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El País de los Estudiantes

El País - Educación - Mar, 20 Jun 2017 - 10:58
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Educación comienza a paliar los defectos de climatización en las aulas

El País - Educación - Mar, 20 Jun 2017 - 10:40
La Junta emprende un plan de actuaciones para evitar tener que permitir que se falte a clase

Den paso a los periodistas del futuro

El País - Educación - Mar, 20 Jun 2017 - 07:51
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Dear Betsy DeVos: This Is What Happens When You Support Trans Students

Huffington Post - Mar, 20 Jun 2017 - 07:17
My child’s parents, teachers, and friends have made her feel seen, affirmed, safe, and loved. The Trump administration has done anything but that.

To All The Kids Without A School

Huffington Post - Mar, 20 Jun 2017 - 07:00

You don’t exist. At least that’s what a lot of people think.

The other day, some expat moms at my Swiss international school in Zurich were chatting in the garden about overdone American graduation ceremonies. Americans, apparently, are known for over-celebrating the graduation.

We dress up, pull out our videophones, slap our hands together at large gatherings in flowery rooms. We cry, give gifts and parties for kids moving-on from preschool, kindergarten, primary school, middle school, high school and college. We share photos of graduates on Facebook, listing accomplishments, parading our pride. We weep over the years that have passed, the struggles, triumphs; and sometimes we slow down and reflect. For the privileged, certificates of graduation are granted for gymnastic level completion, piano, tennis, and so on. Speeches are made, and then we might eat too much and go swimming.

We forget you exist.

Meanwhile 75 million school-aged children and youth are in desperate need of education and support, either in danger of, or already missing out on their education.

I stood in the warm breeze giggling by the rose garden with moms. We laughed about the over-done over-everything that is perceived as terribly American. But afterwards, it occurred to me that the tradition of coming together to recognize the blessing of an education, any education might be a pretty good idea. It might be good to take a look at how very life-changing, how extravagant a good classroom experience really is. But in reality, how many parents and kids really do celebrate graduations? Americans or not? I wondered.

Then I found that according to UNESCO, 61 million primary school-age children were not enrolled in school at all in 2010.

But we keep forgetting that you exist.

Now for my backstory. Last year, I wrote a piece about the child at graduation whom nobody claps for. I wrote it after sitting at a graduation ceremony, bawling my eyes out, while watching beautiful kids graduate from the Connecticut school two of my children attended at the time— but where my son was not welcomed. I listened to stories told about proud well-dressed eighth graders glistening with pride. I watched teachers stand tall with emotion. Those kids were poised to change the world. Meanwhile, my then 10-year-old boy with special needs was home clinically depressed with a tutor. He was out of school after countless institutions had failed him. He was without a community, (other than the therapists we’d hired.)

Some of you can’t get a quality education because of your special needs, but others of you can’t get an education because you don’t have a home, a school or even a nation to call your own.

Sometimes it felt that no one really believed me. A child without an appropriate, safe school in the U.S.? No one wanted to believe that he existed.

But six months ago we left the U.S. and ditched our educational nightmare. Today all three of my children have a school. My oldest son has teachers, friends, classroom experiences, recess, and a caring international community at a very unusual Swiss International School supported by a learning support foundation.

Now I’m look over my shoulder at you. I see the educational landscape my child and I have been battling through where you still struggle, and I feel horror. I’m preparing for my boy to graduate from primary school (for which he has no good memories of until this year,) yet you are still out there without seat at a ceremony, without a safe, appropriate school or any school at all. There are other moms of special needs kids still homeschooling some of you rather than watching you suffer in a system at times abusing kids with untrained support and inappropriate behavioral protocols— a system, a world failing to educate millions of kids appropriately.

Some of you can’t get a quality education because of your special needs, but others of you can’t get an education because you don’t have a home, a school or even a nation to call your own. Some of you don’t have a classroom because of poverty or gender or because your district, your country, your world is busy spending money on soccer fields, oil, weapons, walls and security for government golf outings. Some of you don’t have parents or don’t have parents with resources, with community, with access to food, water, bathrooms and shoes. Some of you don’t have the ability to get any learning done. Period.

And so I’m hoping other grownups will put down the cameras for a moment. I’m hoping that they’ll join me in thinking of you without a school, without a seat at a ceremony.

I’m hoping that these other lucky ones who’ve been blessed with an education will join me in taking their intellectual gifts, their graduation gift funds...they’ll do much, much more with their over-everything American.

I’m hoping that we educated over-celebrating adults will work harder, much harder to admit that you exist. To know you. And to help you and every single kid, like you, get a safe, appropriate education.

P.S. In case anyone still tells you that you don’t exist, you can share a few more horrifying facts:

3.7 million refugee children have no school to go to of the 6 million school-aged children under the UN Refugee Agency’s mandate.

1 in 10 of the one billion people in the world with a disability are children and 80% live in developing countries. Among marginalized groups, children with disabilities remain the most excluded.

84% of U.S. principals say that students are coming to school hungry. Hunger increases the inability to concentrate by 88% and increases behavioral problems by 65%.

1 in 3 children with an identified disability for which they receive special education services in the U.S. are victims of some type of maltreatment (i.e., either neglect, physical abuse, or sexual abuse) whereas 1 in 10 nondisabled children experience abuse.

Autistic children are three times more likely to be bullied in school and 28 times more likely to commit suicide than their non-autistic peers.

1 in 5 school districts leaders in the U.S. approved of using restraints or seclusion (for children with disabilities) as punishment. Restraint and seclusion in a disciplinary method often used for hyperactive children or children on the autism spectrum. It can include locking children in dark closets and tying them with straps, handcuffs, bungee cords, or even duct tape and was used more than 267,000 times nationwide in the 2012 school year.

Organizations to consider supporting:

-- This feed and its contents are the property of The Huffington Post, and use is subject to our terms. It may be used for personal consumption, but may not be distributed on a website.

