Student Records Targeted by FBI

(cross posted from

A journalism student at Northwestern  University has uncovered a previously unknown effort that used student loan records to track potential terrorists. Known as "Project Strike Back", the program was a joint effort between the Department of Education and FBI. Launched in the days after the September 11th attack, Project Strike Back allowed federal authorities to have access to thousands of student records. The program has allegedly been discontinued, but many questions remain about student rights during wartime.

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Small Colleges Drop SAT

(Cross posted from

Across the country, dozens of small liberal-arts colleges are dropping the SAT requirement for admissions. This trend started a few years ago and is an extremely positive development. There are a variety of reasons that I oppose standardized tests in college admissions, but I think this quote sums up the issue quite nicely:

"We hope that now that there are more test-optional schools, students will think about not taking it, and putting their time and money into other activities, like music or writing or community service, said Jane B. Brown, vice president for enrollment at Mount Holyoke, which dropped the SAT requirement in 2001. We hope they will have more interesting lives."

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College Students and The Textbook Racket

(This is cross posted from my blog:

Every college student knows about the high price of textbooks. I have five classes this semester and managed to spend almost $500 on assigned readings. These were almost all politics and history classes, which makes the figure even more amazing. Textbooks for humanities classes actually tend to be cheaper than other subject areas. For example, students studying hard sciences like biology or chemistry often have to shell out over $100 for a single text book. Unless something is done to make college books more affordable, higher education may soon be out of reach for many young people.

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The Fate of Education

The Lubbock Avalanche-Journal takes on the fate of education in its latest editorial.  The news is sobering:

The future of public education in Texas currently is clouded by concerns over the rapidly rising numbers of low-performing, disadvantaged and special needs children, according to Dr. Mike Moses, former Lubbock ISD and Dallas ISD superintendent, former Texas Education Commissioner and a past vice chancellor at Texas Tech.

Almost 70 percent of Texans who pay for public schools are not raising one of the 4.5 million school-age children in the state, reported The A-J's Eric Finley.

Older Texans may be unwilling to accept tax increases which don't benefit their children, speculated Dr. Moses, vice-chairman of the board of Higher Ed Holdings and chairman of the board for the American College of Education.

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Ed Wiley Could Kick Chuck Norris' Ass (for the kids)

The recent people powered movement of the CT-Senate race isnt the only place where good people are finding their voice! Deep in the hollows of WV, something miraculous is happening...

If we fail as parents, we have failed as Americans - Bo Webb
Grandfather Ed Wiley is no traditional environmentalist, child rights advocate, or political activist. His history and his heritage run deep into the coal encrusted veins of the Appalachian Mountains.

Ed Wiley has never fought sludge impoundments. He has built them.

He has never boycotted coal. He has extracted it.

He worked in processing plants just like the one less than a football field from Marsh Fork Elementary School, in Sundial, WV - full of enormous clanging machinery, explosive gases, and chemically treated coal dust.

He helped build the 2.8 billion gallon sludge impoundment directly above Marsh Fork Elementary School where his 11-year old granddaughter goes to school and is poisoned everyday by those same chemicals.

Now this man is spending his retirement walking 455 miles over 40 days and nights in the heat of summer!


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