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Graduating Seniors Offer Advice to Their High Schools

A group of students wrote letters to the leaders of the high schools they are leaving behind, and they were blunt. Despite attending different schools with different academic rigor and student populations, they focused on two themes: the racial makeup of their schools and inequity. 

“I remember a teacher saying he wouldn’t learn to say the correct pronunciation of my name and another one going as far as to call me an illegal refugee within school walls,” said Yacine Fall who is Muslim, born and raised in Harlem. She attended Beacon High School in Manhattan. 

Her friend Haby Sondo said she was sorry her teachers did not tackle current events or cultural issues in the classroom.

“My whole four years though, I don’t think I’ve ever sat in a classroom and had a discussion about racism or issues permeating our society,” she said. Her advice? Have those conversations at school. 

The girls met through a college-prep program called Sponsors for Educational Opportunity, where they participated in a project organized by The Bell, an education-focused podcast. They shared their letters at an April event held at the Bronx Library Center.

 

 

 

Article source: http://www.wnyc.org/story/graduating-seniors-write-letters-advice-schools-they-leave-behind/

GCSE pass levels causing confusion over university entry – BBC News

Exam hallImage copyright
PA

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GCSEs in English and maths are going to be graded from 9 to 1 from this year

There are warnings of confusion over university admissions from changes to GCSE exams in England which will create two different pass grades.

A number of universities have minimum entry grades at GCSE level – such as a C grade pass at maths and English.

But GCSEs are switching to numerical grades, from 9 to 1, and there is uncertainty because both 4 and 5 are officially classed as pass grades.

Universities are now setting different “pass” grade equivalents.

University College London says a C grade pass now requires a grade 5, while Manchester University has set the benchmark at grade 4.

Deborah Streatfield, founder of careers advice charity My Big Career, said students and parents were “confused” and looking for advice.

“It’s inconceivable that a simple task of deciding a pass has led to a ridiculous “standard pass” and a “good pass”.

“Universities and employers need to decide whether a 4 or 5 is the benchmark.

“At the moment different standards across universities will lead to a divisive landscape leading to disadvantaged students losing out again.”

Different types of ‘pass’

Pupils taking their English and maths GCSEs this year will be the first to get the new numerical grades this summer – and these results will have an impact on university applications as well as getting on to A-level courses.

For pupils who get a grade 4 in English and maths, it means that they will already be below the threshold for some universities – even though it is a pass grade – and before they even begin their A-level courses.

The new numerical system will be phased in for other GCSE subjects over the next few years.

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Getty Images

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Universities can require GCSE passes in English and maths for all courses – but what is the pass grade?

When the Education Secretary Justine Greening explained the new points system to the education select committee in March she said that grade 4 would be a “standard pass” and grade 5 would be a “strong pass”.

She wrote to the committee chairman to clarify that grade 4 was the “equivalent to a C and above” – and that employers and universities would be expected to recognise the grade 4.

But there are different interpretations from different universities.

University College London says it expects applicants for all subjects to have a C grade at maths and English GCSE – but under the new system that will be a grade 5.

King’s College London also makes a grade 5 an equivalent of a grade C for its admissions.

But Leeds, Manchester and Liverpool put grade 4 as their requirement.

London School of Economics, which previously required grade Bs, now requires a 5, although a B grade could also be the equivalent of a 6.

Oxford and Cambridge, which run their own tests and interview systems, do not have such across-the-board minimum requirements for GCSEs.

A spokesman for the exam regulator Ofqual said that it remained up to universities to set their admissions rules.

But the spokesman said that this year’s GCSE candidates would not apply this year – and the requirements might be re-set again after the first wave of results.

Suzanne O’Farrell of the ASCL head teachers’ union said that some schools might be “future proofing” their pupils’ results by treating grade 5 as a pass rather than a grade 4.

But she said it would not be until next year that it would become apparent how universities would interpret the pass grade.

A Department for Education spokesman said that the changes were “part of our drive to continue raising standards” and a wide range of resources had been produced to explain the new grading system.