La libertad académica bajo amenaza

El País - Educación - Mar, 20 Jun 2017 - 05:25
La ofensiva contra la Universidad tiene una doble vertiente. El populismo carga contra los expertos y sus privilegios, mientras la jerga y cierto letargo intelectual amplían la brecha entre el aula y la calle

De hotel mastodóntico a jardín mediterráneo

El País - Educación - Mar, 20 Jun 2017 - 05:10
La Universitat de València presenta su proyecto de jardín para el solar de Jesuitas

Child Refugees Document Horror Of Fleeing Their Homes Through Powerful Art

Huffington Post - Mar, 20 Jun 2017 - 03:15

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Art is providing a powerful emotional outlet for a group of child refugees.

Youngsters who have settled in southeast England after fleeing unaccompanied from countries such as Syria, Sudan, Eritrea and Afghanistan have been tackling the trauma of displacement at British Red Cross-backed creative projects. 

Some of those 14 to 19-years-old will now showcase their works at the free “All I Left Behind, All I Will Discover” exhibition at London’s OXO Tower from June 21 to 25.

“The refugee crisis has led to a huge outpouring of solidarity with unaccompanied child refugees but they seldom get the opportunity to speak for themselves,” said Alex Fraser, the organization’s director of refugee support.

The children have channeled their emotions into meaningful drawings and sketches, transforming life jackets and vases into canvases for their creativity. The projects are aimed at helping them integrate into their new communities and will be featured in the show.

“We hope it will provide a rare glimpse of what it is to be a child refugee and the pain, trauma and extraordinary resilience which characterizes so many of their stories,” Fraser added. A selection of their pieces are below:

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-- This feed and its contents are the property of The Huffington Post, and use is subject to our terms. It may be used for personal consumption, but may not be distributed on a website.

College presidents diversifying slowly and growing older, study finds

Inside Higher Education - Mar, 20 Jun 2017 - 02:00

The traditional model for a college president has remarkable staying power.

Despite years of talk about increasing diversity, chatter about interest in hiring from outside academe and buzz about a coming wave of retirements, college and university presidents in 2016 looked much like they did five years before. They still tended to be aging white men. And they kept getting older.

Those are some key takeaways from the latest version of the American College President Study from the American Council on Education, which is being released today. The study, which has been released every few years dating back to 1986, provides a closely watched, comprehensive look at the makeup of the college and university presidential work force.

The newly released study found some small gains in the number of women and minority presidents -- but increases took place at a slow pace that surprised many observers. Women are a majority of all undergraduates in the United States, and the number of minority students is projected to grow considerably in the future. Yet less than a third of college presidents were women in 2016. Less than a fifth were members of a racial or ethnic minority group -- and that low portion is driven up significantly by presidents at minority-serving institutions, who tend to be members of minority groups in greater than average numbers themselves.

Meanwhile, the average president was 61.7 years old, up from 60.7 years old in 2011 and 59.9 years old in 2006. Almost a quarter of presidents, 23.9 percent, had held presidential or chief executive officer positions in their job before their current presidency. That’s up from 19.5 percent in 2011 and above the 21.4 percent reported in 2006.

The data suggest colleges and universities are prioritizing experience when they have to hire a president, according to ACE. But because presidents have historically been white men, the emphasis on experience comes at a cost to hopes of increasing diversity.

“As college and university presidents seem to be chosen as much for their experience as anything else, that is going to narrow the pool,” said Jonathan Gagliardi, associate director of ACE’s Center for Policy Research and Strategy. “It will certainly work against diversifying the pipeline in a more expedient fashion.”

Slow to Diversify

Only 30.1 percent of presidencies were held by women in 2016, up from 26.4 percent in 2011 and 23 percent in 2006. The rate of increase has slowed considerably in recent years -- it grew from 9.5 percent in 1986 to 21.1 percent in 2001.

 Percentage of Presidencies Held by Women, Selected Years 1986 to 2016.

Public institutions had a higher percentage of women presidents than private nonprofit institutions. Almost 33 percent of public colleges and universities had women presidents in 2016, compared to 27.3 percent of private nonprofits. Community colleges were the most likely to have women presidents, with about 36 percent headed by women.

The portion of minority presidents across the board grew to 16.8 percent in 2016, up from 12.6 percent in 2011 and 13.6 percent in 2006. Almost all of the growth came from African-American presidents. The portion of African-American presidents grew to 7.9 percent in 2016 from 5.9 percent five years earlier. The portion of Hispanic presidents stayed roughly steady -- rising to 3.9 percent from 3.8 percent -- as did the portion of American Indian and Alaska Native presidents, which was 0.7 percent in 2016 and 0.8 percent in 2011. The percentage of Asian-American presidents grew slightly, rising to 2.3 percent from 1.5 percent.

Public colleges and universities were more likely to have a minority president than private ones -- public institutions were led by minority presidents 22.3 percent of the time in 2016, while private nonprofit institutions had minority presidents just 10.6 percent of the time.

An important wrinkle is that many minority presidents work at minority-serving institutions. Excluding minority-serving institutions, just 11 percent of all colleges and universities in the ACE survey were headed by minority presidents.

Further, fewer minority-serving institutions were led by minority presidents in 2016. About 36 percent of minority-serving institutions had minority presidents in 2016, compared to 53 percent in 2011.

 Percentage Distribution of Presidents at Minority-Serving Institutions and Non-MSIs, by Race/Ethnicity, 2016

Slow growth in diversity concerned many experts and former presidents. Alvin Schexnider, a senior fellow with the Association of Governing Boards and a former chancellor of Winston-Salem State University, said the data indicate increases in diversity are unlikely without major efforts.

“Positions are held mainly by white males, and the need to diversify is self-evident,” he said. “I just think that, given the history, that’s going to be a tough climb unless there are some aggressive steps.”

The larger diversity trends obscured some other significant changes. The percentage of Hispanic presidents who were women dropped significantly from 2011 to 2016, falling from 38.7 percent to 21.7 percent. The percentage of white presidents who were women rose from 25.1 percent to 30.1 percent. The portion of African-American presidents who were women held steady at about one-third.

Breaking down growth in minority presidents by institution type shows community colleges posting the largest growth and highest percentage of presidents who were racial or ethnic minorities. Slightly more than 20 percent of community college presidents were minorities in 2016, up from 12.7 percent five years earlier. Doctorate-granting institution presidents were 18 percent minority, up from 12.9 percent. Fifteen percent of presidents at master’s-granting institutions were minorities, up from 12.5 percent, and 14.9 percent of presidents at bachelor’s-degree granting institutions were minorities, up from 11.9 percent.

