Whistleblower: Education Department Killed Website That Made Applying for Loan Forgiveness Too Easy

THE TRUMP administration rejected a website that the Education Department’s Federal Student Aid office designed to help students who have been defrauded by their colleges apply for loan forgiveness, arguing the tool made the process too easy, according to a whistleblower complaint. The development of the website was part of a $90 million federal contract to build one main hub for all federal student aid needs that modernized existing loan servicing portals and made them more Read More

Ed Dept proposes easier access to federal funds for religious schools, emphasizes school prayer

Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos said in a press release she hopes the reinforcement of old guidelines and changes in grant requirements will “protect the constitutional rights of students, teachers, and faith-based institutions” and “level the playing field” between public and religious schools.  However, education organizations are claiming this is an effort to push a larger agenda expanding private and religious schools while sidelining public education. “DeVos and Trump are trying to rewrite the Constitution Read More

How Making A Podcast Enriched Students’ Lives

English teacher Tim Wasem says he’s still getting his head around it. “I have students coming in this semester … who are asking, like, ‘When are we gonna do the podcast challenge? When’s that gonna happen?’ “ That’s because a year ago, an unlikely team of 11th-graders at Elizabethton High School in east Tennessee won NPR’s first-ever Student Podcast Challenge. Their 11-minute entry told the story of how the nearby town of Erwin is trying Read More

San Diego Schools Sue Juul Labs Over Youth Vaping Epidemic

San Diego’s public school schools have filed suit against Juul Labs, Inc., the largest U.S. producer of e-cigarettes, accusing the company of deliberately marketing its vaping products to young people, effectively rolling back years of progress made by anti-smoking campaigns. A 40-page complaint filed in San Diego Superior Court on behalf of the San Diego Unified School District on Tuesday alleges that Juul’s product “disrupts the learning environment,” causing an increase in student absences due Read More

Report: Florida, Ohio called ‘advanced leaders’ in K-12 media literacy efforts

As the U.S. enters another presidential election year, 14 states have “some media-literacy language on the books,” according to a new report detailing legislative efforts to integrate media literacy instruction into curriculum. But “action is too slow compared to the urgent need,” wrote Erin McNeill, president and board member of Media Literacy Now, a nonprofit advocacy organization that defines media literacy as the “ability to access, analyze, evaluate, create and take action with all forms of communication.” The Read More

America’s parents want paid family leave and affordable child care. Why can’t they get it?

CENTENNIAL, Colo. – The dilemma at dinner concerns a little less than $25 and how much it’s worth to this family of four. Whitney and Tim Phinney couldn’t have imagined how much time they would spend scrutinizing amounts like these, weighing options that never seem ideal. But then they had children in America. Tim, a stay-at-home dad in suburban Denver, is struggling. He would prefer to return to his career, but the family can’t afford full-time child care Read More

Seattle Students Without Measles Vaccine Prohibited From School

STUDENTS IN SEATTLE Public Schools will not be allowed to return to the classroom until they provide proof that they have been vaccinated against measles. In a notice to families, the district said that students must be vaccinated by Jan. 8 or they cannot attend classes. Proof of immunization must be provided to the school nurse, and families of students not up to date with their vaccines will receive notices. Free immunization clinics for students will be Read More

NCAA to Congress on Pay-to-Play Laws: ‘We Need Your Help Right Now’

THE NCAA FOR DECADES has tried to prevent Congress from interfering with its operation of a billion-dollar system of amateur athletics, but on Tuesday its president met with members of Congress and delivered a very different message: “We need your help right now.” The about-face comes as more than 20 states plan to consider various legislative proposals that would allow college athletes to profit from their name, image and likeness – so called pay-to-play laws that Read More

Department of Education Earns A+ for Technology Modernization

The U.S. Department of Education, under the leadership of U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos, has earned high marks from the House Committee on Oversight and Reform for its work to modernize and secure its information technology systems. In fact, in rankings released last week, the Department earned an A+ on the December 2019 Federal Information Technology Acquisition Reform Act (FITARA) scorecard. The Department achieved top marks in five of the seven graded categories, including Read More

Trump Administration Rejects Financial Relief for Nearly All Defrauded Students

WHEN THE EDUCATION Department dispatches the first round of notifications to some 17,000 student loan borrowers who applied to have their debt forgiven after being defrauded by for-profit colleges, 95% of them will be rejected. Documents obtained by U.S. News show a breakdown of 17,192 letters that includes more than 16,340 labeled as “ineligible.” Those labeled ineligible include more than 6,314 letters going to borrowers who enrolled in Corinthian Colleges, the now-defunct for-profit giant that misrepresented Read More