“Most recently every school and college have been sent a pack with information for teachers, students, parents, and employers.”

A website had also been launched to answer questions people may have, he said.

Article source: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/education-40418457

Lies and Other Advice

Agreeing to become an American Historical Association career contact might seem like an extension of my role as a graduate career counselor. Both my job and the AHA program require direct contact with new or soon-to-be Ph.D. students. But there is a difference, and the distinction rests in students’ professional motivation.

The AHA mentees want to move into counseling and advising. They want my job or something like my occupation in a research university. The unspoken competition doesn’t bother me. Nor do I feel like I’m in my dotage when speaking to would-be peers with no knowledge of card catalogs, typewriters and WordPerfect.

Here are some lessons that I share with any new or soon-to-Ph.D. interested in the day-to-day life of a career education professional.

Lesson No. 1: Lying is an art form and sometimes a form of protection. The tall tale is an example. Graduates can tell tall tales about themselves, advisers and motivations. But the career services professional listens for gaps between individual action and expression.

For example, Graduate Student Alpha, let’s call her, does a fine job explaining research in her lab. Her exact role, however, is less clear. More than objectivity, more than personal shyness, her reticence may reflect a crummy relationship with a primary investigator. You, the career counselor, need to consider if she is hesitant to disclose a poor workplace relationship. Or maybe Graduate Student Alpha is a slacker who does the minimal amount of work. Or perhaps she’s struggling with her decision to consider alternatives to an academic position.

The 26-year-old version of myself had the audacity to lie to a Baptist preacher about church affiliation! I wanted to sidestep a conversation about the condition of my soul. Likewise, graduates avoid full disclosure about shifts in personal values and professional interests.

But for a new professional, especially a recent Ph.D., running an administrative gantlet of assessments, goals and workshops, lying can seem like personal betrayal. You’ll contend that you can relate to the struggles of Ph.D. students. You might even have data supporting the efficacy of professional development for Ph.D. students. How dare they not share? Career professionals need to develop a reputation for confidentiality first.

Lesson No. 2: Interest does not always equal attention. Did only three students show up for a nighttime presentation on interview skills after the event organizer promised an audience of least 50? You will forever question the attentiveness of student leaders when it comes event planning. You will wonder who lied to whom: the students who clicked yes to the RSVP or the event organizer who issued an emailed invite full of misspellings and later claimed to have sent a correction that confused the intended audience.

The remedy to this situation of big promises and little audience turnout is humor and constant communication in the planning stages. When students approach me about working together, I’ll reflect with them about past events gone wrong. Or I’ll ask my tentative event partner to identify by name her co-organizers. Why? Because if she can’t remember the names of the people who share programmatic goals, then demand for an event might be limited or nonexistent.

I once worked with a graduate student leader who planned an entire event by himself. He ordered food, arranged the speaker (me) and secured a room. But only two students showed up. In the event postmortem, I learned he never directly communicated with his peers at any stage of his work. He did not obtain consent or agreement. He couldn’t identify people who shared his goals.

Was there any humor? Yes, my own schadenfreude in dissecting leadership failure with a management graduate student!

Lesson No. 3: Get comfortable with students who are just plain not ready for informational interviews or networking events. Conversion comes at an individual’s pace. First-year grad students may roll their eyes when you speak about transferable skills. An interactive workshop on interviewing skills gets hijacked by passivity, cultural misunderstandings or even a bad server connection. But as you become a more seasoned professional, you accept unpredictable students and conditions. You learn to modify coach-like enthusiasm according to the rhythm of individual students.

Lesson No. 4: Watch and listen. I know one professor who routinely sneers whenever anyone from career services speaks. I can’t determine if this faculty member has an involuntary tic or disdain for the work of my colleagues. So I am cautious. Discursive language and questions are central to new ideas, especially on a research university campus. But some faculty members get stuck in complaint mode. Find reliable faculty partners willing to constructively discuss professional development. Also, view your job from the perspective of faculty members who already have multiple priorities. Position yourself as an administrator prepared to help.

