“It’s complicated.” — Bourdain in Iran

Under the bridge. Isfahan. Where men gather to spontaneously sing. #Iran pic.twitter.com/SYUjoTeWhG — Anthony Bourdain (@Bourdain) November 2, 2014 Many thanks to the Persian acquaintance who tipped me off to the latest episode of Anthony Bourdain’s Parts Unknown show. This was his first

New job, new activities

Big news: I’m starting a new job this Tuesday. I’ll be joining Educents, an edtech startup in Oakland. Educents is sort of like Groupon for educators, with deals on the materials that teachers and administrators use regularly, at wholesale prices. This is a great move for me, and

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Where MOOCs are now

Earlier this week, the New York Times published an interesting piece by Jeffrey Selingo on the current state of MOOCs (“Demystifying the MOOC“). It’s an easy read, and it hits on something that I’ve been thinking myself and hearing from people working in a variety of MOOC organizations around the Bay Area. When MOOCs (massive… Continue reading Where MOOCs are now

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Clever Responds on Student Privacy

In a sign of how prominent concerns about student privacy have become, the New York Times Opinion section this week featured a collection of viewpoints on the topic from people working in the field (“Protecting Student Privacy in Online Learning“). The most interesting (I think) perspective is from Tyler Bosmeny, co-founder of Clever. I like Clever. They… Continue reading Clever Responds on Student Privacy

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Tuition freezes in New Jersey

What’s the best way to reduce college costs? Joseph Cryan, who represents New Jersey’s 20th legislative district in the State Assembly, has proposed a bill to freeze tuition and fees for all state residents for nine semesters after their first enrollment. I found out about the bill, A2807, through Inside Higher Ed and was a little surprised… Continue reading Tuition freezes in New Jersey

We’re number 1! (Well, kind of)

The New York Times Upshot section is at it again with an analysis of economic diversity at top colleges in the United States. They’ve created something they call the College Access Index to measure how successful elite institutions are at enrolling students from different economic backgrounds (“Top Colleges That Enroll Rich, Middle Class and Poor“). Reading it makes… Continue reading We’re number 1! (Well, kind of)

Playing together to fight conflict

Last week’s Sunday New York Times has a piece on whether Palestinian and Israeli teenagers’ views of each other improve when they have positive experiences together (“Peace Through Friendship” by Juliana Schroeder and Jane Risen). It’s an intriguing hypothesis, but does it work in reality? For four years, we studied Seeds of Peace, a program that every year brings together several… Continue reading Playing together to fight conflict

Cappy Hill Op Ed on Increasing Socioeconomic Diversity

I’m liking Cappy Hill, the current president of Vassar, more and more. She wasn’t there when I was a student. Now, on top of the news this week, she’s penned an opinion piece in the Washington Post on “How to increase socioeconomic diversity in college.” To increase the socioeconomic diversity of the student body, especially… Continue reading Cappy Hill Op Ed on Increasing Socioeconomic Diversity

Poor kids at rich colleges

It turns out that most top colleges are not doing a very good job of enrolling poor students (“Generation Later, Poor Are Still Rare at Elite Colleges”). Unfortunately, this comes comes to no surprise to someone who has close connections to several top American institutions. Still, there are some bright points. The article in the Times relies on a paper… Continue reading Poor kids at rich colleges