Every week, The Next America produces a collection of education articles that catch our eye. These date from Oct. 28-Nov. 4.
State Department to Boost Exposure to U.S. Learning via Coursera. Online course provider Coursera is working with the State Department to create “learning hubs” around the world, where students can get Internet access to free courses, plus weekly class discussions with local teachers or facilitators. For the U.S. government, the appeal lies in exposing students from all over the world to American universities and perhaps spur them to study in the U.S. Instruction will be in English, and neither the facilitators nor MOOC providers will be paid. New York Times
Should Full-Time Enrollment Be Calculated Differently? Only three of 10 students who are technically enrolled in college full time will graduate on time, according to a report from nonprofit Complete College America. The federal government defines “full time” as 12 credit hours per semester, but students who do not take summer courses need to take 15 credit hours per semester to complete an associate’s degree in two years or a bachelor’s in four. Chronicle of Higher Education
Ta-Nehisi Coates on His Howard University Return. If you haven’t yet, you should read Ta-Nehisi Coates’ moving New York Times column on attending homecoming at his alma mater, Howard University, with his son. “As the options for kids like my son have grown in unimaginable ways, the fortunes of black schools have declined,” The Atlantic senior editor writes.
The End of College Board School-Support Program. This summer, 20 College Board schools in Colorado, Maryland, and New York lost $100,000 in per-school additional funding and access to College Board resources, like leadership retreats and data-tracking, when the College Board abruptly ended a program that had supported small middle schools and college-focused high schools. Nonprofit news organization Gotham Schools links the change to the College Board’s new focus on achievement at all grades, rather than on just the college-admissions process.
What Happens to Children Who Fail High-Stakes Tests? Progressive magazine In These Times tracks down El Paso, Texas, students who say they were pushed out of high school because of their low test scores. As recently as three years ago, hundreds of low-scoring Latinos in El Paso were illegally diverted to GED programs, the article states.
Chinese Students Explain Cultural Differences to American Peers. Chinese students at the University of Wisconsin-Madison have created a YouTube channel to help address cultural differences with their American peers. Among the topics explained:
Why Chinese students prefer to speak Mandarin instead of English, why they don’t party as much as Americans, and difference concepts of physical attractiveness. Quartz
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As the Russia investigation heats up, "the role of Marc E. Kasowitz, the president’s longtime New York lawyer, will be significantly reduced. Mr. Trump liked Mr. Kasowitz’s blunt, aggressive style, but he was not a natural fit in the delicate, politically charged criminal investigation. The veteran Washington defense lawyer John Dowd will take the lead in representing Mr. Trump for the Russia inquiry."
President Trump's attorneys are "actively compiling a list of Mueller’s alleged potential conflicts of interest, which they say could serve as a way to stymie his work." They plan to argued that Mueller is going outside the scope of his investigation, in inquiring into Trump's finances. They're also playing small ball, highlighting "donations to Democrats by some of" Mueller's team, and "an allegation that Mueller and Trump National Golf Club in Northern Virginia had a dispute over membership fees when Mueller resigned as a member in 2011." Trump is said to be incensed that Mueller may see his tax returns, and has been asking about his power to pardon his family members.
In addition to ties between Russia and the Trump campaign, Robert Mueller's team is also "examining a broad range of transactions involving Trump’s businesses as well as those of his associates, according to a person familiar with the probe. FBI investigators and others are looking at Russian purchases of apartments in Trump buildings, Trump’s involvement in a controversial SoHo development in New York with Russian associates, the 2013 Miss Universe pageant in Moscow, and Trump’s sale of a Florida mansion to a Russian oligarch in 2008, the person said. The investigation also has absorbed a money-laundering probe begun by federal prosecutors in New York into Trump’s former campaign chairman Paul Manafort."
Special Counsel Robert Mueller's team is "is examining a broad range of transactions involving Trump’s businesses as well as those of his associates", including "Russian purchases of apartments in Trump buildings, Trump’s involvement in a controversial SoHo development with Russian associates, the 2013 Miss Universe pageant in Moscow and Trump’s sale of a Florida mansion to a Russian oligarch in 2008."
"A Senate bill to gut Obamacare would increase the number of uninsured people by 32 million and double premiums on Obamacare's exchanges by 2026, according to an analysis from the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office. The analysis is of a bill that passed Congress in 2015 that would repeal Obamacare's taxes and some of the mandates. Republicans intend to leave Obamacare in place for two years while a replacement is crafted and implemented."