Lesson No. 5: Read, especially if your educational credentials are more archival than empirical-evidence based. You’ll need to adjust to students engaged in state-of-the-art research using computer and other technologies that didn’t exist a few years ago. Reading outside topics in higher education is undervalued but essential. I suggest The Philadelphia Chromosome by Jessica Wapner, or even the 470 pages of Siddhartha Mukherjee’s The Emperor of All Maladies, to understand the long slog associated with science research. You’ll learn that the young scientists have entered a scholarly apprenticeship that might not pay dividends in results for two decades. If you are a STEM Ph.D., read anything by the late Sherwin Nuland for insight about achievement, frailty and resilience.

Graduate students and postdocs bear more than credentials. Make sure your zeal for background information includes talking to people. Students are more than demographic points in the institutional database. URM, STEM and F-1 are categories or a way to organize information. But career counselors should to tune in to how students define their needs by following common social media sources. Nothing surpasses insights learned during old-fashioned conversations. Sometimes it’s better to turn down the volume on strategic planning and listen.

Career services is not a haven for a Ph.D. waiting for a tenure-track job or management role in a prestigious foundation. The best people in this profession pivot like athletes through generational differences, job market changes and shifts in institutional priorities. We are constant learners. I personally know nothing about CRISPR, but you can bet I understand that CRISPR is a new genome-editing tool.

Counseling graduate students isn’t rooted in a single discipline. My daily routines and knowledge span layers of boundaries. Newcomers to graduate career counseling should consider joining the Graduate Career Consortium. The GCC highlights best practices while giving its members a place to commiserate, celebrate and exchange ideas to guide the newest cohort of graduate students. If you can’t join us this year, then certainly follow the GCC during its national meeting hosted by the University of Texas and M. D. Anderson Center in Houston, on Twitter @GradCareers.

Article source: https://www.insidehighered.com/advice/2017/06/19/advice-those-advising-graduate-students-essay

Liberate education

India is a complex country that should allow different types of schools, colleges and universities to flourish. Photo: Mint

Indian education is one of the last areas still in the clutches of the licence raj. A new committee appointed by the centre to provide advice on education policy should make dismantling controls in the education sector one of its primary tasks. The committee will be headed by space scientist K. Kasturirangan.

The issue is not just about whether education should be provided by government or private institutions. There are no such binaries. India is a complex country that should allow different types of schools, colleges and universities to flourish. Newer options such as online education should also be encouraged. The unfair provisions of the Right to Education Act—which favours minority schools—also need to be done away with.

Institutional diversity cannot grow unless regulatory dinosaurs such as the University Grants Commission are shut down. States, too, must have a greater say in education policy. What works in Uttar Pradesh may not work in Tamil Nadu. What works in a remote tribal area may not work in a metropolitan city. The broken education system needs urgent attention.

Article source: http://www.livemint.com/Opinion/SZkCJrtJyutMwmF6dTwT4H/Liberate-education.html

Fiserv and GoldBean help financial institutions serve investors with digital education

Fiserv, Inc. (NASDAQ: FISV), a global provider of financial services technology solutions, announced that is equipping financial institutions to better serve beginning investors with the addition of tailored digital advice and education to Wealth Management Network from Fiserv.

Fiserv is adding these capabilities through an agreement with the financial services startup GoldBean. The agreement resulted from GoldBean’s participation in the INV Fintech accelerator launched last year by Bank Innovation and Fiserv to further innovation in financial services.

The GoldBean capabilities will be available to Fiserv clients on Wealth Management Network and can also be integrated with Unified Wealth Platform from Fiserv to support a single-platform strategy with a traditional managed-account program, helping financial advisors attract new customers with relevant new services.

The GoldBean focus on advice and education for beginning investors brings a fresh approach to the wealth industry, where developing the pipeline of future wealth clients is a strategic imperative, but has not been well addressed from a product perspective,” said Cheryl Nash, president, Investment Services, Fiserv. “The partnership provides our clients with a low-cost digitally enabled advisory model that opens the door to new investors by providing them with a digital channel to start investing at their own speed.

