Hack Education Weekly News
25 May 2018 | 11:50 am

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.

(National) Education Politics

Arne Duncan Is Serious: Americans Should Boycott School,” writes The Atlantic’s Adam Harris. That is, boycott schools until gun laws are changed.

Via the Department of Education’s press office: “Prepared Remarks by U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos to the House Education and the Workforce Committee.”

Also via the Department of Education’s press office: “U.S. Department of Education Announces Opportunity for Federal Student Loan Borrowers to be Reconsidered for Public Service Loan Forgiveness.”

More about some of the horrible stuff she said in the immigration section below.

Via NPR: “Education Department Launches ‘Top-To-Bottom’ Review Of Teachers’ Grant Program.”

More on the business of financial aid in “the business of financial aid” section below.

Via Inside Higher Ed: “The National Women’s Law Center on Monday blasted the Education Department for investigating Yale University for potentially discriminating against men, saying the Trump administration appears hostile toward a key federal gender discrimination law.”

Via The Chicago Sun-Times: “Dems want to scrap tax cut for rich to fund teachers’ raises.”

Mark Zuckerberg testified before the European Parliament this week. I’m gonna quibble with this “take” from The Verge: “European legislator says Jobs and Gates ‘enriched’ society, asks if Zuckerberg ‘created a digital monster’.”

Via NPR: “German Families Playing Hooky Stopped By Police At Airports, May Be Fined.”

(State and Local) Education Politics

California Governor Jerry Brown says that higher education should be like Chipotle: “You stand in the line, get either brown rice or white rice, black beans or pinto beans. You put a little cheese, a little this, a little that, and you’re out of there. I think that’s a model some of our universities need to follow.”

Via Vogue: “Rape Culture Is on the Ballot ​i​n California.”

There’s more on research about school closures in Chicago in the “research” section below.

Via Tucson.com: “Arizona’s Schools Chief Seeks Limits on Teaching Evolution, Big Bang Theory.”

Via NJ.com: “Newark picks its own school superintendent for first time in 22 years.” That’s Roger Leon.

Via EdWeek: “Teacher Beats Kentucky House Majority Leader in GOP Primary.” More via The NYT. That’s Travis Brenda.

Via Chalkbeat: “The Denver school district is exploring the idea of creating its own police officers.”

Rachel Cohen in the Washington City Paper: “Behind the Consulting Firm Raking In Millions From D.C. Charter Schools.” That firm: TenSquare.

Via Chalkbeat: “Charter schools advocates’ next push: Funding for school security.”

Via Inside Higher Ed: “New York Doubles Down on Open Educational Resources.”

Via Education Week: “Wyoming school district begins search for firearms trainers.” That’s the Cody School District.

Immigration and Education

Via Politico: “DeVos: Schools should decide whether to report undocumented kids.” This is, in fact, unconstitutional, but I gather we no longer expect government officials to worry about such things.

Education in the Courts

Via NPR: “Court Sides With Transgender Student In Bathroom Case.” Also via NPR: “‘I Hope This Will Set A Precedent,’ Says Trans Teen Who Won Case Over Bathroom Access.” The student: Gavin Grimm. Hero.

Via the ACLU: “ACLU of Oregon Reaches Sweeping Settlement with North Bend School District Over LGBTQ Discrimination and Bible Reading.”

Via The Detroit Free Press: “Michigan State to pay Larry Nassar victims $500 million in settlements.” Via Deadspin: “Michigan State’s Nassar Settlement Could Set A Troubling First Amendment Precedent.”

Via Wired: “Supreme Court Rules Against Workers In Arbitration Case.”

Via the AP: “Families of Sandy Hook victims sue Infowars’ Alex Jones.”

Via The Charlotte Observer: “Charlotte School of Law turns to one of America’s top lawyers to fight back in lawsuit.”

The Business of Financial Aid

“The Department of Education on Wednesday announced the process by which borrowers who had made ineligible payments for the Public Service Loan Forgiveness program could be reconsidered for the benefit,” Inside Higher Ed reports.

The “New” For-Profit Higher Ed

Via Inside Higher Ed: “The biggest chain of for-profit colleges that is still overseen by an accreditation group axed by the Obama administration – and given a second chance by Betsy DeVos – failed this month in its initial bid to get recognition elsewhere.” That’s Virginia College.

There’s more for-profit higher ed news in the “courts” section above.

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

Oh look. MOOCs are back in the headlines again.

Via Edsurge: “The Second Wave of MOOC Hype Is Here, and It’s Online Degrees.”

IHE blogger Joshua Kim offers “25 Million Reasons Why LinkedIn / Microsoft Will Buy Coursera.”

Cyber Charters in at Least 5 States Face Closure. What’s Going On?” asks Education Week’s Ben Herold.

Meanwhile on Campus…

Via Education Week (from last Friday – as I work on the week’s round-up of news, I try to avoid looking at social media, but I think there was another school shooting this morning): “10 Dead, Most of Them Students, and 10 Wounded in Texas High School Shooting.”

