All posts by Andy Thomason


Clinton Rips Free-College Proposals as Benefiting ‘Donald Trump’s Kids’

Speaking at a town-hall event in New Hampshire on Monday, the Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton said she was “not in favor of making college free for Donald Trump’s kids.”

The remarks, which appeared live on NBC’s Today show, served as a rebuke to both Mr. Trump, the billionaire and Republican presidential candidate, and Sen. Bernie Sanders, her chief rival in the early stages of the quest for the Democratic nomination for president in 2016.

Mr. Sanders, a U.S. senator from Vermo…


Tracking the 2015 Nobel Prize Winners

The 2015 Nobel Prizes are being announced this week. Keep track of the winners here as they are revealed.

Physiology or Medicine: Half of this prize was awarded to Youyou Tu, a scientist affiliated with the China Academy of Chinese Medical Sciences. The other half was awarded jointly to William C. Campbell, a biochemist and research fellow emeritus at Drew University, in New Jersey, and Satoshi Omura, a professor emeritus at Kitasato University, in Japan. The three were honored for their discove…


Laureate Education Will File for Initial Public Offering and Adopt New Model

Laureate Education Inc., one of the largest for-profit education companies in the world, announced on Friday it would file for an initial public offering. The company also announced it had converted itself into a public-benefit corporation, a model that commits a company to providing public service as well as earning profits.

In a statement on Friday, Laureate said it would be the largest company to become a public-benefit corporation. “For a long time, we didn’t have an easy way to explain the …


Here Are the Best Videos of Arne Duncan Playing Basketball

Arne Duncan, who announced on Friday he was stepping down as education secretary, has been one of the leading voices on higher-education policy for nearly a decade. But much of America most likely knows him not for his views on student-loan servicing but for being the biggest basketball devotee in the U.S. cabinet.

Well, maybe the second-biggest.

Mr. Duncan and President Obama have played pickup basketball together since the 1990s, keeping up the habit throughout Mr. Obama’s presidency. And whil…


Education Secretary Arne Duncan Will Step Down in December

[Last updated (10/2/2015, 2:42 p.m.) with statements about Mr. Duncan's departure.]

Arne Duncan will step down as U.S. secretary of education in December, an Education Department official confirmed on Friday. The news was first reported by the Associated Press.

Mr. Duncan has been a mainstay of President Obama’s cabinet, serving as the White House’s top education official since Mr. Obama took office, in 2009.

In a letter to department staff members, obtained by The Chronicle, Mr. Duncan said he …


Campus Bookstore’s Management Apologizes for Selling ‘Inflate a Date’ Dolls

The organization that manages the bookstore at West Chester University of Pennsylvania has apologized for the sale of male and female “inflate a date” dolls, The Delaware County Daily Times reports. “It was insensitive and contrary to the mission and values of the West Chester University and Student Services, Inc.,” the organization’s director, Donna Snyder, said in an email to students.

Listed on the packaging of both the male and female “perfect specimens” were features like “non-talking,” though only the female doll promised “no headaches,” according to the newspaper.

By the time staff removed the remaining female dolls, there were only four left. The male version had sold out.

WEST CHESTER >> An apology letter was issued Monday from the director of West Chester University’s Sykes Student Services Inc. for the “inappropriate sale of a six-inch ‘inflate-a-date’ doll” at the campus bookstore. The inflatable female and male dolls, from Sensational Inflatables, say to “‘inflate for an instant date.”

Read more at:


10 Are Dead, 7 Wounded, in Shooting at Community College in Oregon

[Updated (10/2/2015, 12:02 a.m.) with more details.]

Ten people died and seven more were wounded in a shooting spree on Thursday at Umpqua Community College, in Roseburg, Ore., law-enforcement officials said.

In a news conference on Thursday afternoon, Sheriff John Hanlin of Douglas County, Ore., said that three of the seven were critically injured, the Associated Press and other news outlets reported.

Federal authorities confirmed Thursday evening that the gunman, identified as 26-year-old Chri…


Scientist Bars Countries That Let In Refugees From Using His Software

A German scientist has prohibited access to a widely used research tool he owns in European countries that he says are welcoming too many refugees, the magazine Science reports. Gangolf Jobb has pulled access to his Treefinder software, which lets researchers map species’ evolutionary ties, from scientists in Austria, Belgium, Britain, Denmark, France, Germany, the Netherlands, and Sweden.

“Immigration to my country harms me, it harms my family, it harms my people,” Mr. Jobb wrote on his website…


In O’Bannon Case, Appeals Court Says NCAA Rules Violate Antitrust Laws

[Updated (9/30/2015, 12:04 p.m.) with more detail and analysis of the ruling.]

A three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit on Wednesday upheld the main thrust of a judge’s landmark decision last year declaring that NCAA rules violate federal antitrust law by restricting players’ ability to trade on their images. The decision also struck down part of  last year’s ruling, by Judge Claudia Wilken of the U.S. District Court in Oakland, Calif., which would have allowed foot…


Student-Loan Default Rates Drop Again in Latest Data, U.S. Says

The percentage of borrowers who defaulted on their student loans in the past three years has dropped again, from 13.7 percent in last year’s measurement to 11.8 percent this year. According to new data released on Wednesday by the U.S. Department of Education, the default rate for students who began repayment between October 1, 2011, and September 30, 2012, dropped among all sectors of higher education.

Here’s a breakdown, courtesy of the department:

Screen Shot 2015-09-30 at 9.55.08 AM

This is the second year colleges can face pe…