Each week, I gather a wide variety of links to education and education technology articles. All this feeds the series I write each December on the stories we are told about the future of education. (That series isn’t going to be much of one this year… And frankly, this Friday thing is going to be paused for the duration of Teaching Machines book-writing, starting quite soon. So enjoy all this educational doom while you can.)
(National) Education Politics
Via Buzzfeed: “Betsy DeVos Wants New Regulations That Protect Students Accused Of Sexual Assault And Their Schools.” More from the National Women’s Law Center.
There’s more DeVos-related news in “the business of financial aid” section below.
From the press release: “FBI Releases 2017 Hate Crime Statistics.” Or as The New York Times puts it: “Hate Crimes Increase for the Third Consecutive Year, F.B.I. Reports.” More on the report from Pacific Standard.
Via Techcrunch: “Senators urge FTC to look into shady ad practices in apps for kids.”
“Rural Kids Face an Internet ‘Homework Gap.’ The FCC Could Help,” says Wired. The New York Times notes it’s not just rural students who struggle with broadband access: “Why San Jose Kids Do Homework in Parking Lots.”
The Fordham Institute’s Michael Petrelli has declared “The End of Educational Policy.” (Well, in fairness, there’s a question mark at the end of the headline. So maybe “has posited” is a better verb here.) He’s drawing on Francis Fukuyama’s famous (and wildly incorrect) pronouncement about “The End of History,” so make of this what you will. Fukuyama was wrong. Liberal democracy was not triumphant. Arguably it is no longer even ascendant. So similarly, let’s not tout this moment as one where recent changes to education can never be undone. Good grief. Take a look at school segregation and surveillance before you start touting some fabricated moment of satisfactory “homeostasis.”
“Turkey has reacted angrily to suggestions that it might tone down its attack on Saudi Arabia over the murder of Jamal Khashoggi if the United States agrees to extradite an opponent of President Erdogan,” The Times reports. The opponent in question is Fethullah Gulen who currently lives in Pennsylvania (and who I’m including in this list of education-related stories because of the chain of charter schools he operates.)
Via The Atlantic: “Why Young Pakistanis Are Learning Chinese.”
(State and Local) Education Politics
Election results are still coming in…
“Voters Widely Support Public Schools. So Why Is It So Hard to Pay for Them?” asks The NYT’s Dana Goldstein.
Via The New York Times’ Eliza Shapiro: “With Democratic Wins, Charter Schools Face a Backlash in N.Y. and Other States.”
Via Chalkbeat: (in New Jersey): “In Newark, how did most voters respond to ballot questions about schools? They didn’t.”
Via Chalkbeat (in Colorado): “Late votes deliver a narrow win for Jeffco school bond measure.”
The race for the California State Superintendent is still undecided – at least as I type up this article, it is.
Education in the Courts
Via WBEZ: “Chicago Charter Leader Investigated For Inappropriate Contact With Young Women.” That would be Mike Milkie, the head of the Noble Charter School chain.
Via the AP: “Florida charter school operator gets 20 years for fraud.”
There’s more DeVos-related legal news in “the business of financial aid” section below.
Via The Tennesseean: “Kris Tugman was Tennessee Promise’s poster boy – until he dropped out.”
The Business of Financial Aid
Via NPR: “Betsy DeVos Sued For Failing To Implement Automatic Student Loan Forgiveness.”
Also via NPR: “The Benefits Of Taking Out Loans For College.”
Online Education (and the Once and Future “MOOC”)
From the Coursera blog: “Announcing ‘AI for Everyone’: a new course from deeplearning.ai on Coursera.” (deeplearning.ai is the new company of Andrew Ng, Coursera’s co-founder.) More from Edsurge.
There’s more data about online education down in the “research” section at the bottom.
Meanwhile on Campus…
If anybody from Baraboo High School in Wisconsin can clue me in on why it appears the entire male class of 2018 is throwing up a Sig Heil during their prom photos - that would be great.— Jules Suzdaltsev (@jules_su) November 12, 2018
h/t @CarlySidey pic.twitter.com/BL8lDVLMA4
(Correction: This is the Class of 2019.)
Via Inside Higher Ed: “Hundreds of Drake University students, faculty members, alumni and others held a rally on campus Wednesday to denounce racist robocalls, full of white supremacist propaganda, that students have been receiving.”
