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. (Oh my god, it’s almost time to start working on that year-end project.)

(National) Education Politics

Via Politico: “Employee satisfaction in the department [of Education]’s main K–12 office dropped markedly this year. Now the office wants to hire an outside contractor to help figure out why.” Um. I will tell you why for free.

A mail bomb campaign targeted opponents of President Trump this week, but remember: the biggest threat to democracy and free speech are liberal students’ protests on elite college campuses.

(State and Local) Education Politics

Via The New York Times: “New York Knew Some Schools in Its $773 Million Plan Were Doomed. They Kept Children in Them Anyway.”

Via NPR: “Texas High Schools To Require Police Interaction Education Video.”

Via The Chronicle of Higher Education: “‘Degenerate and Murderous’: California Campus Republicans’ Platform Attacks College Culture.”

Via AZ Central: “Arizona cancels vaccine program after backlash from parents who don’t vaccinate.”

Via The Hechinger Report: “Documenting Maine’s failure to implement proficiency-based education.”

Via The Atlantic: “Why Many College Dropouts Are Returning to School in North Carolina.”

Via Chalkbeat: “A guide to the critical education race you’ve never heard of.” That is the race for the Michigan Board of Education.

Via NPR: “Thousands Of Students Wait To Return To Class After Hurricane Michael.”

Yes, I’m including a nod to this Philadelphia City Council resolution on the Flyers’ new mascot Gritty because 1) grit and 2) monsters:

Immigration and Education

Via ProPublica: “¿Conoces a un estudiante que fue detenido por ICE después de tener problemas en la escuela? Cuéntanos.”

Via Edsource: “California colleges get funding to expand services to undocumented college students.”

Education in the Courts

The Harvard admissions court case continues. Stories include this from The New York Times: “What Would Happen if Harvard Stopped Considering Race in Admissions?”

Via Inside Higher Ed: “The law firm representing hundreds of current and former students at the University of Southern California on Friday announced – and USC confirmed – a $215 million settlement with the university. The suit charged the university with failing to prevent sexual abuse by George Tyndall, formerly a gynecologist in the university’s health center, and for failing to take action as reports of the abuse surfaced.”

Via The Olympian: “Washington Supreme Court upholds most of charter school law.”

Via The Chronicle of Higher Education: “2 Former Officials at Fort Valley State U. Are Charged in Prostitution Investigation.”

Via The Atlantic: “The Government Is Trying to Silence 21 Kids Hurt by Climate Change.”

There’s more education-related legal news down in the information security section below. And there’s more legal news down in the sports section too, as well as in the for-profit higher ed section.

“Free College”

Via The Cavalier Daily: “In-state students from families earning less than $80K will be able to attend U.Va. tuition-free, Ryan announces.” That’s University of Virginia President Jim Ryan.

The Business of Financial Aid

Via Bloomberg: “The Student Loan Debt Crisis Is About to Get Worse.”

Via The Outline: “The nation’s student loan debt crisis, mapped.”

The “New” For-Profit Higher Ed

Via Inside Higher Ed: “For-Profit College Attendance Linked to Poor Financial Outcomes.”

Via Inside Higher Ed: “Cities rarely sue colleges, but New York has received so many complaints against for-profit institutions that it brought a complaint Friday against Berkeley College New York in state court.”

There’s news about a new venture capital fund run by for-profit higher ed down in the venture capital section below.

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

Via Edsurge: “Academics Propose a ‘Blockchain University,’ Where Faculty (and Algorithms) Rule.” It’s called Woolf University, and its promoters say it will be a “decentralised, non-profit, democratic community.” And I mean, its founders are affiliated with Oxford and Edsurge cites Oral Roberts University in backing the idea of blockchains in education, and golly I can’t think of two more democratic communities. Can you?

Via The Hill: “Karl Rove and David Axelrod partner for online class on winning elections” – an online class on the Masterclass platform, that is.

Coursera’s 2018 Revenue Estimated to be $140 million,” Class Central estimates.

