Links of Note 8/29/16

Donald Trump Taps Indiana Lawmaker’s Staffer to Craft School Choice Plan [Politics K-12 | EdWeek]
Rob Goad, who used to work for Indiana Rep. Luke Messer, is “the first adviser for Trump to focus specifically on education issues,” but apparently he will be focused on “school choice” issues.

How Much Slack is Left in US Labor Markets? [Conversable Economist]
Not much, according to Timothy Taylor. The bad news: “[W]hatever you dislike about the labor market cant really be blamed on the Great Recession any more. So if you’re worried about issues like a lack of jobs for low-wage labor, too many jobs paying at or near the minimum wage, not enough on-the-job training, not enough opportunities for longer-term careers, loss of jobs in sectors like manufacturing and construction, too much part-time work, inequality of the wage distribution, one can no longer argue that the issues will be addressed naturally as the economy recovers.(my emphasis)

Immigration Issues That Trump and Clinton Don’t Talk About (Much) [Roll Call]
“The presidential candidates have primarily butted heads over high-profile topics like border security, Syrian refugee resettlements, deportation policies, and a pathway to legal status for millions of undocumented U.S. residents. But back in Washington, members of Congress have a longer list of immigration issues to tackle, which have received less attention on the campaign trail.” Roll Call‘s list of their concerns includes: Cuban migration, EB-5 investor visas, guest worker programs, biometric entry-exit systems, and special visas for Afghan allies. Addressing immigrant education needs or integrating immigrants into the workforce? Didn’t make the cut.

Brain wiring needed for reading isn’t learned—it’s in place prior to reading [Ars Technica]
“By peeking at brain connections prior to the VWFA forming, doctors may be able to anticipate years in advance if kids will have reading difficulties or disorders such as dyslexia.”

New Guidance on WIOA Performance Reporting Released by DOL and OCTAE

The U.S. departments of Labor and Education have just issued joint guidance on meeting the performance reporting and evaluation requirements (sections 116 and 122) of the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA).  The Joint Guidance on Data Matching to Facilitate WIOA Performance Reporting and Evaluation, according to these agencies,provides states with information about applicable requirements for, and procedures and options for, matching confidential unemployment compensation information from wage records with personal information from vocational rehabilitation records, and personally identifiable information from education records, and for protecting the confidentiality of information contained in such records.”

I haven’t done anything more than skim the document, but in doing so I spotted some interesting clarification concerning situations in which FERPA may not apply for some adult education programming funded through WIOA, and I’m not really sure what to make of it. I’ve never seen exceptions carved out before, but I may just not have been aware of them. If anyone has any insights on this, I’d love to hear from you.

Links of Note 8/24/16

The Hidden Costs of Low Literacy in Australia [SBS News]
Nicely organized explainer with compelling personal stories.

Rauner Signs Juvenile Justice Reform bills [Chicago Tribune]
Governor Rauner said the legislation was just one step in a larger effort that should address, among other things, the “lack of job skills” among the prison population in Illinois.

Coding Boot Camps Attract Tech Companies [Wall Street Journal]
“The Flatiron School’s 12-week course costs $15,000, but earns students no degree and no certificate (my emphasis). What it does get them, at an overwhelming rate, is a well-paying job.”

Here’s Proof That the Economic Recovery Is Over [CNBC]
What I thought was interesting here is the notion that despite the generally good news regarding employment, there is evidence to suggest that many of these jobs are not “quality jobs.”

“If the employment condition is booming why are payroll taxes falling?

There are a couple of answers to that question and neither is favorable. The BLS numbers are either wrong or the quality of new jobs created must be very poor. The latter response seems the most credible; a combination of an increase in the proportion of part-time workers and full-time jobs that provide lower compensation.”

This Helpful Chart Reveals if a Robot Is Coming For Your Job [Business Insider]
McKinsey report that purports to predict the likelihood of jobs becoming automated by analyzing work activities rather than occupations. Interesting that such human qualities as patience, empathy, and kindness aren’t on their list. Work that involves caring for others, such as caring for the elderly, sick, children etc. is an area of employment that is growing and where future needs will be great. I can’t imagine these jobs being done very well without empathetic, human interaction, even if technologies are used to assist.

I welcome your suggestions.

Final WIOA Rules Published in the Federal Register

Title II of the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) provides the legislative authority for all federally funded adult education programs. Unless you are deeply involved in implementing WIOA at the state level, or are responsible for WIOA-funded programming or technical assistance, the pile of regulations that have been developed for WIOA are likely of limited interest, but I thought it was worth noting that the U.S. departments of Education and Labor have announced today the publication in the Federal Register of the final version of those rules:

All of the final rules, along with several guidance documents, are available at the www.ed.gov/AEFLA.