Via Inside Higher Ed: “Chapel Hill students are being harassed by a white nationalist online commentator with ties to the alleged Pittsburgh synagogue shooter.”
Via The Chronicle of Higher Education: “U. of Texas at San Antonio Investigates After Students Say Lecturer Called Police on Black Classmate.”
“Michelle Obama’s College Experience Is All Too Familiar for Minority Students,” writes Adam Harris (one of many stories this week about the First Lady’s memoir Becoming).
Via The New York Times: “For University of Minnesota, Chinese Tycoon’s Arrest Shines Light, Again, on Sexual Assault.”
Via The Verge: “An academic reported sexual harassment. Her university allegedly retaliated.”
Via The Chronicle of Higher Education: “The Hottest New Place for University Satellite Campuses: Los Angeles.” Literally on fire, one might say.
Edsurge profiles the founder of Alder College – “Rethinking the First Two Years of Higher Education.”
Via The Chronicle of Higher Education: “Meet the New Mega-University.”
“How One University Went From Proposing to Cut 13 Mostly Liberal-Arts Programs to Eliminating Only 6” – The Chronicle of Higher Education on The University of Wisconsin at Stevens Point.
Yes, Guns Are Ed-Tech (and It’s So F*cked Up that I Had to Make This a Category)
Surely a subheader ideally suited for the “Betteridge’s Law of Headlines” section – “Billions are being spent to protect children from school shootings. Does any of it work?” – but I’ll put this story here instead. Via The Washington Post: “Armored school doors, bulletproof whiteboards and secret snipers.”
This story from The 74 is from Monday, and I am not sure if the numbers have changed since then: “1 Killed, 1 Injured in Shooting During SC College Homecoming Event; At Least 47 Killed and 88 Injured by Guns at Schools So Far This Year.”
Via Chalkbeat: “In a shift, more education reformers say they’re worried about schools’ focus on testing.” (So instead of “testing” we’ll have ubiquitous, non-stop surveillance / assessment via “personalized learning.” Winning.)
Go, School Sports Team!
The Chronicle of Higher Education on “How Financial Pressures Can Lead to Athletic Scandals.”
Via Inside Higher Ed: “Earlham Suspends Football Program.”
Labor and Management
Via The New York Times: “‘I Don’t Really Want to Work for Facebook.’ So Say Some Computer Science Students.” (Waiting for folks in education technology to respond similarly… but I won’t hold my breath.)
Via Futurism: “Headmaster Fired for Stealing School’s Electricity to Mine Crypto.”
The Scholarly Kitchen weighs in on layoffs at DPLA, the Digital Public Library of America.
Via Inside Higher Ed: “Georgetown Grad Assistants Form Union.”
The Business of Job Training (and Educational Benefits for Employees)
Via Techcrunch: “Google partners with MotherCoders to bring tech training to moms in New York City.”
Via Education Week: “FUNecole: Social-Emotional Learning Meets Computer Science and Digital Literacy.” Any piece of education software or curriculum that puts “fun” in its name is not.
Define “liberal arts” for me, please and thank you. Because this makes no sense. (That is, “science” and “mathematics” are part of the liberal arts, no?)
Upgrades and Downgrades
Amazon announced its two new HQ locations this week: Queens, NY and Crystal City, VA. So cue from the ed-tech crowd a flurry of stories touting educational opportunities in the areas. “What Do East Coast Coding Bootcamps Think About Amazon HQ2?” asks Edsurge. The New York Times points out that “Amazon’s New Neighbor: The Nation’s Largest Housing Project.” From Fast Company: “Amazon’s HQ2 could eliminate 1,500 affordable housing units in NYC.”
Via Edsurge: “ClassDojo Goes ‘Beyond School’ to Launch First Monetization Feature for Parents.” Oh sure, sure. Call it “mindfulness” if it makes you feel better. More like, surveillance at school, surveillance at home. Behavior modification at school, behavior modification at home.
Speaking of products that promote "mindfulness“… The New York Times reports that ”Juul Suspends Selling Most E-Cigarette Flavors in Stores.“ ”Juul Labs reveals its plan to combat underage vape use,“ says Techcrunch. Via Wired: ”Juul Exhales After Dodging Full Ban on Flavored E-Cigs."