Indiana University has joined edX.

There’s more MOOC news down in the “labor and management” section below.

Meanwhile on Campus…

“Forget Lazy Rivers. Does Your College Offer a Concierge?” asks Inside Higher Ed.

Via The Root: “Librarian Calls Cops on Student for Brazen Attempt at #StudyingWhileBlack.” That’s at Catholic University.

“Elite Universities Are Entrenching a Privileged Class. An Endowment Tax Can Fix That,” writes Reihan Salam, executive editor of National Review in The Atlantic.

Via Education Dive: “ Hobby Lobby is buying a college campus. What’s next?” Bible study, I’m guessing.

This Edsurge article – “OER is Growing at Religious Colleges, But Raises Unique Challenges” – strikes me as a little weird, considering the long relationship between open education (the conference, at the very least) and former BYU professor David Wiley.

Via The New York Times: “University Backed by George Soros Prepares to Leave Budapest Under Duress.”

Via The Atlantic: “How High Schools Shaped American Cities.”

Accreditations and Certifications and Competencies

Getting Smart and the XQ Institute have released a “landscape analysis of competency-based education.”


Via The Washington Post: “SAT reclaims title of most widely used college admission test.”

Go, School Sports Team!

I’ve got Joshua Hunt’s new book The University of Nike sitting here on my desk. Here he is in The New York Times: “Tell Us 5 Things About Your Book: College Athletics and Its Corporate Sponsors.”

Via the Courier Journal: “University of Louisville unveils Adidas-funded ethical leadership project.” HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA. OMG. HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA.

Via Inside Higher Ed: “Two sports apparel company executives and an aspiring sports agent were found guilty Wednesday of wire fraud charges in connection with the most significant sports scandal in recent National Collegiate Athletic Association history – a scheme to pay off the families of men’s basketball recruits and secure their commitment to teams at Adidas-sponsored universities.” Something something Louisville and ethics…

The Chronicle of Higher Education on Last Chance U school Independence Community College: “One College Used Football to Win Fame. But What Has It Lost?”

Via The Atlantic: “College Sports Are Affirmative Action for Rich White Students.”

Labor and Management

Udacity CEO Vishal Makhijani is stepping down. Doesn’t look like the company has anyone to take his place yet.

Graduate student assistants at campuses across the U.S. are pushing for $15 per hour, what they call a minimum living wage,” writes Inside Higher Ed.

Via NPR: “Teachers Union President Accused Of Strong-Arm Tactics.” Literally. That would be Aaron Graves, the new head of the Springfield Education Association in Illinois, who was accused last year of putting a 7th-grader in a chokehold.

Via Inside Higher Ed: “Faculty members at Purdue University are pushing the university to reconsider recent changes to health care plans, notably the decision to drop primary coverage for working spouses of Purdue employees whose own employers cover 50 percent or more of medical premiums.”

Via Inside Higher Ed: “Margaret Spellings Reportedly Leaving UNC.”

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

Sound the “jobs-that-don’t-exist-yet” education reform klaxon!!

Upgrades and Downgrades

More proof that education folks simply cannot let a bad idea die: Marist College has announced it is taking over the Mindset List formerly issued by Beloit College.

Via The New York Times: “How Google Protected Andy Rubin, the ‘Father of Android’.” “Google could have fired Mr. Rubin and paid him little to nothing on the way out. Instead, the company handed him a $90 million exit package, paid in installments of about $2 million a month for four years, said two people with knowledge of the terms.” The story is much more than sexual misconduct allegations against Rubin. It’s a rot at the very core of the company’s leadership team. Remember: the biases of engineers and managers get baked into the software you use. Enjoy your Google for Education products!

Speaking of Google, “Google Is Teaching Children How to Act Online. Is It the Best Role Model?asks The NYT’s Natasha Singer and Sapna Maheshwari. And yes, this headline should go in the Betteridge’s Law section below. But really, it works so well next to this story about the sexual misconduct of Google execs, don’t you think?