The Washington Post claims that, “2018 has been deadlier for schoolchildren than deployed service members.” (It is a stretch to argue that schools are more dangerous than the military. Puh-lease. Schools are – statistically speaking, at least – the safest place for children to be.)

Via Haaretz: “ Spying on Linda Sarsour: Israeli Firm Compiled BDS Dossier for Adelson-funded U.S. Group Battling Her Campus Appearances.” I haven’t seen anyone who argues that left-leaning college students are the greatest threat to free speech comment on this. (Or on this. Or on this.)

Via SPLC: “Texas principal censors paper, bans all editorials and ousts award-winning adviser.” That’s the Eagle Nation Online at Prosper Higher School in the Dallas-Fort Worth area.

Via the Harvard Crimson: “Star Economics Prof Fryer Facing Harvard and State-Level Investigations, Barred from Lab He Heads.” That’s Roland Fryer and these are harassment allegations, in case the headline isn’t clear.

Via The LA Times: “Students warned USC about gynecologist early in his career: ‘They missed an opportunity to save a lot of other women’.”

Via The Chronicle of Higher Education: “Amid Scandal of Campus Gynecologist, USC Faculty Members Call on President to Resign.”

Via Buzzfeed: “This Professor Was Accused Of Sexual Harassment For Years. Then An Anonymous Online Letter Did What Whispers Couldn’t.” The professor in question: UC Santa Cruz’s Gopal Balakrishnan.

Via The Chronicle of Higher Education: “Inside Gay Students’ Fight to Be Heard at BYU.”

Via The Boston Globe: “‘Shame on you, Jared Kushner’: Harvard alumni tear apart classmate in 15th reunion notes.”

Via The Chronicle of Higher Education: “U. of Oregon Officials Apologize for Linking Student’s Death to ‘Poor Life Choices’.”

Via Inside Higher Ed: “Western Governors’ New Fund-Raising Arm for Scholarships.” The Chronicle of Higher Education headline: “Here’s How Western Governors U. Aims to Enroll a Million Students.”

Via The New York Times: “Oxford Lifts the Veil on Race, Wealth and Privilege.”

The Atlantic’s Adam Harris on “The Schools That Are Bringing Poor Kids Into the Middle Class.”

Via NPR: “For Troubled Kids, Some Schools Take Time Out For Group Therapy.”

Via Inside Higher Ed: “Fuller Theological Seminary has announced that it will sell its Pasadena, Calif., campus and move to a new site about 30 miles away.”

Via Inside Higher Ed: “Fallout from the closure of Mount Ida College continued this week with new revelations of personal and business ties between the college president and a benefactor who loaned the college money to try to keep it operating.”

Via The Intercept: “Cash Incentives for Charter School Recruitment: Unethical Bribe or Shrewd Marketing Technique?”

Democracy Prep: ‘No Excuses’ Schools that Build Citizens?” by Stanford’s Larry Cuban.

Accreditations and Certifications and Competencies

Via Inside Higher Ed: “The National Advisory Committee on Institutional Quality and Integrity, which oversees the country’s higher ed accrediting bodies, voted Thursday to have a subcommittee study oversight questions involved in for-profit colleges seeking to reclassify as nonprofit entities.”

Via Edsurge: “Elon U. Has Been Working to Reinvent the Transcript. And That Has Given It Some Eye-opening Data.” (“Reinventing the transcript” seems to be one of the things folks are hoping to make “trend” this year.)

Via Education Dive: “An 80 credit-hour bachelor’s degree?”

“It’s Time to End College Majors as We Know Them,” argues Jeff Selingo in The Chronicle of Higher Education. “Before We End Majors As We Know Them…” IHE blogger John Warner responds.


Via Inside Higher Ed: “New ACT Rules on Those With Disabilities.”

Go, School Sports Team!

There’s more Nassar news in the courts section above.

ESPN on women’s softball: “Why in the world a defunct school in a town called Wahoo matters to Oklahoma’s 3-peat bid.”

Labor and Management

I don’t really know where to stick this profile of the University of Toronto psych professor that appeared in the Style section of The New York Times. Here I guess as I think it does say something about the sort of academic labor that is valued right now. “Jordan Peterson, Custodian of the Patriarchy.”

Via Inside Higher Ed: “The Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education has hired as its new chancellor a former University of California official who managed the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation’s work on postsecondary education from 2012 until early this year.” That’s Daniel Greenstein.

Via E-Literate: “Interview with CEO of Instructure on changes to executive team.”

Via Chalkbeat: “Success Academy COO leaving for another charter network.” That’s Kris Cheung who plans to join KIPP.

The Business of Job Training

“What does the ‘future of work’ mean for schools?” asks Chalkbeat’s Matt Barnum. “Big claims leave educators with more questions than answers.”

Speaking of predictions about the “future of work,” Campus Technology says that “Skills Deficit Will Imperil U.S. Economy by 2030.” Imperil!!

Via Education Week: “Is STEM Oversold as a Path to Better Jobs? Which STEM jobs are in demand and pay well? It’s complicated.”

