Reposted from CURMUDGUCATION: How Scary Can Big Data Get?

CURMUDGUCATIONFriday, February 12, 2016

How Scary Can Big Data Get?

There are plenty of people talking repeatedly and forcefully about resisting the infection of public education by the many tentacle-like limbs of Big Data. We know that reformsters have been talking for decades about the prospect of a cradle-to-career pipeline in which all manner of data can be collected and crunched and used to determine how best society can use the human beings that the data represents.

But if you want to see a real-world, already-happening demonstration of what this kind of data looks like, check out this article from the Washington Post that ran last month.

Go here to read the rest of this blog: CURMUDGUCATION: How Scary Can Big Data Get

College financial aid options explained at FREE Western Michigan University event February 14

College financial aid options explained at free event


KALAMAZOO, Mich.—College-bound students and their families are invited to come to Western Michigan University Sunday, Feb. 14, for College Goal Sunday and to learn how to maximize their financial aid opportunities.

The event, set from 2 to 4 p.m. in Schneider Hall, is being held at sites across the country to help high school seniors and others fill out their Free Application for Federal Student Aid, or FAFSA. Most students qualify for some type of financial aid, with a priority deadline of Tuesday, March 1.

WMU’s event, one of dozens being held around the state as part of the MI College Goal effort, is open to everyone thinking about attending college, regardless of age.


Volunteers from the University’s Office of Student Financial Aid and Scholarships will be on hand to answer questions about financial aid resources and help guide attendees through each step of completing and filing the FAFSA.Students and parents or guardians need to bring a variety of materials to College Goal, including:

  • FSA ID.
  • Driver’s license.
  • Alien registration card (if a non-U.S. citizen).
  • Social Security number.
  • Federal income tax forms.

For a complete list of items students and parents or guardians need to bring, visit


College Goal Sunday is a free program created to increase the number of students who continue their education beyond high school and earn post-secondary degrees. The FAFSA is required of any student seeking such financial aid as grants, loans and many scholarships.

Michigan College Goal is a collaborative effort of the Michigan Department of Treasury, Michigan Department of Education and Michigan Student Financial Aid Association, as well as two nonprofit organizations: EduGuide, which leads the effort, and USA Funds, which is the primary sponsor.

Visit for additional details about MI College Goal.

For more information about WMU’s on-campus event, contact Nicole Martinez, Student Financial Aid, at or (269) 387-6000.


Source: College financial aid options explained at free event | WMU News | Western Michigan University

MSU Extension launches website full of educational resources on lead 

EAST LANSING, Michigan – The national spotlight is on Flint as it deals with wide-ranging issues related to lead in the water supply, but lead exposure is not just a Flint problem. In fact, hundreds of thousands of Michigan residents, including many young children, live in areas with elevated lead levels.

Detroit, Grand Rapids, Muskegon, Kalamazoo, Jackson, Holland, Albion, Adrian, Hasting, Three Rivers, Bay City, Ludington, Manistee Three Rivers, and the Upper Peninsula have all had pockets where children have elevated lead levels, according to Michigan Department of Health and Human Services data. This exposure is not from the water supply as in Flint, but instead through lead-based paints and lead residue in soil.

Michigan State University Extension is committed to bringing nutrition and early childhood education with an increased emphasis on combatting the effects of lead exposure to communities in need. MSU Extension, working with partners including the Pediatric Public Health Initiative in Flint, is working to create new resources and modify existing resources to detail how people can use nutrition to fight the effects of lead, and what resources are available in at-risk communities.

MSU Extension has launched the Fight Lead Exposure website ( as an informational resource hub for people to learn about lead including the risks and what to do if they concerned themselves, a young child or a loved one has been exposed to lead.

Source: Lead in Michigan: MSU Extension launches website full of educational resources on lead | MSU Extension

OpenSecrets Blog:How Crossroads GPS beat the IRS to become a “social welfare” group 

Crossroads cofounders Karl Rove and Ed Gillespie in 2007 when they worked for President George W. Bush. (AP Photo/Lawrence Jackson)

How Crossroads GPS beat the IRS and became a social welfare group

When a group called Crossroads GPS sent the IRS an application for tax-exempt status in September 2010, Nancy Pelosi was speaker of the House, Snapchat hadn’t started doing whatever it does, and Miley Cyrus was still Hannah Montana.

A lot has changed since then, including the political influence of 501(c)(4) social welfare organizations like GPS, a brainchild of Karl Rove, Ed Gillespie and other GOP political operatives that was an early player in the post-Citizens United landscape.

For example, in the 10 years leading up to that date, the combined political spending by organizations, like GPS, that aren’t required to disclose their donors stood at about $100 million.

That was about $30 million less than was ultimately spent by such groups in the last few months of the 2010 midterms alone, and less than one-third of what they spent in the 2012 presidential election cycle. In that cycle, GPS’ political outlays alone made up nearly one-fourth of all spending by nondisclosing groups, as reported to the Federal Election Commission.

None of those totals include the many ads GPS has run outside of the FEC’s reporting windows.

Click here to read the full article


Source: How Crossroads GPS beat the IRS and became a social welfare group | OpenSecrets Blog