Other Age Findings

The top-line finding on presidential age also obscures some important developments related to age and tenure. College presidents are getting grayer in large part because of growth in the numbers of the oldest presidents. They are also getting more experienced and staying in jobs for shorter stints.

The increasing average age of college presidents is driven in large part by a sharp increase in the number of presidents over age 70. The portion of presidents age 71 or older jumped to 11 percent in 2016, up from 5 percent in 2011. That came even as the share of presidents older than 60 held steady at 58 percent.

College presidents are also spending less time in each job. The average tenure of a college president in their current job was 6.5 years in 2016, down from seven years in 2011. It was 8.5 years in 2006.

More than half of presidents, 54 percent, said they planned to leave their current presidency in five years or sooner. But just 24 percent said their institution had a presidential succession plan.

“The amount of years that individuals spend as presidents has declined dramatically over the course of the last couple of decades,” said ACE President Molly Corbett Broad. “And so I think this is the clearest signal of the impact on leaders in the face of the dramatic kinds of change we are experiencing in today’s world.”

The trend of hiring presidents from outside higher education took a step back, according to the ACE study. It had grown from 13 percent in 2006 to 20 percent in 2011, and many boards and search committees have reported interest in hiring from outside the halls of academe. But the share of presidents coming from outside higher education dropped to 15 percent in 2016.

The percentage of presidents who had ever worked outside higher education rose from 47.8 percent in 2011 to 58 percent in 2016. But the percentage who had never been a faculty member fell from 30.4 percent to 18.8 percent. The most popular career pathway for new presidents continued to be through academic administration, as 42.7 percent of presidents said their most recent prior position was as a chief academic officer, provost, dean or other senior executive in academic affairs.

“They’re coveting experience explicitly in higher education,” Gagliardi said. “And I think that’s to be expected given the major funding challenges that many colleges and universities are experiencing and the level of entrenchment they may feel they’re getting from the internal constituents that you kind of need experience to have legitimacy with.”

ACE asked presidents about their top challenges. Their top answer was never having enough money, named by 60.8 percent of presidents. Next was faculty resistance to change, listed by 45 percent, and a lack of time to think, named by 44.1 percent.

 Never enough money, 60.8 percent; Faculty resistance to change, 45 percent; Lack of time to think, 44.1 percent; Problems inherited from the previous leadership, 34.5 percent; Belief by others you are infinitely accessible, 31.3 percent; Too many demands and not enough time, 30.1 percent; Campus politics, 27 percent; Difficulty cultivating leadership in others, 27 percent; Work-life balance, 26.1 percent; Unrealistic expectations for problem solving, 23.4 percent.

Presidents were asked about their top internal constituencies that understood institutional challenges the least. They first named students. Second, they named faculty.

ACE also asked presidents about their top uses of time. Almost two-thirds, 64.9 percent, named budget and financial management as a primary use of time. That was closely followed by fund-raising, cited by 58.1 percent of presidents.

Asked to predict the future of key revenue sources, presidents were most down on government funding and most optimistic about external funding. More than 41 percent said they expected state government funding to decrease in the next five years. Almost 28 percent expected federal government funding to decrease.

A vast majority, 84.7 percent, expected private gifts, grants and contracts to rise. Three-quarters expected tuition and fees to increase. And 63.7 percent anticipated endowment income to increase.

The predictions caught the eyes of some as being overly optimistic.

“I'm particularly struck that, as a group, we think we will see increased revenues from virtually all sources -- tuition, endowments, gifts and grants,” said Kathleen Murray, president of Whitman College, in an email. “I just don't see how that is possible.”

Under 20 percent of presidents said strategic planning was an area of importance for the future. Only 12 percent said using institutional research to inform decision making was an area of importance.

That raised worries that presidents will be jumping from issue to issue without ever addressing the long term.

“Without a clear set of institutional strategic priorities that are informed by data, both financial decisions and fund-raising goals are based on a whim,” said Susan Resneck Pierce, former president of the University of Puget Sound and president of SRP Consulting. “In addition, without a clear set of strategic goals informed by data, the annual operating budget becomes the de facto plan.”

The survey also included some data on the personal lives of presidents and the perks they receive. Most presidents -- 85 percent -- were married. Another 1 percent had domestic partners.

A president’s college or university employed his or her spouse 12 percent of the time. An additional 38 percent of presidential spouses worked outside the institution.

Many presidents, 84 percent, had children. Yet only 22 percent had children under age 18.

Most presidents, 81 percent, said they received a written contract with their job offers. Three-year contracts were most common, reported by 34 percent of presidents -- although three-year terms were also most common among community college presidents. Contracts of five years or more were more common for doctorate-granting, master’s and bachelor’s institutions, as well as special-focus institutions.

Two-thirds or more of all presidents said they received benefits like pension or retirement benefits, an automobile, and life insurance. At least one-third said they received benefits like deferred compensation, an entertainment budget, health and wellness benefits, a presidential residence, memberships to professional associations or social clubs, and merit-based salary increases.

Presidents at private colleges and universities were more likely to receive such perks.

Many saw those benefits as a reminder that the presidency has its advantages, despite being a job filled with pressures.

“While it is surely true that being a college or university president can be a stressful job, it is also true that there is no lack of applicants for every open presidency,” said John Lombardi, former president of the University of Florida and the Louisiana State University System, in an email. “It is also clear, as emphasized in the data here, that at least for those who responded to the survey, the perks of being president are significant and much greater than the perks enjoyed by most of those within the institutions the presidents serve. Presidents are paid well by and large, they have many benefits not available to others in the university community, and while the job is surely difficult, so too are many other jobs within the academic world.”

Editorial Tags: College administrationDiversity MattersIs this diversity newsletter?: Newsletter Order: 3Diversity Newsletter publication date: Tuesday, June 20, 2017Is this Career Advice newsletter?: Email Teaser: The Slowly Diversifying Presidency

Scholar who is popular speaker nationwide ousted from center directorship at Ohio State, amid allegations of misconduct

Inside Higher Education - Mar, 20 Jun 2017 - 02:00

Terrell Strayhorn made a name for himself by writing about college students, belonging and race. He is a popular speaker at campuses around the country, drawing audiences with his knowledge, charisma and obvious passion for his subject matter.

