W/A Notes | ASU GSV; Neg Reg Panel Reaches Consensus on Accreditation & Innovation Agenda; College Visits Boost Students’ Views on Higher Ed

Going to ASU-GSV? Meet members of our Future of Work, Education, and Research teams throughout the three-day Drop us a line or join us at the events below for some good discussion.

From @WhiteBdAdvisor:

@WhiteBdAdvisor: .@AlisonRGriffin makes her debut as a @Forbes contributor with a piece on #ISAs and #highered, where she offers 3 common sense ideas to balance consumer protection and create stability in a growing market. https://t.co/N1zwlK4sLv

RT @TeachStrategies: This #EqualPayDay, we're focused on a field that is too important to be compensated so little. Early ed professionals--what do you wish people knew about the valuable work you do every day? Tweet us to join our CEO @KaileeBerke in this conversation https://t.co/H7vlJVVOMu

@WhiteBdAdvisor: States have made investments in better report cards, but still have work to do to ensure these resources provide parents and the public with clear information about the outcomes of students and schools, according to @EdDataCampaign https://t.co/8ZMnEaYoSg

@WhiteBdAdvisor: "The most profound use for artificial intelligence on campus may stem from its ability to listen to students at scale.” @AdmitHub and @WSSURAMS in @insidehighered https://bit.ly/2UqD3dK  #AI #highered https://t.co/cnhmZ4MdKu

@WhiteBdAdvisor: .@HigherLearnADV just updated their Policy Toolkit for Today's Students featuring ten new reforms to make higher ed learning more affordable and meaningful for #TodaysStudents. Check it out! https://bit.ly/2JWqKlr

Congress & Administration

DeVos To Appear Before House Education and Labor Committee Next Week: On Wednesday, April 10th, U.S. Secretary of Education, Betsy DeVos, will appear before the House Education and Labor Committee for a hearing entitled, “Examining the Policies and Priorities of the U.S. Department of Education.” Last week, Secretary DeVos appeared before the respective education appropriations committees of the House and Senate; however, this will mark her first appearance before the Committee since Democrats gained the majority in the House of Representatives. Committee Chairman Bobby Scott (D-VA) has raised concerns about the Department’s commitment to civil rights matters for students and its oversight of for-profit colleges. [Education and Labor Committee]

Negotiated Rulemaking Panel Reaches Consensus on Accreditation and Innovation Agenda: On Wednesday, the federally appointed panel of negotiators tasked with reviewing the U.S. Department of Education’s (ED) proposed draft rules around accreditation and innovation in higher education reached an agreement. This marked the first time in nearly a decade that the process, known as negotiated rulemaking, or “neg reg”, ended in formal consensus on changes to federal rules sought by the Department. The panel of 15 negotiators assembled by ED included representatives from college groups, regional accreditors, national accreditors, financial aid administrators, and student representatives. The consensus package of rules, which was initially  controversial among some stakeholder groups, will provide for streamlined academic program approval and facilitate quicker federal recognition of new accreditors. Additionally, the draft rules include proposed changes to federal distance education standards regarding faculty and student interaction and  provides a fix to the TEACH grant program that allows teachers whose grants were converted to loans to appeal those decisions. The Administration will publicly release the proposed rule changes and then  ED will solicit public comments on the proposed rules before making them final. [Inside Higher Ed]

House Passes CLASS Act for School Safety: On Monday, the House of Representatives passed H.R. 1593, the Coordinating and Leveraging Activities for School Security (CLASS) Act. The bill directs the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to establish a council to coordinate activities, plans, and policies of the Department aimed at bolstering school security against acts of terrorism, an active shooter, and other threats. The council would include DHS Undersecretary of Strategy, Policy, and Plans; the Director of Cyber Security and Infrastructure Protection; the FEMA Administrator; the Secret Service Director; and the heads of DHS Offices of Academic Engagement and Public Affairs.

State Policy News

Colorado Looks to Increase Concurrent Enrollment: Lawmakers in Colorado are considering a measure that would require school districts and charters to offer concurrent enrollment opportunities to students in grades 9-12, starting with the 2020-2021 school year. The bill, SB 176, would also create the Concurrent Enrollment Expansion and Innovation Grant Program, which would support local education providers to create or expand concurrent enrollment offerings. In addition, the bill would require the state’s Department of Education and Department of Higher Education to create a website with information about concurrent enrollment and related programs.

New Jersey Considers Pilot for Adult Apprenticeship Programs: Two bills moving through the New Jersey legislature would establish a new pilot program focused on adult apprenticeships. SB 3066 and AB 4604 would create the High-Growth Industry Regional Apprenticeship Development Grant Pilot Program, a five-year program that would establish grants to fund three newly-established adult apprenticeship programs in high-growth industries in certain regions of the state. High-growth industries, as defined by the legislation, would include advanced manufacturing, construction and utilities, financial services, life sciences and technology, as well as other industries identified by the New Jersey Talent Network. Existing funds allocated from the Supplemental Workforce Fund for Basic Skills would be used for the cost of the program. New Jersey SB 3066 passed the Senate on March 25 by unanimous vote, and companion bill AB 4604 is pending in the Assembly Labor Committee.

