Policymakers Explore Safer Schools, College Scorecards and Research Conflicts

By The New England Council

DC Shuttle …

House Subcommittee Holds Hearing on More Supportive and Safe School Environments. The House Subcommittee on Early Childhood, Elementary and Secondary Education held a hearing to examine how the federal government can help schools achieve safer and more supportive environments for students. In his opening statement, Chair Gregorio Kilili Camacho Sablan (I-NMI) referred to data from the U.S. Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights, stating that more than 100,000 students were physically restrained, mechanically restrained or secluded in public schools during the 2017-18 school year. Moreover, Sablan pointed out that 19 U.S. states still allow teachers to strike students and stated that Congress needs to “help schools replace outdated practices with evidence-based strategies to create healthier school environments for all students.” He cited and advocated for the Keeping All Students Safe Act, introduced by Reps. Bobby Scott (D-VA) and Don Beyer (D-VA) in May 2021, which would reduce and prohibit these harmful practices in schools and give educators the training to create healthier school environments.

Ed Dept Makes Changes to College Scorecard.  Earlier this month, the Department of Education released updates to the College Scorecard, including new and updated information and improvements to the interactive web tool. The changes restore several metrics, including  institution-level earnings data, intended to help students gauge how prospective institutions compare with other colleges in costs, graduation rates, post-college earnings and other metrics. Updates to the College Scorecard also include an annual refresh of the cumulative loan debt of student borrowers at both the institution level and by field of study within each institution, as well as federal student loan repayment rates for the institution, Inside Higher Ed reports. The change will also restore institution-to-institution comparisons, The Hill reports.

Guidelines Intended to Protect Research Against Foreign Influence. The White House National Science and Technology Council issued a set of guidelines in January designed to ensure that scientists seeking federal grants do not have conflicts of interest stemming from their participation in foreign talent recruitment programs. The guidelines address a presidential national security memorandum issued in early 2021. That memorandum required any research institution receiving more than $50 million in federal science and technology grants in a year to certify that it has a research security program that can identify conflicts of interests. The guidelines impact research institutions and universities, Roll Call reports.

We publish the DC Shuttle each week Congress is in session featuring higher ed news from Washington collected by the New England Council, of which NEBHE is a member. This edition is drawn from the Higher Education Update in the Council’s Weekly Washington Report of Feb. 22, 2022. For more information, please visit: www.newenglandcouncil.com.

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