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. I bet I missed some stuff this week as I was trying desperately to not pay attention to the dumpster fire of US politics.

(National) Education Politics

Poetry. “ Lights go out at Education Department headquarters – and may stay off for some time,” The Washington Post reports.

There’s more about the Trump Administration’s plans for student loans in the financial aid section below.

(State and Local) Education Politics

Via The New Yorker: “Georgia’s Separate and Unequal Special-Education System.”

There are some updates to the results from states’ testing regimes in the testing section below.

Immigration and Education

Via ProPublica: “‘Humanitarian Crisis’ Looms as Arizona Threatens to Revoke Immigrant Children Shelter Licenses.”

Via Pacific Standard: “The Trump Administration Argues Against Abortion Rights for Minors in Immigrant Detention.”

Via Politico: “Partnerships between local law enforcement agencies and federal Immigration and Customs Enforcement led to the displacement of more than 300,000 Hispanic students between 2000 and 2011, with most of those students disappearing from elementary schools.”

Via The Atlantic: “It’s Getting Harder for International STEM Students to Find Work After Graduation.”

Education in the Courts

More testimony regarding Trump’s Supreme Court nominee this week. The Senate Judiciary Committee is expected to push ahead with his nomination today, despite the numerous reports now about Brett Kavanaugh’s history of drunkenness and alleged sexual assault. Among those supporting Brett Kavanaugh yesterday: students from Liberty University who’d been bussed in by the schools with an “excused absence from class.” Also Facebook’s DC lobbyist, Joel Kaplan, who was sitting right behind Kavanaugh as he screamed at Senators.

(There are more stories in the “meanwhile on campus” section below about how all this talk of sexual assault is playing out in schools around the US.)

The Business (and the Politics) of Financial Aid

Via Inside Higher Ed: “Trump administration’s list of primary finalists to operate an overhauled student loan servicing system excludes Navient, a large and controversial servicer, which instead is participating in the program as a subcontractor in a team.”

Also via Inside Higher Ed: “The Education Department has not provided enough guidance on the Public Service Loan Forgiveness program to borrowers or loan servicers, a Government Accountability Office report found.”

Via NPR: “Data Shows 99% Of Applicants For A Student Loan Forgiveness Program Were Denied.”

There’s more data on student loans in the research and data section at the bottom.

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

Gotta keep that MOOC hype alive. “MOOCs Find a New Audience with On-Campus Students,” Edsurge claims.

Meanwhile on Campus…

Via The Wall Street Journal: “Yale University Under Federal Investigation for Use of Race in Admissions Practices.” More via The Chronicle of Higher Education.

Via The Atlantic: “Georgetown Prep’s President Defends Its Culture, Without Mentioning Brett Kavanaugh.”

Via The Chronicle of Higher Education: “Why They Didn’t Report: Trump’s Challenge to Kavanaugh Accuser Provokes Stories of Campus Assault.”

Via The Atlantic: “What Teens Think of the Kavanaugh Accusations.”

Via The Washington Post: “Principal placed on leave after being taped mocking student’s sex assault claim.”

Via The Chronicle of Higher Education: “A Student Leader Resigns at Texas State After Being Accused of Taking Money From Turning Point USA.”

Via the Charlotte Observer: “A Memphis heiress is waging a million-dollar war on NC fraternity after her son’s death.”

Via The New York Times: “Harvard Club Considers a Change, and Some Think It’s the ‘Worst Thing Ever’.” Because priorities.

Yes, Guns Are Ed-Tech (and It’s So F*cked Up that I Had to Make This a Category)

I realize that this headline should probably go in the Betteridge’s Law section below, but thanks to this shitshow we’re now living in, I’m sure the answer to the question NPR asks here is going to be “yes”: “Can Schools Use Federal Funds To Arm Teachers?


Via The New York Times: “Why New York Isn’t Celebrating Higher Test Scores.”

Via The Oregonian: “Oregon schools generate mediocre results, new test scores indicate.”

Via EdWeek’s Market Brief: “ACT Moves Into Egypt’s Testing Market, in Sign of Global Demand for College Prep.”

Via the ACT press release: “ACT to Deliver Assessment for the Moral Education Program to Students in the UAE.”

There’s more ACT-related news in the venture capital section below.

Go, School Sports Team!

I would be remiss if I did not mention the new Philadelphia Flyers’ mascot Gritty. Is this a nod to a well-known professor in the area and her work on grit? I do not know, but the mascot is both horrifying and hilarious.

Via Inside Higher Ed: “Athletics staff members at the University of Maryland at College Park did not follow the institution’s procedures and did not diagnose a heatstroke that resulted in the death of a 19-year-old football player in June, according to a new report.”

Labor and Management

According to Politico, Jason Botel plans to leave the Department of Education mid-October.

This Week in Betteridge’s Law of Headlines

Is Running a Company Like Leading a Classroom?asks Edsurge.

