Roll Call: Latest News on Capitol Hill, Congress, Politics and Elections
November 25, 2014

Posts in "Education"

November 17, 2014

Wheeler Proposes $1.5 Billion Cap Increase for E-Rate

Federal Communications Commission Chairman Tom Wheeler is proposing increasing the funding cap for the E-Rate program — the Universal Service Fund program that discounts Internet access for schools and libraries — by $1.5 billion.

Such an increase would mean individuals would pay additional costs on their phone bills. According to a fact sheet from Wheeler’s office, if the FCC reaches the maximum cap,  additional costs to individuals would amount to roughly “16 cents a month, about a half a penny per day or about $1.90 a year – less than a medium-sized soda at fast food restaurant or a cup of coffee.”

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October 27, 2014

The Week Ahead: Yelp’s CEO, Cybersecurity & Identity Theft

Events on cybersecurity and identity theft are on tap this week and Yelp’s Jeremy Stoppelman stops by 1776.


The State Educational Technology Directors Association and the National Association of State Boards of Education host a day-long education technology event.


The U.S. Chamber of Commerce holds a day-long cybersecurity forum.

The Progressive Policy Institute hosts an event on wireless policy.


The Identity Theft Resource Center hosts an event related to a survey they’re releasing on the impacts of identity theft on victims.


Georgetown Law’s Center on Privacy & Technology hosts a day-long event on the Privacy Act and the 1974 amendments to the Freedom of Information Act.

1776 hosts a discussion with Jeremy Stoppelman, co-founder and chief executive officer of Yelp.

October 10, 2014

Dig Deeper on STEM Education, Tech Education Exec Says

In the context of competitiveness and immigration policy, STEM jobs and education are big issues. But what do we actually mean when we’re talking about STEM? Obviously, science, technology, engineering and math. But the approach to STEM education needs to be more targeted, argues Patrick Gusman.

Gusman is co-founder of Startup Middle School, a business-oriented tech education program, and executive director of the Equal Footing Foundation, which runs “Computer Clubhouses.”

At a panel discussion hosted by the Internet Innovation Alliance and Pew Research Center on Thursday, he said that instead of investing in STEM education because it’s a “great buzzword,” there needs to be an examination of what the currently relevant skills are and “re-tooling” school, after-school and community programs accordingly.

Technocrat caught up with him afterwards and he said that people see STEM as a “mythic” positive, and that they don’t understand it in detail.

“You can say a word but not really give it meaning,” he said, adding that politicians throw out the term. “But what’s behind it? What are you teaching as far as those skills?”

He posed these questions: Are students being taught to become bio-pharmacists or to be the next Mark Zuckerberg? Do they end up getting internships?  Do they take the Advanced Placement test for computer science?

The complexity is being missed by simply throwing out the term STEM, he said.

STEM education should be broken down beyond its umbrella of science, technology, engineering and math, to “dig down into the details” and try to connect such programs to industries that are prominent or that there’s a desire to grow in the local area, he said.

For more on why there’s so much talk about STEM – at least in New Hampshire – check out this New Hampshire Public Radio video:

October 8, 2014

Mid-Week Catchup: Twitter’s Lawsuit, Student Data Privacy & AT&T’s Data Breach

Need to catch up on what’s happened in tech policy news over the past day or so? A few highlights include Twitter’s lawsuit against the federal government, student data privacy and an AT&T data breach.

  • The Software & Information Industry Association and the Future of Privacy Forum released an education privacy pledge on student data, with Microsoft and Houghton Mifflin Harcourt among the companies that signed on.  A few stories point out that some big name companies did not sign on, like Apple, Google and Pearson.

October 3, 2014

Weekly Recap: Football, Spectrum Incentive Auctions and Facebook Research

Happy National Manufacturing Day! Football, the spectrum incentive auctions and research processes at Facebook were among the issues that cropped up this week. Here’s a look at some of the highlights along with a few Technocrat posts in case you missed them.

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September 29, 2014

The Week Ahead: Sports Blackout Rules, Net Neutrality & Education Technology

In addition to the Federal Communications Commission being scheduled to vote on a proposal to eliminate the sports blackout rule, several net neutrality-related events are happening this week, including the FCC’s economics-focused Open Internet roundtable session.

