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.

Apologies that this week this article is a day late.

(National) Education Politics

At the G7 Summit, the countries pledged $3 billion for girls’ education. Except the US.

Via Inside Higher Ed: “Under DeVos, a Smaller Department of Education.”

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

From the Department of Education press release: “Office for Civil Rights Launches Investigation into University of Southern California’s Handling of Sexual Harassment Claims.”

Via The New York Times: “Net Neutrality Has Officially Been Repealed. Here’s How That Could Affect You.”

(State and Local) Education Politics

Via The Atlantic: “What’s Going On With New York’s Elite Public High Schools?” Via Chalkbeat: “In a politically charged town hall, Carranza tackles segregation, testing, and charter schools.”

Via The New York Times: “Cynthia Nixon’s Education Plan: Ambitious, Progressive, Expensive.”

Via Capital & Main: “The Battle of Hastings: What’s Behind the Netflix CEO’s Fight to Charterize Public Schools?”

Via The Chicago Sun Times: “Sex abuse scandal is latest CPS fiasco under Rahm Emanuel’s watch.”

Immigration and Education

Defense Contractors Cashing In On Immigrant Kids’ Detention,” writes The Daily Beast.

Via The Verge: “Palmer Luckey’s border control tech has already caught dozens of people.” Palmer Luckey is the founder of Occulus Rift. So be sure to tout how VR is going to make people more empathetic. More on the shit-poster via Wired.

Education in the Courts

“Who’s Behind the Janus Lawsuit?” asks The American Prospect. Surprise, surprise. Betsy DeVos’s family.

Via NPR: “Harvard Accused Of ‘Racial Balancing’: Lawsuit Says Asian-Americans Treated Unfairly.”

Via Buzzfeed: “His Rap Song And Profile Photo Caused A School Lockdown. Now He Faces Years In Prison For It.”

Not directly education-related (except for the number of education reformers who invested), but according to the AP, “Theranos CEO Elizabeth Holmes charged with criminal fraud.” (Related: “Theranos investor Tim Draper blames the company’s downfall on an investigative journalist,” Business Insider reports.)

Graduate assistant Lindsay Shepherd is suing her university, Wilfrid Laurier University, because she was asked some tough questions or something. The word “inquisition” is in the headline on Inside Higher Ed.

The Business of Financial Aid

Via Inside Higher Ed: “Where Grad Students Struggle With Loan Repayments.”

Via Edsurge: “Beyond Tuition: How Innovations in College Affordability Are (Or Aren’t) Helping Students.”

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

“Free MOOCs Face the Music,” writes Inside Higher Ed on edX’s decision to start charging fees.

More “MOOC” news under the job training section below.

Via Education Week: “A report released by Innovation Ohio, a progressive think tank, indicates the nine schools in the Reflector readership area lost an average of nearly $482,633 over the last six years to ECOT.” ECOT is the Electronic Classroom of Tomorrow, an online charter school company.

Meanwhile on Campus…

Via The Chronicle of Higher Education: “U. of California and Texas A&M Win Bid to Run Birthplace of Atom Bomb.”

Anya Kamenetz on Alexandra Lange’s new book The Design of Childhood (which I cannot wait to read): “Century-Old Decisions That Impact Children Every Day.”

Via The Chronicle of Higher Education: “Michigan State Was ‘Deeply Sorry’ for Abuse. Then It Wasn’t.”

Via Inside Higher Ed: “Fraternity Members Suspended for Racist, Homophobic Video.” All this at Syracuse University.

Via the Iowa City Press-Citizen: “University of Iowa responds after dozens accuse man of sexual harassment.”

Via The New York Times: “How Universities Deal With Sexual Harassment Needs Sweeping Change, Panel Says.”

Via The Chronicle of Higher Education: “How the University Became Neoliberal.”

Accreditations and Certifications and Competencies

Via Inside Higher Ed: “DeVos Brought Back For-Profit Accreditor Her Own Department Faulted.”

Via The Chronicle of Higher Education: “Education Dept. Report Says No to a For-Profit Accreditor – but It Might Not Matter.”

Via Campus Technology: “Southern New Hampshire U Issues Blockchain Credentials to College for America Grads.”

Inside Higher Ed on Guild Education: “Connecting Cashiers to College Degrees.”

Via e-Literate: “UF Online’s New Corporate Partner: Discover Financial joins Walmart with Online Education benefit.”

Via Inside Higher Ed: “First Watch Restaurants Inc., a Florida-based breakfast chain, has joined a growing number of companies offering employee education benefits.”

From the press release: “Concentric Sky Announces BadgeRank – a New Search Engine for Digital Badges.”


The New York Times: “For Survivors of a 9-Hour Chinese Exam, a Door Opens to America.”

Via The Atlantic: “The Controversy Over Just How Much History AP World History Should Cover.”

“An Ultra-Selective University Just Dropped the ACT/SAT. So What?” asks The Chronicle of Higher Education. That’s the** University of Chicago**.

A story in Edsurge, written by someone from an SEL company, on SEL – but totally not sponsored content: “Everything You Always Wanted to Know About SEL Assessment But Were Afraid to Ask.”

Labor and Management

Via Wired: “Google’s Diversity Stats Are Still Very Dismal.”

Via The Chronicle of Higher Education: “After Investigation of Sexual Misconduct, a Dartmouth Professor Will Retire.” That’s psychology professor Todd F. Heatherton.

Via The Chronicle of Higher Education: “Women of Color in Academe Make 67 Cents for Every Dollar Paid to White Men.”

The Business of Job Training

Via NPR: “Despite A Revamped Focus On Real-Life Skills, ’Home Ec’ Classes Fade Away.”

From the Coursera blog: “Coursera for Business Is Now Available to Small and Medium-Sized Businesses.”

