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 The Chronicle of Higher Education: “Trump Administration Will Rescind Obama-Era Guidelines on Race-Conscious Admissions.” “The Trump Administration Just Rescinded Obama-Era Guidance on Race-Conscious Admissions Policies. So What?” asks The Chronicle of Higher Education in turn. More via NPR and via Pacific Standard.

Via Chalkbeat: “DeVos presses pause on special education rule, highlighting ongoing discrimination debate.”

From the Department of Education press office: “U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos today announced that the Puerto Rico Department of Education (PRDE) will be the first to pilot new flexibility under the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) to create a student-centered funding system. The model is designed to equitably allocate local, state and federal resources based on student needs.”

Teacher Kristin Mink took EPA head Scott Pruitt to task, confront him while he was eating lunch. A video went viral; Pruitt has since resigned.

More on Ohio Representative Jim Jordan in the sports section below. And there’s more on accreditation in the accreditation section and in the for-profit higher ed sections below.

(State and Local) Education Politics

Via The Chicago Sun Times: “1 in 4 Chicago schools fails in new inspections spurred by dirty schools reports.”

Via NPR: “New Virginia Law Mandates Mental Health Education In Public Schools.”

Immigration and Education

Via The New York Times: “In Denmark, Harsh New Laws for Immigrant ‘Ghettos’” – including “re-education trips.” JFC.

The New York Times on kindergarten classes at one school in Toronto: “1 Neighborhood. 24 Kindergarten Classes. 40 Languages. (Some Miming Helps.)”

Education in the Courts

Via NPR: “‘Access to Literacy’ Is Not a Constitutional Right, Judge in Detroit Rules.”

The Chronicle of Higher Education on McAdams v. Marquette University: “A Professor Called Out a Student by Name on His Blog. Should That Cost Him His Job?”

Another court case in the financial aid section below.

The Business of Financial Aid

Via The Wall Street Journal: “California plans to sue one of the nation’s largest student loan companies.” That would be Navient.

The “New” For-Profit Higher Ed

Grand Canyon Succeeds in Second Nonprofit Bid,” reports Inside Higher Ed. “In Move Towards Nonprofit, Grand Canyon University Sells for $875M,” writes Edsurge.

Via Inside Higher Ed: “Eighty-five colleges overseen by the Accrediting Council for Independent Colleges and Schools would likely have lost access to federal student aid – and most of their revenue – if Education Secretary Betsy DeVos had not opted to temporarily reinstate the accreditor earlier this year.”

Via Inside Higher Ed: “The nonprofit organization that took over scores of colleges from the Education Management Corp. chain of for-profit colleges has decided to end enrollments at 30 of those campuses, according to an email circulated Monday to employees of the Dream Center Education Holdings.”

Via Edsurge: “Why Purdue Professors Continue to Protest Purdue’s Purchase of a For-Profit U.” That’s Kaplan, in case you can’t keep all these for-profit disasters straight.

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

Via Chalkbeat: “Facing state scrutiny, Indiana charter school steps back from virtual plan.” That’s the Indiana Agriculture and Technology School, which Chalkbeat investigated earlier this year.

Meanwhile on Campus…

Via The Chronicle of Higher Education: “Deadly Shooting by Portland State U. Police Rekindles Protests Over Its Newly Armed Officers.”

Via Inside Higher Ed: “A Race Against Time to Preserve University Media Collections.”

Via Wired: “New University Rules Encourage Scientists to Avoid Air Travel.”

Yet another story promoting “student success technology” at Georgia State University. Helluva budget for marketing that initiative has.

Via Pacific Standard: “How Universities Facilitate Far-Right Groups’ Harassment of Students and Faculty.”

Accreditations and Certifications and Competencies

Via Inside Higher Ed: “Essex County College, a two-year institution located in Newark, N.J., has exited probationary status with its accreditor, the Middle States Commission on Higher Education.”

Via Inside Higher Ed: “The U.S. Department of Education’s Office of Inspector General last week released the results of an audit on the department’s recognition processes for accrediting agencies, which serve as the gatekeepers for federal financial aid. The audit found several weaknesses, with concerns that revolved around inadequate supporting documents accreditors present to the department – a process the inspector general said is subject to ‘cherry-picking’ by the agencies.”

Sound the disruptive innovation klaxon, as Michael Horn writes about “Stealing a Page From Disruption to Transform Accreditation.”

There’s more accreditation news in the for-profit higher ed section above.

Go, School Sports Team!

Via Inside Higher Ed: “Republican U.S. Representative Jim Jordan has been drawn into Ohio State University’s investigation of a former team doctor who allegedly molested college athletes decades ago, with some ex-wrestlers accusing the congressman, a leader of archconservatives, of failing to stop the ongoing abuse.”

