(2011-01-25) Fed Community College Grant Open Ed

The Department Of Labor and the Department Of Education today announced a new education fund that will grant $2 billion to create OER (Open Education resources) materials for career training programs in Community College-s. According to Secretary of Labor HildaLSolis and Secretary of Education Arne Duncan, the Trade Adjustment Assistance Community College and Career Training Grant Program (TAACCCT) will invest $2 billion over the next four years into grants that will “provide community colleges and other eligible institutions of higher education with funds to expand and improve their ability to deliver education and Career Training programs.”... Cathy Casserly, incoming CEO of Creative Commons, said, “This exciting program signifies a massive leap forward in the sharing of education and training materials. Resources licensed under CC BY can be freely used, remixed, translated, and built upon, and will enable collaboration between states, organizations, and businesses to create high quality OER. This announcement also communicates a commitment to international sharing and cooperation, as the materials will be available to audiences worldwide via the CC license.”

The grant requires SCORM, which is angering many people.

May'2011: Kevin Carey on the background of the plan (from the bigger prior Community College plan) and some interesting details. Because the materials will be developed under the auspices of a federal-government competition, they will carry an assumed mark of quality absent from random lectures posted on YouTube. The departments also plan to organize the materials so that educators can search and shape them into rational sequences of learning... Feedback-based, assessment-driven "cognitive tutors" developed by learning scientists at Carnegie Mellon are woven into science, engineering, and philosophy courses produced by the university's Open Learning Initiative. For example, studies have shown that their online statistics course produces equal or better learning results than do traditional lectures. The same Carnegie Mellon experts will be helping the federal-grant recipients design their educational tools. Assessments create evidence. And that's all a credit is, in the end: credible evidence of learning. (Credentialism)

Sept'2011: The first $500M in grants were announced. Each of the recipients has at least one industry partner, and the grants focus on training for "jobs that are open today," said Hilda L. Solis, the secretary of labor... Community colleges in Hawaii received the largest grant -- $25 million for a remedial math and English program that will be delivered alongside workforce training... AACC and others say the rest of the $1.5 billion in Job Training money is far from a sure thing, as it will be targeted by congressional budget cutters.

Oct'2011 update: The SIIA is blocking it in the Appropriations Bill! “SEC. 124. None of the funds made available by this Act for the Department of Labor may be used to develop new courses, modules, learning materials, or projects in carrying out education or career Job Training grant programs unless the Secretary of Labor certifies, after a comprehensive market-based analysis, that such courses, modules, learning materials, or projects are not otherwise available for purchase or licensing in the marketplace or under development for students who require them to participate in such education or career job training grant programs.” Is there any way to find out which congressman got that inserted? The bill is headed to subcommittee next before it proceeds to committee and to the House for voting. The subcommittee members include: Denny Rehberg (R-Montana), JerryLewis (R-California), Rodney Alexander (R-Louisiana), Jack Kingston (R-Georgia), Kay Granger (R-Texas), Michael Simpson (R-Idaho), Jeff Flake (R-Arizona), CynthiaLummis (R-Wyoming), Rosa De Lauro (D-Connecticut), Nita Lowey (D-New York), Jesse Jackson Jr (D-Illinois), Lucille Roybal-Allard (D-California), and Barbara Lee (D-California).


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