The Digital Gap Between Rich and Poor Kids Is Not What We Expected,” writes Nellie Bowles in The New York Times. Not sure who the “we” is here… Tech journalists maybe? See also, another Bowles story: “A Dark Consensus About Screens and Kids Begins to Emerge in Silicon Valley.” “I am convinced the devil lives in our phones and is wreaking havoc on our children,” says someone who works at the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative, a company that [checks notes] pledges to spend billions of dollars on kids and screens.

The folks at Getting Smart promote CS and SEL resources on Facebook for Education. And sure, why not. Why would one ever suspect that Facebook is simply a terrible idea for schools or for democratic institutions?!

Khan Academy is launching a new series on US history and civics. Please god let Sal have read some books other than John Taylor Gatto’s if he talks about the history of education.

Quizlet hits 50m monthly users,” says the tech PR site Techcrunch.

More PR from Techcrunch: “Nintendo is bringing Labo kits to elementary schools.”

The education company “dead pool” gets some new cold bodies this week…

Professional Educational Services Group, which hires substitute teachers in Michigan, has closed its doors.

Via Edsurge: “Months After Raising $27M, Education Startup Yogome Shuts Down Amid Fraud Allegations.”

Via Edsurge: “MinecraftEdu Creators Struggle to Find a Second Hit.”

Shot. Chaser.

This Week in Betteridge’s Law of Headlines

Are student loans succeeding?asks Bryan Alexander.

Does Joining a Fraternity or Sorority Actually Improve Grades and Earnings After Graduation?asks The Chronicle of Higher Education.

(Reminder: according to Betteridge’s Law of Headlines, “Any headline that ends in a question mark can be answered by the word no.”)

Robots and Other Education Science Fiction

Via “Here Are the States Where a Robot Is Most Likely to Steal Your Job.” Spoiler alert, friends in my home state: Wyoming.

(Venture) Philanthropy and the Business of Education Reform

Oh there are venture philanthropy stories – and stories pushed by venture philanthropists – throughout this week’s round-up. See if you can spot them.

Venture Capital and the Business of Education has raised $4.5 million from Marc Andreessen, Andrew Chen, Bloomberg Beta, Reach Capital, and Y Combinator. The learn-to-code company has raised $4.6 million total.

Classting has raised $4 million from Mistletoe. The messaging company has raised $12 million total.

Juni Learning has raised $790,000 from Arielle Zuckerberg, Jessica Livingston, Adora Cheung, and Deborah Quazzo for – you guessed it – private tutoring.

SNHU and LRNG are merging “to Create ‘WeWork for Education’ Via Digital Badges and Mini-Campuses.” JFC. Why.

Video streaming site Cheddar has acquired Rate My Professors.

Edsurge writes about a new venture capital fund, SEI Ventures, which is an offshoot of the merger of the for-profit higher ed businesses Strayer and Capella. One “catch” to the funding apparently: “Companies that take investment have to agree not to sell their products to a list of colleges that includes Arizona State University, Purdue University Global, Southern New Hampshire University and Western Governors University.”

Via The Verge: “YouTube is investing $20M in educational content, creators.”

Data, Surveillance, and Information Security

Ed Tech Cybersecurity: Suppose they gave a data breach and nobody came,” writes Phil Hill on the Chegg data breach.

Via Techcrunch: “Two hackers who stole millions of users’ data from ride-hailing firm Uber have been indicted on separate hacking charges related to a data breach at online learning portal Lynda.”

Via The Verge: “Tim Cook warns of ‘data-industrial complex’ in call for comprehensive US privacy laws.”

Research, “Research,” and Reports

There’s more “research” up in the Betteridge’s Law of Headlines section above.

Via The College Board: “Trends in College Pricing 2018.”

Via Pew Research: “Nearly one-in-five teens can’t always finish their homework because of the digital divide.” So honestly, please spare me your breathless stories about how “students still do school work on snow days” this winter. Thanks in advance.

Icon credits: The Noun Project

Audrey Watters


Hack Education

The History of the Future of Education Technology

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