Interesting Policy Reads: OPM Tuition Sharing, Facial Recognition and Student Privacy, and Innovative Teaching

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This post includes articles regarding ethics in technology, facial recognition software in a public school system, and the latest on federal privacy law negotiations.

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.

  • Time for a Tune-Up? Inside Higher Ed, February 12, 2020. (A decade-long effort among history professors to "tune" their work, or rethink how they can help students achieve certain learning outcomes and competencies, is changing perspectives regarding how instructors can better teach their materials.)
  • Lawmakers Kick the Can Down the Road on Discussing the Most Contentious Issues of Privacy Legislation,, February 9, 2020. (As Congress works to create a stronger national digital privacy law, lawmakers are postponing negotiations around issues such as federal preemption in an effort to finalize federal legislation before California's digital privacy law goes into effect in July.)
  • An Algorithm That Grants Freedom, or Takes It Away, The New York Times, February 6, 2020. (Software that uses predictive algorithms to make law-enforcement decisions is on the rise in the United States and Europe, but critics claim that the technology holds more bias than humans do.)
  • Key Senators Turn Up Heat on OPMs, Inside Higher Ed, February 5, 2020. (Senators Elizabeth Warren and Sherrod Brown asked five leading online program management [OPM] companies to provide information on the tuition-sharing arrangements they have with colleges and universities that are hoping to utilize OPM platforms for student recruitment.)
  • Facial Recognition Moves into a New Front: Schools, The New York Times, February 6, 2020. (A public school district in New York has adopted a facial recognition security system—much to the chagrin of critics who believe implementing the technology will adversely impact student privacy.)
  • Deal with Online Giant Threatens Pennsylvania Colleges, Moody's Warns, The Hechinger Report, February 10, 2020. (Fourteen community colleges in Pennsylvania have agreed to a deal with Southern New Hampshire University [SNHU] that allows associate's degree graduates to complete a bachelor's degree through the SNHU online program—a source of competition for in-state schools that operate their own online programs.)

For more information about policy issues impacting higher education IT, please visit the EDUCAUSE Review Policy Spotlight blog as well as the EDUCAUSE Policy page.

Kathryn Branson is a Senior Associate with Ulman Public Policy.

© 2020 Kathryn Branson. The text of this work is licensed under a Creative Commons BY-NC-ND 4.0 International License.