Saturday, July 26, 2014

That's what government agencies do, right?
Marianne Kolbasuk McGee reports:
Is the Federal Trade Commission overstepping its regulatory authority – and using questionable sources of information – in pursuing data security enforcement actions against companies, including healthcare entities, for alleged unfair and deceptive trade practices?
Members of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform considered that and other questions during a July 24 hearing, which included testimony by two executives whose healthcare firms have had run-ins with the FTC over their data security practices.
Read more about the hearing on
For my comments on yesterday’s hearing, see my post on my companion blog,

Weekly weirdness.
Rand Paul is planning “a major push on education reform, including ‘education choice, school choice, vouchers, charter schools, you name it — I think we need innovation,’” reports Politico. Among the innovations Paul likes: Khan Academy. “If you have one person in the country who is, like, the best at explaining calculus, that person maybe should teach every calculus class in the country.” [We have the technology to do that! Bob] Pando has a story on the libertarian conference held in Silicon Valley last weekend where Paul also spoke, praising Khan Academy again.
… The Department of Education issued new guidelines on how schools should handle telling parents about the data they collect on students.
… Oops. If you entered a dollar figure that included cents into the Income Earned From Work field of your FAFSA, the “system ignored the decimal point, converting an earned income of $5,000.19, for example, into $500,019.” The Department of Education will reprocess the 200,000-ish applications affected. [Does anyone test their programming anymore? Bob]
Via Inside Higher Ed: “In recent years, a handful of community colleges in [Michigan] have outsourced the recruitment and hiring of adjunct instructors – who make up the overwhelming majority of the community college teaching force – to an educational staffing company. Just last week, the faculty union at a sixth institution, Jackson College, signed a collective bargaining agreement allowing EDUStaff to take over adjunct hiring and payroll duties.” [Business opportunity? Bob]

Do my students need this?
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Dilbert: outsourced management – coming to a desktop near you!

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