The combination of expertise and ability to engage with the public eventually won Strayhorn the directorship of the Center for Higher Education Enterprise at Ohio State University, where he was already a professor of higher education. The job, described in part to Strayhorn in a 2014 offer letter as “promoting Ohio State’s leadership in this area” and “contributing to policy proposals that genuinely benefit both students and society,” seemed a great match.

Three years later, Strayhorn is out at Ohio State. Terminated as center director for financial misconduct and managerial concerns, he also resigned from his professorship after being put on indefinite leave in the face of possible disciplinary action.

Strayhorn denies deliberate wrongdoing, attributing any missteps to a lack of training for his administrative role. But the university says his ignorance defense is thin, since he was allegedly warned multiple times to adhere to campus policy.

At the center of Ohio State’s case against Strayhorn is how he handled paid external speaking and consulting jobs -- at least tens of thousands of dollars’ worth, and up to $200,000 within two and a half years, according to university estimates. He was also found by the university to have neglected his professorial duties in using the center’s name to pursue personal gain, and to have engaged in inappropriate conduct concerning a center employee. Complaints about Strayhorn were supported by center staff members who complained of a poor climate, according to university documents obtained through an open-records request.

Strayhorn denies that finding, too, saying that he put his ideals into practice as a center director -- one who traveled frequently and trusted that things were handled well in his absence.

“We operated like a family,” Strayhorn said. “It did take time to get there, but I reject the idea that people did not feel cared for and supported and a sense of collegiality.”

Promising Start

Strayhorn came to Ohio State in 2010 and became its youngest full professor in 2014, helped by such publications as College Students’ Sense of Belonging: A Key to Educational Success for All Students. In 2014, after he started to gain acclaim for his talks on ensuring success for underserved students, Ohio State asked him to lead its three-year-old Center for Higher Education Enterprise on a half-time appointment. The group works to improve academic access, affordability and engagement for all students, toward its lofty stated goal of becoming the nation’s “pre-eminent higher education research center, solving issues of national significance.”

Strayhorn said yes to the four-year gig, agreeing to the following job responsibilities, among others: developing affiliations with academic units on campus in order to become a central think tank for solving higher education challenges; working closely with faculty advisers and others to put strategy proposals in place at the state and national levels; and defining the land-grant tradition in today’s world, “specifically how public universities can be leaders of outreach and engagement efforts that strengthen communities and economies.”

Strayhorn retained his professorship at half time. With the pay for leading the center, he earned a total starting salary of approximately $172,100 in fall 2014, and seemingly performed well through last summer. In awarding Strayhorn a 2 percent raise in August, Michael Boehm, vice provost for academic and strategic planning, included a handwritten note, saying, “Terrell, thanks for your leadership. Mike.”

Then things changed. Strayhorn was notified in the fall that he was the subject of an internal audit, based on administrative concerns about his speaking engagements on behalf of the center and the frequency of his travels. By January, the university says, he’d formally been told not to accept honoraria for center-related activities and to submit business travel requests through a new supervisory channel.

In February, auditors who investigated one year’s worth of travel found that while Strayhorn’s trips were “properly supported and approved,” he routinely accepted honoraria that he did not submit or disclose, including on conflict-of-interest forms -- potentially in violation of university policies and Ohio ethics law. The audit report noted that Strayhorn said he was confused about payment protocols for faculty members versus center directors, and it recommended new oversight measures for center-related travel requests and formalized training for all faculty members moving into administrative roles.

To Strayhorn, the February audit report is the key document in his case, since it found, in his words, that “perceived concern was the result of a misunderstanding.”

“I want to be clear, for the years in which I traveled for invited speaking engagements and received honorarium, all of my travel was properly disclosed though the channels designated and outlined in policy by the university,” he wrote in a follow-up email to Inside Higher Ed. “Each travel request included an attachment of my itinerary and contract for the speaking engagement and the amount of compensation. Not only were the travel and honorarium approved every time I submitted -- it went through a multitiered approval process with as many as four levels of sign-offs.”

A Damning Review

A March administrative follow-up to the audit -- which the university says contextualizes the earlier report and so holds more weight -- is much more damning, however. Noting that center staff reported Strayhorn had removed files from his office and the full audit was thus incomplete, it enumerated more than $51,000 in speaking fees Strayhorn had negotiated and accepted since January alone. That’s after he’d already twice been warned not to accept any more honoraria as center director, according to the university.

Strayhorn, meanwhile, noted he was told not to accept honoraria as a center director. That didn't preclude him from paid speaking engagements altogether, in his view.

“I was not told to stop all speaking at that point,” he said. “I was instructed not to collect honoraria ‘in my role as [center] director,’ which I made clear was not the case. I had been speaking as a faculty member since joining Ohio State in 2010 and the vast majority of my speaking was based on my faculty research,” not center work.

Most sponsoring organizations for talks early this year were other universities and community colleges, though Strayhorn had also agreed on terms with the Higher Learning Commission ($2,500) and Achieving the Dream ($2,500), among others. An email from Strayhorn negotiating payment terms with the University of Wisconsin at Green Bay, for example, said, “Typically I receive $7,500 for a full day visit that includes a keynote/campus address, plus 2-3 smaller group sessions … Of course, we have no hard and fast numbers and can always negotiate by adjusting the number of talks/sessions …”

Strayhorn’s executive assistants at the center did much of the legwork in arranging his appearances and affixed the center logo to related memos through February, when Strayhorn took over such duties. A related report says that Strayhorn later established an LLC for his consulting but still provided a center assistant with a credit card bearing the new business’s name, presumably to continue to arrange speaking engagements for him.

As of March, according to the university, Strayhorn hadn’t sought permission for the compensated events or provided any evidence that he declined an honorarium or asked that payments be made to Ohio State. The audit follow-up also says that Strayhorn’s self-identification as center director during paid talks and engagements raises conflict-of-interest policy and ethics law compliance issues. Strayhorn completed required conflict-of-interest training as recently as 2015, the report says, but failed to disclose a $15,000 agreement to consult for EducationPlus, a professional development organization, for example.

