Each week for the past eight or so years, I have gathered a wide variety of links to education and education technology articles. All this has fed the series of articles I have written each December, analyzing the stories we have been told about the future of education. This is the last Hack Education Weekly News of the year because next week I am publishing a very abbreviated review of 2018, and I won’t need to study in detail what happens each week anymore. I won’t write the series in 2019 either, so this is the very last Hack Education Weekly News. It’s time to make some changes to Hack Education and more importantly to my life.

(National) Education Politics

Via EdWeek Market Brief: “European Leaders Look to Ban Foreign Aid for Commercial Private Schools.”

There’s more in the financial aid section below about the TEACH Grant program. And there’s more Education Department news in the for-profit higher ed section below too.

(State and Local) Education Politics

Adam Harris writes about the Wisconsin Idea, arguing that “The Liberal Arts May Not Survive the 21st Century.” Not so sure how folks plan to do their beloved STEM without the S or the E in this future, but hey.

Via Chalkbeat: “How it feels to be Javion: 16 and struggling to read in Chicago Public Schools.”

Via NPR: “Sleepless No More In SeattleLater School Start Time Pays Off For Teens.”

Via Chalkbeat: “Indiana education officials call for a crackdown on ‘too big to fail’ virtual schools.”

Via Chalkbeat: “Power to the kids: A preschool approach imported from Italy comes to public schools in Denver.” That approach: Reggio Emilia.

There’s more local Chalkbeat reporting on the recent charter school strike in Chicago down in the “labor and management” section below.

Immigration and Education

Via The Washington Post: “7-year-old migrant girl taken into Border Patrol custody dies of dehydration, exhaustion.”

Education in the Courts

Via NPR: “Kentucky Supreme Court Strikes Down Pension Law That Sparked Teacher Protests.”

Via The Washington Post: “A former Baylor frat president accused of rape got no jail time – but now is barred from graduation.” More via NPR.

Via Inside Higher Ed: “Lawyers and Title IX practitioners have identified potential conflicts between the Trump administration’s new proposed regulations on the gender discrimination law and state policy.”

“Free College”

Via The Atlantic: “A Guarantee of Tuition-Free College Can Have Life-Changing Effects.”

The Business of Financial Aid

Via NPR: “Ed Department To Erase Debts Of Teachers, Fix Troubled Grant Program.”

Via The Chronicle of Higher Education: “Guided by the Courts, DeVos Cancels $150 Million in Federal Student Loan Debt.” About $80 million of that will go to the debt owed by students who attended the defunct for-profit Corinthian Colleges.

Via EdSource: “California community colleges reject state aid tied to allowing students to seek federal loans.”

The “New” For-Profit Higher Ed

Via The Washington Post: “Education Department reaches out to students of defunct for-profit college chain.” “Reaching out” here includes hosting webinars.

Via Inside Higher Ed: “Art Institutes and Other Former For-Profit Institutions Closing.”

“What Do Students Do When a For-Profit College Closes?” asks The Atlantic.

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

There’s news about sketchy virtual schools in the “state/local politics” section above and about K12 Inc specifically in the “job training” section below.

With new Chinese investor/partners, it’s going to be interesting to watch how Edsurge’s storytelling changes. A glimpse: “In China’s Silicon Valley, Edtech Starts at the ‘MOOC Times Building’.”

Via Class Central: “By The Numbers: MOOCs in 2018.”

Meanwhile on Campus…

Via The Washington Post: “UNC in turmoil over Silent Sam, the Confederate monument toppled by protesters.”

Via Inside Higher Ed: “Racist Rant Roils Columbia.”

University of California System is playing hardball with Elsevier in negotiations that could transform the way it pays to read and publish research,” says Inside Higher Ed.

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

Via the BBC: “2018 ‘worst year for US school shootings’.”

Via Buzzfeed: “A High School Descended Into Utter Chaos After Students Were Told A Fake Active Shooter Drill Was Real.”

Via NPR: “‘It’s Preventable’: Sandy Hook Parents Promote App For Reporting School Threats.” Has technology solutionism ever been more heartbreaking?!

Via The 74: “Teen Suspected of Planning Shooting Dead After Exchanging Gunfire With Police at Indiana Middle School; At Least 49 Killed, 88 Injured by Guns at Schools So Far This Year.”

Via the Sun Sentinel: “Stoneman Douglas principal admonished for being uninformed on student threats.”

Accreditations and Certifications and Competencies

Via Inside Higher Ed: “Bennett College in Line to Lose Accreditation.”


Several “rethinking assessment” stories, sponsored by the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative, in Edsurge this week. I’ve listed those in the venture philanthropy section below.

Go, School Sports Team!

Hugh Freeze, who resigned as the University of Mississippi’s head football coach following revelations he used his work phone to call escort services, has been hired to lead Liberty University’s team,” Inside Higher Ed reports. And Jesus wept.

Labor and Management

Charter teachers won big in nation’s first strike. What now?” asks Chalkbeat. More on the strike, also from Chalkbeat: “With tentative deal struck in Chicago charter school strike, Acero students set to return to class.”

Via Chalkbeat: “Tentative contract includes big raises for IPS teachers.” IPS here stands for the Indianapolis Public Schools.

