Is Sebastian Thrun’s Udacity the future of higher education?

Educators and policymakers have long dreamed of providing universal, low cost, first-class higher education, says William J. Bennett, a CNN contributor. Their wish may come true soon thanks to an unlikely source: Silicon Valley. The mecca of the technology universe is in the process of revolutionizing higher education in a way that educators, colleges and universities cannot, or will not. One of the men responsible for what may be an Athens-like renaissance is Sebastian Thrun, Google’s vice president and pioneer in artificial intelligence and robotics. Known in science circles for his engineering feats — like Stanley, the self-driving car — Thrun is using his technological prowess to make quality higher education available to the world. I recently interviewed him on my radio show, “Morning In America.”

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5 reasons why predatory college reforms are inevitable

Over the weekend, a federal trial judge in Washington, DC, upheld the power of the federal government to issue its “gainful employment” rule, a provision aimed at channeling federal financial aid away from college and career training programs that leave students deep in debt, the Huffington Post reports. But the judge, Rudolph Contreras, held that the U.S. Department of Education failed to provide a reasoned explanation for one of the three tests imposed by its rule, and he therefore sent the rule back to the Department for further explanation. The decision came in a lawsuit brought by APSCU, the largest trade association of for-profit colleges, and no doubt the wealthy for-profit education companies that dominate APSCU are excited. But if government officials act appropriately, and citizens speak up and get engaged, this ruling won’t be more than a minor setback in the effort to protect students and taxpayers from the abusive, predatory practices of many for-profit schools. Here are five reasons why…

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