Administrators also found that Strayhorn violated the university’s travel policy by not disclosing numerous paid speaking trips within the previous year and by completing trips that had already been rejected by supervisors for various reasons. Strayhorn maintains that he was transparent and thorough in his travel reports to the university.

He was also allegedly away from campus much more than what’s considered appropriate by the university’s external consulting policy of about one day per week. Between January and March, for instance, Strayhorn was off campus for 22 of 42 working days, 19 of which included paid speaking engagements, according to the university follow-up report. Students allegedly noticed and remarked on his absences, which the university said amounted to an apparent “conflict of commitment” to his teaching duties, as well, Ohio documents state.

Strayhorn was terminated as center director the day the audit follow-up was released. He was also placed on indefinite leave and notified that he faced possible disciplinary action as a faculty member. Several university documents show that Strayhorn continued to use his center affiliation in emails even after he was terminated as center director, and was asked to stop.

On May 3, in a short memo, Strayhorn resigned his faculty position.

“At some point in consultation with my attorney and as a man of faith I began to ask myself, ‘Do I spend my time trying to figure out what is behind this?’” he said recently, arguing that he performed his duties the same way for years until something suddenly changed. “I likely will never know the answer, but it’s probably not one single factor, and I have to respond and manage the situation.”

Strayhorn emphasized that his resignation as a faculty member was voluntary, and that ultimately he has nothing but good things to say about his time at Ohio State. Simply, he reiterated, the university told him to stop collecting honoraria as a center director, and he proceeded to collect as he had previously done, in his capacity as a faculty member presenting what was largely his own research.

“Once the interpretation of policy was brought to my attention in a way that would no longer allow for the work I do in speaking with groups around the country from my research in ways that ensure all students to succeed,” he said, “I chose to remove myself from teaching and the work I loved very much at Ohio State to be able to make an impact on a larger scale.”

In resigning, however, Strayhorn signed a release agreement saying he’d pay Ohio State approximately $29,000 as “restitution for issues identified in the course of his employment.” The agreement releases Strayhorn from future causes of action by Ohio State, but the university specifically reserves the right to make “any criminal or ethics law reports, complaints, and shall not be prohibited from cooperating with any related federal, state, local or other governmental agency investigation or proceeding.”

Further, the agreement says, nothing prevents Ohio State from “investigating and taking appropriate action for any allegations of research misconduct or other misconduct relating to or arising out of research” Strayhorn conducted while working on campus. Strayhorn also reserves the right to challenge such charges, according to the document.

Strayhorn did not immediately respond to a request for comment on the release agreement, which the university released soon before publication in response to a follow-up open-records request.

Questions About Leadership

A day after his resignation, the university published one more report pertaining to additional allegations of behavioral misconduct against Strayhorn. An investigation involving interviews with 10 center employees cited consistent reports of favoritism toward one subordinate, a former doctoral student of Strayhorn’s, to the detriment of the office as a whole.

“The witnesses reported feeling fearful of retaliation if they were to be in opposition with [the employee] and, as a result, this caused most of the employees to avoid contact” with both him and Strayhorn, the report reads. Center staff members complained that the two seemed unusually close, sometimes sharing hotel rooms when they traveled together, and that personal conflict between them was apparent and awkward for those around them when it happened.

The university found insufficient evidence to support a prohibited romantic or sexual relationship between Strayhorn and his employee, which they both denied to the investigator. But Ohio State concluded that Strayhorn engaged in inappropriate conduct through the appearance of favoritism and possible conflict of interest related to the student. It also noted that Strayhorn seemed to have placed the subordinate, who has since left the center, in a difficult position with his co-workers.

Strayhorn said he and the former student are great friends and that their relationship says something about his calling as a teacher. So it hurts him to think that his students are most affected by his departure, he said.

“All of them are impacted,” he said. “This just doesn’t seem necessary. Why didn’t they just say, ‘Hey, let’s train you, let’s figure out a new way to do this differently here and there’? … Nothing’s going to stop me from meeting people at a coffee shop or using my research tools or being on committees. Me doing those things was not just about Ohio State -- it’s deeper than a contractual relationship.”

Strayhorn noted that Ohio State actually encourages professors, including those with administrative appointments, to engage in extracurricular consulting via its Faculty Paid External Consulting policy.

“Participation by faculty members [in] activities of government, in industry and in other private institutions generally serves the academic interests of the university,” reads the policy. “As a result of such activities, the people of Ohio benefit from the dissemination of knowledge and technology developed within the university and students benefit from experiences faculty bring to the classroom. Moreover, the professional experience and recognition that such participation brings to the faculty member is shared indirectly by the university.”

Yet the policy also stresses prior approval and says that faculty members should “avoid any conflict or appearance of conflict between consulting and university responsibilities.” The disruption of formal instructional activities because of consulting, in particular, must be avoided. Faculty members also may not use university letterhead in connection with paid external consulting, “nor may they use university facilities and other resources to support consulting” unless permission is obtained and the university is appropriately compensated.

A university spokesperson said that Ohio State had additional concerns about Strayhorn promoting himself as holding an M.S.L. degree in an academic bio and in his promotion process to full professor. Strayhorn had previously been enrolled in a master of law program at Ohio State, he said, but did not finish. Strayhorn did not respond to a request to waive his federal student rights to privacy for Inside Higher Ed to obtain documents related to his departure from the program.

Some of his past speaking bios still online include the law degree, and the university provided additional internal documents suggesting misrepresentation: a screenshot of Strayhorn's credentials from the center website and a CV provided to an external reviewer in the promotions process. Both mention the master's degree with no indication that it was in progress. Strayhorn adamantly denies claims that he misrepresented his credentials, however, saying he always indicated that the law degree was in progress and that any confusion is attributable to staff members or other third parties. He forwarded a CV he said was automatically generated by the university, which listed the M.S.L. under the degrees section.

The university challenged that account and provided a 2014 memo to Strayhorn documenting that he had been asked to address the problem. “As is the case at every other university, at Ohio State all faculty members are individually responsible for the accuracy of their CVs and making sure they don't list degrees that they have not earned,” said Chris Davey, a spokesperson for the university.

