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. I’m assembling this week’s news roundup on a flight with patchy WiFi, so I’m probably missing a bunch of stories.

(National) Education Politics

Via Education Week: “Betsy DeVos: Lack of Civics Education Draws Students to Ideas Like Socialism.” What is leading them to fascism, Betsy?

Via The Chronicle of Higher Education: “DeVos Calls Democratic Senator’s Public Criticism of Draft Title IX Rules ‘Unbecoming and Irresponsible’.”

Via ProPublica: “GOP Senator Pushed VA to Use Unproven ‘Brainwave Frequency’ Treatment.” That would be Nevada Senator Dean Heller.

Digital Promise Global has received a three-year, $1 million grant from the National Science Foundation to address equitable access to computational education in public schools,” Education Week reports.

There are more Department of Education stories in the financial aid section, in the accreditation section, and in the “guns are ed-tech” section below.

(State and Local) Education Politics

Via The New York Times and ProPublica: “‘You Are Still Black’: Charlottesville’s Racial Divide Hinders Students.”

Via The Oregonian’s Bethany Barnes: “Portland police inaction on child porn case against teacher ‘concerning’.”

Via New York Magazine: “Mark Zuckerberg Is Trying to Transform Education. This Town Fought Back.” Or at least CZI is trying to convince schools to buy into its Summit learning management system.

Via The New York Times: “Homelessness in New York Public Schools Is at a Record High: 114,659 Students.”

Via Chalkbeat: “Maine went all in on ‘proficiency-based learning’ – then rolled it back. What does that mean for the rest of the country?”

Via The Chronicle of Higher Education: “How This Sociologist’s Research Led a State to Abolish the Death Penalty.” “This sociologist” is University of Washington’s Katherine Beckett. The state, Washington.

Via Chalkbeat: “Eve Ewing explains why some communities just can’t get over school closings.” Buy her book on school closures in Chicago, Ghosts in the Schoolyard.

Immigration and Education

Via Chalkbeat: “School health clinics could take a hit under rule to restrict green cards for immigrants who receive public aid.”

Via Politico: “A proposed rule to change the H–1B visa lottery registration process also could change the educational composition of visa holders, according to a DHS official with knowledge of the regulation.”

Education in the Courts

Plenty of stories in the news this week about the court case alleging bias in Harvard admissions. Via The Chronicle of Higher Education: “Harvard Admissions Trial Opens With Arguments Focused on Diversity.” Via NPR: “Harvard Student Discusses Why She Opposes The University’s Admissions Process.” Also via NPR: “Harvard Student Discusses Why She Supports The University’s Admissions Process.” Via Buzzfeed: “Harvard Wants To Admit Donors’ Kids, Even If That Makes The School More White.” More via The Atlantic and via The Washington Post.

James Damore is moving his lawsuit against Google out of court,” The Verge reports.

Via The Washington Post: “Jury awards $1.3 million to professor in American University age-discrimination case.”

Via KRQE: “Charter school founder sentenced to 5 years for fraud.” That’s Scott Glasrud, founder of the Southwest Learning Centers chain of charters.

There is more legal wrangling in the for-profit higher ed section, in the financial aid section, and in the “guns are ed-tech” sections below.

The Business of Financial Aid

Via Politico: “Court win for student loan protections a setback for DeVos.”

NPR on “Why Public Service Loan Forgiveness Is So Unforgiving.”

More financial aid stories in the for-profit higher ed section below.

The “New” For-Profit Higher Ed

Via Inside Higher Ed: “In lawsuit filed against Betsy DeVos, Education Corporation of America argues that it needs major financial restructuring but that campuses will have to close without federal student aid.”

Jon Marcus writes in Education Next about the future of for-profit higher ed.

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

Via Forbes: “This Company Could Be Your Next Teacher: Coursera Plots A Massive Future For Online Education.”

There’s more MOOC news in the “business of education” section below.

Kara Swisher interviews 2U CEO Chip Paucek.

Meanwhile on Campus…

Via Inside Higher Ed: “Clark College, a community college in Washington State, has announced that it will call off classes and other activities on Monday, the day that Patriot Prayer, a far-right group whose rallies have been violent, will be holding one on campus.”

How many colleges and universities have closed since 2016?” asks Education Dive. It’s only interested in for-profits, I guess.

Via Inside Higher Ed: “MIT Announces Plan for $1B Effort on Computing, AI.”

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

Via The Appeal: “Secretive Campus Cops Patrol Already Overpoliced Neighborhoods.”

Via “Patriot Prayer, fresh off wild street brawl, to talk guns at Vancouver colleges.” There’s more on this white nationalist group up in the “on campus” section.

Via The Huffington Post: “U.S. Department Of Education Is Sued For Withholding Information On Arming Teachers.”

Via The New York Times: “Mad Magazine’s ABCs of a School Shooting Give It a Boost of Relevance.”

