Press Release: 2019-06-11

A U.S. Wall for Chinese Students?

China Warns Students of Risk in US. China warned students about the “risks” of going to the U.S. China warned students to think about the risks associated with attending college in the U.S., the Washington Post reported. Speaking to reporters in Beijing on Monday, Xu Yongji, an official from the Education Ministry, said that the Trump administration and Congress had “politicized some normal China-U.S. educational exchanges and cooperation activities.” The Post also reported on the potential impacts to American campuses.

Higher Ed Institutions Using Adversity Index.Massachusetts institutions giving a trial run to the College Board’s new “adversity index” to admit applicants, reportsthe Boston Globe. Harvard, MIT, Boston University, Brandeis University, Wellesley College and Amherst College are using the data. Smith College said it has signed a contract with the College Board to try the dashboard when it reviews applications for the 2020 freshman class. Tufts University used the dashboard in a limited way previously to screen candidates for academic scholarships from outside groups and plans to use it as part of its regular review process in the upcoming admissions cycle.

Lawmakers Introduce Legislation on Federally Funded Research. A bipartisan group of lawmakers, led by Rep. Mikie Sherrill (D-NJ), introduced the Securing American Science and Technology Act of 2019 (H.R. 3038), legislation that would direct the White House National Science and Technology Council to establish an interagency working group of federal science, intelligence and security agencies. The bill requires the director of the Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP) to establish an interagency working group of science, intelligence and security agencies under the existing authority granted to the National Science and Technology Council. The group would evaluate existing mechanisms of control of federally funded research and develop a policy framework to address the security needs of agencies and federal grant recipients. The bill would also establish a roundtable, convened by the National Academies, to facilitate an ongoing dialogue among federal science and security agencies and academia on these topics and to share best practices through public reports. The working group would evaluate existing mechanisms designed to control federally funded research and develop a new framework to address the security needs of agencies and federal grant recipients.

Senators Introduce Resolution on Free Speech Zones. A group of Senate Republicans is pushing a resolution, S. Res. 233, critical of campus free speech zones and calling speech codes “restrictive” and contradictory to the First Amendment. The resolution would also call on U.S. Education Secretary Betsy DeVos to promote policies that support intellectual curiosity, viewpoint diversity and debate and encourage the attorney general to “defend and protect the First Amendment.” Sen. Marsha Blackburn (R-TN), the author of the resolution, called it “a first step in restoring sanity to free speech for American college students.”

Education Spending Bill Due on House Floor. The House planned to put a $1 trillion package of five spending bills on the floor on Wednesday, which will include two of the 12 annual appropriations bills, including the health and human services and education bill.

House Hearing on Governments’ Disaster Response for Schools. The House Education and Labor Committee’s K-12 subcommittee held a hearing to look into how the Education Department has helped schools recover from natural disasters. Committee Democrats put extra focus on climate change. Frank Brogan, the Education Department’s assistant secretary for elementary and secondary education, testified. He told the committee that the department is dedicating a new task force to looking at how the federal government helps schools deal with disasters.