As for the alleged financial misconduct, Ohio State does allow professors in some cases to accept preapproved “nominal honoraria” for speaking. But Davey said that Strayhorn’s administrative role “was to be a resource and advocate in higher education policy, and he was out doing that job and receiving supplemental compensation for it. That’s totally impermissible.”

It’s any public employee’s responsibility to know Ohio ethics law, Davey added, and opportunities for administrative training are available. Again, conflict-of-interest training is required of faculty members every four years.

Hans-Joerg Tiede, associate secretary for academic freedom, tenure and governance at the American Association of University Professors, said the group doesn’t have a formal policy for or against honoraria but recommends that universities adopt conflict-of-interest policies that require faculty members to disclose such payments if they exceed a certain limit. AAUP cites $5,000 in the context of health fields and generally for consulting contracts, he said.

Keeping Things ‘Clean’

Mary Beth Gasman, the Judy and Howard Berkowitz Professor of Education at the University of Pennsylvania and director of the Penn Center for Minority Serving Institutions, is a friend of Strayhorn’s and admirer of his scholarly work. She described him as a “highly productive scholar who has championed ideas around sense of belonging on college campuses through his empirical research, articles, books and public lectures.” He is an “excellent speaker” who has mentored many young scholars, especially students of color, she added.

Gasman, who also does some external consulting and public speaking when she has the time, said Strayhorn’s story is an interesting case study but noted that her situation is very different from his. She founded her center while retaining a full-time faculty appointment, for example, and supports the Penn center through grants; it would cease to exist if she could no longer do so, she said.

As a rule, Penn’s center does not charge minority-serving institutions for its programs, but Gasman sometimes accepts honoraria from other kinds of colleges and universities, or does small consulting projects if time permits. Not necessarily because she has to, but to keep things neat, Gasman said she does not run her individual talks through her center and arranges travel and files related paperwork herself.

“Keep in mind that I could easily have my assistant process these items, as all my talks pertain to minority-serving institutions,” she said, “but I choose not to in order to keep a clean line between things I do as a faculty member and things I do for our center.”

Penn encourages professors to share their research with others through talks and consulting, and “understands that the institution benefits from our national exposure,” she said. Yet Penn also communicates that outside work can’t “overshadow our work as a faculty member,” through clear policies.

At the same time, Gasman noted she has crucial experience as an administrator and has worked in fields including fund-raising and nonprofits. So she worries about faculty members with none of that experience leading centers. That’s because the job is “an enormous amount of work if you do it well,” she said. Saying that it can’t just be “a mere extension of your research agenda,” Gasman explained that directors must care for staff, plan, budget and raise funds, plus hire an operations person to understand campus policies, for example.

“Universities need to provide training and help faculty understand what is allowable and what is not,” Gasman added. “These kinds of discussions are not part of faculty on-boarding at most institutions. I have told many faculty to think twice before starting a center given the enormous commitment, and I think the faculty should have to go through some kind of administrative training to ensure that they understand policies.”

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Federal pick to lead higher ed policy drops out of consideration

Inside Higher Education - Mar, 20 Jun 2017 - 02:00

The Trump administration’s pick to oversee higher ed policy at the Department of Education is out of the running.

In an email last week, Claude Pressnell, president of the Tennessee Independent Colleges and Universities Association, said he was withdrawing his name from consideration for the job of assistant secretary for postsecondary education.

It’s the second time in recent weeks that a candidate for a high-profile role at the department has said “no thanks” to the department deep in the vetting process. And it underscores the slow progress since January in making key political hires to round out Education Secretary Betsy DeVos’s team.

Pressnell said in the email to presidents of TICUA member institutions that he and DeVos had discussed since April the possibility of his being appointed to the assistant secretary position by President Trump.

“Whereas it was a great honor to be approached about accepting the appointment, after arduous consideration I have decided to withdraw my name from consideration,” he wrote. “The TICUA Board of Directors very graciously worked with me through this process. This was one of the most difficult decisions of my career, but I am thrilled to continue my work with TICUA.”

Pressnell declined to comment on the email or the reasons for his decision.

The department declined to comment about its hiring efforts. Some well-connected Republicans cautioned that filling senior staff positions doesn’t always happen quickly and said several experienced officials are helping manage the department on an interim basis.

But others have expressed frustration with the slow pace of the personnel moves five months into the administration. And it doesn’t appear that there is a pipeline of other candidates to fill the assistant secretary job or the deputy secretary position turned down by the E&A Industries co-founder Allan Hubbard earlier this month.

“It’s depressing, and they really need to get somebody and get somebody soon,” said Vic Klatt, a principal at the Penn Hill Group and a former education staff member for Republican lawmakers in the House. “Particularly with an upcoming negotiated rule-making process scheduled and the fact that they’re supposed to reauthorize the Higher Education Act this Congress, we need somebody and we need them quickly.”

Kathleen Smith is currently serving as the acting assistant secretary for the Office of Postsecondary Education. Smith previously was the higher ed policy adviser for Senator Lamar Alexander, the Tennessee Republican who chairs the Senate education committee.

Several other recent hires are filling senior roles on an acting basis -- among them, Under Secretary Jim Manning, Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights Candice Jackson and Jason Botel, assistant secretary for elementary and secondary education. The under secretary's job is widely expected to be eliminated in the new administration.

The acting designation means those officials won’t immediately require Senate confirmation. But having personnel filling key roles on an acting basis may signal difficulty in filling those roles long term.

Klatt said he knows both Manning and Smith personally and seeing either nominated for Senate confirmation would be “great.”

“If they’re not going to do that, we need to have people filling those roles in permanent positions,” he said.

The department announced last week that it would overhaul two major Obama higher ed regulations via the negotiated rule-making process. The first set of public hearings in the rule-making process is set for next month. That means a department that has been slow to take major policy initiatives in higher ed will likely find itself very busy over the second half of 2017.

Senate confirmation allows officials to have the full authority of the office, Klatt said, but right now officials are in a kind of limbo.

“I don’t think that’s good for anyone,” he said. “I think you get your people in place and charge forward.”

The administration has only nominated one department official, the general counsel pick, Carlos Muniz, for Senate confirmation so far. Many of the roughly 150 political appointments at the department remain vacant entirely.

