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. But I’m putting that project on pause while I write my book. So you can start counting down the number of times you’ll have to wade through this depressing list of education- and tech-related stories.
(National) Education Politics
“Education Secretary Betsy DeVos and her husband took in at least $59.4 million in 2017,” says Politico, making her the wealthiest of Trump’s Cabinet members. Good thing taxpayers are on the hook for millions of dollars to pay for her private security detail.
Via Education Week: “Inspector General Blasts U.S. Ed. Department’s Handling of FERPA Complaints.”
Via ProPublica: “DeVos’ Inspector General to Audit Dismissals of Civil Rights Complaints.”
There’s more DeVos news in “the business of financial aid” section below
I don’t know if this is national politics or state politics, but as she’s a US Senator, I’ll put this story about Mississippi Senator Cindy Hyde-Smith here. Via the Jackson Free Press: “Hyde-Smith Attended All-White ‘Seg Academy’ to Avoid Integration.”
Via The Verge: “Microsoft secures $480 million HoloLens contract from US Army.”
“Brazilian academics vow to resist threats to freedom,” says Times Higher Education.
(State and Local) Education Politics
“Ivanka Trump, Apple’s Tim Cook Push STEM, Computer Science Education,” says Education Week. The two were visiting a rural school in Idaho that has a 1-to–1 iPad program. The Idaho Statesman was there to watch the visit, but as it noted, “The Statesman could not ask questions of or talk to Trump and Cook. It could only observe. The only other media attending the event would be a national crew from ABC.” Idaho Ed News quotes local high school students who protested the visit and their school’s reliance on technology.
Chalkbeat reports that “Success Academy illegally changes special education services without parent input, complaint claims.”
Via Truthout: “Bake Sales Can’t Fix This: Corporate Tax Cuts Leave Public Schools Desperate.”
Immigration and Education
Via ProPublica: “Families Are Still Being Separated at the Border, Months After ‘Zero Tolerance’ Was Reversed.”
Via NPR: “Meet Jin Park, The First DACA Recipient Awarded A Rhodes Scholarship.”
“DACA Has Not Been Saved – and It May Be in Its Last Days,” Pacific Standard claims.
Education in the Courts
Via The New York Times: “Are Civics Lessons a Constitutional Right? This Student Is Suing for Them.”
Via Inside Higher Ed: “A federal judge approved a settlement Wednesday that erases more than $500 million in student debt held by former ITT Technical Institute students.” More via The Washington Post.
Via the BBC: “Matthew Hedges: British academic pardoned by UAE.”
The Business of Financial Aid
Via The Washington Post: “DeVos decries student-loan program as a ‘looming crisis’.” Maybe get on board with some debt forgiveness then, Betsy.
There’s more student loan news up in the “legal” section above.
The “New” For-Profit Higher Ed
There’s more for-profit higher ed news up in the “legal” section above.
Online Education (and the Once and Future “MOOC”)
Via Chalkbeat: “After flying under the radar, school districts’ online programs attract attention – and scrutiny.”
Via Techcrunch: “Amazon opens its internal machine learning courses to all for free.”
“Stop Asking About Completion Rates: Better Questions to Ask About MOOCs in 2019,” says Edsurge.
There’s more MOOC news down in the “labor and management” section below, perhaps prompting another question that Edsurge doesn’t think to ask: “How viable are these companies that are being used to outsource and privatize online higher education?”
Meanwhile on Campus…
“Louisiana School Made Headlines for Sending Black Kids to Elite Colleges. Here’s the Reality,” says The New York Times. The reality at T. M. Landry College Prep looks like this:
…the school falsified transcripts, made up student accomplishments and mined the worst stereotypes of black America to manufacture up-from-hardship tales that it sold to Ivy League schools hungry for diversity. The Landrys also fostered a culture of fear with physical and emotional abuse, students and teachers said. Students were forced to kneel on rice, rocks and hot pavement, and were choked, yelled at and berated.
“Students Who Made Apparent Nazi Salute in Photo Won’t Be Punished,” says The New York Times. Because “free speech” is only for white boys it seems.
Via The Chronicle of Higher Education: “U. of Wisconsin System President Reprimands La Crosse Chancellor for Bringing Porn Star to Campus.”
Via Inside Higher Ed: “Georgia Tech moves forward with plans to create storefronts for its online education programs, joining a growing number of institutions offering hybrid online learning experiences.”
Via The Chronicle of Higher Education: “Rice U. Will Investigate Professor Who Says He Worked on First Genetically Altered Babies.”
“The wife of independent Sen. Bernie Sanders says she expected to be cleared by a federal investigation into her role as president of the now-defunct Burlington College, but she doesn’t want to say anything more,” says the AP.
Via The Atlantic: “Where America’s College Kids Stay Up All Night.”
Yes, Guns Are Ed-Tech (and It’s So F*cked Up that I Had to Make This a Category)
Buzzfeed on the Parkland school shooting survivors: “‘It was like a war in the classroom. It was a nightmare.’”
Accreditations and Certifications and Competencies
Via Techcrunch: “YC alum Make School gains rare accreditation for 2-year applied CS bachelor’s degree.” Wow, the sneering derision with which these people write about education.
Labor and Management
“Udacity Lays Off 125 Employees,” says Inside Higher Ed. Sometimes it’s fun to look back at old stories that the tech press dutifully pumped out about this company. This one is probably my favorite: “How California’s New Online Education Pilot Will Change Higher Ed Forever.” Or maybe this one: “The Stanford Education Experiment Could Change Higher Learning Forever.”