Via Chalkbeat: “A growing Jeffco program trains future early childhood workers while they’re still in high school.” That’s the Jeffco Public Schools in Jefferson County, Colorado.

“Education recoded: policy mobilities in the international ‘learning to code’ agenda” by Ben Williamson, Annika Bergviken Rensfeldt, Catarina Player-Koro, and Neil Selwyn.

This Week in Betteridge’s Law of Headlines

Can Portable Schools in India Keep Kids Off the Streets?asks Pacific Standard.

Will Blockchains Revolutionize Education?asks Educause.

(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 The Verge: “Hasbro just trademarked the smell of Play-Doh.”

“The One-Teacher, One-Classroom Model Needs an Upgrade,” says Edsurge. “Here’s What’s Next.”

From the Google blog: “Google Science Fair 2018: Resources for educators to get ideas flowing.”

Also from the Google blog: “More tools for homeschoolers.” Just what every homeschooler wants! An LMS!

Via Gizmodo: “Google Removes ‘Don’t Be Evil’ Clause From Its Code of Conduct.” Finally. Of course, much like the myth about “20% time,” I am sure educators will consider to cite this as a reason why schools should be more like Google.

“What Happened to Facebook’s Grand Plan to Wire the World?” asks Wired.

Inside Higher Ed on the closure of MissionU: “Self-Proclaimed Alternative to College Closes After a Year.”

Via Mindwires Consulting’s Phil Hill: “Top Hat’s OER Announcement: Doubling down on faculty engagement.”

Robots and Other Education Science Fiction

Via The Atlantic: “The Future of AI Depends on High-School Girls.”

(Venture) Philanthropy and the Business of Education Reform

Sponsored content appearing this week on Edsurge, paid for by the Gates Foundation, includes this article (suggesting most professors think they’re better teachers than they actually are) and this article (making the case for “flipped learning” without using videos).

Sponsored content appearing this week on Edsurge, paid for by the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative, includes this article touting Slack.

Venture Capital and the Business of Education

Real Time Cases has raised $3.5 million from SWaN Ed LLC. The content provider has raised $4.2 million.

Yellowdig has raised $800,000 from Musketeer Capital, SRI Capital, QB1 Ventures, Rosecliff Capital, and Bob Ciaruffoli. The discussion forum software maker has raised $2.4 million total.

Frontline Education has acquired Prologic Technology Systems.

Data, Surveillance, and Information Security

Via the ACLU: “Amazon Teams Up With Law Enforcement to Deploy Dangerous New Face Recognition Technology.”

Via The Washington Post: “And now, facial-recognition technology used in casinos is going into a public school district.” That’s the Lockport schools in Buffalo, New York.

Via Fox13: “Amazon Alexa recorded private conversation, sent it to random contact, woman says.” Amazon later said it appeared to be an Alexa “butt-dial.”

Via NPR: “How Schools Across The Country Are Working To Detect Threats Made On Social Media.”

Via The Verge: “Teen-monitoring app TeenSafe leaks thousands of user IDs and passwords.” Oh. The. Irony.

When a school scans your driver’s license, who keeps your information safe?” asks NJ.com. Shrug emoji.

Via Common Sense Media: “2018 State of EdTech Privacy Report.”

Research, “Research,” and Reports

Via The Chronicle of Higher Education: “3 Takeaways From a Book-Length Federal Report on ‘The Condition of Education’.”

Via The Atlantic: “An Unusual Idea for Fixing School Segregation.”

Via EdWeek’s Market Brief: “Demand for K–12 Private Education Poised to Soar in Persian Gulf Countries.”

Via Bryan Alexander: “American higher education enrollment declined. Again.” More on enrollment data from the NCES and from the National Student Clearinghouse Research Center.

“What’s Going On In Your Child’s Brain When You Read Them A Story?” asks NPR.

The 74 Explains: How to Teach Your Baby Grit.”

“The Maps for Learning Don’t Exist Yet” says Amplify CEO Larry Berger.

Via Chalkbeat: “From an ‘F’ to an ‘A’, Tennessee now sets high expectations for students, says Harvard study.”

Via WBEZ: “Study: 2013 Chicago School Closings Failed To Help Students.” Via The Chicago Reporter: “Study: After mass school closings, impacted students lagged academically.”

Icon credits: The Noun Project

Hack Education Weekly News
18 May 2018 | 1:20 pm

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.

(National) Education Politics

Via Forbes: “The Startup President: How France’s Macron Nearly Built An EdTech Company.” Ed-tech: where you don’t need an actual product idea for a company, and you can incubate your neoliberalism anyway.

Mick Zais has been confirmed as the Deputy Secretary of Education.

Via Education Week: “DeVos Team Considering Reshuffling of Education Department’s Main K–12 Office.”

Lots of Betsy DeVos-related for-profit higher education news in the for-profit higher ed section below.

Via Education Week: “FCC’s Net Neutrality Repeal to Take Effect June 11, Worrying Schools.” More via Edsurge.

Via Inside Higher Ed: “Career Training Groups Encouraged by Trump Pick for CTE Job.” That is, Scott Stump. And CTE here, to be clear, means career and technical education not chronic traumatic encephalopathy, although I would understand it if you were confused.