Every new administration can face challenges filling key positions at federal agencies. But even prominent conservatives have acknowledged the difficulty finding officials with the right combination of credibility and experience who are also willing to work for an administration that is perceived to lack stability and a president who demands personal fealty.

The apparent selection of Pressnell before he removed himself from consideration may signal the kind of person the department is looking for to fill the assistant secretary position.

He’s a widely respected veteran of higher ed who has testified before Congress and provided input to lawmakers and the executive branch as a member of the now-defunct Advisory Committee on Student Financial Aid. The department recently appointed him to the National Advisory Committee on Institutional Quality and Integrity, which oversees accreditors.

Pressnell is also from Tennessee, home to Alexander, who as head of the Senate's education committee is widely seen as the most influential higher ed policy maker in the nation's capital right now.

Tennessee is also a state seen by many as a laboratory for experiments in higher ed. Before free college became a major issue in the Democratic presidential primary last year, Republican Governor Bill Haslam pushed a plan to make community college free in the state. This year, the state expanded the program to include adult learners as well.

Private institutions in Tennessee initially reacted skeptically to Haslam’s proposal, but Pressnell was viewed as a deal maker, helping to ensure that students taking advantage of the program would be able to transfer to private colleges to complete four-year degrees.

Jamienne Studley, former under secretary of education under President Obama, served for about two and a half years as under secretary on an acting basis from the point her predecessor resigned early in the president’s second term until the Senate confirmed her replacement.

“That’s different from the very beginning of an administration, not bringing people forward in these high-level jobs,” she said.

Studley, who now works as a consultant and as national policy adviser at Beyond 12, said she was surprised at how few officials in this administration had even been nominated for Senate confirmation.

While career officials have the capacity to handle operational issues, she said political appointees have an important role to play in deciding direction at the department and listening to outside input.

“Not having folks who are in a position to hear external ideas and draw on internal experience and recommendations can be a serious limitation,” Studley said.

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Colleges have lots of leeway in how they track sexual offenses

Inside Higher Education - Mar, 20 Jun 2017 - 02:00

When news surfaced recently that Oregon State University’s star baseball player was a convicted sex offender, the local newspaper asked the institution: When did you know?

At age 15, Luke Heimlich molested a 6-year-old girl -- a family member -- The Oregonian unearthed. Heimlich, one of the nation’s top pitchers, hadn’t properly registered his status when he moved from Washington State, and so law enforcement flagged him in public court records, which alerted the paper. Reporters investigated, uncovering Washington court documents.

The baseball coach and athletics director at Oregon refused to comment. The university only released a statement.

Their silence raises concerns among sexual assault prevention advocates, as some have accused college athletes of receiving preferential treatment and being shielded from consequences, even for an offense as severe as sexual assault.

Athletes, particularly at larger, Division I institutions, often are campus pseudocelebrities, and advocates argue that they should not be revered or given special privileges if they committed a sex crime. Federal guidance suggests students should not be barred from an education because of criminal records, but because of their campus positions, athletes are often held to a higher level of scrutiny -- and should be, advocates say.

Obligations for Institutions

Officials are under no obligation to investigate athletes to any particular degree, as the National Collegiate Athletic Association has never issued a blanket mandate to its membership.

Legal experts say institutions rely on all students to be truthful and disclose past indiscretions, and federal law demands they do so for some sex offenses. Running formal background checks would prove pricey and cumbersome -- they’re also imperfect. Crimes committed when the person was a minor, or incidents in other states, could go undetected.

Athletics departments are vetting their recruits, though, at least through conversations with the student’s family and coaches to gauge their personalities and backgrounds when an athlete is interested in a program. The purpose is not necessarily to check for a criminal record. In some cases, a quick internet search could reveal a criminal past, particularly with high-profile students.

Most court orders for sex crimes force the offender to inform law enforcement where they’ll be living. The 2000 federal Campus Sex Crimes Prevention Act also requires those sex offenders, both prospective employees and students, who were already supposed to register with the state to tell an institution of their conviction. Colleges must also publicize where students can find information about registered sex offenders on campus.

An institution’s responsibility is to ask about convictions and adjust to ensure the student complies with the stipulations of the court order, said Scott Lewis, a lawyer and partner at the National Center for Higher Education Risk Management Group, which advises colleges on legal matters.

Some courts have forbidden an offender from being within a certain number of feet of a minor or a school or day care, and so in that case, a college would need to accommodate the order if, for instance, a younger student was enrolled in the same class, Lewis said.

That can grow more complex for athletes who may travel for games -- again, the college must ensure that any court restrictions aren’t violated, Lewis said.

Though many coaches and administrators take time to learn about their players, there’s an incentive for them to stay oblivious to prior sex offenses, said Laura Dunn, founder and executive director of SurvJustice, a nonprofit dedicated to sexual assault prevention.

The standard for being found liable under the Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972, the federal law prohibiting gender discrimination, is actual knowledge of events. Thus, an institution could theoretically claim ignorance and escape punishment if it is accused of violating Title IX, Dunn said.

“Unfortunately what we assume is true -- that institutions care about their students and care about safety -- is actually not always true. Intentionally not caring keeps you from being sued. It’s an outrageous kind of circumstance,” Dunn said.

For athletic officials to purposefully avoid questions about sexual assault would be odd, since typically they want to know about other potential barriers with their athletes, like a learning disability or drug use, Lewis said. He said it is “bad faith showing” if colleges dodge their duties.

Often, athletes are showered with free gear and meals and perks like special classes, workout areas and tutoring, Dunn said. A former athlete herself, Dunn was sexually assaulted during her freshman year at the University of Wisconsin at Madison.

Once someone has finished jail time or their sentence, they should be allowed to reintegrate back into society and attend a college, but be banned from its sports team, which Dunn called a “privilege.”

“The university is elevating you,” she said.

Universities are not legally obligated to publicly make statements regarding sex offenders, particularly considering that they could run afoul of the federal Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act, said Joseph Storch, associate counsel in the office of the State University of New York’s general counsel.

Oregon State, in its statement about the situation, did not name Heimlich but referenced news coverage of his offense. At his request, Heimlich did not pitch in a recent game against Vanderbilt University, but he remains on the team. Once considered a top pick for Major League Baseball, he has so far not been drafted.

