Hack Education Weekly News

Each week, I gather a wide variety of links to education and education technology articles. In the past, this all feeds the reviews I have written each December on the stories we are told about the future of education. I’m ending that series, I think, so I can focus on writing books. That means, after next week, I’m ending this particular series too. The moose diarrhea salesmen will keep selling you stories about that future though, don’t worry. You’re just going to have to get better at refusing to buy and drink their soda.

(National) Education Politics

“The U.S. Department of Education recently announced it would miss a key deadline to repeal an Obama administration rule that seeks to hold career-education programs accountable for producing graduates with unmanageable debt,” Inside Higher Ed reports on the latest on "gainful employment."

Via The Intercept: “Pro-Charter School Democrats, Embattled in the Trump Era, Score a Win With Hakeem Jeffries.” The “update” to this story is something else.

Via The Chronicle of Higher Education: “In Unusual Letter, Democratic Senators Ask ‘U.S. News’ to Change Emphasis of College Rankings.”

Betsy DeVos touts Swiss approach for apprenticeships, but such business-driven career education options remain limited in the U.S.,” says Inside Higher Ed. Sidenote: I need to do some research into how this Swiss model perpetuates gender and race-based stereotypes in the workplace.

(State and Local) Education Politics

Via The New York Times: “Do Children Get a Subpar Education in Yeshivas? New York Says It Will Finally Find Out.”

Via Chalkbeat: “New group will try to connect school board members pushing for ‘dramatic change’ in these 10 cities.” That change involves portfolios. That group is called School Board Partners.

Desegregation is unraveling in this Texas town,” writes The Hechinger Report.

Via EdWeek’s Market Brief: “Texas, a Prized K–12 Market, Approves Wave of Instructional Materials.”

Via Chalkbeat: “Too few Michigan students are showing up to school. This study says fix unstable housing, not schools.”

Via Chalkbeat: “New early learning initiative brings Sesame Street lessons into Memphis classrooms.”

Lewis Ferebee named schools chief in Washington, D.C.,” Chalkbeat reports.

A nice review in The Nation of Eve Ewing’s new book (and her work more broadly) on the closure of schools in Chicago.

Immigration and Education

“It will likely be easier for advanced degree holders from U.S. universities to get H–1B skilled worker visas under a rule change proposed by the Trump administration,” Inside Higher Ed reports.

“The Dream Act Remains a Distant Dream,” according to commentary in The Chronicle of Higher Education.

Education in the Courts

Via The San Francisco Chronicle: “Conservative groups settle campus bias suit with UC Berkeley.”

Via Buzzfeed: “Lawsuits Say Harvard’s Anti-Sexism Policy Discriminates Against Women.”

Via The Sun Sentinel: “Student made social media threat to kill FAU professor, cops say.” FAU is Florida Atlantic University. Apparently the student was angry that his final exam was scheduled for 7am.

The Business of Financial Aid

“The Trump administration wants to spur more innovation in higher education. But some question whether pursuing federal student aid is worth it for alternative providerswrites Inside Higher Ed. Let’s ask, while we’re at it, if alternative providers are worth it for students.

The “New” For-Profit Higher Ed

“For-Profit College Chain, Education Corporation of America, Announces Shutdown,” NPR reports. “Collapse of For-Profit Chain Long in the Making,” says Inside Higher Ed. Via The New York Times: “For-Profit College Chain Closes, Shutting Out Nearly 20,000 Students.” “Fallout From For-Profit College Chain’s Closure Could Have Been Prevented,” says The Chronicle of Higher Education. The Washington Post notes this means the closure of two “local” colleges, Virginia College and Brightwood College.

There’s more for-profit higher ed news up in the “national education politics” section above.

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

Mindwires Consulting’s Phil Hill analyzes a recent interview with Coursera’s CEO and argues the MOOC provider is “betting on OPM market and shift to low-cost masters degrees.”

Meanwhile on Campus…

Saudi Partnerships Are Too Valuable to Give Up, MIT Report Concludes,” The Chronicle of Higher Education reports. War machines gonna war, I guess.

Silent Sam Survives,” writes Adam Harris.

AAUP Chapters Revive as Professors See Threats to Academic Freedom,” The Chronicle of Higher Education reports.

Via The New York Times: “George Soros-Founded University Is Forced Out of Hungary.” Via NPR: “American University CEU Kicked Out Of Hungary, Says It Will Move To Vienna.”

Chalkbeat on the Detroit Delta Preparatory Academy for Social Justice: “‘If we don’t learn from this one, shame on us’: Lessons from a Detroit charter school that was set up to fail.”

Fallout continues from the NYT story last week on T.M. Landry College Preparatory School. Via The Chronicle of Higher Education: “Disturbing Tale of Fraud and Abuse at a Prep School Rattles College Admissions.”

Via Education Dive: “Case Western Reserve to launch blockchain think tank.” (See the upgrade/downgrade section below and have a good chuckle at the difference between a “think tank” and an actual product.)

“Can Space Activate Learning?” asks Edsurge. “UC Irvine Seeks to Find Out With $67M Teaching Facility.”

Prison Comics” from NPR: “Getting a College Education Behind Bars.”

“Most Schools Don’t Have Clear Restroom Policies, and That’s a Public-Health Problem,” says Pacific Standard.

Taylor Lorenz writes about “The Controversy Over Parents Who Eat Lunch With Their Children at School.” Then The New York Times gets in on the story too: “A Ban on Parents in the School Lunchroom? Everyone Seems to Have an Opinion.”

Via NPR: “School-Based Counselors Help Kids Cope With Fallout From** Drug Addiction**.”