GoldBean is a graduate of the INV Fintech Accelerator designed to cultivate high-potential startups from around the globe and connect them with financial institutions that have an appetite for innovation. Bank Innovation and Fiserv developed the accelerator program with support from multiple participants including financial institutions and industry mentors. The program aims to drive innovation in financial services by making new capabilities available to more people.

GoldBean is an “investing for beginners” platform that was designed to promote financial literacy and empower users to be confident, self-directed investors. By analyzing people’s actual spending, the GoldBean digital investment platform creates customized portfolios featuring companies and brands that end users already know and use every day. The platform’s education modules and software help build strong financial habits and turn savers into investors. GoldBean’s capabilities can be leveraged by financial institutions, banks, and credit unions to provide financial education to their client base.

GoldBean utilizes an education-first approach to help financial institutions activate new investors. While Millennials are the focus, the educational content on the platform appeals to beginning investors of any age who may have never invested outside of their employers’ defined contribution plans. GoldBean education content covers the entire spectrum of earning, saving, borrowing and investing money, including a “financial learning center” which can also be implemented as a standalone feature for banks and credit unions.

Our mission is to turn savers into confident investors,” said Jane Barratt, founder and CEO, GoldBean. “Our agreement with Fiserv, prompted as a result of our participation in the INV Fintech accelerator, will enable us to reach a much wider audience as we work with financial institutions to reach their customers with investment advice and education.

Article source: https://www.leaprate.com/forex/social-trading/fiserv-goldbean-help-financial-institutions-serve-investors-digital-education/

Fiserv To Provide Financial Advice Through GoldBean

Fiserv, global provider of financial services technology solutions, recently announced the addition of tailored digital advice and education to its Wealth Management Network from Fiserv offerings. The new service will equip financial institutions to better serve beginning investors.

In a press release, Fiserv said the capabilities were added through an agreement with financial services startup GoldBean. The agreement resulted from GoldBean’s participation in the 2016 INV Fintech accelerator launched by Bank Innovation and Fiserv to further innovation in financial services.

“The GoldBean focus on advice and education for beginning investors brings a fresh approach to the wealth industry, where developing the pipeline of future wealth clients is a strategic imperative but has not been well-addressed from a product perspective,” said Cheryl Nash, president of investment services at GoldBean. “The partnership provides our clients with a low-cost, digitally-enabled advisory model that opens the door to new investors by providing them with a digital channel to start investing at their own speed.”

GoldBean is an “investing for beginners” platform designed to promote financial literacy and empower users to be confident, self-directed investors. By analyzing people’s actual spending, GoldBean’s digital investment platform creates customized portfolios featuring companies and brands that end users already know and use every day. The platform’s education modules and software help build strong financial habits and turn savers into investors.

The GoldBean capabilities will be available to Fiserv clients on Wealth Management Network from Fiserv and can be integrated with Unified Wealth Platform from Fiserv to support a single-platform strategy with a traditionally managed-account program. The offering is aimed at helping financial advisors attract customers through relevant new services.

GoldBean’s capabilities can be leveraged by financial institutions, banks and credit unions to provide financial education to their client base, Fiserv said in the release.

“Our mission is to turn savers into confident investors,” said Jane Barratt, founder and CEO of GoldBean. “Our agreement with Fiserv, prompted as a result of our participation in the INV Fintech accelerator, will enable us to reach a much wider audience as we work with financial institutions to reach their customers with investment advice and education.”



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Article source: http://www.pymnts.com/business/2017/fiserv-to-provide-financial-advice-through-goldbean/

Career stuck? Additional education might be the answer

“I feel like I’m stuck in my role as an administrative assistant,” a mentee once told me. “I don’t want to be an administrative assistant for my entire career, but I feel like I’m not being taken seriously when I say I’d like to move into a different role.”