Labor and Management

What can you do with a history degree? Don’t let anyone tell you you can’t make bucket-loads of money. Look at former Harvard President Drew Faust, for example! “Days After Exiting Presidency, Faust Joins Goldman Sachs Board of Directors,” The Harvard Crimson reports.

The Business of Job Training

The Atlantic promotes coding bootcamps and income sharing agreements: “Code Now. Pay Tuition Later.”

Via Education Week: “Texas educators training to shoot back at school shooters.”

Contests and Awards

Via Sports Illustrated: “Colin Kaepernick Honored With National Education Association’s President’s Award.”

This Week in Betteridge’s Law of Headlines

Can France Create Its Own MIT?asks Inside Higher Ed.

(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 Techcrunch: “Facebook is shutting down Hello, Moves and the anonymous teen app tbh due to ‘low usage’.”

The Have You Heard podcast on Theranos: “What the Sordid Saga of a Silicon Valley Start-Up Tells Us About #EdReform.”

Edsurge wants you to “Meet Two Leaders Trying to Reinvent College.” That would be the founders of Minerva and Wayfinding.

Robots and Other Education Science Fiction

I call bullshit on this story from NPR: “More States Opting To ‘Robo-Grade’ Student Essays By Computer.” John Warner didn’t just call bullshit. He wrote a very good response.

Via Inside Higher Ed: “Pearson today signaled an increased focus on artificial intelligence and personalized learning with the appointment of former Intel executive Milena Marinova.”

Though a goal of AI is automation, Marinova stressed that Pearson’s intent is not to replace instructors, but to help them. “AI-assisted decision making is better than human alone,” she said.

Speaking of terrible ideas taken up by terrible people and terrible companies, Andrew Ng – yes, of MOOC fame – says that we should be less concerned with making self-driving cars safe and more committed to training bystanders (pedestrians? other drivers? cyclists?) to change their behavior to make way for autonomous vehicles. Good fucking grief. Well, at least the guy isn’t involved in education any longer… Oh.


(Venture) Philanthropy and the Business of Education Reform

Rick Hess on “How Education Philanthropy Can Accidentally Promote Groupthink and Bandwagonism.” I’m not sure it’s accidental at all, to be honest.

“The Gates Foundation Spent $200M+ Trying to Improve Teacher Performance, and All It Got Was This Report,” says Edsurge. But that’s not true, of course. The Gates Foundation got a ton of press. “Groupthink” even. It shaped policy. It paid for publications to repeat certain narratives about teacher effectiveness and “value added” models.

Venture Capital and the Business of Education

ApplyBoard has raised $13 million in Series A funding from Shahin Hedayat, Plug and Play, Green Century Investment, Artiman Ventures, Akhil Saklech, and 500 Startups. The “AI-enabled marketplace” for international college applications has raised $13.5 million total.

Illuminate Education and Key Data Systems and IO Education and SchoolCity and Alpine Achievement are all merging.

Chegg has acquired the flashcard app StudyBlue for $20.8 million in cash.

Data, Surveillance, and Information Security

Via The Wall Street Journal: “Tech’s ‘Dirty Secret’: The App Developers Sifting Through Your Gmail.”

The imagery in The Wall Street Journal article on “The New Tech Avengers” speaks volumes.

Via The Fresno Bee: “Schools collect a massive amount of student data. But advocates want to see more.”

Via the Microsoft AI blog: “Microsoft improves facial recognition technology to perform well across all skin tones, genders.” Don’t. Please.

Research, “Research,” and Reports

Via The Conversation: “Schools are buying ‘growth mindset’ interventions despite scant evidence that they work well.” (Of course, there’s questionable science and corporate content and sponsored content all over the place that tries to convince schools that “social emotional learning” is necessary and good.

This article on personalized learning has graphs so it must be true.

Via The Hechinger Report: “More high school grads than ever are going to college, but 1 in 5 will quit.”

Via The Chronicle of Higher Education: “Newly obtained records raise additional concerns about the research and oversight of Dr. Mani Pavuluri, a star pediatric psychiatrist at the University of Illinois at Chicago whose clinical trial studying the effects of the powerful drug lithium on children was shuttered for misconduct.”

Via Gizmodo: “These Academics Spent the Last Year Testing Whether Your Phone Is Secretly Listening to You.”

Forbes 30 under 30 in education: Manufacturing ‘edu-preneur’ networks to promote and reinforce privatization/marketization in education” by T. Jameson Brewer, Nicholas D. Hartlep, Ian M. Scott.

Icon credits: The Noun Project

Audrey Watters


Hack Education

The History of the Future of Education Technology

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