The Washington Post’s Valerie Strauss with a clickbait-y headline: “Betsy DeVos went to New York to visit schools for the first time. Guess which ones.” I’ll save you the click – two private orthodox Jewish schools: Manhattan High School for Girls and the Yeshiva Darchei Torah Boys School.

Via The Yale Daily News: “Federal Office of Civil Rights investigates Yale” for too many programs that benefit women, or something.

(State and Local) Education Politics

State and local teachers’ protests are in the “labor and management” section below.

Via EdScoop: “Google adds new terms to comply with Connecticut student data privacy laws.”

Via NPR: “Illinois Imposes Sweeping Control Over Chicago’s Special Education Program.”

Local Indianapolis school politics via Chalkbeat: “The Mind Trust’s new CEO pledges to listen to critics and look to parents to lead changes.”

Via The New York Times: “L.G.B.T. Students in Oregon Were Bullied and Forced to Read Bible, Report Says.” That is, students in the North Bend School District.

Immigration and Education

Via Slate: “ICE claimed a Dreamer was ‘gang-affiliated’ and tried to deport him. A federal judge ruled that ICE was lying.”

Via NPR: “A DACA Recipient Graduates Amid Deportation Fears.”

Via The Chronicle of Higher Education: “U. of Texas System Apologizes for Revoking Nepali Students’ Scholarships.”

Via Inside Higher Ed: “Violate Your Student Visa? You’re Not Welcome Here.”

Education in the Courts

More about the Supreme Court’s decision to legalize sports gambling in the sports section below.

Via NPR: “Michigan State University Reaches $500 Million Settlement With Nassar Abuse Victims.”

Via Inside Higher Ed: “Textbook Authors Sue Cengage Over Subscription Model.” More via Mindwires Consulting’s Michael Feldstein.

Via LJWorld.com: “KU student who hacked computers and changed his grades is convicted of 4 felonies.” That’s the University of Kansas.

“Free College”

Via Edsurge: “For Free Community College, Online Learning Isn’t Always Part of the Recipe for Success.”

Via Inside Higher Ed: “A two-year college in Ohio will award students a free second year of tuition if they successfully finish their first year while completing at least 30 credit hours.” That is, Marion Technical College.

The Business of Financial Aid

Via Inside Higher Ed: “How Parent PLUS Worsens the Racial Wealth Gap.”

Via Bustle: “I’ve Paid $18,000 To A $24,000 Student Loan, & I Still Owe $24,000.”

“Examining Trends in Graduate Student Debt by Race and Ethnicity” by Seton Hall University professor Robert Kelchen.

The “New” For-Profit Higher Ed

Via The New York Times: “Education Department Unwinds Unit Investigating Fraud at For-Profits.”

Via The New York Times: “A State Attorney General Calls Out Betsy DeVos on For-Profit Colleges.” That’s New Jersey’s AG, Gurbir S. Grewal.

David Halperin writes, “The once for-profit Art Institutes are now run by the non-profit, faith-based Dream Center. But they’re connected to the new Woz U and a web of for-profit companies – raising questions of conflict of interest and legal compliance.”

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

Via The Blade: “School that took ECOT students wants poor scores ignored.” ECOT is the Electronic Classroom of Tomorrow, a failed online charter school. The school that took the students when Ohio shut the former down, K12 Inc’s Ohio Virtual Academy – another institution with a pretty shoddy track record.

Via The Washington Post: “Don’t know the graduate next to you? You’re not alone. One-third of students take at least one class online.”

VCU’s Jon Becker on distance education as a “pot of gold” – parts 1 and 2.

The University of Rosario has joined edX.

Meanwhile on Campus…

Via Willamette Week: “Marylhurst University Will Abruptly Announce Its Closure Today, In its 125th Year of Operation.” More on Marylhurst from Inside Higher Ed and from The Chronicle of Higher Education. (Note: Marylhurst was one of the experimental sites of the EQUIP program.)

Via The Chronicle of Higher Education: “Catholic U. Plan, Which Could Result in Layoffs of Tenured Profs, Moves Ahead.”

Via The LA Times: “A USC doctor was accused of bad behavior with young women for years. The university let him continue treating students.”

Via Inside Higher Ed: “The accusations against Columbia International University President Mark Smith were shocking enough – a former university general counsel alleging that Smith covered up rampant sexual harassment and bigotry by his son when they were both employed by another religious college.”

Via Edsurge: “How Cornell University Diversified Its Incoming PhD Computer Science Student Body.”

The Atlantic on the University of Pennsylvania: “The Ivy League School That Won’t Talk About Its Most Famous Graduate.”

Via The Chronicle of Higher Education: “After Years of State Budget Woes, the U. of Illinois Will Hire Hundreds of Faculty Members.”

Via NPR: “Spelman College Quietly Eliminates One Of The Country’s Few Jazz Programs For Women.”

Via The Chronicle of Higher Education: “This Is What Georgia Tech Thinks College Will Look Like in 2040.” Don’t worry. I’ll circle back around in a couple decades to check up on these predictions.