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

Via The Sun Sentinel: “Hide, deny, spin, threaten: How the school district tried to mask failures that led to Parkland shooting.”

“As Schools Comb Social Media for Potential Threats, Has Mass Shooting Anxiety Turned Administrators Into the ‘Internet Police’?” asks The 74. This should probably go in the “Betteridge’s Law of Headlines” section because the answer is “No.” Schools readily surveilled students online long before this.

Accreditations and Certifications and Competencies

LinkedIn and the Future of New Credentials” by Alex Usher.

“Why States Should Break the College-Degree Stranglehold and Make Jobs Available to All Qualified Applicants,” Entangled Solutions’ Michael Horn and Gunnar Counselman argue.

Go, School Sports Team!

Via Inside Higher Ed: “U of Oregon Violated NCAA Rules in Multiple Programs.”

Urban Meyer Retires From Ohio State,” Inside Higher Ed reports.

Labor and Management

Via The Atlantic: “The Charter-School Teachers’ Strike in Chicago Was ‘Inevitable’.” More on the strike at Acero from Chalkbeat.

“What a Vision for Teaching the Whole Child Looks Like in Action,” according to one charter school principal featured by Edsurge: sparring with unions, so that’s fun.

The highest paid star on YouTube: a 7 year old, hawking toys.

There’s some hiring and retiring data in the local politics and in the sports sections above.

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

The Inside Higher Ed headline saysHarvard Offers First Coding Boot Camp.” But it’s not Harvard. Rather Harvard has outsourced instruction to the for-profit company Trilogy Education.

Count the misinformation in this piece in The 74 on the “entrepreneurial mindset” (in addition, of course, to the actual existence of something called an “entrepreneurial mindset.”)

This Week in Betteridge’s Law of Headlines

"Many Online Education Marketplaces Have Sputtered. Will Quizlet’s Pass the Test?" 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

“Out of 43 Blockchain Startups, Zero Have Delivered Products,” it seems. But that sure doesn’t stop ed-tech from continuing to hype the hype.

YouTube deletes cheating videos after BBC investigation,” the BBC boasts.

High Tech Innovations and School Reform Joined at the HipLarry Cuban argues.

Good grief, another story on teachers using Instagram.

Reality TV might’ve signaled the decline of western civilization, but sure sure[ use it for professional development for educators](Professional Development Based on Reality TV). What could go wrong.

“The Promise and Peril of Personalizationfrom Stanford’s Center for the Internet and Society.

Via e-Literate: “Experience Economy: Enterprise software view into persistence and future of LMS market.”

Robots and Other Education Science Fiction

Martin Weller onAI in education – reality, uses, risks & ethics.”

Peter Greene points to some “Real Stupid Artificial Intelligence.”

(Venture) Philanthropy and the Business of Education Reform

Via The New York Times: “Lego Foundation and Sesame Street Team Up to Help Refugee Children.”

Venture Capital and the Business of Education

Aceable has raised $47 million in Series B from Sageview Capital. It describes itself on Crunchbase as “an education startup that wants to revolutionize all those mind-numbingly boring online courses,” something that’s convinced investors to fund it to a tune of $55.7 million total.

Edcast has raised $33.6 million in Series C funding from The London Fund, State Street Global Advisors, Stanford University, SoftBank Capital, REV Venture Capital, Crescent Enterprises, Cervin Ventures, and Mistletoe. “EdCast is an AI-powered knowledge cloud powers unified discovery, knowledge management and personalized learning,” according to its description on Crunchbase – something into which investors have dumped $66.2 million total.

Short-term-jobs-for-students company Student Pop has raised $3.4 million from Partenaires and Educapital.

Edsurge has raised $2.5 million from Golden Angels, and investors Deborah Quazzo and Jason Palmer. (It’s not clear from its self-reporting if it’s also raised money from the Chinese company TAL Education which it describes as a new partner “central to the deal.”) According to Crunchbase, Edsurge has now raised at least $8.2 million in venture capital funding (which does not include the millions it’s taken in from venture philanthropists).

Google has acquired lesson-provider Workbench.

TAL Education has acquired CodeMonkey.

Catapult Learning has acquired LifeShare USA.

Data, Surveillance, and Information Security

Via The Verge: “Quora says hackers stole up to 100 million users’ data.” Andy Baio is here to remind you “Why You Should Never, Ever Use Quora.”

Via The New York Times: “Facebook Used People’s Data to Favor Certain Partners and Punish Rivals, Documents Show.”

Via The New York Times: “Oath Agrees to $5 Million Settlement Over Children’s Privacy Online.”

Vox tries to shame its readers, pointing out that “Big tech has your kid’s data – and you probably gave it to them,” . But to be fair, your kids’ schools probably gave away your kids’ data too.

“Staff Email Addresses Removed From District Websites to Improve Cybersecurity,” Education Week reports.

Research, “Research,” and Reports

Ed-tech funding data, gathered by yours truly, for the month of November.

Via Edsurge: “In a New Survey, Teachers Say There’s a Disconnect in Computer Science Education.”

Via Inside Higher Ed: “Broader College Completion Data From the Feds.”

“Update On Teacher Diversity Data: Good News, Bad News, And Strange News” from the Albert Shanker Institute.

Edsurge on a report from CASEL: “Students Say Poor Social and Emotional Skills Are Leaving Them Unprepared.”

Via The New York Times: “Digital Divide Is Wider Than We Think, Study Says.”

The best thing about this article in Edsurge is that it’s tagged both “opinion” and “research,” which is truly corporate ed-tech in a nutshell.

Icon credits: The Noun Project

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