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ETCH Weekend Reading 7/30
Elite admissions, apprenticeship degrees, student journalism, and CEOs working on the frontlines. Among other things.
Three announcements before we get to the links:
Reader survey: it would mean a lot to me if you filled out the ETCH reader survey. This survey is one of the few ways for me to collect data on how to improve this newsletter. The more people who fill it out, the better it gets!
Weekend Reading will be off next Sunday because…I’m going to be a new dad! To prepare myself for the rigors of managing a newsletter and a cute little alien, I wrote this newsletter wearing a 40-pound weighted vest.1
This week’s featured organization is ETCH! I’m building a jobs community and looking to speak with hiring managers open to piloting a new jobs product. If this might be you, I’d be grateful for a reply to this email. More details below.
Assuming all goes according to plan (healthy baby, healthy mom, copious joy and exhaustion) I will be back in your inbox on August 14. Please feel free to send parenting tips and tricks in the interim - now on to the links!
Funding / M&A
BusRight raises $7M / US, Transportation / Las Olas Venture Capital, Ubiquity Ventures, Underscore Ventures, Long Journey Ventures, SilverCircle, Automotive Ventures, Alumni Ventures, CreativeCo Capital
Paragin Group acquires Coachview / Netherlands, K12 Administration / Main Capital Partners
Tera Business School raises $2.09M / Brazil, Degree Provider / X8 Investimentos
Ascent acquires Ampersand / US, Student Financing
Quench.ai raises $5M / UK, Upskilling / Firstminute Capital, Tuesday VC, BY Venture Partners, Ada Ventures, Plug and Play Ventures, Notion Capital, IFG, Antler Ventures, Ventures Together, Northzone
Gushwork.ai raises $2M / US, BPO / Lightspeed, B Capital, Sparrow Capital, Seaborne Capital, Beenext
Apprenty raises $1.6M / Brazil, Apprenticeships (Simulations) / Canary, Positive Ventures, Potencia Ventures, Latitude Ventures
School of Coding raises $450K / UK, Bootcamp / Midlands Engine Investment Fund
Shari Hofer joins Voxy’s board / via Longview News-Journal
Daniel Domenech joins Age of Learning as Superintendent-in-Residence / via businesswire
Featured Organization - ETCH
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I’d like to build more ways for this amazing group of readers to connect and build meaningful long-term careers in EdTech. That desire is the genesis of the name ETCH, which stands for EdTech Career Home.
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To seed this community with jobs, I am looking to speak with hiring managers interested in a new way to find great talent in the Edtech industry. If this is you, please reply to this email or hit the button below to get in touch!
In a hostile housing landscape, solutions emerge to support home-based providers. Increasing the supply of early-childhood care options is not about just building more software or training more people. Great deep dive on all that is going into Nevada’s partnership with Wonderschool. / via EdSurge
Welcome to the walled garden. Is this education’s solution to AI’s pitfalls? A reasonably nuanced take on a tricky and fast-moving subject. / via Education Week
Don’t shut down advanced programs that keep students out - use data to invite more students in. This take resonates with me. / via the 74Million
Spend as much time as you like reading and writing about the dangers of AI; teachers and students are voting with their feet. 65% of teachers are already using AI to help in their jobs. / via PRNewswire
Related, instructors rush to do ‘assignment makeovers’ to respond to ChatGPT. / via EdSurge
Also related, “Help Dad, the AI is doing my homework.” / via Whiteboard Advisors
The double education of my twins’ Chinese school. Fascinating read for everyone, but particularly for those interested in Chinese education and/or parents who want to live abroad with their children for an extended period. / via the New Yorker
NYT profile of Arizona’s rapidly-growing school choice program. / via New York Times
200 school districts sue major social media platforms for being a “public nuisance.” / via Wall Street Journal
More states try - and fail - to raise teacher salaries. / via Wall Street Journal
UNESCO calls for global ban on smartphones in schools. I am on the record with my concerns about screentime, but it feels sort of early to hear this from UNESCO? / via the Guardian
How parent income impacts admission to elite institutions. Raj Chetty is the Taylor Swift of economists. His papers are wont to cause small earthquakes. / via New York Times
Related, Colleges should move to proactive recruitment of scholars. This idea is straightforward, but not easy to execute. It is growing on me the more I think about it. / via Wall Street Journal Opinion
Also related, if you are curious why universities struggle to change quickly, look no further than the mind-numbing debate surrounding whether to offer alumni email addresses. / via Inside Higher Ed
Dual enrollment is now more popular than Advanced Placement, but many institutions lose money on every student. Losing money on your fastest-growing customer segment is, generally, not advisable. / via Hechinger Report
Related, Phil Hill splits out dual enrollment from the general post-secondary enrollment pool. The picture is bleak. / Shoutout Phil Hill of OnEdTech
Apropos of new, high-potential enrollment models, will “apprenticeship degrees” come to America? / via Inside Higher Ed
Related, one of India’s largest bootcamp providers, PhysicsWallah, will now offer 4-year degree programs (with partner universities). / via moneycontrol
Also related to new pathways into post-secondary learning/job training, 2U/edX partner with JFF and the Koch Foundation to start offering no-cost Microbachelors programs to non-traditional learners. / via 2U
And this “new models” rabbit hole would be incomplete without mentioning the mess student financing is in the US, with student loans now in “neg reg” limbo - helpfully explained here. / via Forbes
EdTech VC funding may be down, but that has not stopped entrepreneurs from innovating in Higher Ed. Parents hire $4,000 sorority consultants to help daughters dress and impress during rush. / via Wall Street Journal
Student journalism’s epic run continues. After student reporting drove the exits of Stanford’s president and Northwestern’s football coach, Mount St. Mary’s University President may be next. / via Chronicle of Higher Education
At issue, the Mount St. Mary’s president allegedly told a professor, “This is hard for you because you think of the students as cuddly bunnies, but you can’t. You just have to drown the bunnies … put a Glock to their heads.” The president’s student retention plan, which he uses to excuse (but not deny) his language, is not that out of the ordinary. The problem is using this type of language, in any setting, is unhinged.
[Post-publish Edit: this Mount St. Mary’s article is actually several years old. It is impressive reporting in its own right, but not part of the current wave of student journalism]
The applicant tracking arms race. Job seekers now “white fonting” qualifications onto their resumes to pass software-driven screening processes. / via Washington Post
Education-as-a-benefit…to customers? Walmart will offer free financial literacy courses to both employees and customers. / via HR Dive
America’s green skills gap raises concerns about energy transition. Of note, every single US state recorded a net increase in green jobs last year. / via Wall Street Journal
Starbucks, Uber, DoorDash, and Taco Bell CEOs join employees on the frontlines. If you are a CEO, do this! Good PR and, apparently, drives business performance. / via Fast Company
Related? It’s not just Starbucks: why cafes are hotbeds for organizing. Unionization may be on the upswing. / via HR Dive
Related, Dollar General threatened to close store if employees voted for a union. / via HR Dive
Star founder broke down in tears as crises engulfed Byju’s. / via Bloomberg
This email, EdTech Thoughts Weekend Reading, is the free sister publication of the EdTech Thoughts Weekly Update. It provides links to the week’s EdTech Funding, M&A, People moves, and a curated list of Links to relevant industry news. If you enjoyed this edition, I hope you will subscribe and/or forward to your friends!
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Only kind of a joke, let me know if you ever want to go rucking together!