Joy Lisi Rankin has terminated her employment with Michigan State University – “firing” the university, in her words – following allegations of harassment and retaliation. She wrote a blog post on Medium. The Chronicle of Higher Education and Inside Higher Ed have picked up the story.
The Business of Job Training (and Educational Benefits for Employees)
Via Techcrunch: “Apple to host free coding sessions at stores, rolls out new material for teachers.”
Via Georgetown University’s Center on Education and the Workforce: “The Good Jobs Project.” That is, good jobs that don’t require a BA. (I have some questions about this, particularly as Wyoming as touted as the best state for this. What are these jobs? Are they in the oil industry? Are these jobs open to women?)
Upgrades and Downgrades
The stories out of Facebook just keep getting worse. My god. I mean, I’m just glad that no one from Facebook is involved in education, ed-tech, ed reform, or education journalism.
Via Techcrunch: “AWS makes Amazon.com personalization service available to all.” Stellar news for everyone who thinks the future of education is just like shopping at a mall.
Via The Washington Post: “After Springsteen and ‘The Sopranos,’ Steven Van Zandt has a new mission: Getting every school to teach kids about America through rock music history.”
“In an effort help educators make smart choices amid the deluge of ed-tech tools marketed to them, ISTE has partnered with a private company to create an online hub for teachers to review and post information on the quality of those products,” says EdWeek’s Market Brief. Its partner is LearnPlatform, formerly known as LearnTrials, has investors who include the Emerson Collective where the head of ISTE’s (Richard Culatta) former boss (Arne Duncan) is now a venture capitalist. Such a small world.
Via Mashable: “The e-waste nightmare lurking in your kid’s toy box.” Many of them, I’d wager, were promoted elsewhere on the pages of Mashable, but whatever.
The Not-So-Hidden Curriculum
Via Vox: “The biggest lie we still teach in American history classes.”
Meanwhile, in history workshops in Quebec… “Quebec Neo-Fascists are Teaching School Kids About Vikings,” says Vice.
Robots and Other Education Science Fiction
Via The Washington Post: “Wanted: The ‘perfect babysitter.’ Must pass AI scan for respect and attitude.”
It feels kind of dirty that the founders behind Predictim, the babysitter AI social media scanning service, are the same guys who founded Social Filter, a service you can pay to find your own “inappropriate” social media posts to delete before going to jobs interviews.— Rochelle (@Rochelle) November 25, 2018
“Computer science students at the University of California, Berkeley, are frustrated with a malfunctioning autograding system,” says Inside Higher Ed.
(Venture) Philanthropy and the Business of Education Reform
Sponsored content on Edsurge, paid for by the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative, this week includes this.
This new version of Sesame Street is sad and terrible and brought to you by the letter F and U. (Tune in to tomorrow’s HEWN for more thoughts on this monstrosity.)
On this episode of Street Tank, a few of our furry friends are pitching their ideas around early childhood development! Learn more about #EarlyFutures and watch the full video: https://t.co/HtM26Fpmu6 pic.twitter.com/s7HHq7hT8r— Sesame Workshop (@SesameWorkshop) November 27, 2018
Venture Capital and the Business of Education
Tutoring company Topica Edtech Group has raised $50 million from Northstar Group.
Tutoring company Vedantu has raised $11 million from the Omidyar Network and Accel Partners. The company has raised $16.6 million total.
Educational fintech company LearnLux has raised $2 million from Adam Nash, Underscore VC, Sound Ventures, and Marc Benioff.
Genius Corner has raised $278,000 from Ranbir Singh, Puneet Garg, Mahesh Mohta, Lakshmikantan Sundereswaran, and Dipak Varshney.
Insight Venture Partners has acquired Interfolio for $110 million.
Cornerstone has acquired Grovo for $24 million.
Babbel has acquired Lingo Ventura.
Sandbox has acquired Constructive Media.
“FTSE giant RELX plots £100m bid for Times Higher Education,” SkyNews reports. RELX is the former weapons dealer known as Reed Elsevier.
Data, Surveillance, and Information Security
Larry Cuban on “Technological Monitoring of Student Work in a Classroom.”
Looking forward to this technological monitoring coming to education technology.
Research, “Research,” and Reports
Via Edsurge: “Report: Climate Change and Migration Will Impact the Future of Schools.”
“The Suburbs Are Changing. But Not in All the Ways Liberals Hope,” says The New York Times. In part, that is, these suburban voters oppose desegregation of schools.
Via The Hechinger Report: “The number of public school students could fall by more than 8% in a decade.”
Survey data from Edweek’s Market Brief: “Teachers’ Use of Ed-Tech Tools Rises Across the Board, But Time Pressures Persist.”
Via Chalkbeat: “Students show up to school more often when they see ‘familiar faces,’ new study finds.”
Via Education Week: “Majority of District Leaders Concerned About Cyber Threats, Project Tomorrow Report Finds.”
Data from e-Literate: “Contrasting LMS Adoption Patterns in Four English-Speaking Countries.”
The latest research from Pew: “Teens’ Social Media Habits and Experiences.”
“Why Are Students Ditching the History Major?” asks The Chronicle of Higher Education.
The NYT obit: “Harold O. Levy, Progressive New York City Schools Chief, Dies at 65.” Another remembrance via NPR: “‘Harold Believed In Me’: Remembering A College Access Advocate And NYC Schools Leader.”
Icon credits: The Noun Project