19 août 2013

Hack Education Weekly News: Chegg's IPO, Amazon's Textbook Terms of Service, and More

https://s3.amazonaws.com/hackedu/audreywatters_75.jpgBy . The (Federal, State, and City) Politics of Education
Philadelphia School District
officials say that schools in the city will open on time now that the city has promised to come up with the $50 million the district says it needs. For a look at the struggles that teachers in Philly have faced over recent years, read the recap of recent school district history by Mary Beth Hertz.
NCLB waivers are at risk in three states, Politico’s Caitlin Emma reports. Kansas, Oregon, and Washington are now considered “at risk” by the Department of Education as they haven’t sufficiently tied student performance to teacher and principal evaluations.
But Maine, I guess, is behaving nicely as the Department of Education approved this week the state’s NCLB waiver request.
Louisiana is boosting the funding for its new Course Choice program, which allows high school students to receive credits for classes taken from a variety of vendors, including for-profit companies. 4000 students have signed up so far.
The Department of Education says it will reconsider changes it made to the eligibility for Parent PLUS Loans. According to The Chronicle of Higher Education, denials for loans “shot up by 50 percent for parents of students at historically black colleges and universities,” which along with members of Congress, have asked the DOE to revisit the new rules.
After closing a record number of schools, Chicago Public Schools is now requesting applications for new charter school operators for the 2014–2015 and 2015–2016 school year. Because "screw you," I guess.
New York City says it will issue scorecards on teacher colleges. Because "data," I guess.
Two people were shot, one fatally, along the Chicago Public Schools’ “Safe Passage” route on Saturday. The “Safe Passage” route has been touted by city officials as a way for thousands of students to get to and from school safely, many of whom have been affected by the recent school closures in the city and will have to walk farther this academic year.
South Korea is moving forward with its plans to use digital textbooks throughout the country. According to the Yonhap News Agency, the education minister says that “social studies and science textbooks are being developed for third- and fourth-year students of elementary schools and first- or second-year middle school students.
India has launched a national repository for open educational resources. More...




Posté par pcassuto à 06:29 - - Permalien [#]
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International students flocking to Canada: Report

http://profile.ak.fbcdn.net/hprofile-ak-ash3/50266_182265978482261_1321671683_q.jpgMore and more international students are coming to Canada because our post-secondary tuition is less expensive than in other top education markets around the world, new research has found.
In 2013, a record 100,000 international students came to Canada, an increase of 60% since 2004, according to an HSBC Bank Canada report.
With average annual fees of US$18,474, Canada is cheaper than the U.K. ($19,291), the United Arab Emirates ($21,371), the U.S. ($25,226), and the most expensive, Australia ($25,375). More...

Posté par pcassuto à 06:23 - - Permalien [#]

To close the gender gap, make other jobs sexy

http://www.universityaffairs.ca/images/BlogTheBlackHole.pngBy . When I was in the early stages of my undergraduate degree, I thought long and hard about doing an MBA in combination with science. It seemed to me that the sector was underdeveloped in Canada and good science training was going to be essential to a successful career. I was motivated to go out and create products that were useful for people and make money while doing so. That was circa 2001 and, upon reflection, I believe that my science mentors from 3rd year undergraduate onwards steered me away from the biotech industry repeatedly and uncompromisingly – demonizing such careers as “selling out” or “not real science.” To be fair, I am quite happy with where I ended up and the scientific mentoring I have received along the way has been incredible, but some part of me wonders how much of a demographic shift in science training could be achieved if the impressions left on young minds were different. More...

Posté par pcassuto à 06:05 - - Permalien [#]
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The PhD Placement Project

http://www.universityaffairs.ca/images/BlogTheBlackHole.pngBy Jonathan Thon - The Black Hole. Last week Dave wrote a post on how universities can begin keeping track of graduate student and postdoctoral fellow outcomes. With blogs such as “100 reasons not to go to graduate school” popping up online, as well as many articles increasingly critical of the state of higher education, it warrants that prospective students think long and hard about pursuing a career in academia. It is therefore imperative that accurate and unbiased information be available for each stage of academic career advancement for every field. One solution with which I wholly agree is that academics publicly disclose the career progression of their former trainees online, and pursuant to this theme I wanted to make our readers aware of a fact-finding survey by the Chronicle of Higher Education titled the Ph.D. Placement Project. More...