Via The Chronicle of Higher Education: “UMass-Boston Faculty Votes No Confidence in System’s Leaders Over Purchase of Small College.”

Via The Washington Post: “ Teachers at a D.C. school say seniors’ absences were erased, prompting investigation.”

“The Radical Self-Reliance of Black Homeschoolingby The Atlantic’s Melinda D. Anderson.

Stanford’s Larry Cuban on Khan Lab School – part 1 and 2.

Accreditations and Certifications and Competencies

Via The Wall Street Journal: “One Year of ‘College’ With No Degree, But No Debt And a Job at the End” – and, I guess, no school either as this is a story on MissionU, which just closed its doors after being acquired. More on that in the “upgrade/downgrade” section below.

Speaking of unaccredited programs that seem to get lauded in the press, here’s The Chronicle of Higher Education on Runchero University, an unaccredited “utopian community based on cooperative living and practical skills”: “This Software Millionaire Is Building the Low-Tech College of His Dreams.” The rich guy in question: Kevin Runner.

Via Edsurge: “Why the Lumina Foundation Is Betting Big on New Kinds of Credentials.”


Via The Atlantic: “An SAT for CEOs.”

Go, School Sports Team!

Via Inside Higher Ed: “The Supreme Court’s decision permitting sports gambling creates a slew of issues for colleges, sports administrators and the NCAA, David Welch Suggs Jr. says.”

Labor and Management

Via NPR: “Before They Walk Into A Classroom, These New Teachers Will March On The N.C. Capitol.” More on why North Carolina teachers are protesting in The Washington Post.

Via In These Times: “Colorado Teachers Are Mad as Hell – And Now They’re out on Their First Strike in Decades.”

Via Inside Higher Ed: “Cornell Violated Federal Labor Law in Grad Assistant Union Election.”

Postdoctoral researchers at the University of Washington have voted to unionize.

Via The Kentucky Kernel: “ UK seeks to fire tenured journalism professor over sales of his own textbook.” The UK, in this headline, stands for the University of Kentucky. The professor in question: Buck Ryan. (If you Google him, you might surmise there’s a lot more going on here than just textbook sales.)

Via The Chronicle of Higher Education: “Texas State U. Police Chief Resigns Amid Racial Tensions on Campus.”

An op-ed from someone from Kelly Services – you know, the temp agency – in Edsurge on “Why Solving the Teacher Shortage Is Critical for Edtech.”

The Business of Job Training

Via Campus Technology: “University of Washington Continuum College Launches Coding Boot Camp.” That is, the university has outsourced the teaching of JavaScript, Node.js, HTML, CSS, and jQuery to the for-profit company Trilogy Education.

Speaking of which, Inside Higher Ed writes, “Trilogy Education Services runs coding boot camps for a growing number of universities. The partnerships are lucrative for the institutions, but are they worth the reputational risk?”

This Week in Betteridge’s Law of Headlines

Is the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative the Future of Philanthropy?asks the Stanford Social Innovation Review.

(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

College “alternative” startup MissionU enters the ed-tech deadpool. More on the ending in the venture capital section below. So many puff pieces in the ed-tech press about this – including one a week ago in The Wall Street Journal. So many people predicting this company would disrupt higher ed. How embarrassing for y’all.

Michael Horn writes in Edsurge about “Why Google Maps – not Netflix or Amazon – Points to the Future of Education.” Funny, it was just a few years ago that he wrote that, indeed, Netflix and Amazon did point the way.

It’s almost as though there are zero consequences in ed-tech for being full of shit.

Techcrunch with the corporate PR: “For Apple, this year’s Global Accessibility Awareness Day is all about education.” And another one: “Apple brings its coding lessons to schools for students who are blind and deaf.”

Different company, but same practice – tech journalism as marketing. Via Techcrunch: “Facebook launches Youth Portal to educate teens on the platform, how their data is being used.” The Verge tries to take a slightly skeptical angle: “If Facebook wants to appeal to teens, it might start by rethinking its new ‘Youth Portal’.”

Still more advertorial content.

The New Yorker’s Jia Tolentino on “The Promise of Vaping and the Rise of Juul.” Bonus points, truly, for having a “mindfulness curriculum.”

Via The Chronicle of Higher Education: “What a Controversy Over an App Tells Us About How Students Learn Now.” The app in question is Quizlet, a digital flash card tool that allows students to share their study notes. Because students have never been able to share notes or study together until this moment in history.

Rolin Moe is just on fire with this essay on the idea that “innovation should be an academic discipline.

Via The New York Times: “Assassin’s Creed Has a New Mission: Working in the Classroom.” (Compare/contrast with this pretty terrible piece on Fortnite.)

Robots and Other Education Science Fiction

Despite the headlines, Google Duplex did not defeat “the Turing Test.” In fact, Axios suggests that Google might have staged the demo it gave of its new voice assistant. But questions about accuracy never stop ed-tech evangelists from pronouncing that new shiny things are the future of teaching.

