Each week, I gather a wide variety of links to education and education technology articles. Sometimes I write a few comments. Really, this work is for me, but sure, I’ll share it with you. All this feeds the massive review I write each December on the stories we are told about the future of education.

(National) Education Politics

There’s quite a bit of financial aid news in the “business of financial aid” section, as well as the court section below.

Via The New York Times: “Senators Call for Federal Investigation of Children’s Apps.” Democrats. So don’t hold your breath.

Via Buzzfeed: “The FDA Made A Surprise Visit To Juul Labs, Seizing ‘Over A Thousand Pages Of Documents’.” Juul sells e-cigarettes to teens. It also has a “mindfulness” curriculum, because why not smoke your snake oil.

Via The Washington Post: “There are 110 kids in each class at a school Melania Trump visited in Malawi.”

(State and Local) Education Politics

Via AZ Central: “This lawmaker stands to earn at least $11M on his own charter schools. His votes helped lay the groundwork.” That’s Arizona’s Eddie Farnsworth.

“How a Teacher in Rural Oklahoma Started a Science-Fair Dynasty” by The Atlantic’s Kristina Rizga.

Via NPR: “Chicago Schools Lose Millions For Allegedly Not Shielding Students From Sexual Abuse.”

Via Chalkbeat: “New York City greenlights Success Academy middle school after contentious space fight.”

Immigration and Education

Via The New York Times: “Migrant Children Moved Under Cover of Darkness to a Texas Tent City.” There is no schooling here, among other things (whereas there was school and access to lawyers in their previous detention facilities).

I’m linking to the Inside Higher Ed story, even though The Financial Times broke the news because of the latter’s paywall. Sorry. “Report: Stephen Miller Pushed Ending Chinese Student Visas.”

Education in the Courts

A lot of Kavanaugh news. Again. Unfortunately.

Via The Chronicle of Higher Education: “Brett Kavanaugh Will Not Teach Next Semester at Harvard Law School.”

TFW someone didn’t do the reading:

“No One Could Be Further From Atticus Finch,” Slate’s Jamelle Bouie writes.

Via The Atlantic: “Brett Kavanaugh’s Friend Mark Judge Edited His High-School Yearbook.”

Via The New York Times: “Justice Department Sues to Stop California Net Neutrality Law.”

Apple wins appeal of UW-Madison patent infringement case,” the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reports.

Via Inside Higher Ed: “Publishers Escalate Legal Battle Against ResearchGate.”

Via The New York Times: “Teachers Union Sues Student Loan Servicer Navient.”

I know, I know. It’s not directly education related. But it’s good news about a bad venture capitalist. Via The New York Times: “Billionaire’s Fight to Close Path to a California Beach Comes to a Dead End.”

The Business of Financial Aid

It’s FAFSA season!

Via Inside Higher Ed: “New Tool for FAFSA Completion.”

There’s more financial aid news in the courts section above.

The “New” For-Profit Higher Ed

Via CBS News: “Some former students, employees say Apple co-founder’s Woz U doesn’t live up to promises.” Shocking.

Via The Chicago Sun Times: “Little scrutiny in DeVry sale, as DeVos targets protections.”

More news about for-profits in the accreditation section below.

Betsy DeVos’s For-Profit Strategy Is Risky – for Betsy DeVos,” says an op-ed in The Chronicle of Higher Education.

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

There’s more MOOC news in the HR section below.

Via Techcrunch: “MasterClass, the education platform featuring all-star instructors, will soon teach you how to run for office, too.”

Meanwhile on Campus…

Via The Chronicle of Higher Education: “A $1-Million Fine for Violating the Clery Act? Expensive, but Not Unprecedented.” The University of Montana is appealing the fine.

Via The New York Times: “Stanford’s Endowment Grew 11.3% Last Year, Beating Harvard but Not Yale.”

Via Inside Higher Ed: “Colleges Use Technology to Help Students Manage Mental Health.”

“Education for All… Even a ‘Nazi’?” asks Inside Higher Ed.

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

Perhaps this should go under the “surveillance” section below, but as the article references gunshot-detection systems, I’m putting it here. Via The Atlantic: “Police-Grade Surveillance Technology Comes to the Playground.”

Via Education Week: “Security Companies Sell School ‘Hardening’ as Mass-Shooting Solution.”

Via “Iowa company donates AR–15s to be placed in Bismarck schools.”

Accreditations and Certifications and Competencies

Via Inside Higher Ed: “Trump administration recommends restoring the controversial accreditor of many for-profits, citing a federal court ruling. Meanwhile, ACICS faces questions about its approval of a Danish business school’s degree programs.” Politico says that the Department of Education overstated endorsements of ACICS in its report.


Via Chalkbeat: “As Indiana test scores remain flat overall, gaps are growing between race and income groups.”

Go, School Sports Team!

To be fair, this story shouldn’t go here. Because John Urschel isn’t playing ball right now. He’s a PhD student at MIT. Nonetheless, it’s a great profile, by Jordan Ellenberg: “John Urschel Goes Pro.”

Labor and Management

“Online education unicorn Udacity has quietly laid off 5% of staff – at least 25 people – since August,” says Techcrunch, proving that “unicorn” is really a meaningless label for tech companies.

Adam Kissel is no longer at the Department of Education, Inside Higher Ed reports.

Columbia University postdocs have voted to unionize.