Ever felt that way? That you’re stuck in a job because the people around you have become so comfortable with the work you do?

For “Sarah,” it was a combination of two things. First, she had been in her current role for six years and the management team she supported had come to rely on her skills and advice, which made them nervous at the thought of having to replace her.

Second, Sarah had a college degree in English, but the types of roles she wanted to move into within her company’s marketing department required a business or marketing undergraduate degree with a preference for an MBA. Her lack of an MBA and lack of experience in marketing was making it difficult for the management team to see how she could move into a different role.

To succeed with her goal, Sarah needed to gain the additional education while also helping the management team see her as a potential marketing employee. The good news? With her manager’s approval, Sarah substantially reduced the cost of her MBA through her employer’s tuition reimbursement program.

Sarah continued working full time while she earned her MBA through evening and weekend classes. She chose real-life scenarios within the company for use in class papers and projects and even volunteered to participate in several of her company’s marketing projects, so she could put her newfound knowledge to use.

By keeping her manager updated on her educational progress and by sharing her project results, she demonstrated her skills and helped her boss view her in a different way. Over time, her manager became her biggest ally and supporter to help Sarah move into a marketing role.

After she received her MBA, Sarah successfully interviewed for a role as a business analyst within the company’s marketing department. Two years later, she moved into a role as a marketing manager; three years after that she became a product manager; and now, Sarah is a senior product manager. Her career progression happened because she was willing to invest in furthering her education.

Here’s how you can move forward in your career, just like Sarah.

Evaluate the job requirements. Look at the job description for the job you want and conduct an analysis to understand all the gaps — the areas where you don’t meet the minimum requirements, such as education, certifications, skills or experience.

Create your action plan. For each gap identified, determine how you’ll overcome it. If you don’t meet the minimum education requirement, could you go back to school to finish or obtain your college degree? Could you take a class that leads to a certification?

Research ways to obtain any necessary education or certifications. There are many choices for obtaining additional education that can be worked into just about anyone’s busy schedule — everything from evening or weekend classes to online education and continuing education programs.

Consider ways to defray costs. Like Sarah’s situation, many companies offer tuition reimbursement programs to encourage employees to continue learning throughout their careers. Starbucks is a great local example of this, with its Starbucks College Achievement Plan. In collaboration with Arizona State University, Starbucks offers all full-time and part-time benefits eligible employees full tuition coverage for every year of college to earn a bachelor’s degree.

Meet with your boss. Share your career development action plan with your manager to discuss your aspirations and to ask for his or her support. If your organization doesn’t offer a tuition reimbursement program, find out if your boss would be willing to support you through internal training opportunities or would be willing to pay for all or a portion of a class, course or seminar you’d like to take. Just remember to demonstrate to your manager how the additional education will help you in your job.

Lisa Quast is a certified executive coach, and the author of the book Secrets of a Hiring Manager Turned Career Coach. Email her at lquast@careerwomaninc.com.

Article source: http://www.seattletimes.com/nwshowcase/careers/stuck-in-your-career-additional-education-might-be-the-answer/

LPL bars hybrid RIAs from making 401(k) rollover recommendations as a broker

LPL Financial, the largest independent broker-dealer in the U.S., is no longer allowing hybrid advisers to recommend rollovers to clients in a brokerage capacity, under a new policy adopted in response to the Labor Department’s fiduciary rule.

The firm has adopted an “education-only policy with respect to rollovers,” meaning hybrid advisers may only have “general, educational conversations with investors and may also accept investor-directed rollovers,” according to an internal adviser memo obtained by InvestmentNews.

“LPL Financial advisors are prohibited from recommending that investors roll out of a [401k] plan. Instead, financial advisors may educate investors on the available options regarding their plan assets (e.g., take a distribution, leave assets in the plan, roll over to another plan with a new employer, or roll their assets into an IRA),” according to the memo.

