Interesting Policy Reads: A New Set of ADA Lawsuits, A Student-Level Data Collection Initiative, and the Latest from the US Department of Education’s Planned Negotiated Rulemaking

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This post includes articles on a student-level data project, net neutrality, the US Department of Education's planned negotiated rulemaking, and the Trump administration's decision not to pursue an Inspector General finding against Western Governors University.

With our "Interesting Policy Reads" blog posts, the EDUCAUSE Policy Office highlights recent articles on federal policy issues and developments that are directly relevant to members or provide insights on higher education policy in general.

  • 50 Colleges Hit With ADA Lawsuits, Inside Higher Ed, December 10, 2018. (A New York resident has filed 50 lawsuits against colleges across the country, alleging that their websites are not accessible to people with disabilities.)
  • Controversial Virtual School Operator Pivots to Job Training, U.S. News & World Report, December 10, 2018. (For-profit virtual charter school operator K12 Inc. signaled that it plans to pivot to career education programs and will focus on providing online instruction for several industries, including information technology, business, manufacturing, health sciences, and agriculture.)
  • Push for Student-Level Data the Feds Don't Collect, Inside Higher Ed, December 21, 2018. (Despite the federally imposed ban on student unit records, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the Lumina Foundation, and the National Student Clearinghouse have partnered to construct a system to help institutions track and evaluate academic performance.)
  • These are the 2019 court fights that will decide the future of net neutrality, Washington Post, January 2, 2019. (The debate over net neutrality rules will play out across several different planes as the policy fight heads into 2019.)
  • Senate confirms new FCC Commissioners Carr and Starks, TechCrunch, January 3, 2019. (The Senate confirmed FCC commissioners Brendan Carr and Geoffrey Starks for their five-year terms.)
  • Overhauling Rules for Higher Ed, Inside Higher Ed, January 7, 2019. (Ahead of its negotiated rulemaking slated to begin this year, the Department of Education has released its specific proposals for consideration, which range from accreditation reform to reversing an Obama-era policy requiring online programs to demonstrate they are approved to operate in each state in which they enroll students.)
  • DeVos moves to boost college online learning while reducing regulatory oversight, Washington Post, January 7, 2019. (While the Department of Education plans to explore expanding the set of programs currently eligible for federal student aid dollars, potentially bolstering certain online and competency-based education programs, stakeholders appear to be split on whether the proposal will promote innovation or predatory behavior.)
  • Google can limit ‘right to be forgotten' to EU says top court adviser, Reuters, January 10, 2019. (An adviser to the European Union's top court asserted that Google can limit the "right to be forgotten" to queries made within the EU after France's CNIL data protection authority had fined the company for failing to delist information across national borders.)
  • No Penalty for Western Governors, Inside Higher Ed, January 14, 2019. (Despite a 2017 finding from the Department of Education's Office of Inspector General that Western Governors University should pay back $713 million in student aid due to the institution's failure to meet federal requirements for interaction between faculty members and students, the Trump administration will not seek the return of the student aid funds.)

Kathryn Branson is an associate with Ulman Public Policy.

© 2019 Kathryn Branson. The text of this work is licensed under a Creative Commons BY-NC-ND 4.0 International License.