Early Childhood and K-12

Report Encourages Pennsylvania to Create Trauma-Informed Education Practices: In response to research, which suggests half of students in the US experience trauma before age 17, the non-profit Research for Action recently examined trauma-informed education practices across Pennsylvania. In the report, the organization  calls on lawmakers to form a statewide plan around trauma-informed education, including robust professional development standards. Looking to other states as an example, the report found that only 11 states mandate trauma-informed practices through state policy. [whyy.org]

NYC Charter School Addresses Opportunity Gap Before Children Start School: Public Prep Charter Schools in New York City partnered with a pair of nonprofits to launch a home visit program for families with toddlers as young as 18 months old. Under this unique partnership, trained mentors will meet with low-income families twice a week to prepare both the parents and child for formal schooling, before the child is even enrolled in preschool. The program was launched in an effort to mend the opportunity gap before it has a chance to form in low-income families. [Chalkbeat]

Higher Education

Record Low Number of Students Admitted to Top Colleges: According to The Wall Street Journal, various Ivy League institutions and other top universities recently shared detailed reports revealing record low acceptance rates for the 2020 freshman class. Harvard University reported a record low acceptance rate of 4.5%, while several other Ivy League schools only accepted between 5-6% of freshmen that applied (Columbia: 5.1%, Princeton: 5.8%, Yale: 5.9%). Stanford University is one of the few universities who withheld its application and acceptance rates, aiming to de-emphasize the importance of low admission rates. [The Wall Street Journal]

College Visits Boost Students’ Views on Higher Ed: A recent working paper by the University of Arkansas College of Education and Health Profession discovered that visiting a college campus can boost middle school students’ views on higher education. According to the working paper, almost half of Arkansas middle schoolers who visited The University of Arkansas discussed college with a school staff member afterwards, and went on to take an advanced course in 9th grade. The University of Arkansas will continue to examine the group of students in high school to see if they enroll in or graduate from a four-year institution. [Education Dive]

New Skills, Talent, and Employment

Workplace Culture Significantly Impacts Productivity and Performance: A new survey finds that three-quarters of employees believe that company culture impacts their productivity and ability to do their best work. However, one-quarter of employees don’t know their company’s core values and one-third say that their personal values do not align with their company’s values. [Eagle Hill Consulting]

Bersin Explores a New Category of Employee Experience: In his new white paper, Josh Bersin argues that the market for providing services to employees is rapidly growing, ushering in “HR 3.0.” As employees work longer hours and feel increasingly stressed, they need more support services. In the past, multiple apps have helped companies provide these services, but now a single “Employee Experience Platform,” or EXP, can provide an integrated user experience. [JoshBersin.com]

Independent Contracting is Becoming More Popular: According to a report from MBO Partners, independent contracting is becoming increasingly common and attracting more skilled workers. Today, 40% of the average company’s workforce are not employees, up from 16% in 2009, and 7.4 million Americans are full-time contingent workers. [HR Dive]

Health and Wellness

Trump Administration Sued over Reduced Nutrition Guidelines: This week, six states and the District of Columbia launched a lawsuit in the Southern District of New York challenging the Trump Administration’s attempts to reduce Obama-era school-lunch nutrition standards. The Administration’s new standards require schools to serve whole grains in only half the items on their lunch menus, and maintain an overall sodium limit of 1,230 milligrams. The suit argues that scaling back the previous regulation is illegal for several administrative reasons, particularly  that the USDA did not provide a scientific basis for the change. [The Wall Street Journal, subscription required]

Partnership Provides Stable Housing for Washington Students: In 2011, Washington’s Tacoma Public Schools partnered with the Tacoma Housing Authority to reduce high rates of student mobility by providing low-income families with financial assistance to maintain stable housing in order to keep their children in the same school. [Education Dive]

Industry News

Funding to Elevate Educator Perspectives in EdTech Decision-making: The Chan Zuckerberg Initiative (CZI) is providing a $1.6 million grant to the Jefferson Education Exchange (JEX) to launch an initiative to expand the role of educators who help shape the national education research agenda. In partnership with the U.S. Department of Education’s Institute of Education Sciences (IES), the initiative will help advance JEX’s efforts to map and understand the dynamics that influence the effectiveness of technology in the classroom. [The 74]

Online AI Masters Degree Launched: Microsoft has partnered with OpenClassrooms to design an online master’s degree program that will prepare students for jobs in artificial intelligence. If students complete the program but are not employed within six months, OpenClassrooms promises to refund the cost of the program. [HR Technologist]

$1.3 M in Seed Funding for Loan Repayment Benefit: Goodly, a company that   who want to offer student loan repayment as an employee benefit, has received $1.3 million in seed funding from Norwest Venture Partners, Y Combinator, Ace & Company, Zeno Ventures, and various angel investors. [BusinessWire]

$42.5 M for Mastery Connect: Instructure, a publicly traded learning management systems company, has acquired MasteryConnect, a K-12 platform that provides tools for educators such as tracking and lesson planning. Instructure will leverage the start-up’s personalized tracking functionality as they seek to replace formulaic testing with innovative assessments. [MarketWatch]