Under the Department of Labor’s fiduciary rule, which raises investment-advice standards in retirement accounts, providing education to investors on their distribution options from a retirement plan like a 401(k) doesn’t constitute fiduciary advice. A recommendation to roll over, however, is a fiduciary act and comes with additional liability for brokers and their supervisory firms.

LPL, which houses 14,000 registered representatives, is allowing hybrid advisers to recommend rollovers “if you are limiting your recommendation to advisory services through your hybrid RIA firm,” and follow certain conditions, according to the memo.

As the rule is currently written, operating under a level-fee advisory business model poses less risk to advisers and their supervisory firms than doing business on a commission basis.

“We have updated our policy in response to heightened regulatory concerns from Finra, the SEC and the DOL about sales practices around rollovers,” said an LPL spokesman in a statement, when asked about the memo.

LPL’s policy went into effect June 9 with the applicability date of the DOL fiduciary rule. LPL’s memo was in response to specific questions hybrid advisers had about LPL’s policy change.

The DOL rule’s full implementation date is set for Jan. 1, 2018, barring any delays from the DOL under the Trump administration, which is currently reviewing the rule.

LPL, in its memo, said it will “take a fresh look at its rollover policies as the DOL rule is implemented across the industry.”

“Specifically, we will watch the regulatory, litigation, and competitive environments. We will also monitor the policy as the industry innovates to provide technology and tools to better support rollover recommendations,” the firm said.

Observers have said recommending rollovers from a 401(k) plan likely presents the greatest challenge for broker-dealers and their brokers under the fiduciary regulation.

Several large broker-dealers have been announcing changes to their respective retirement business models in light of the fiduciary regulation. As an example, brokerage firms such as Morgan Stanley and Merrill Lynch are mandating that certain non-specialized 401(k) advisers partner with specialized advisers to continue servicing 401(k) plan clients.

Others have trimmed the number of investments available on their investment platforms. Wells Fargo said recently it will restrict new mutual fund sales in retirement accounts to a particular share class known as a T share, and it would prohibit certain other investment purchases such as municipal bonds.

Earlier this month, LPL told advisers it was revamping its pricing of certain investment products such as fixed annuities and unit investment trusts in preparation for the DOL fiduciary rule.

LPL laid out certain conditions for advisers to recommend rollovers under an advisory business model through a hybrid RIA firm.

Those include: providing an attestation to LPL saying the hybrid RIA has reasonable policies and procedures to: comply with the rule and prohibited transaction exemptions; limit rollover advice to the advisory services provided by the hybrid RIA firm only; and make certain disclosures to investors. LPL must also provide written acknowledgement of the attestation form.

Article source: http://www.investmentnews.com/article/20170626/FREE/170629937/lpl-bars-hybrid-rias-from-making-401-k-rollover-recommendations-as-a

Fiserv partners with fintech startup to launch digital adviser

Robo-advisers are fine tools for people who understand basic investing concepts and know how to use them. But what about the newbie who needs more hand-holding?

The core banking software provider Fiserv and the fintech startup GoldBean have partnered to provide a digital adviser meant to provide that extra assistance.

GoldBean has an “investing for beginners” platform that was designed to promote financial literacy. By analyzing people’s spending, it creates customized portfolios featuring companies and brands with which end users are already familiar. GoldBean is a graduate of the INV Fintech Accelerator run by Fiserv and Bank Innovation.

“We can take the digital experience from a robo perspective and add a lot of educational components to that,” said Cheryl Nash, president of investment services at Fiserv. “Educational capabilities are so needed now, with baby boomers getting for retirement and millennials just getting into investing.”

Part of the goal here is to help ease the process of wealth management client onboarding.

“If you can make the onboarding, especially for beginner investors, as light touch as possible, you can take them through a different path than what a traditional wealth management client would go though,” said Jane Barratt, GoldBean’s CEO.

Some people don’t know what investing terms like “balanced portfolio” mean, Barratt said.

“If you grew up in a financially healthy household you know, but if words like portfolio and risk and balance are unfamiliar to you, they can take you off course,” she said. “Having that onboarding perspective that’s education first and advice along the way and then leading to more advisory engagement is the way we’ve built our business and where we think there’s a huge opportunity.”

