Whiteboard Notes | ED to Address TEACH Grant Errors; CFPB Report Shows Banks Charged High Fees to Students;

Unreleased CFPB Report Shows Banks Charged High Fees to Students: On Tuesday, a report from the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) analyzing campus-sponsored debit cards found that students enrolled at colleges that were paid to promote the cards were charged on average three times more in account fees than student account holders elsewhere -- with Wells Fargo charging the highest average fee of any provider. This report, which was obtained by news outlets via the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA), found that a copy of the report had been sent to a top Education Department official in February 2018. In addition to questions about why the Department did not make this report public earlier, CFPB noted that the findings raise questions about conflicts of interest arising from financial relationships between banking entities and the colleges that promote their student accounts. [Inside Higher Ed]
 
Federal School Safety Commission Will Call for Scrapping 2014 Discipline Guidance: On Tuesday,The Washington Post reported that the Trump Administration’s Federal School Safety Commission will recommend canceling the U.S. Department of Education’s 2014 discipline guidance and will not recommend raising the minimum age for firearm purchases. The Federal School Safety Commission, which is chaired by U.S Secretary of Education, Betsy DeVos, was formed in the aftermath of Florida’s Parkland school shooting and plans to release its final set of recommendations for reducing school shootings later this month. The discipline guidance -- issued under the Obama Administration -- focused on addressing systemic discrimination in schools, particularly around the disparity in expulsion and suspension rates between white students and other students of color. [The Washington Post]
 
ED To Address TEACH Grant Errors and Erase Debts for Affected Teachers: The U.S. Department of Education (ED) announced on Sunday that it would cancel the student debts of thousands of teacherswho saw their grant aid turned into loans under the federal financial aid program known as TEACH Grants. The Teacher Education Assistance for College and Higher Education (TEACH grant), was created in 2007 to encourage more educators to work in high-needs schools by awarding $4,000 in annual grant aid if they teach in certain subjects, like math or science, in low-income schools for at least four years within the eight years after they graduate. Earlier this year, reporting found that thousands of teachers who received grant aid under the program had those grants converted to loans due to paperwork processing issues. ED’s decision to forgive these loans follows an investigation by NPR, the department's own review of the program, and a letter to the department from 19 U.S. senators. [NPR]

MIT Researchers Developing Playful Assessments: Education researchers at MIT are developing a way to assess students to measure skills such as creativity, critical thinking and curiosity. "Playful assessments" have the potential to change teaching and learning overall, in part, by making assessments less threatening, MIT researcher Yoon Jeon Kim says. [EdSurge]
 
LAUSD Seeks to Create Affordable Housing Options for Families and Employees: The Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD) Board of Education approved a resolution to provide affordable housing and create more stable living arrangements for both families and employees of the district. LAUSD predicts that there are 16,2000 students experiencing homelessness and many school employees can barely afford housing in the city. Over the next six months, the district will pilot a few strategies, including providing shelter and meals in a school gym. [Education Dive]

Harvard and Yale to Offer Coding Bootcamps in 2019: Last week, Harvard University and Yale University each announced new plans to offer coding boot camps in 2019. Harvard partnered with Trilogy Education Services to offer a part-time 24-week certificate program through its Harvard Extension School. Simultaneously, Yale will offer students a 10-week, two-credit web development course during its summer session and partnered with Flatiron School to assist with the creation. [Education Dive]
 
Master Programs Enroll More Diverse Set of Students: The Urban Institute recently released a report which calls out  an  increasing of diversity among students enrolled in master’s programs. According to the report, the enrollment of black and Hispanic students have almost doubled in 20 years from 14 percent in 1996 to 25 percent in 2016. The brief also highlighted the increase of online coursework and programs, a recent studies show that 50 percent of masters students completed some online coursework in 2015-16. [Urban Institute]

Experts Predict the Future of Workplace Learning and Development: In 2019, Business Worldpredicts that learning and development professionals globally can expect video and audio learning to continue to grow; for microlearning to become the norm; AI, Machine Learning, and Robotics will become required learning for a more widespread subgroup of employees, the role of AR and VR will become more pronounced in education, and learning will become more prominently digital. [Business World]
 
Many Organizations Do Not Provide Future Skills Training for Employees: A new report from ATD finds that 44% of organizations do not provide opportunities for upskilling or reskilling employees. Of the 56% that do, they have seen results such as increased retention, improved performance, and increased engagement levels. [ATD]
 
Many Employees in Technology Fields Learn to Code on Their Own: A new report from HackerRank asserts that a degree is not enough to learn to code. According to the new data from the report, 27.4% of those surveyed were self-taught, and an additional 37.7% learned to code through a combination of schooling and teaching themselves. [HackerRank]

New Intervention Practice to Reduce Bullying and Suspensions: New Jersey schools are utilizing school resource officers in an innovative way in order to replace school suspensions and decrease bullying. The resource officers administer lessons to the student in trouble, based on their offense, and provide a support network to students to develop positive relationships with law enforcement officers. [eSchool News]
 
Trump Administration Makes Changes to School Nutrition Rule: The Trump Administration is planning to ease nutrition rules on school lunches, requiring only half of grains in school meals to be whole-grain, allowing 1 percent flavored milk and eliminating steps in a three-step sodium reduction plan. Health organizations like the American Heart Association have criticized this change, urging schools to maintain Obama-era standards to keep children healthy. [The Washington Post]