The suggestion online learning means lower quality teaching from lecturers like me just isn’t true

Coronavirus has gone to university. Like thousands of undergraduates, it has moved into the halls of residence and is now hanging around lecture theatres and uni bars, worrying parents.

This was inevitable but it was not unavoidable. I have been a university lecturer for over 10 years and the one constant in all that time has been the dreaded ‘Freshers’ Flu’ that is unleashed every September when students from all over the country are thrown together and encouraged to enjoy themselves.

By October, students and staff are dropping like flies as every strain of the sniffles swirls about campus in a bacterial ballet of infection. Throw Covid-19 into the mix and you don’t need to have a degree in virology to see the risks involved. But the Government said “Press on.” “It’ll be fine.” “Over the top, lads!” “Don’t forget your masks.”

So

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The Ultimate Disruptor To Higher Education Isn’t Silicon Valley. It’s Faculty.

The current narrative about the edtech industry is that it’s driven by innovative disruptors from outside of education – the proverbial Silicon Valley story of tech entrepreneurs finding solutions to all our most vexing problems. This disruptor story gets even more pronounced in higher education by the contrasting view of colleges and universities as institutions beholden to tradition, held back by faculty who are reticent to change. But that narrative is going to shift. And it may never have been true to begin with. It won’t be Silicon Valley that ultimately disrupts higher education. It will be faculty.

If you haven’t already noticed, college and university faculty are responsible for perhaps the single greatest disruption to hit higher education thus far: massive open online courses (MOOCs). Coursera

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Tear gas isn’t banned; Jersey City seniors deserve better housing; Education Matters team should win | Letters

Get the facts on tear gas

I’m surprised to see that law enforcement was awarded the cash for riot gear (“Three and a half months after first request, Hudson County law enforcement agencies will get tear gas”). But more surprised to see a member of the public being quoted as saying “tear gas is banned under the Geneva Convention.”

It is not.

And he is mistaken in his assumption that it pertains to protests of the nature we have been experiencing.  He might want to review the document in its entirety starting with “Basic Rules of International Humanitarian law in Armed Conflicts,” which this is not classified, and “Protection of Civilian Persons and Populations in Time of War,” which we are not.

Kenneth Keane, Eatontown, formerly of Jersey City

Seniors need more and better housing options

Jersey City needs better senior housing. We need more senior housing and better buildings

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‘It isn’t wrestling; it’s about education’

The commission on presidential debates said it will announce changes to the presidential debate format after seeing how Tuesday night’s presidential debate went.

A longtime debate moderator in Wisconsin hopes the next debate looks more like the ones put on in the state.

Since 2014, the Wisconsin Broadcasters Association has allowed moderators to cut the mics when people went over time or couldn’t follow the rules.

Jill Geisler, a former broadcaster and leader in news media, said she hopes the commission on presidential debates will put in more measures to maintain the purpose of these debates.

“It isn’t an entertainment program,” she said. “It isn’t wrestling. It’s about education. It’s about communication, and it should be about civility. And if you have to enforce the civility and the fairness by using

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Access to computers isn’t enough for equity in online learning


Even before the global pandemic pushed many colleges and universities to teach students remotely, online learning had become an increasingly important part of higher education.

Yet, as this spring’s pivot to online learning showed us, equity remains a significant challenge.

Debate about the fairness of online learning tends to revolve around technology access. And there are indeed sharp disparities in home access to computers and reliable broadband service.

But equity in online learning is more than simply making sure students have decent technology and fast internet. Every student — not just the marginalized and disenfranchised — needs sound course design, sufficient student support and testing programs that make sense and protect integrity.

“At this time in our history, the global pandemic presents a unique opportunity to establish and refine an online learning model that is fair and equitable for all students.”

My company, StraighterLine, exists to help get students

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When special education isn’t special at all

With help from Mackenzie Mays

Editor’s Note: Welcome to Weekly Education: Coronavirus special edition. Each week, we will explore how the pandemic is reshaping and upending education as we know it across the country, from pre-K through grad school. We will explore the debates of the day, new challenges and talk to movers and shakers about whether changes ushered in now are here to stay.

This newsletter is a weekly version of POLITICO Pro’s daily Education policy newsletter, Morning Education. POLITICO Pro is a policy intelligence platform that combines the news you need with tools you can use to take action on the day’s biggest stories. Act on the news with POLITICO Pro.

IN NEED OF AN EXTRA SPECIAL EDUCATION — The coronavirus crisis has been particularly cruel to the education of students with special needs, setting some back years, after months away from their teachers and schools. Zoom fatigue

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Why isn’t education on the Cleveland debate topic list? It should be: Victor Ruiz

CLEVELAND — Amid unprecedented uncertainty throughout the educational landscape in America, Black and Latinx children continue to be left behind. If nothing changes, these students risk irreversible losses in academic ground, with economic consequences for families and communities that will last well beyond the pandemic. Mitigating the impact of COVID-19 for students and schools is one of our nation’s most pressing issues. Here are just a few reasons why I’m surprised it is not a topic at Tuesday’s presidential debate in Cleveland.

Communities of color have historically been, and continue to be, the most affected by gaps in access to quality early care and education, high-quality teaching and learning, and higher education opportunities that afford them the ability to earn middle-class wages and disrupt cycles of generational poverty in their families and communities. The COVID-19 pandemic has exposed the fragility and inadequacy of our systems and shown us we must

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State’s lawyer: school districts must prove that $3,636 isn’t enough to educate a child | Courts

CONCORD — After 25 years of failure, the state Supreme Court needs to step in and ensure that schools are properly funded in the state, the lawyer representing five school districts said Thursday.

Manchester lawyer Michael Tierney told reporters that he wouldn’t have brought the latest school funding suit if the governor and the Legislature did their jobs.

But despite the decades-old Claremont I and Claremont II that found a state responsibility to pay for a constitutionally adequate education, the state  only anted up $3,636 per student last year.

“In this case and for the past 25 years, they (the Legislature) have substantially underfunded with the promise of next year, next year, next year,” Tierney told the justices. 

Tierney spoke as the Supreme Court took up its first school funding cases since 2008. Tierney said 11 others have reached the court since the initial Claremont decision.

The Claremont precedents were

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