Via the BBC: “Crimea attack: Gun attack at Kerch college kills 19.”

Accreditations and Certifications and Competencies

Via WCET Frontiers: “The Department of Education’s Plans for Overhauling Accrediting and Innovation Regulations.”


Via the AP: “Math Scores Slide to a 20-Year Low on ACT.”

Via the St. Louis Post Dispatch: “Tests Taken by High School Students 58 Years Ago Could Predict Whether They Get Alzheimer’s.”

Go, School Sports Team!

A sneak peek at Joshua Hunt’s new book in Pacific Standard: “The Secret Betrayal That Sealed Nike’s Special Influence Over the University of Oregon.”

Labor and Management

Via The New York Times: “Original Big Bird, Caroll Spinney, Leaves ‘Sesame Street’ After Nearly 50 Years.”

Via The LA Times: “Teacher who recounted Trump aide eating glue as a child is placed on paid leave.” That would be Stephen Miller, anti-immigrant glue-eater.

The Business of Job Training

Here’s the Boing Boing headline on a new journal article about the Manne seminars at George Mason University: “A data-driven look at the devastating efficacy of a far-right judge-education program.”

Via Inside Higher Ed: “Google Brings Computing Courses to 10 Colleges.”

I’m not sure this article goes in this section, but anyway… Via The New York Times: “Could an Ex-Convict Become an Attorney? I Intended to Find Out.”

This Week in Betteridge’s Law of Headlines

Can blockchain transform credentialing?asks eCampus News.

(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

Via Motherboard: “The iPhone’s New Parental Controls Block Searches for Sex Ed, Allow Violence and Racism.”

Coming soon to a “flexible classroom” near you: “Panasonic’s human blinkers help people concentrate in open-plan offices,” says Dezeen.

“How a 5-Decade Old Education Company Reinvented Itself” – Edsurge interviews the CEO of the company formerly known as Curriculum Associates.

Congratulations to Edsurge, which just realized that “free textbooks are not always free.” There is still labor involved. Pay writers.

Sponsored content on Edsurge this week, paid for by MacMillan Learning, by ReadingPlus, by Google, and by Gutenberg Technology. Despite reading like an ad, this apparently is not sponsored content.

Robots and Other Education Science Fiction

“A Humanoid Robot Gave a Lecture in a West Point Philosophy Course,” says Wait wait wait. The robot presents as a black female? JFC.

(Venture) Philanthropy and the Business of Education Reform

Sponsored content on Edsurge, sponsored by the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative, includes this on wellness programs,

Via EdWeek Market Brief: “Money Is Flowing to Social-Emotional Learning: Allstate Foundation Dedicates $45 Million.”

Via “This Group is Giving Away Art Robots to Public Schools.” “This group” is the Conru Foundation.

Venture Capital and the Business of Education

Mrs. Wordsworth has raised $11 million from Trustbridge Partners, Reach Capital, and Kindred Venture Capital. The literacy startup has raised $13.5 million total.

Devonshire Investors has acquired MOOC startup NovoEd.

Veritas Capital has acquired Cambium Learning Group from Veronis Suhler Stevenson for $14.50 per share.

Inside Higher Ed on Chinese companies buying US colleges.

Data, Surveillance, and Information Security

“More than 500 law students at Georgetown University have signed a petition asking the law school to scrap its new exam software,” Inside Higher Ed reports, due to privacy and security concerns. The software in question: Exam4.

I’m keeping an eye on stories related to genetic testing, because I do hear some low-level rumblings about how this can be tied into the future of “precision education.” So bookmark this and this, I guess.

Research, “Research,” and Reports

Via Inside Higher Ed: “A new report from the Urban Institute used federal data to analyze the ‘mix-match’ between the share of residents with four-year degrees (or some college) and the share of jobs requiring college educations in 387 metropolitan areas. The institute found that mix-matches are common, and that this challenge is unlikely to change soon.”

Edsurge published a story by folks from Entangled Solutions, writing about a report they wrote, funded by the Edsurge funder Omidyar Network. Small world. But anyway, the headline: “As Alternative Higher-Ed Pathways Take Off, We’re Still Forgetting Parent Learners.”

Larry Cuban on “The Standardized Classroom (Part 1).”

Dan Cohen on “What We Learned from Studying the News Consumption Habits of College Students.”

“New research study finds more modest benefits to a Mooresville, N.C., laptop program that was once lauded as a national model,” says The Hechinger Report.

Via Chalkbeat: “What our local education reporters learned when we collaborated with ProPublica to look at equity data.”

Paging the grievance studies trio! Look at this problematic research! Via The New York Times: “Harvard Calls for Retraction of Dozens of Studies by Noted Cardiac Researcher.”


Bill Gates penned a remembrance for Paul Allen, fellow co-founder of Microsoft: “What I loved about Paul Allen.”

Icon credits: The Noun Project

Audrey Watters


Hack Education

The History of the Future of Education Technology

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