Required Readings

Required Readings, 11.21.16

I’ve started and deleted this column for 2 weeks now, trying to determine what from the flood of news to feature. The various attacks in schools and universities across the country? The fear coming from immigrant students, including my own, about what the election will mean for them and their families? The fact that one of the top picks for Education secretary was a creationist who believes homeschoolers “do the best” at education? Or should I try to look at the role of education in the election results, particularly among white women without a college education? The abject lack of media literacy, especially considering that teaching that topic is a large part of what my library colleagues and I do every day? What will happen to open access and open data initiatives I am supposed to develop at my institution? Perhaps some more positive stories: about campuses and organizations that are supporting their communities? The protests across the country? In the end, I’ve avoided Required Readings until now, the same way I’ve avoided my brother’s Facebook page except to scan for pictures of my niecelets. But, the show (and the readings) must go on, particularly since education, critical thinking, and skepticism are more important than ever. So let’s get cracking!

Among the most relevant issues to our readers is the new Secretary of Education. One potential candidate is a man who has graced this column frequently: Jerry Falwell, Jr. Additionally, here’s what the president-elect has to say about education.

And how a less-than-stellar high school student might have gotten into Harvard.

A new study shows that students from middle school through college have problems judging the credibility of online news.

Elsewhere on the planet, life continues, and one Tokyo university is subsidizing female students’ housing costs to improve the gender balance.

Color us surprised: The head of a Kentucky atheist group that called out a school district’s promotion of Christianity is being threatened with violence to himself and his family. Because nothing says loving the Lord like raping someone’s wife and threatening his kids.

Could Brexit and Trump lead students from other nations to head to continental Europe instead? The number of international students in the U.S. reached an all-time high last year, and universities are frequently using such students and their higher tuition rates to make up for budget cuts, so the question isn’t entirely academic. Pun totally intended.

What’s happening to education in your area, especially in the wake of local and state elections? Share your Required Readings with SoD via our contact form.


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Librarienne is a university librarian who sees her professional mission as teaching the masses how to separate the wheat from the chaff in today's expanding universe of information, that everything you read requires a critical eye, and how to properly use apostrophes.

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