Education

Sean Spicer’s Secret Harvard Fellowship

Harvard Crimson: “Sean Spicer was publicly offered a Visiting Fellowship here at the Harvard Kennedy School—and then allowed to speak entirely off the record.”

“During his time on campus, Spicer had closed-door forums with select faculty and fellows, spoke in a few chosen classes, and attended invite-only meals with selected groups of students. In total, 11 events over three days, all off the record, none open to the general student body or public. Not a single word Sean Spicer spoke during his Visiting Fellowship at Harvard was on the record, nor could a single word could be heard without an explicit invite.”

Trump Will Investigate Affirmative Action in Colleges

“The Trump administration is preparing to redirect resources of the Justice Department’s civil rights division toward investigating and suing universities over affirmative action admissions policies deemed to discriminate against white applicants,” according to a document obtained by the New York Times.

The document seeks current lawyers interested in working for a new project on “investigations and possible litigation related to intentional race-based discrimination in college and university admissions.”

Warren Turns Her Fire on DeVos

Sen. Elizabeth Warren (R-MA) “is setting her sights on Betsy DeVos, the wealthy Republican donor who has become a lightning rod for the liberal grassroots as President Trump’s secretary of Education,” The Hill reports.

“Warren on Wednesday announced the launch of DeVos Watch, a coordinated effort to scrutinize the secretary’s handling of the $1 trillion federal student loan program and her oversight of student loan servicers, among other issues.”

FBI Investigating Jane Sanders for Bank Fraud

Federal investigators are looking into allegations that Sen. Bernie Sanders’s (I-VT) wife, Jane Sanders, falsified loan documents while she served as the president of Burlington College, The Hill reports.

“The small Vermont liberal arts school closed down in May 2016, after going bankrupt and failing to meet accreditation standards. Sanders has been accused of falsifying the information on the loan documents in order to expand the college grounds.”

GOP Bill Would Discipline Hecklers at College Speeches

“University of Wisconsin students who disrupt speeches and demonstrations could be expelled and campuses would have to remain neutral on public issue under a bill Republican legislators are pushing this week,” the AP reports.

“The bill comes as free speech issues have grown more contentious on college campuses across the country. Conservatives are worried that right-wing speakers aren’t given equal treatment as liberal campus presenters and some students have complained about free expression fanning racial tensions.”

Security for Betsy DeVos Costs $1 Million a Month

“The U.S Marshals Service is providing unprecedented protective detail to Education Secretary Betsy DeVos, and the added security will be costing her agency almost $1 million per month,” NBC News reports.

“The stepped up security began in February, following a threat assessment ordered by the U.S. Attorney General, the marshals service said. The agency only said it determined a threat to her safety exists, and did not elaborate.”

Fight Erupts Over Transgender Students’ Rights

“A fight over a draft order that would rescind protections for transgender students in public schools has erupted inside the Trump administration, pitting Attorney General Jeff Sessions against the secretary of education, Betsy DeVos,” the New York Times reports.

“Ms. DeVos initially resisted signing off on the order and told President Trump that she was uncomfortable with it… The order would reverse the directives put in place last year by the Obama administration to allow transgender students to use the bathrooms of their choice. Mr. Sessions, who strongly opposes expanding gay, lesbian and transgender rights, fought Ms. DeVos on the issue and pressed her to relent because he could not go forward without her consent.”

Rough First Week Gives DeVos Glimpse of Fight Ahead

New York Times: “By the end of her first full week as the secretary of education, Betsy DeVos had already sparred with a middle school and a former schools chancellor in Washington, accused some of the school’s teachers of passively awaiting instruction and said she would be pleased if the department she currently runs did not exist in the future. She encountered an immediate display of the type of fierce resistance she will face as she tries to set new policies for the Education Department.”

DeVos Gets Beefed Up Security

“The U.S. Marshals Service has taken the unusual step of providing a protective detail to Education Secretary Betsy DeVos, who emerged from a contentious nomination process as a lightening rod of controversy,” Politico reports.

“While security for top government officials varies across agencies, the Marshals Service is not currently protecting any other Cabinet member.”