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House Bill Repealing State Authorization, Fed. Credit Hour Def. Moving to the Floor

The American Council on Education (ACE) announced this morning that H.R. 2117, the House bill submitted last summer to repeal the U.S. Department of Education’s regulations extending state authorization requirements to online/distance learning and establishing a federal definition of the credit hour, will move to a vote of the full U.S. House of Representatives next week. The full text of the ACE notice is provided below.

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State Authorization Appeal Heard Today

Many thanks to Russ Poulin at WCET for uncovering the DC Circuit Court of Appeals hearing calendar ( and highlighting that the U.S. Department of Education's appeal of a federal district court order overturning its state authorization regulations in relation to online distance learning will be heard today:

Tuesday, February 21, 2012 9:30 A.M. USCA Courtroom - Judges Rogers, Edwards, Ginsburg

  • 10-1079 - American Petroleum Institute v. EPA, 20 minutes per side

  • 11-5174 - Association of Private Sector v. Arne Duncan, 20 minutes per side

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The Promise of Accessible Technology, Part 3 - Colleges and Universities

At the recent U.S. Senate hearing on technology accessibility that focused largely on higher education, “The Promise of Accessible Technology: Challenges and Opportunities,” Mark Turner, Director of the Center for Accessible Media at the California State University (CSU), presented his perspective on “the issues faced by postsecondary institutions as they work to ensure that technology used to deliver educational programs and services are usable by all students, staff, faculty, and members of the public—irrespective of disability status.” In doing so, he noted that the size and scope of the CSU, with 23 campuses serving 427,000 students a year, meant that the university system as a whole served enough students with disabilities (approximately 11,000) to populate a mid-sized university in their own right.

The Promise of Accessible Technology, Part 2 - NFB

The U.S. Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions (HELP) committee hearing entitled “The Promise of Accessible Technology: Challenges and Opportunities” also featured testimony from the National Federation of the Blind (NFB). Early in his comments, Mark Riccobono, executive director of the NFB Jernigan Institute for blindness research and training and a member of the Postsecondary AIM Commission, stressed the need to move from “the old accommodations model” for addressing accessibility to “a new paradigm of mainstream accessibility”:

The Promise of Accessible Technology, Part 1 - DOJ

The U.S. Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions (HELP) Committee recently convened a hearing entitled “The Promise of Accessible Technology: Challenges and Opportunities.” While the chair, ranking member, and witnesses all commented on the latter, the hearing primarily addressed continuing challenges to realizing the promise of technology in higher education for those with disabilities, drawing in part on the findings and recommendations of the Postsecondary AIM Commission. However, the opening witness, Eve Hill of the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) Office of Civil Rights, first reiterated the DOJ’s earlier guidance on college and university technology adoption in relation to accessibility:

Common Education Data Standards, Version 2 (CEDS 2) Released

Last week, the State Higher Education Executives Officers (SHEEO) association announced the release of Common Education Data Standards, Version 2 (CEDS 2) in conjunction with the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) and other partner organizations. The timing of the announcement coincided with the launch of a new CEDS website, which provides access to the standards as well as related information and resources.

Provide Input on Proposed Federal "College Scorecard"

In the “Blueprint for College Affordability” released with the 2012 State of the Union address, the Obama Administration proposed establishing “a College Scorecard for all degree-granting institutions” which would present key information on “college costs, graduation rates, and potential earnings” in a way that would help “students and families choose a college that is well suited to their needs, priced affordably and consistent with their career and educational goals.” The White House has now requested public input on a draft scorecard

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Congressional E-Learning Caucus Taking Shape

Last October, U.S. Representatives Kristi Noem (R-SD) and Jared Polis (D-CO) announced the formation of the Congressional E-Learning Caucus. This body is intended to serve as a community within the U.S. House of Representatives interested in better understanding and advancing federal policy in relation to e-learning; collectively, the caucus would also stand as a knowledge resource on e-learning for the House as a whole. EDUCAUSE recently joined with a number of other educational associations and organizations to meet with Reps. Noem and Polis’s lead staffers for the caucus to discuss the range of issues it might consider addressing in its initial agenda, as well as the status of efforts to recruit additional caucus members.

Obama and Higher Ed. Affordability, Accountability, and Technology

The recent 2012 State of the Union address has received a great deal of attention for its emphasis on improving college affordability and holding colleges and universities accountable for contributing directly to that effort. However, to get the administration’s vision for the role of technology in addressing the affordability challenge, we need to look at an array of policies and proposals put forward over the last couple of years.

EDUCAUSE/CAP Convening, "Improving Performance: Infusing Technology into Higher Education"

Yesterday, the Center for American Progress (CAP) ( and EDUCAUSE brought together roughly 50 thought leaders in higher education IT, business process innovation, online and hybrid learning, postsecondary education philanthropy, and higher education in general to explore how more effectively infusing technology throughout higher education might advance national and institutional goals for improved performance across the higher education mission (e.g., college readiness and completion, access and affordability).

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