Posté par pcassuto à 06:04 - - Permalien [#]

MOOCs, Access, and Privileged Assumptions

http://www.universityaffairs.ca/images/BlogSpeculativeDiction.jpgBy . Later this week I’m going to be on a panel about the inescapable subject of MOOCs, so for this post I’m thinking through an issue I’ve been noticing since I last wrote a big post on this topic, which was during the peak of the media mayhem in July 2012. For many of those researching higher education, even those who’ve been doing it for just a few years as I have, the ongoing hyperbolic MOOC debate that has hijacked the higher ed news has been quite frustrating. Of course, there is plenty of bluster on both sides of this debate. But it’s really troubling to see many perfectly legitimate criticisms reduced to straw-person arguments about “faculty fear“ (“those teachers just don’t want to lose their jobs!”), or about how those who are skeptical must be “against accessibility”. More...

Posté par pcassuto à 06:01 - - Permalien [#]
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War of attrition – Asking why PhD students leave

http://www.universityaffairs.ca/images/BlogSpeculativeDiction.jpgBy . The Times Higher Ed in the UK had a hit this past week, regarding the issue of doctoral supervision, with an article by Tara Brabazon titled “10 truths a PhD supervisor will never tell you”. Worth noting alongside that one is a recent article by Leonard Cassuto that appeared in the USA’s Chronicle of Higher Education, regarding doctoral attrition, which has long been notoriously high (at least in the United States – an average of around 40-50 percent). Attrition rates in Canada are, as far as I know, not generally available though some numbers from eight of the “U-15″ were published in this article from Margin Notes blog (and a longer discussion of completion rates and times to completion is here). More...

Posté par pcassuto à 05:59 - - Permalien [#]

Between borders – How and why do we define academic territory?

http://www.universityaffairs.ca/images/BlogSpeculativeDiction.jpgBy . I first came across the term Critical University Studies (CUS) when it was mentioned in a 2012 Chronicle of Higher Ed article by Jeffrey J. Williams. The likely reason I hadn’t heard of this “emerging field” was that it seems the name hadn’t been used very much before, other than by Williams and Heather Steffen as discussed in the article – though Christopher Newfield has been described as one of the scholars who “helped to found” the field. Because the term wasn’t coming up in the framing of daily discussions I’d been seeing and papers I’d been reading about the critique of academe, I didn’t think about CUS again until recently, when a colleague in the UK, Dr. Martin Paul Eve, wrote to me about a project he’s working on that addresses some similar issues (he also wrote this blog post). Since my name was being connected to the aforementioned emerging field, I figured I’d better look more closely at what’s been said about it. More...

Posté par pcassuto à 05:57 - - Permalien [#]

The stakes in (no) change: The AHA and academic careers

http://www.universityaffairs.ca/images/BlogSpeculativeDiction.jpgBy . Recently, the American Historical Association (AHA) posted a policy statement that caused some controversy among academics, because of its recommendation that universities should allow junior scholars the option of a 6-year embargo on electronic publication of their dissertations.
The argument goes that younger or early career researchers (ECRs) need the option of an embargo because widely-available dissertations might not be acceptable to publishers in book form. Some universities make it mandatory for students to submit their dissertations to an open online database, so the embargo would ensure that ECRs have the option of keeping their research private until it’s ready for publication. Read more...

Posté par pcassuto à 05:54 - - Permalien [#]

Why are you publishing?

http://www.universityaffairs.ca/images/BlogCareersCafe.jpgBy Everyone knows that you have to publish. And yet, many academics struggle. Even if you don’t struggle with the actual writing, you may find it hard to submit your work. Sometimes your fears about submitting lead you to publish in not quite the right places, affecting your ability to secure a tenure-track job, a grant, or a promotion.
Why are you publishing?
I have noticed that many of the conversations about publishing are focused on those secondary outcomes: hiring, promotion, grants. It’s as if publishing were like those cards the coffee shop gives you: 10 stamps and you get a free coffee; write articles for X number of publications and you’ll get a job/promotion/grant. More...

Posté par pcassuto à 05:51 - - Permalien [#]

New beginnings

http://www.universityaffairs.ca/images/BlogCareersCafe.jpgBy . This is a post for those readers who are starting something new this fall:

  • a PhD program
  • a tenure-track job
  • a new role like director of graduate studies, head of department, etc.

Although you may have officially started already, it is the beginning of the fall semester that will feel like the real beginning. More...

Posté par pcassuto à 05:50 - - Permalien [#]
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