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September 22, 2014

Week Ahead: OkCupid, High-Skilled Immigration Policy & Cross-Border Data Flows

Lawmakers are out of town for several weeks, and that means a somewhat quieter week in Washington. But there’s still plenty going on, with OkCupid’s co-founder and president talking at Sixth & I as well as events on high-skilled immigration policy and and cross-border data flows.


OkCupid’s Christian Rudder caused a stir this summer over a blog post about experiments the online dating site has conducted. He has a new book out and he’ll be at Sixth & I on Monday talking to The Atlantic’s Megan Garber.

On Monday and Tuesday, The National Academies’ Board on Science, Technology, and Economic Policy hosts a conference titled “High-Skilled Immigration Policy & the Global Competition for Talent.”


On Tuesday, The Brookings Institution hosts an event releasing three papers proposing ways to spur more efficient use of government-owned spectrum.


The Center for Democracy & Technology on Wednesday holds an event on education, data and privacy.


On Thursday, Brookings hosts a panel discussion on challenges to cross-border data flows and their potential impacts on communications, trade and commerce.

September 12, 2014

Next Week: Net Neutrality, Big Data & Robotics Policy

It’ll be a busy week next week, with Monday being the deadline for filing Open Internet comments with the Federal Communications Commission, as well as a number of events here in Washington, among them the Federal Trade Commission’s big data workshop and the FCC’s Open Internet roundtables.

On Monday, the Federal Trade Commission holds a day-long workshop on big data and its impact on consumers, including the poor and under-served.

Also on Monday, The Brookings Institution hosts a panel discussion on robotics and the legal and regulatory policy surrounding it.

On Tuesday, the FCC hosts two roundtables on net neutrality, one in the morning on policy approaches  and another in the afternoon focusing on mobile broadband.

The Atlantic Council holds an event titled “The Final Frontier: Renewing America’s Space Program” on Tuesday.

FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler testifies before the House Small Business Committee in a hearing on Wednesday.

On Wednesday, the Software & Information Industry Association holds an event releasing a report on the economic impact of the software industry.

The Senate Judiciary Committee holds a net neutrality hearing on Wednesday.

The House Energy and Commerce Communications and Technology Subcommittee holds a hearing on Wednesday on the FCC’s budget and management, followed by another hearing by a Commerce, Manufacturing and Trade Subcommittee hearing on cross border data flows.

The House Judiciary Courts, Intellectual Property and the Internet Subcommittee holds a copyright hearing on Wednesday, followed by a hearing Thursday on U.S. Copyright Office oversight.

On Thursday, National Journal and The Atlantic hold an event on Hispanic millennials and science, technology, engineering and math (STEM).

On Friday, the New America Foundation and the Global Public Policy Institute host an event on “technology sovereignty” proposals.

The Progressive Policy Institute holds an event titled “Growing the Transatlantic Digital Economy” on Friday.


Looking for Job Security? Get a Doctorate in Science, Engineering & Health

nsf report 353x335 Looking for Job Security? Get a Doctorate in Science, Engineering & Health

(Source: National Science Foundation, National Center for Science and Engineering Statistics)

The unemployment rate for people with doctoral degrees in science, engineering and health isn’t too shabby, according to a report by the National Science Foundation.

The report says that the unemployment rate for these individuals decreased to 2.1 percent in February 2013, compared to 2.4 percent in October 2010. That’s in the context of a roughly four percent increase in the number of individuals who had these advanced degrees and were in the labor force — that includes people who had jobs and those who were looking for work — during this time period.

The 2013 unemployment rate of individuals who had these doctorates and were in the labor force was only a fraction (one-third) of the unemployment rate of the general population 25 years old or older, which was 6.3 percent, according to the report.

As the above chart from the report shows, the science, engineering and health doctorate fields include: life sciences (biological, agricultural and environmental), computer and information science, math and statistics, physical sciences, psychology, social sciences, engineering and health.  It also shows the trends in the labor force numbers and unemployment numbers of people with science, engineering and health doctorates broken down by their doctorate field since 2001.

By Anne L. Kim Posted at 2:17 p.m.

September 8, 2014

STEM, Technology and Education and Broadband Regulation This Week

Lawmakers are back in town this week, along with events on broadband regulation, technology and education and science, technology, engineering and math (STEM).

Full story

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