The Pandemic Is No Excuse to Surveil Students

from The Atlantic In Michigan, a small liberal-arts college is requiring students to install an app called Aura, which tracks their location in real time, before they come to campus. Oakland University, also in Michigan, announced a mandatory wearable that would track symptoms, but, facing a student-led petition, then said it would be optional. The University of Missouri, too, has an app that tracks when students enter and exit classrooms. This practice is spreading: In an attempt to open during the pandemic, many universities and colleges around the country are forcing students to download location-tracking apps, sometimes as a condition […]

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Why The Move To Online Instruction Won’t Reduce College Costs

from Brookings As COVID-19 swept across the country in March, colleges shuttered and millions of students and instructors were propelled into a world of distance education. Institutional leaders are now grappling with how to provide a quality education over the academic year ahead while also guarding the health and safety of students, faculty, and staff. Online instruction is a core component of many colleges’ strategies, with a growing number abandoning in-person plans for the fall. Questions about the feasibility, quality, equity, and costs of online instruction sit front and center. Our recent analysis suggests that the difficulty of shifting instruction […]

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You’re Graduating In A Pandemic. What’s Next?

from Brookings Graduation is always an anxious time for young people on the threshold of the “real world,” but COVID-19 has created new uncertainties. For Generation Z, students’ final semesters are not exactly going as planned. Rather than celebrating with friends, many are worrying about finding a job while living in their childhood bedrooms. In recent years, I held career seminars for students across the country (with those tips published here). During this era of social distancing, I’ve moved these discussions online and adapted my advice. More here.

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COVID-19 Has Thrust Universities Into Online Learning?—How Should They Adapt?

from Brookings There is one golden rule for flying with an infant or toddler: Do whatever it takes to get through the flight peacefully with no harm done. Every parent knows this means relaxing their standards. Planting your kid in front of an iPad screen or giving them not so healthy treats might not win you a “parent of the year” award, but it’s what is needed in the moment. In like fashion, much of the global higher education community is suddenly thrust into an unplanned, unwanted, and fraught experiment in online learning with the COVID-19 pandemic. For many of […]

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Coronavirus Forces Universities Online

from Inside Higher Ed After celebrating the Lunar New Year earlier this month, thousands of students at U.S. universities in China have resumed classes. But the campuses are eerily quiet, and classrooms remain empty. That’s because classes have moved online in the wake of the coronavirus. The transition from face-to-face to fully online wasn’t one leaders at institutions such as Duke Kunshan University and New York University Shanghai had planned for. Preparing to teach a course online for the first time usually takes several months. Faculty at institutions in China have done it in less than three weeks — a […]

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Facial Recognition Moves Into a New Front: Schools

from NYTs Jim Shultz tried everything he could think of to stop facial recognition technology from entering the public schools in Lockport, a small city 20 miles east of Niagara Falls. He posted about the issue in a Facebook group called Lockportians. He wrote an Op-Ed in The New York Times. He filed a petition with the superintendent of the district, where his daughter is in high school. But a few weeks ago, he lost. The Lockport City School District turned on the technology to monitor who’s on the property at its eight schools, becoming the first known public school […]

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Out With the Old, In With the Young

from NYTs IT’S NOT JUST THAT PRESIDENT TRUMP is a well-seasoned 73 and his three top Democratic Party challengers are also septuagenarians. The average senator is now almost 63 and the average member of the House nearly 58, making them roughly 20 years older than their average constituent, and nearly a decade older than they were in 1981. Older people today hold disproportionate power because they have the numbers and the means to do so. People 65 and older, for example, are more than three times as likely to make political donations as those under 30. As a result, their […]

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Free College Won’t Be Enough To Prepare Americans For The Future Of Work

from Brookings As the Democratic presidential candidates gather in Westerville, Ohio for the fourth primary debate on Tuesday, they would do well to acknowledge the growing public concern about the “future of work.” As a Midwestern swing state that has an intimate history with displacement and its consequences, Ohio is a fitting place for candidates to offer more robust solutions to issues such as automation and artificial intelligence, which will likely have disproportionate impacts on certain American communities and populations, including places like Westerville. The candidates have not been completely silent on these issues. Andrew Yang and Pete Buttigieg have […]

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N.C.A.A. Athletes Could Be Paid Under New California Law

from NYTs It has been a bedrock principle behind college sports: Student-athletes should not be paid beyond the costs of attending a university. California threatened that standard on Monday after Gov. Gavin Newsom signed a bill to allow players to strike endorsement deals and hire agents. The new law, which is supposed to take effect in 2023, attacks the National Collegiate Athletic Association’s long-held philosophy that college athletes should earn a degree, not money, for playing sports. That view, also under assault in several other states and on Capitol Hill, has held up even as the college sports industry swelled […]

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In the Salary Race, Engineers Sprint but English Majors Endure

from NYTs For students chasing lasting wealth, the best choice of a college major is less obvious than you might think. The conventional wisdom is that computer science and engineering majors have better employment prospects and higher earnings than their peers who choose liberal arts. This is true for the first job, but the long-term story is more complicated. The advantage for STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) majors fades steadily after their first jobs, and by age 40 the earnings of people who majored in fields like social science or history have caught up. This happens for two reasons. […]