Via Campus Technology: “Carnegie Mellon to Offer Undergrad AI Degrees.” Tune into my newsletter tomorrow when I blast a curriculum that offers no social sciences or humanities courses.

Via Techcrunch: "Starting a robotics company out of school? Not so fast, suggest investors.

(Venture) Philanthropy and the Business of Education Reform

Via Wired: “Musk, Zuckerberg, Bezos, and Ethically Iffy ‘Philanthropy’.”

Via the AP: “Bill Gates Gives $44M to Influence State Education Plans.”

There’s some CZI news in the Betteridge’s Law of Headlines section.

Sponsored content on Edsurge this week, paid for by the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative includes this.

Venture Capital and the Business of Education

OpenClassrooms, a French MOOC provider according to Techcrunch, has raised $60 million from Bpifrance, General Atlantic, Alven Capital, and Citizen Capital. It has raised $69.7 million total.

Coding, a Chinese learn-to-code company, has raised $15 million from Tencent Holdings.

ClassWallet has raised $2.3 million from Sinovation Ventures, NewSchools Venture Fund, Florida Funders, Brentwood Associates, and Rainfall Capital. The financial management company has raised $6.3 million total.

Selected has raised $1.2 million in seed funding from Propel Capital and Kapor Capital for its teacher-hiring software.

WeWork has acquired MissionU. (Among its other recent acquisitions: the Flatiron School and about $18 billion in rental contracts.) MissionU will close its doors.

Chegg has acquired WriteLab for $15 million.

Learn-to-code company Tynker has acquired Pythonroom.

Boxlight has acquired Cohuborate for $1.8 million.

Pluralsight has gone public, raising $310 million. Several more stories via Techcrunch.

“Why Was Springer Nature’s IPO Withdrawn?” asks The Scholarly Kitchen’s Roger Schonfeld.

Via Edsurge: “New Markets Venture Partners’ Latest Edtech Fund Closes at $68 Million.” Investors in the venture capital fund include ACT, Lumina Foundation, Strada Education Network, ECMC Group, and Prudential Financial.

Data, Surveillance, and Information Security

Via Wired: “Congress, Privacy Groups Question Amazon’s Echo Dot for Kids.”

Via The Intercept: “Experts Say Keep Amazon’s Alexa Away From Your Kids.” So of course, it’ll be in classrooms everywhere.

Via Stuff.co.nz: “Machine learning algorithm is claimed to predict which students will drop out.”

Via The Epoch Times: “High School in China Installs Facial Recognition Cameras to Monitor Students’ Attentiveness.”

Coming soon to a school near you, this via the South China Morning Post: “China is mining data directly from workers’ brains on an industrial scale.” Sounds like “social emotional learning” to me!

It’s not really a privacy story, but I’m including it in this section nonetheless. An op-ed in The Hechinger Report by Lisa Petrides and Doug Levin: “A look at the ethics of public education in an increasingly digital world.”

Research, “Research,” and Reports

Via Crunchbase: “These Schools Graduate The Most Funded Startup CEOs.” Surprise surprise. Harvard, Stanford, and MIT top the list.

I’m not sure what this headline means, but hey. It’s an op-ed from venture capitalist Ryan Craig in Techcrunch: “Broadening education investments to full-stack solutions.” Are full-stack solutions compatible with “unbundling”? It’s so hard to keep the hoopla straight.

Via KQED’s Mindshift: “Hospitals See Growing Numbers Of Kids And Teens At Risk For Suicide.”

Via The Hechinger Report: “High-income kids seem to benefit more from educational videos more than low-income kids, study shows.”

Via Edsurge: “Report: Class of 2018 Has Better Job Prospects than Classes of 2009–2017, but Still Faces Challenges.”

The American Enterprise Institute has released a report on apprenticeships and community colleges.

Via Education Week: “The Average Teacher Spends $479 a Year on Classroom Supplies, National Data Show.” For what it’s worth, this is self-reported data.

The NEPC has released a new report on “full-time virtual and blended schools.”

Via The Chronicle of Higher Education: “Yes, College Is ‘Worth It,’ One Researcher Says. It’s Just Worth More if You’re Rich.”

Via Chalkbeat: “As NYC encourages more elementary teachers to specialize in math, new research shows the strategy could hurt student learning.”

School funds should follow students, not protect institutions,” says Brookings Institution, echoing Betsy DeVos’s rhetoric so that’s interesting.

Via The Associated Press: “Schools See Steep Drop in Librarians, New Analysis Finds.”

Related: Education Week’s Ben Herold on a recent talk by USC professor Safiya Noble: “Schools Shouldn’t Trust Google Search Because It Reinforces Racism, Researcher Argues.”

You know that stat that folks like to toss around about the 30 million “word gap” experienced by poor children and children of color? Guess what…

Icon credits: The Noun Project

Hack Education Weekly News
11 May 2018 | 1:10 pm

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.

(National) Education Politics

First Lady Melania Trump launched her “Be Best” campaign this week, encouraging people to be nicer on social media. Looks like she just recycled an Obama-era document that the FTC put out. Oh well. At least some people heard her message:

Via Inside Higher Ed: “Federal task force releases ”roadmap“ for alternative federal system for apprenticeships, with calls for more industry involvement and criticism of higher education. But questions remain about how the new system would work.”