Via The Evolllution: “Bootcamps Go To College.”

Contests and Competitions

Via NPR: “Parkland Drama Teacher Who Helped Save 65 To Receive Tony Award For Education.”

This Week in Betteridge’s Law of Headlines

Is School a Waste of Time?asks Rachel Cohen.

(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 Atlantic: “The Demise of Toys ‘R’ Us Is a Warning.”

Via Education Week: “How (and Why) Ed-Tech Companies Are Tracking Students’ Feelings.”

Ed-Tech That Makes Me Want to Scream,” writes John Warner. Yes.

Via The Verge: “Fitbit’s $100 fitness tracker for kids is now available to buy.”

Via Social Justice Books: “Scholastic Tells Children: Trump is Great.”

Via The Atlantic: “Mr. Rogers Had a Simple Set of Rules for Talking to Children.” It would have never included saying “Trump is great,” no doubt.

Via Edsurge: “Here Are the 9 Higher-Ed Startups Taking off From Michelson Runway.” (Michelson Runway is a startup accelerator program.)

VR Helps Us Remember,” Techcrunch claims.

Edsurge on replacing the Horizon Report: “Group Looks for New Ways to Peer Over the Edtech Horizon.”

Via the press release: “Blackboard Bringing Contactless Student IDs to Apple Wallet for Campuses Nationwide.”

D2L Bets on The Cloud and Advances in User Experience,” writes Mindwires Consulting’s Phil Hill.

Via the Google blog: “Start your college search with Google.”

“How Has the School Bus Evaded Revolution?” asks Pacific Standard.

Via Inside Higher Ed: “Facebook Adds Community Colleges to Program.” More via Edsurge, which does not disclose its financial relationship to the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative.

Robots and Other Education Science Fiction

“The ethical dilemma of the robot teacherby Neil Selwyn.

(Venture) Philanthropy and the Business of Education Reform

Via The Washington Post: “The Quest of Laurene Powell Jobs.”

Sponsored content on Edsurge, paid for by the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative, includes this on screen time and this on grade levels.

Venture Capital and the Business of Education

Memrise has raised $15.5 million for its language learning app. Investors included Octopus Ventures, Korelya Capital, Balderton Capital, Avalon Ventures. The company has raised $21.8 million total.

Open Learning has raised $8.5 million for its MOOC platform. Investors in the round include muru-D, Prestariang, Paramount Corporation Berhad, ICS Global, and Clive Mayhew. The company has raised $10.2 million total.

Bibliotech has raised $5 million for a “Spotify for textbooks.” Investors were not disclosed. The company has raised $6.5 million total.

Intersective has raised $3.75 million from Main Sequence Ventures. The “experiential learning” company has raised $3.8 million total.

Gradescope has raised $2.75 million from Reach Capital, K9 Ventures, Ironfire Ventures, GSV Acceleration, Freestyle Capital, and Bloomberg Beta. The automated grading company has raised $5.3 million total.

FaceMetrics has raised $2 million from Larnabel Ventures and VP Capital. Here’s the horrific headline: “FaceMetrics lands $2 million to gamify kidsโ€™ screen time and track immersion with AI.”

Language learning company Squiggle Park has raised $1,025,000. Investors include Heather Reisman and John Montalbano.

Civitas Learning has acquired ClearScholar.

EducationDynamics has acquired JMH Consulting.

Lincoln Learning Solutions has acquired Evan-Moor.

Pitsco Education has sold its Star Academy program as well as its math and science curricula to NOLA Education.

Via The New York Times: “AT&T Closes Acquisition of Time Warner.” (I haven’t done a complete job of tracking AT&T’s ed-tech investments, but here’s a start.)

Data, Surveillance, and Information Security

Via The Verge: “Retailers will probably keep selling kids insecure smart toys until they’re forced to stop.”

Via Mic: “Target and Walmart stop selling the superbackable kids’ toy CloudPets after pressure from Mozilla.”

Via The Hechinger Report: “Why your student’s personal data could be freely bought and sold.”

Via Futurism: “Security Companies Want To Use Facial Recognition To Stop School Shootings.”

Published on Edsurge, written by someone from an admissions company but totally not “sponsored content”: “Rethinking the Metrics of College Admissions.”

Research, “Research,” and Reports

Inside Higher Ed on a new report from Pearson: “Higher Ed’s Next Reform Push: ‘Demand-Driven Education’.”

“Fewer U.S. Teens Smoking, Doing Drugs, and Drinking Milk,” says Education Week.

Via The Outline: “As overall teen tobacco use declines, the proportion of vaping teens rises.”

Be aware of the drumbeat from business of tech sites that want to convince you screen-time restrictions are damaging. Via Inc: “Kids Whose Parents Limit Screen Time Do Worse in College, New Study Shows.”

Via The Chronicle of Higher Education: “What Do Online Students Want? 3 Findings From a New Survey Offer Some Clues.”

“Don’t Buy The Arizona State Report On Digital Learning,” says Forbes.

Via Edsurge: “The Number of Students Taking Online Courses Is Quickly Rising, But Perceptions Are Changing Slowly.”

Maker Culture Has a ‘Deeply Unsettling’ Gender Problem,” says Edsurge.

Via The New York Times: “Where Boys Outperform Girls in Math: Rich, White and Suburban Districts.” A response from Vanderbilt University professor Ilana Horn:

Via The Chronicle of Higher Education: “A Major Scientific Society Says Harassment Derails Women’s Careers. Critics Say the Group Hasn’t Done Enough.”

“If This Is the End of Average, What Comes Next?” asks Dan Willingham.

“The Four Questions I Always Ask About New Technology in Educationby Dan Meyer.

Icon credits: The Noun Project

Audrey Watters


Hack Education

The History of the Future of Education Technology

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