group Therapy.”

Via Inside Higher Ed: “Fuller Theological Seminary has announced that it will sell its Pasadena, Calif., campus and move to a new site about 30 miles away.”

Via Inside Higher Ed: “Fallout from the closure of Mount Ida College continued this week with new revelations of personal and business ties between the college president and a benefactor who loaned the college money to try to keep it operating.”

Via The Intercept: “Cash Incentives for Charter School Recruitment: Unethical Bribe or Shrewd Marketing Technique?”

Democracy Prep: ‘No Excuses’ Schools that Build Citizens?” by Stanford’s Larry Cuban.

Accreditations and Certifications and Competencies

Via Inside Higher Ed: “The National Advisory Committee on Institutional Quality and Integrity, which oversees the country’s higher ed accrediting bodies, voted Thursday to have a subcommittee study oversight questions involved in for-profit colleges seeking to reclassify as nonprofit entities.”

Via Edsurge: “Elon U. Has Been Working to Reinvent the Transcript. And That Has Given It Some Eye-opening Data.” (“Reinventing the transcript” seems to be one of the things folks are hoping to make “trend” this year.)

Via Education Dive: “An 80 credit-hour bachelor’s degree?”

“It’s Time to End College Majors as We Know Them,” argues Jeff Selingo in The Chronicle of Higher Education. “Before We End Majors As We Know Them…” IHE blogger John Warner responds.


Via Inside Higher Ed: “New ACT Rules on Those With Disabilities.”

Go, School Sports Team!

There’s more Nassar news in the courts section above.

ESPN on women’s softball: “Why in the world a defunct school in a town called Wahoo matters to Oklahoma’s 3-peat bid.”

Labor and Management

I don’t really know where to stick this profile of the University of Toronto psych professor that appeared in the Style section of The New York Times. Here I guess as I think it does say something about the sort of academic labor that is valued right now. “Jordan Peterson, Custodian of the Patriarchy.”

Via Inside Higher Ed: “The Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education has hired as its new chancellor a former University of California official who managed the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation’s work on postsecondary education from 2012 until early this year.” That’s Daniel Greenstein.

Via E-Literate: “Interview with CEO of Instructure on changes to executive team.”

Via Chalkbeat: “Success Academy COO leaving for another charter network.” That’s Kris Cheung who plans to join KIPP.

The Business of Job Training

“What does the ‘future of work’ mean for schools?” asks Chalkbeat’s Matt Barnum. “Big claims leave educators with more questions than answers.”

Speaking of predictions about the “future of work,” Campus Technology says that “Skills Deficit Will Imperil U.S. Economy by 2030.” Imperil!!

Via Education Week: “Is STEM Oversold as a Path to Better Jobs? Which STEM jobs are in demand and pay well? It’s complicated.”

Via Chalkbeat: “A growing Jeffco program trains future early childhood workers while they’re still in high school.” That’s the Jeffco Public Schools in Jefferson County, Colorado.

“Education recoded: policy mobilities in the international ‘learning to code’ agenda” by Ben Williamson, Annika Bergviken Rensfeldt, Catarina Player-Koro, and Neil Selwyn.

This Week in Betteridge’s Law of Headlines

Can Portable Schools in India Keep Kids Off the Streets?asks Pacific Standard.

Will Blockchains Revolutionize Education?asks Educause.

(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: “Hasbro just trademarked the smell of Play-Doh.”

“The One-Teacher, One-Classroom Model Needs an Upgrade,” says Edsurge. “Here’s What’s Next.”

From the Google blog: “Google Science Fair 2018: Resources for educators to get ideas flowing.”

Also from the Google blog: “More tools for homeschoolers.” Just what every homeschooler wants! An LMS!

Via Gizmodo: “Google Removes ‘Don’t Be Evil’ Clause From Its Code of Conduct.” Finally. Of course, much like the myth about “20% time,” I am sure educators will consider to cite this as a reason why schools should be more like Google.

“What Happened to Facebook’s Grand Plan to Wire the World?” asks Wired.

Inside Higher Ed on the closure of MissionU: “Self-Proclaimed Alternative to College Closes After a Year.”

Via Mindwires Consulting’s Phil Hill: “Top Hat’s OER Announcement: Doubling down on faculty engagement.”

Robots and Other Education Science Fiction

Via The Atlantic: “The Future of AI Depends on High-School Girls.”

(Venture) Philanthropy and the Business of Education Reform

Sponsored content appearing this week on Edsurge, paid for by the Gates Foundation, includes this article (suggesting most professors think they’re better teachers than they actually are) and this article (making the case for “flipped learning” without using videos).

Sponsored content appearing this week on Edsurge, paid for by the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative, includes this article touting Slack.

Venture Capital and the Business of Education

Real Time Cases has raised $3.5 million from SWaN Ed LLC. The content provider has raised $4.2 million.

Yellowdig has raised $800,000 from Musketeer Capital, SRI Capital, QB1 Ventures, Rosecliff Capital, and Bob Ciaruffoli. The discussion forum software maker has raised $2.4 million total.

Frontline Education has acquired Prologic Technology Systems.

Data, Surveillance, and Information Security

Via the ACLU: “Amazon Teams Up With Law Enforcement to Deploy Dangerous New Face Recognition Technology.”

Via The Washington Post: “And now, facial-recognition technology used in casinos is going into a public school district.” That’s the Lockport schools in Buffalo, New York.

Via Fox13: “Amazon Alexa recorded private conversation, sent it to random contact, woman says.” Amazon later said it appeared to be an Alexa “butt-dial.”

Via NPR: “How Schools Across The Country Are Working To Detect Threats Made On Social Media.”

Via The Verge: “Teen-monitoring app TeenSafe leaks thousands of user IDs and passwords.” Oh. The. Irony.

When a school scans your driver’s license, who keeps your information safe?” asks Shrug emoji.

Via Common Sense Media: “2018 State of EdTech Privacy Report.”

Research, “Research,” and Reports

Via The Chronicle of Higher Education: “3 Takeaways From a Book-Length Federal Report on ‘The Condition of Education’.”

Via The Atlantic: “An Unusual Idea for Fixing School Segregation.”

Via EdWeek’s Market Brief: “Demand for K–12 Private Education Poised to Soar in Persian Gulf Countries.”

Via Bryan Alexander: “American higher education enrollment declined. Again.” More on enrollment data from the NCES and from the National Student Clearinghouse Research Center.

“What’s Going On In Your Child’s Brain When You Read Them A Story?” asks NPR.

The 74 Explains: How to Teach Your Baby Grit.”

“The Maps for Learning Don’t Exist Yet” says Amplify CEO Larry Berger.

Via Chalkbeat: “From an ‘F’ to an ‘A’, Tennessee now sets high expectations for students, says Harvard study.”

Via WBEZ: “Study: 2013 Chicago School Closings Failed To Help Students.” Via The Chicago Reporter: “Study: After mass school closings, impacted students lagged academically.”

Icon credits: The Noun Project

Audrey Watters


Hack Education

The History of the Future of Education Technology

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