BREAKING: Pearson, NJ, spying on social media of students taking PARCC tests | Bob Braun’s Ledger

BREAKING: Pearson, NJ, spying on social media of students taking PARCC tests

Pearson, the multinational testing and publishing company, is spying on the social media posts of students–including those from New Jersey–while the children are taking their PARCC, statewide tests, this site has learned exclusively. The state education department is cooperating with this spying and has asked at least one school district to discipline students who may have said something inappropriate about the tests.

This website discovered the unauthorized and hidden spying thanks to educators who informed it of the practice–a practice happening throughout the state and apparently throughout the country. The spying–or “monitoring,” to use Pearson’s word–was confirmed at one school district–the Watchung Hills Regional High School district in Warren by its superintendent, Elizabeth Jewett.

via BREAKING: Pearson, NJ, spying on social media of students taking PARCC tests | Bob Braun’s Ledger.

A Community Foundation Playing a Big Role in the Next Health Care Battle: Payment Reform – Inside Philanthropy: Fundraising Intelligence

Back in December, we wrote about the Rhode Island Foundation blazing a trail for health care reform by convening Rhode Island health care stakeholders and getting everyone to sign on to a reform agenda. A key plank of that agenda is expanding and developing “alternative reimbursement models that reward value and patient-centric care delivery.” Translation: let’s scrap fee-for-service.

A few weeks later, we learned that this movement may have a national impact, with the Obama administration borrowing much of the language and many ideas of the Rhode Island health care reform agenda. In January, the Department of Health and Human Services announced ambitious goals for moving Medicare payments away from traditional fee-for-service reimbursement.

via A Community Foundation Playing a Big Role in the Next Health Care Battle: Payment Reform – Inside Philanthropy: Fundraising Intelligence – Inside Philanthropy.

Philanthropy Is a Matriarchy, But With Men at the Very Top – Inside Philanthropy: Fundraising Intelligence

Women do all the work, but men call the shots—especially when it comes to the really big money.

That’s one picture of the foundation world that emerges from the Council of Foundation’s new study, 2014 Grantmakers Salary and Benefits Report, which offers the most in-depth look available at foundation staff and leadership.

via Philanthropy Is a Matriarchy, But With Men at the Very Top – Inside Philanthropy: Fundraising Intelligence – Inside Philanthropy.

What Are Prize-Linked Savings Accounts? And Why’s Kellogg So Keen on Them?  – Inside Philanthropy: Fundraising Intelligence

As the U.S. economy continues to recover from the Great Recession, funders are looking for ways to support good financial habits like saving money. One interesting effort along these lines is the Kellogg Foundation’s multi-year investment in prize-linked savings accounts through D2D.

via What Are Prize-Linked Savings Accounts? And Why’s Kellogg So Keen on Them?  – Inside Philanthropy: Fundraising Intelligence – Inside Philanthropy.

Memo to Funders: Fight Exclusionary Zoning to Make Headway Against Inequality – Inside Philanthropy: Fundraising Intelligence

Hell, yes, the rent is too damn high, higher than ever in fact. The reasons why are myriad: a shortage of rental properties, millions of families de-homed in the financial crash, and lending restrictions that have been tightened up in the process of financial recovery. The building sector is still recovering from the crash as well, so new housing hasn’t been added at the same pace as before the Great Recession. Meanwhile, family income, when adjusted for inflation is below what it was in 1989.

via Memo to Funders: Fight Exclusionary Zoning to Make Headway Against Inequality – Inside Philanthropy: Fundraising Intelligence – Inside Philanthropy.

New Ideas, New Funders: Has the Asset Building Movement Finally Arrived? – Inside Philanthropy: Fundraising Intelligence

Recently we talked with Bob Friedman about the early days of the asset building movement and how this work drew in funders. Here, in our second article based on that conversation, we hear his thoughts on where the movement is today and where it may be going.

via New Ideas, New Funders: Has the Asset Building Movement Finally Arrived? – Inside Philanthropy: Fundraising Intelligence – Inside Philanthropy.

Whitehouse and Cornyn Meet with Obama on Criminal Justice

From the Whitehouse Press office:

Washington, DC – Today President Obama and Vice President Biden convened a meeting at the White House to discuss criminal justice reform efforts with key members of Congress, including U.S. Senator Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI). Whitehouse, a lead sponsor of the CORRECTIONS Act along with Sen. John Cornyn (R-TX), released the statement below regarding the meeting:

“Both Republican and Democratic leaders agree we can pass meaningful criminal justice reform measures this year, and I was grateful for the opportunity to discuss how to best move forward. Senator Cornyn and I have already built a strong bipartisan consensus around our legislation to better prepare inmates for re-entering society and reduce the risk that they’ll commit future crimes, and I strongly support the effort led by other Senators to reform our sentencing laws. I’m hopeful that we will be able to achieve both prison and sentencing reform this year, and I thank President Obama and Vice President Biden for their leadership on this important issue.”

According to the White House, other Senators attending today’s meeting included Sens. Patrick Leahy (D-VT), Dick Durbin (D-IL), Cory Booker (D-NJ), Rand Paul (R-KY), and Mike Lee (R-UT).

The CORRECTIONS Act would improve public safety and save taxpayer money by requiring prisoners to participate in recidivism reduction programs and allowing certain eligible prisoners to earn up to 25 percent of their sentence in prerelease custody for successful completion of these programs. The programs, which can include things like vocational training and substance abuse treatment, have been proven to help former prisoners successfully re-acclimate to society upon release and to reduce the risk that they will commit future crimes.