Via Inside Higher Ed: “The U.S. Department of Education plans to hold a negotiated rule-making session aimed at changing regulations for federal aid eligibility to try to ‘promote greater access for students to high-quality, innovative programs,’ according to a Wednesday posting from the Office of Management and Budget.”

Via Inside Higher Ed: “DeVos to Review Restrictions on Religious Institutions.”

There’s some news in the venture capital section below on Betsy DeVos’s (terrible) investments.

Via Inside Higher Ed: “The interim head of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau announced a reorganization Wednesday that will eliminate the separate arm that focused on the interests of students and other young Americans. The Office of Students and Young Consumers had actively and aggressively policed the student loan industry and monitored credit card companies and other financial institutions that serve – or target – college students and other young people.” More via NPR.

Via The Washington Post: “Free textbooks? Federal government is on track with a pilot program.”

(State and Local) Education Politics

Via The Oregonian: “Portland Public Schools fielded report after report that educator Mitch Whitehurst engaged in sexual misconduct with students, starting the very first year of his 32-year career, a damning investigation released Thursday says.”

Via The 74: “Under Shadow of Online Charter School Scandal, Mike DeWine & Richard Cordray Win Primaries in Race for Ohio Governor.”

Via Inside Higher Ed: “The chancellor’s office for California’s community college system on Tuesday released recommendations for a performance funding formula that Jerry Brown, the state’s Democratic governor, proposed in January as part of his last budget plan.”

Immigration and Education

Via Pacific Standard: “Children Will Now Be Separated From Their Parents at the U.S. Border.”

Education in the Courts

Via CBS News: “Texas Christian University tutors accused in alleged cheating case.” The alleged cheating involved study materials posted to Quizlet.

Via Inside Higher Ed: “University of Michigan Sued Over Speech Code.”

Via The New York Times: “Man Who Hacked West Point and Government Websites Is Charged.” That’s Billy Ribeiro Anderson.

“Free College”

Via The Washington Post: “Maryland governor plans to sign free community college bill into law.”

The Business of Financial Aid

Via the BBC: “The man hired to run the Student Loans Company was appointed against officials’ advice and without having his references checked, a report says.” That’s Steve Lamey, who ran the British loan company, and who was fired for “gross misconduct” in late 2017.

There’s more financial aid-related news in the federal education section up top.

The “New” For-Profit Higher Ed

Via Tom Vander Ark in Getting Smart: “Venture University: A Trade School for the Innovation Economy.” There’s no degree. “The tuition becomes an investment fund. Learners can earn tuition back and then some–or not, depending on how their investments fair.” Sounds legit.

Via Inside Higher Ed: “Laureate Describes Its Shifted Focus.”

Meanwhile on Campus…

“If You’re Worried About Free Speech on Campus, Don’t Fear Students – Fear the Koch Brothers,” writes David Perry in Pacific Standard.

To be honest though, lots of folks should fear white women on campus:

Via NPR: “College Apologizes After Native American Students’ Visit Is Sidelined By Police.” That’s Colorado State University.

Via Inside Higher Ed: “Yale Police Called on Black Student Taking a Nap.”

And another story from David Perry: “A Texas Principal and the Casual Criminalization of Race and Disability in Schools.”

“The University of Oregon is changing course evaluations to make them more useful and eliminate implicit bias,” says The Daily Emerald.

Via Inside Higher Ed: “AAUP says University of Nebraska-Lincoln violated Courtney Lawton’s academic freedom when it ended her teaching appointment over a high-profile political dispute on campus.” (Be sure to read Steve Kolowich’s coverage of this.)

Via The Chronicle of Higher Education: “UNC Rejects Faculty Panel’s Finding That Administrators Interfered in Critic’s Class on Sports.”

Via The Detroit Free Press: “Auditors probed U-M’s endowment years ago. Then delay, delay, delay.” U-M here is the University of Michigan.

Via The Wall Street Journal: “At Columbia University, Art Students Want Their Tuition Back.”

Via The Chronicle of Higher Education: “NYU’s Abu Dhabi Campus May Still Be Exploiting Workers, Report Says.”

Via Mindwires Consulting’s Phil Hill: “Postscript on Rio Salado Coverage: Clarity about different outcome types.”

Via Wyofile: “College dumps transgender protections after GOP, community pressure.” That is Eastern Wyoming College.

Oh look. Another “banning laptops” story, this one from Ohio State University: “Professor Bans Laptops, Sees Grades Rise.”

“Which university or college will be the first to reach $100,000 per year?” asks Bryan Alexander.

Via The Atlantic: “One Ohio School’s Quest to Rethink Bad Behavior.”

Accreditations and Certifications and Competencies

Via Education Dive: “Stackable degrees could be the future of higher education, experts say.” “Experts.”


The College Board has called for extra security on the upcoming AP exams.

Go, School Sports Team!