The statement calls the Oregonian account of the crime “disturbing.” It states that when a student is a registered sex offender, the student affairs and public safety offices meet with them to “mitigate risks.”

“I want to make clear that each day the safety and security of our students at Oregon State University is our No. 1 priority. Our policies and procedures provide a safe learning environment for our community and seek to ensure that all prospective and current students are treated fairly and equitably,” Oregon State President Ed Ray said in the statement.

The statement did not mention if or when the university learned of Heimlich’s conviction.

“My philosophy,” said Matt Gregory, the dean of students at Texas Tech University, “is what did you know, when did you know about it and what did you do with it? That’s how to handle it properly.” Gregory served as a conduct officer for most of his career and participated in a Southeastern Conference work group that examined the rules for athletes who had committed sexual assault.

Gregory said he would always welcome public records requests about an incident to ensure his institution was operating “above board.”

No one in a student conduct office would want to show favoritism to athletes, Gregory said. He said he wanted to separate students from their campus affiliations, like student government or athletics, and focus only on behavioral infractions.

“I see them as my students,” Gregory said.

The U.S. Department of Education has issued guidance indicating that universities should try to reduce the scope of questions on criminal background. A 2016 report details the disproportionate rate at which people of color are convicted and points out that an institution could unintentionally discriminate by barring anyone with a criminal history.

The report notes that criminal background checks are never comprehensive. The Federal Bureau of Investigation maintains a records repository, but it is drastically incomplete. States do not always publish such information digitally, either.

"It’s complicated -- there’s no … perfect product off the shelf for background checks,” Storch said.

There have been efforts to both remove barriers for offenders and make institutions more vigilant of their status.

SUNY will no longer ask about felony convictions on its admission applications, but it’s not quite in the mold of the “ban the box” movement. Instead, some are calling it “moving the box,” because SUNY will still inquire about convictions if a student wants to live on campus or participate in certain internship or clinical programs, said Storch.

Storch helped advocate for a new comprehensive campus safety law In New York. In part, it forces institutions to note on transcripts if students committed violations that would also count as certain crimes under the Jeanne Clery Disclosure of Campus Security Policy and Campus Crime Statistics Act, and was suspended, expelled or has a punishment pending against them.

The violation is not described on the transcript, a deliberate choice, Storch said, because it forces the institution to find out more information from the college where a student transferred from.

Institutions across the country are supposed to alert another college if a student is found guilty of sexual misconduct and attempts to transfer out, Lewis said. He advises his clients to note any pending investigations against students.

“My athletics clients ask, some coaches ask -- ‘Do I have to call that school?’ No one wants to be the bearer of bad news,” Lewis said.

The Southeastern Conference no longer allows its member institutions to accept transfer athletes with a history of violent acts, including sexual assault. Gregory, of Texas Tech, served on the SEC work group that proposed the rule change and said all the representatives agreed that this was a part of institutions doing their due diligence.

But the NCAA hasn’t issued any associationwide decrees regarding vetting of athletes.

An NCAA spokeswoman, Gail Dent, referred Inside Higher Ed to the association’s sexual violence prevention guidance. She advised a reporter to talk with individual institutions about their policies.

The NCAA was already disinclined to act on sexual violence policies, but under President Obama, it was pressured to do so, said Dunn of SurvJustice. Less incentive exists under the new administration, Dunn said.

Only institutions like Baylor University and Pennsylvania State University, both of which have been rocked by sexual assault scandals, have any motivation to reform, she said.

Athletes modeling positive behavior and education can combat sexual crimes, Storch said. SUNY athletes participated in the Yards for Yeardley program, named for Yeardley Love, a University of Virginia lacrosse player who was killed by her ex-boyfriend just weeks before she was due to graduate in 2010. Sports teams are charged with running one million yards in a 30-day span while promoting information about relationship violence and the One Love Foundation, which runs the yards program.

“Progress may come from athletes, too,” Storch said.

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Colleges start new academic programs

Inside Higher Education - Mar, 20 Jun 2017 - 02:00
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El Consistorio abrirá cinco escuelas infantiles el próximo curso

El País - Educación - Lun, 19 Jun 2017 - 17:11
A esas cinco escuelas se sumarán otras 11, que se levantarán en septiembre de 2018

Hacia una Universidad (casi) gratuita en Andalucía

El País - Educación - Lun, 19 Jun 2017 - 17:00
La Junta avanza en su estrategia para reducir drásticamente el coste de las matrículas universitarias

El método más eficaz para enseñar matemáticas ya está en España

El País - Educación - Lun, 19 Jun 2017 - 16:19
El profesor Yeap descubre a docentes españoles los secretos del modelo que ha convertido a Singapur en el 'número uno' en esta asignatura

This 10-Year-Old Is Creating A Device To Prevent Infants From Dying In Hot Cars

Huffington Post - Lun, 19 Jun 2017 - 15:22

After Bishop Curry heard his neighbor’s 6-month-old infant died from being in an overheated car, he decided to create a life-saving device to prevent incidents like this from reoccurring ― as any responsible 10-year-old would.

“It kind of came in my head,” Bishop told HuffPost of his device, the Oasis. 

The Oasis would respond to rising temperatures by emitting cool air and use an antenna to signal parents and authorities. At the moment, Bishop only has a 3-D clay model of the device, but his father, Bishop Curry IV, began a GoFundMe campaign for the Oasis in January.

“I got lots of help from my parents,” Bishop said. 

Attorneys advised the family that the minimum amount they’d need for prototyping and manufacturing fees, as well as a patent for the device, is $20,000. 

The GoFundMe campaign has already exceeded that $20,000 goal and, as of Monday, has raised over $23,700. Bishop, who will begin sixth grade in the fall, told Fox News last week that in addition to his parents, his classmates and friends are fully behind him on his projects. 

“They want to work for me,” he said. 

Last June, CNN reported that the number of hot-car deaths had nearly tripled compared to the same time in 2015, which had 24 hot-car deaths in total.

When Curry grows up, he wants to center his career around inventions, including a time machine. 

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School Employee May Be Fired For Claiming Gays 'Should Be Killed' On Facebook

Huffington Post - Lun, 19 Jun 2017 - 12:28
Chris Dodds said he hoped the local pride event would end up like the Boston Marathon bombing.


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