I’ll have more to say about this in tomorrow’s HEWN, but this New York Times investigation is something else: “Delay, Deny and Deflect: How Facebook’s Leaders Fought Through Crisis.” Lovely use of fake news by the Facebook leadership team to combat Facebook critics. Good thing no one at Facebook is in the education or “digital literacy” business.
Meanwhile… “Facebook Launches Courses to Help Adult Learners Skill Up,” Edsurge notes, neglecting to mention that its founder, Mark Zuckerberg, sponsors lots of articles on the site nor any of the controversies from just this week alone pertaining to the company’s ethics.
Elsewhere in Facebook-land… Via The New York Post: “Brooklyn students hold walkout in protest of Facebook-designed online program.” Via Education Week: “Brooklyn Students Protest Use of Online Learning Platform Designed by Summit Learning.” Edsurge reprints a letter students at the Secondary School of Journalism sent to Mark Zuckerberg: “‘Dear Mr. Zuckerberg’: Students Take Summit Learning Protests Directly to Facebook Chief.” Via the NY Magazine: “Brooklyn Students Are Protesting Silicon Valley’s Favorite Education Program.” (Remember when journalists called AltSchool “Silicon Valley’s Favorite Education Program”? Good times. Good times.)
Diane Ravitch notices that when it comes to stories about AltSchool, it’s always “one teacher’s perspective” – Paul France, who stars in almost all the coverage, pro- (early on) or (now) con.
Via the YouTube blog: “Experimenting with science education on YouTube.”
Via The Atlantic: “How YouTube’s Algorithm Really Works.” Does it work to boost science education? (Spoiler alert: no.)
“What Does Personalized Learning Mean? Whatever People Want It To,” says Education Week. Perfect!
Futurism.com writes about “Why a Blockchain Startup Bought This $9 Million Stradivarius Violin.” I think the answer is “money-laundering,” but you never know… Maybe they’re planning to revolutionize college transcripts with the instrument.
“Enough With All the Innovation,” says John Patrick Leary. Amen.
Robots and Other Education Science Fiction
Via MIT Technology Review: “Harvard researchers want to school Congress about AI.”
“AI can humanize teaching – if we let it” – or so says eCampus News.
More robot news up in the MOOC section above.
This Week in Betteridge’s Law of Headlines
“Will Blockchain Revolutionize Scholarly Journal Publishing?” 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.”)
(Venture) Philanthropy and the Business of Education Reform
Sponsored content on Edsurge, paid for by the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative, this week includes this.
Via Education Week: “The Chan Zuckerberg Initiative Wants Teachers to Learn Brain Science.” That is, $1 million for the PD program Neuroteach Global. What could go wrong.
Venture Capital and the Business of Education
I won’t include this in my calculations of ed-tech funding, but WeWork has raised $3 billion from SoftBank.
UNICAF has raised $28 million from Goldman Sachs, University Ventures, EDEX, and CDC Group. The online education company has raised $40 million total.
Game-based literacy/math app-maker Kukua has raised $2.5 million from Kima Ventures, Founders Factory, EchoVC Partners, Burda Principal Investments, and Firstminute Capital.
Educative has raised $2.3 million from SK Ventures and Trilogy Equity Partners. The learn-to-code company has raised $2.6 million total.
Edves has raised $120,000 from Chinook Capital and Co-creation Hub. The school management software maker has raised $191,500 total.
Quad Learning has been acquired by Wellspring International Education.
Catapult Learning has acquired Capital Education Group.
Research, “Research,” and Reports
Via Chalkbeat: “A quietly edited report and dueling blog posts reveal a divide over the ‘portfolio model’.”
Via e-Literate: “Fall 2017 IPEDS Data: New Profile of US Higher Ed Online Education.”
There’s more vaping news in the upgrade/downgrade section above, but here are some numbers from the NEA: “Vaping in Schools: 3 Million Students and Counting.”
Via The Washington Post: “The sneaky science behind your child’s tech obsession.” Not a story about Juul or vaping, FWIW.
Ben Williamson in WonkHE: “Policy in numbers – what counts without counting?”
Writing in the Educause Review, Laura Czerniewicz on “Unbundling and Rebundling Higher Education in an Age of Inequality.”
Introducing the “Network of Concerned Academics.”
It’s almost as if high profile “public scholars” from private universities do not read the public scholarship unless it’s in The New Yorker or something.
Icon credits: The Noun Project