Via ThinkProgress: “Michigan State admits Nassar sexually abused student-athletes, but says he didn’t break NCAA bylaws.”

There’s some more sports-related news in the “meanwhile on campus” section above.

Labor and Management

Edsurge talks with AFT head Randi Weingarten.

Via Mindwires Consulting’s Michael Feldstein: “Portentous Changes in Instructure’s Executive Management.”

Via EdWeek’s Market Brief: “Nearpod Names Ed-Tech Veteran Maurice Heiblum to President, COO Post.”

Via NPR: “After 3-Day Strike, University Of California’s Service Workers Vow To Keep Fighting.”

Via The Chronicle of Higher Education: “Duke Administrator’s Complaint About Music Apparently Got 2 Campus Baristas Fired.”

There’s more news on hirings and firings in the financial aid section above.

This Week in Betteridge’s Law of Headlines

Is diversity hiring a threat to academic growth?asks Education Dive.

Can This AI-Powered Baby Translator Help Diagnose Autism?asks Wired.

Should Professors (a) Use Multiple Choice Tests or (b) Avoid Them At All Costs?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

Google’s got our kids,” says The Outline.

Google had a big event this week – you know, the one where tech journalists do the company’s marketing work for them by writing up every announcement made on stage in its own, separate article. (Some of the stories are in the “robots” section below.)

Chromebooks are ready for your next coding project,” says the Google blog.

Klout is closing. (Thanks GDPR!) However will Michael Petrilli and Rick Hess rank teachers now?

Via Boing Boing: “After the Boy Scouts opens up to trans kids, queer kids and girls, the Mormons severed their 105-year relationship to scouting.”

Robots and Other Education Science Fiction

“A Google Assistant update will teach kids to say ‘please’,” says Techcrunch.

Google just announced an AI bot that could change teaching & learning…. consequences are both exciting & terrifying…” says Donald Clark.

Via The New York Times: “Facebook Adds A.I. Labs in Seattle and Pittsburgh, Pressuring Local Universities.” The privatization of research…

(Venture) Philanthropy and the Business of Education Reform

Via Education Week: “Gates Foundation, Chan Zuckerberg Team Up to Seek ‘State of the Art’ Ideas for Schools.” More via Peter Greene.

Sponsored content this week on Edsurge, paid for by the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative, includes this and this and this.

Edsurge covers the NewSchools Venture Fund Summit, a conference run by its investor NewSchools Venture Fund.

Via The New York Times: “What Charles Koch and Other Donors to George Mason University Got for Their Money.”

Venture Capital and the Business of Education

Via The Wall Street Journal: “Theranos Cost Business and Government Leaders More Than $600 Million.” Betsy DeVos and her family invested $100 million in the company. The Walton family invested $150 million. Rupert Murdoch invested $120 million. Carlos Slim invested $30 million. Gee, what is with some people and their penchant for backing fraudulent tech?!

LMS-maker Fuse Universal has raised $20 million from Eight Roads Ventures. The company has raised $30 million total.

Blockchain company Learning Machine has raised $3 million from PTB Ventures, Omidyar Network, and Learn Capital.

Shearwater has raised $600,000 from Rethink Education. The mentoring company has raised $1.2 million total.

Income-sharing agreement company Lumni has acquired two income sharing agreement companies, Base Capital and Paytronage.

Private equity firm Francisco Partners is acquiring Renaissance Learning and myON.

And on a side note, this article in Edsurge (penned by an investor) on “Where Edtech and Its Investors Miss the Mark” is a thing to behold. I’m not sure what my favorite part is. Perhaps it’s opening with a quotation that cannot definitively be attributed to William Butler Yeats (which could, indeed, explain why investors miss the mark: they don’t do good research).

More VC-related news: “The ASU + GSV Conference was More GSV than Ever – And That’s Good,” says Mindwire Consulting’s Michael Feldstein.

Data, Surveillance, and Information Security

Buzzfeed looks at how privacy laws curtail students’ access to information about perpetrators of sexual misconduct against them.

Via Edsurge: “COPPA Best Practices: Advice for Schools on Staying on the Right Side of the Law.”

More on that study on how Android apps violate COPPA via Appcensus.

There are some data security-related court cases in the legal section above.

Via The New York Times: “Scholars Have Data on Millions of Facebook Users. Who’s Guarding It?”

Research, “Research,” and Reports

Via EdWeek Market Brief: “Principals Report More Influence Over School Budgets Than Curriculum Choice in National Survey.”

Via Edsurge: “Streaming Platforms Show Promise – And Risks – For Developing Literacy In Preschoolers.”

Via Inside Higher Ed: “New findings: college students actually perform worse with access to digital course-planning platforms that show how previous students performed.”

Via Inside Higher Ed: “Report finds that attacks on educational institutions and their students and employees appear to be on the rise.”

A new report from the NEPC: “Full-Time Virtual and Blended Schools: Enrollment, Student Characteristics, and Performance.”

What kinds of research matter to educators?asks Benjamin Doxtdator.

Icon credits: The Noun Project

More News from this Feed See Full Web Site