The Business of Job Training (and Educational Benefits for Employees)

Via Education Dive: “Subaru to offer applied sciences associate degree.”

Via Techcrunch, which never ceases to amaze me with how readily it acts as a stenographer for the tech industry: “As some pricey coding camps fade away, Codecademy barrels ahead with affordable paid offerings and a new mobile app.”

Contests and Awards

Congratulations to this year’s MacArthur Fellows, a list that includes William Barber as well as quite a number of academics.

This Week in Betteridge’s Law of Headlines

Is it OK to spy on your child’s online life?asks The Telegraph.

(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

“Raised by YouTubeby The Atlantic’s Alexis Madrigal.

Remember that story in Buzzfeed from a few weeks ago about teachers shilling products on Instagram? Well, here’s Edsurge, promoting Instagram: “Instagram TV for Teachers: A New Medium for PD and Inspiration.”

Via The Hechinger Report: “These glasses give teachers superpowers.” (Narrator voice: they do not.)

Via Techcrunch: “Apple’s ‘Everyone Can Create’ curriculum launches on Apple Books.”

(Venture) Philanthropy and the Business of Education Reform

The latest episode of the Have You Heard podcast: “Win/Win: Why Billionaire Philanthropists are Bad at School Reform.”

Via QZ: “The amazing ascent of Priscilla Chan.”

Sponsored content on Edsurge this week – paid for by the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative – includes this and this.

Edsurge, not with sponsored content, but surely with their sponsor CZI’s message: “Educating the Whole Child? Consider How Their Brains Work.”

Venture Capital and the Business of Education

This sentence, from Crunchbase, just kills me: “For parents, there’s never been more VC subsidized options to make your kid smarter.”

BYJU’s has raised $100 million from General Atlantic India. That makes it a unicorn, says Edsurge. The test prep / tutoring company has raised $344 million total (making it one of the most well-funded ed-tech startups out there).

Brightwheel has raised $21 million in Series B funding from Bessemer Venture Partners. Omidyar Network, Chan Zuckerberg Initiative, Eniac Ventures, GGV Capital, Golden Venture Partners, and Lowercase Capital. The preschool management software provider has raised $33.8 million total.

Lingokids has raised $6 million in Series A funding from HV Holtzbrinck Ventures, JME Venture Capital, Sabadell Ventures, BigSur, Gwynne Shotwell, Reach Capital, Athos Capital, and All Iron Ventures. The language learning company has raised $12.5 million total.

Caribu has raised $1.3 million from Be Curious Partners, John Cooper, Revolution’s Rise of the Rest Seed Fund, and AT&T. The company, which offers an app so parents can video-call their kids and read to them, has raised $1.5 million total.

A venture capitalist is buying DeVry University. Fun times. And more details in the for-profit higher ed section above.

TurnItIn has acquired Gradescope.

Achieve3000 has acquired Actively Learn.

Via The Verge: “Toys R Us reportedly cancels its branding sale in favor of a reorganization.”

Edsurge lists the latest startups participating in Camelback Ventures’ incubator.

Data, Surveillance, and Information Security

Via The Seattle Times: “As facial-recognition technology grows, so does wariness about privacy. Use at a school in Seattle fuels debate.”

It’s 2018 and I find it incredibly depressing that there are still headlines like this: “What Amazon and Netflix can teach us about learning, according to DreamBox Learning CEO.”

Even more depressing, this look at behavioral modification to do corporations’ bidding offered by Edsurge: “What Do Edtech and IKEA Have in Common? Persuasive Design.”

Also depressing, this NPR story on a coffee shop near Brown University: “No Cash Needed At This Cafe. Students Pay The Tab With Their Personal Data.”

Via Techcrunch: “Apple adds student ID cards into Apple Wallet to access buildings, buy food and more.”

Via EdWeek’s Market Brief: “Education Company Chegg Acknowledges Data Breach, Puts 40 Million Users on Notice.”

Via Edsurge: “To Bring Analytics to College Classrooms, New Effort Starts With ‘Data Laundry’.” Apparently this is different than “data laundering.”

There’s more surveillance news up in the “guns are ed-tech” section above.

Research, “Research,” and Reports

Via “The Business of Ed-Tech: September 2018 Funding Data.”

Via e-Literate: “North American Higher Ed LMS Market Share by Enrollments: A consolidating market.”

Via EdWeek’s Market Brief: “What’s Trending in New Ed-Tech ‘Top 40’ Digital Tools.”

Via Education Week: “New Study Shows 1-to–1 Technology Improves Student Achievement in Math Over Time.”

Via Edsurge: “Only 28% of Districts Have Enough Bandwidth to Use Digital Learning Every Day.”

Via Education Week: “RAND: How to Do Personalized Learning With ‘Imperfect Evidence’.”

Via The Chronicle of Higher Education: “Why Did These Scholars Suddenly Find Their Twitter Accounts Suspended?”

A trio of academics decided to hoax a number of gender studies journals, because hahaha. Trolls. Hilarious. (Not hilarious.) Not sure who has time to write 10 fake papers on gender. Certainly not people who give a damn about addressing the deep problems with corporate influence on science and technology research, or questions of academic labor, or the role that trust plays in institutions, or the flaws in many other fields’ research and publications.

Icon credits: The Noun Project

Audrey Watters


Hack Education

The History of the Future of Education Technology

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