GoldBean provides a library of educational articles about investing, a two-week investing boot camp that pushes materials out to customers, and personalized learning tracks that tailor the content to the user’s life stage.

Fiserv hopes that by integrating GoldBean education and advice into its Unified Wealth Platform, some of these investors will eventually interact with the human wealth managers who use Fiserv’s platform, for instance when they need to talk about a life change.

Nash said she believes this type of hybrid model, where digital advice and human expertise coexist, is where the industry is going versus stand-alone platforms.


Penny Crosman

Article source: https://www.americanbanker.com/news/fiserv-partners-with-fintech-startup-to-launch-digital-adviser

Early Report on ‘Regulatory Relief’

The U.S. Department of Education on Thursday offered a first glimpse at how it is carrying out the Trump administration’s push to ease federal regulations — and asked for advice on what rules it should eliminate.

In February President Trump signed an executive order “seeking to alleviate unnecessary regulatory burdens placed on the American people” by calling for federal agencies, including the Education Department, to create “regulatory reform” task forces. Those committees will evaluate existing regulations and then make recommendations about which ones to repeal, replace or modify. The order gives priority to curbing regulations that are seen as outdated, unnecessary, ineffective, costly, inconsistent or that inhibit job creation.

The department’s task force issued its first progress report Thursday. While few decisions have been made so far, the 66-page document describes the next steps in the process. It also cites the administration’s previously announced move to hit pause on two “burdensome” regulations: the borrower-defense and gainful-employment rules. The new task force said the looming rule-making process for those rules will be “arduous” and require significant resources and oversight from the department.

This fall the department plans to meet with higher education associations to discuss “regulatory relief,” the task force said.

It cited likely meetings with the American Council on Education, historically black colleges and universities, and financial aid administrators. As Politico has reported, Betsy DeVos, the education secretary, recently told U.S. senators that the agency is relying in part on a report calling for less regulation of higher education that Senator Lamar Alexander, the Tennessee Republican who leads the Senate’s education committee, released in 2015 with help from ACE and a group of college leaders.

Also this week, the department published a request for public suggestions on regulations to be eliminated or pared back.

“The regulatory reform task force has been hard at work over the last few months cataloging over 150 regulations and more than 1,700 pieces of policy guidance on the books at the Department of Education,” DeVos said in a written statement. “As their work continues, they have been tasked with providing recommendations on which regulations to repeal, modify or keep in an effort to ensure those that remain adequately protect students while giving states, institutions, teachers, parents and students the flexibility needed to improve student achievement.”

The progress report lists 15 department staff members who are on the task force, including both political appointees and career officials. Robert Eitel, a lawyer who worked for a for-profit college company before joining the department, is leading the group. Eitel has recused himself from matters relating to gainful employment.

Relatively few decisions have been made by the task force on the 154 regulations listed in the report. However, the report calls for a partial modification to the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act, a federal law that seeks to protect students’ educational records. The report said FERPA needs updates to reflect changes made by Congress in recent years, as well as to “clarify provisions to reflect developments in the nature and use of education technology.”

Eitel also is co-chair of a department steering committee that will make recommendations about possibly reorganizing the agency. As with the regulation reform task force, that group was formed in response to a Trump executive order.

It’s unclear what role, if any, a possible group of 15 college presidents might play in advising the administration on regulatory issues. Jerry Falwell Jr., Liberty University’s president and a Trump ally, in January said he would be leading a presidential task force on higher education. He said at the time that he was interested in working to limit micromanagement of colleges and accreditors by the department.

However, as Politico first reported this month, that task force has not been created. Falwell said he will instead be part of a White House-convened group of 15 college presidents that will address education issues. Previous administrations also have brought together advisory groups of college leaders.

Article source: https://www.insidehighered.com/news/2017/06/23/education-departments-regulatory-relief-panel-offers-early-look-its-work