Can Jeff Bezos Bring a Montessori Education to Underserved Children? Does He Want To?asks Dan Willingham.

States Are Adopting More Computer Science Policies. Are High Schools Keeping Up?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 The Outline: “The rise and fall of the company behind ’Reader Rabbit’ and all your favorite educational games.” Come for the ed-tech nostalgia; stay for the reminder that people connected to Shark Tank are not so great for education.

“How Lego Came to Be the World’s Most Famous Brick,” according to Wired.

“Preparing for the Post-LMS Worldby Jonathan Rees.

Learning Engineers Inch Toward the Spotlight,” Inside Higher Ed claims.

Via MIT Technology Review: “Oculus hopes its $399 headset will bring virtual reality to the masses.”

A data breach at Chegg – more details in the data and surveillance section below.

Robots and Other Education Science Fiction

“Culturally Sensitive Robots Are Here to Care for the Elderly,” claims. (Remember: robots for the elderly share a direct connection to MOOCs replacing higher ed.)

“Learning Designers will have to adapt or die. Here’s 10 ways they need to adapt to AI…,” Donald Clark contends. (Not listed: using a grammar checker to make sure that your subjects and verbs are in agreement.) “AI is coming for your instructional and learning design jobs, apparently,” writes George Veletsianos in response.

Via Techcrunch: “Facebook sends Sphero robots so classrooms can apply coding education.” And I guess there’s a new “learn to code” initiative from Facebook, too, called CodeFWD.

(Venture) Philanthropy and the Business of Education Reform

Via Edsurge: “Nonprofit Arm of Salesforce Donates $15.5 Million to San Francisco and Oakland Schools.”

Sponsored content on Edsurge, paid for by the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative, this week include an article on networks by the director of research at the Clayton Christensen Institute, an article on "giving kids a roadmap to their brain,“ an article encouraging people to run gratitude exercises, and an article written by CZI itself: ”The Case for Expanding the Definition of ‘Personalization’ to Meet the Needs of the Whole Child."

Sponsored content on Edsurge, paid for by the Gates Foundation, this week includes an article on office hours.

(Of the 23 stories Edsurge published this past week, 10 were sponsored. Damn. Other sponsors, in addition to CZI and Gates, included: Knowledgeworks, Edmentum, Amazon Web Services, Oneder, and Reading Plus.)

Still more on Jeff Bezos’ philanthropic plans for edu: “Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos’ Ambitious Pre-K Move Sparks Wary Reactions,” writes Education Week. Disclosure: cites me.

Venture Capital and the Business of Education

SoloLearn has raised $5.6 million from Naspers and Learn Capital. The learn-to-code company has raised $6.9 million total.

Bamboo Learning has raised an undisclosed amount of funding from Amazon’s Alexa Fund.

ACT is acquiring “the automated item generation” technology from MGHL Consulting.

Boxlight Corporation has acquired EOS Education for ~$300,000.

Common App will merge with Reach Higher, a college-access program started by Michelle Obama.

Data, Surveillance, and Information Security

Via Techcrunch: “Chegg resets 40 million user passwords after data breach.” Phil Hill also weighs in.

Wow. “How Students Learned to Stop Worrying – and Love Being Spied On,” The Chronicle of Higher Education argues.

Colleges and Universities Have a Racial Profiling Problem,” says the ACLU, which is sure a nice counter to that Chronicle bullshit above.

“The mutating metric machinery of higher education” by Ben Williamson.

The NYT’s Natasha Singer writes about tech companies’ attempts to shape legislation that would give consumers more control over their data: “Just Don’t Call It Privacy.”

“What Can Machine Learning Really Predict in Education?” asks Edsurge.

Research, “Research,” and Reports

Via Pacific Standard: “Childhood Poverty Is Linked to Poorer Cognitive Skills in Old Age.”

The OECD has released its latest “Education at a Glance,” which is 460 pages long – a wee bit longer than a glance, I’d say.

“The State of Homeschooling in America,” according to Pacific Standard.

Via Inside Higher Ed: “New data released by the Education Department Wednesday showed 10.8 percent of student borrowers who entered loan repayment in 2015 had defaulted within three years.”

Chalkbeat’s Matt Barnum takes a close look at a new report from TNTP, the advocacy group formerly known as The New Teacher Project.

Via Inside Higher Ed: “The 2018 Surveys of Admissions Leaders: The Pressure Grows.”

“A Majority of Teens Have Experienced Some Form of Cyberbullying,” says the Pew Research Center in its latest report.

Boys Don’t Read Enough,” says The Atlantic.

Nature’s Nathaniel Comfort reviews the new book Blueprint: How DNA Makes Us Who We Are: “Genetic determinism rides again.” (These folks are coming hard for education. Watch and see)

This is a great article on edu history in Science of Learning: “Insights from 200+ years of personalized learning.” Wait, so you mean AltSchool didn’t invent personalized learning?

Icon credits: The Noun Project

Audrey Watters


Hack Education

The History of the Future of Education Technology

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