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The High School Course Beijing Accuses of Radicalizing Hong Kong

from NYTs They are sitting in orderly rows, wearing neatly pressed uniforms. But in this class, as they debate the merits of democracy and civil rights, Hong Kong high school students are prompting Beijing to worry that they are increasingly out of control. The mandatory civics course known here as liberal studies has been a hallmark of the curriculum in Hong Kong for years, and students and teachers say the point is to make better citizens who are more engaged with society. But mainland Chinese officials and pro-Beijing supporters say the prominence of the city’s youth at recent mass protests […]

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What’s The Purpose Of College?

from Forbes Many Americans have begun to ask whether college is worth it. And who’s to blame them? With college tuition rising at astronomical levels, it’s reasonable to think prospective consumers will do a more careful “return on investment” calculation. But instead of asking whether it’s worth it, we’d be better off asking a different question: what’s the purpose of college? Without nailing this answer, it’s impossible to discern whether it will be or was worth it. Even more importantly, being clear about the purpose of college also helps us make the most of it. The problem is that our […]

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The College Admission Conspiracy Is Education’s Madoff Moment

from Forbes The scope, scale and cunning of the college admission conspiracy that has embroiled more than 50 elites, including Hollywood stars Lori Loughlin and Felicity Huffman, CEOs, prominent lawyers and others, is nothing short of higher education’s Bernie Madoff moment. Madoff, a crestfallen Wall Street investment titan spent more than 30 years “besting” the market, in what was later revealed to be nothing more than an eye-watering $65 billion Ponzi scheme. Like the FBI investigation that unraveled the complex web of college admission cheaters who benefited from a coordinated network of corrupt college officials, prominent coaches, shadow test takers […]

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The Next Model of Student Loans

from Medium The inflation levels of student loans can be crippling to social mobility, just ask young people who graduate with $50,000 or more in student loan debt. While job uncertainty increases with rising automation, what about students staring down the barrel of six-digit loan obligations yet to come? The student debt crisis could have long-term impacts on the U.S. economy. Yet we rarely think about alternatives to the status-quo of dangerous inflation. What happens when student debt actually lowers the fertility rate? What happens to consumerism and an inverted population pyramid and a labor market that can no longer provide […]

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The Role Of Higher Education In A ‘Post-Truth’ Era

from Education Dive From the Ancient Greeks to educational reformer John Dewey, and from the suffrage and civil rights movements to modern issues of inequality, educated citizens have played a key role in participatory democracy. And universities have advanced this role by preparing students to critically engage with the issues that affect their lives. At institutions of higher learning, students gain the tools to discover and evaluate facts, test theories and deepen their understanding of themselves and the world. But our current cultural moment has raised an urgent question: What is the role of higher education at a time when the very […]

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The Promise Of Free College (And Its Potential Pitfalls)

from Brookings The price of college is rising, making college feel out of reach for a rising share of Americans. Families can borrow to be sure, but with total student loan debt now above $1 trillion nationally, the situation seems unsustainable. Meanwhile, we face a long-term decline in our international ranking on college attainment and the disparities in college access by race and income—disparities that financial aid and loans are supposed to address—seem larger than ever. It is no surprise then that in the campaign for U.S. President in the 2016 election, nearly all candidates of both major political parties […]

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Free College For All Will Power Our 21St-Century Economy And Empower Our Democracy

from Brookings Education beyond high school is essential for Americans to prosper in the 21st century. Looking into the past, we have seen the majority of those earning a college degree or other postsecondary credential achieve higher earnings, quality of life, civic engagement, and other positive outcomes. Looking ahead, we see a new future where the vast majority of jobs will require some level of postsecondary education. From either perspective, it’s clear that “college for all” should become our national aspiration. The question is how best to achieve that goal. Many of the success stories that produced these good outcomes […]

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Teaching After Hours: The Rise of International Online Teaching

from Forbes After teaching all day long, most teachers want to go home and rest. But with meager teacher salaries, many teachers take on additional jobs to make ends meet. We normally think of teaching as something that’s done within four classroom walls, but technology has expanded the ways in which teachers can work. At the forefront of this expansion are virtual teaching companies that give teachers a chance to tutor students internationally, outside of their regular workday. VIPKid is perhaps the most well-known of these companies, connecting thousands of American teachers with students in China. VIPKid was founded by […]

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Why Do Teachers Join The Union?

from Forbes The past year has brought a renewed focus on teachers unions. This was the year that saw a wave of state-wide teacher strikes, a wave that continues right now in Washington state. It was also the year that brought the Janus decision which threatens to extend the effects of Right-To-Work to states that have not yet seen that law come to their state capital. And conservative groups have been poised to launch a campaign of encouraging teachers and other public employees to quit their unions, even as unions have hunkered down to work at holding onto members. It […]

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How Our Education System Undermines Gender Equity

from Brookings There are well-documented achievement and opportunity gaps by income and race/ethnicity. K-12 accountability policies often have a stated goal of reducing or eliminating those gaps, though with questionable effectiveness. Those same accountability policies require reporting academic proficiency by gender, but there are no explicit goals of reducing gender gaps and no “hard accountability” sanctions tied to gender-subgroup performance. We could ask, “Should gender be included more strongly in accountability policies?” In this post, I’ll explain why I don’t think accountability policy interventions would produce real gender equity in the current system—a system that largely relies on existing state […]

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