Via NPR: “Iowa College Becomes Battleground For Student Worker Unionization.” The Iowa school in question: Grinnell College.

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

Via US News & World Report: “Controversial Virtual School Operator Pivots to Job Training.” That would be K12 Inc. I guess if you suck so bad at teaching K–12 students the basics, you can pivot to “career education” and folks will just shrug.

Yale to Offer Coding Boot Campreads the Inside Higher Ed headline. But it’s not Yale. It’s the Flatiron School, a subsidiary of WeWork.

Via Techcrunch: “Holberton brings its full-stack software engineering school to Colombia.”

Via the Des Moines Register: “Silicon Valley is betting on one Iowa town’s efforts to bring tech jobs to rural America.”

Via Real Clear Education: “Coding Bootcamps Provide High-Demand Tools for New Generation Workforce.” The GOP propaganda is spread pretty thick in this one.

This Week in Betteridge’s Law of Headlines

Will 2019 Be the Year of Privacy?asks Edsurge.

Can Online Learning Help Higher Ed Reverse Its Tuition Spiral?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

This asshole.

And this one, too. “Neil deGrasse Tyson and the Careers That Weren’t” by The Atlantic’s Megan Garber.

Another one bites the dust. Via Edsurge: “GlassLab Set Out to Prove Games Could Assess Learning. Now It’s Shutting Down.”

Via Education Week: “K–12 Interest Grows in ‘Physical Computing’ as Hands-On Approach to Computer Science and STEM.”

Robots and Other Education Science Fiction

Via Edsurge: “How Google’s Former China Chief Thinks AI Will Reshape Teaching.” Oh. My. God. Bullshitters are gonna bullshit, I guess, and the trade press won’t stop ’em. It’s like the MOOC crap all over again.

Via Pew Research: “Artificial Intelligence and the Future of Humans.”

(Venture) Philanthropy and the Business of Education Reform

Lars Ulrich is still a terrible person, and I think the amount of money should be bigger all things considered, but Metallica does get some props for donating to community colleges, not the Ivy League. Via Inside Higher Ed: “Metallica Donates $1 Million to 10 Community Colleges.”

From the AP: “Bezos’ Investment in Pre-K Reflects Education as Favored Cause for Rich.” Yup.

Sponsored content on Edsurge this week, paid for by the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative, includes this and this and this. has given a $2 million grant to education reform organization New Leaders.

Via Chalkbeat: “The City Fund’s next steps: These 7 cities are the focus of the biggest new education player.”

Venture Capital and the Business of Education

Medical education startup Osmosis has raised $2.5 million in seed funding from Social Starts, Greg Coleman, and FundRx.

Accelerate Learning has received an undisclosed amount of investment from The Carlyle Group and Quad Partners. The company has previously raised some $10 million for its science curriculum.

Follett has acquired NextTier Education.

Verve has acquired Campus Vacations for $7 million.

Private equity firm Think3 has acquired School Loop.

Data, Surveillance, and Information Security

Via The New York Times: “Facebook Says Bug Opened Access to Private Photos.” Mark Zuckerberg is sorry. Again. Like I always say, THANK GOD he isn’t involved in any major education efforts or subsidizing media narratives about the future of learning.

Via Techcrunch: “Google+ bug gave developers access to non-public data from 52.5M users.” Phew. Good thing this company isn’t involved in education either.

Via The New York Times: “Your Apps Know Where You Were Last Night, and They’re Not Keeping It Secret.” A follow-up: “How to Stop Apps From Tracking Your Location.”

Via Techcrunch: “Google’s parental control software Family Link now supports Chromebooks.”

Research, “Research,” and Reports

Via Edsurge: “Employment Outcomes Data Is All Over The Place. This Report Suggests Ways To Standardize It.” “This report” was written by The Institute for College Access and Success.

Via EdWeek’s Market Brief: “Digital Tools Are Everywhere – and Largely Unused – in Many Schools, New Analysis Shows.”

Via The Hechinger Report: “New report underscores education problems in institutions for foster youth.”

Via Inside Higher Ed: “Inflation for U.S. colleges and universities tallied 2.8 percent for the fiscal year ending in June 2018, dipping slightly from the previous year but still coming in above a five-year average as institutions faced higher costs on all fronts.”

Via Inside Higher Ed: “Master’s degree programs have grown more popular, enroll more diverse students and are increasingly offered online, according to a new analysis from the Urban Institute.”

“Research suggests that elite colleges don’t really help rich white guys. But they can have a big effect if you’re not rich, not white, or not a guy,” says The Atlantic.

Via The 74: “The Age of Anxiety? Why More Educated Millennial Parents Are Telling Researchers They Want to Know How Their Kids Measure Up in School vs. Their Classmates.”

Via Education Week: “Nap Time Boosts Learning, Studies Say.”

Via “Screen Time Is Literally Changing Children’s Brains.”

Via eSchool News: “Teacher training does wonders for students’ emotional regulation.” Never forget: all the talk about “social emotional learning” is actually social emotional regulation.

Icon credits: The Noun Project

Audrey Watters


Hack Education

The History of the Future of Education Technology

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