Monday, March 21, 2016

Senate Approves New Education Secretary, John B. King, Jr.

On March 14, 2016, the Senate confirmed John B. King, Jr. as Arne Duncan's replacement for Secretary of Education. Although Mr. King's parents were educators in New York City, both died from illness by the time he was 12. He credits public school teachers with " saving his life by providing transformative educational experiences and giving him hope about the future." He began his own education career as a high school social studies teacher in San Juan, Puerto Rico, and Boston. He then became co-founder and co-director for curriculum and instruction at Roxbury Preparatory Charter School in Massachusetts where the school outperformed even affluent Boston suburban schools. He also served as a managing director at Uncommon Schools, a chain of high-performing charter schools in Massachusetts, New York, and New Jersey. He then served first as a senior deputy commissioner and then commissioner of education in New York before coming to the Education Department as principal senior adviser whose duties were to carry out the tasks of the deputy secretary and to oversee President Obama's My Brother's Keeper task force formed to address "persistent opportunity gaps faced by boys and young men of color."

Dr. King has a "Bachelor of Arts in Government from Harvard University, a Master of Arts in the teaching of social studies from Columbia University's Teachers College, a J.D. from Yale Law School, and a Doctor of Education degree in educational administrative practice from Columbia University's Teachers College."

To learn more about Dr. King, read his biography on the Education Department's website.

Tuesday, March 15, 2016

Census Bureau Irish Statistics for St. Patrick's Day

The Census Bureau has a Facts for Features section on its web page that celebrates holidays and seasonal/special events. The page that is dedicated to celebrating St. Patrick's Day has a wide variety of statistics ranging from the educational and income status of Irish Americans to beef and cabbage production. Celebrate St. Patrick's Day (March 17) with fun facts.

Wednesday, March 09, 2016

Encryption: Selected Legal Issues

Debate has been raging about whether Apple should grant the FBI's request to provide a technological way to obtain encrypted content stored on an iPhone when legally requested. On March 3, 2016 the Congressional Research Service (CRS) published a new report that "provides background to the ongoing encryption debate, including a primer on encryption basics and an overview of Apple, Google, and Facebook’s new encryption policies." Entitled Encryption: Selected Legal Issues by Richard M. Thompson II, Legislative Attorney and Chris Jaikara, Analyst in Cybersecurity Policy, the authors chose to focus on two questions from the many political, economic, and legal questions being raised: 
  1. Does the Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination bar such a request?
  2. Can the All Writs Act federal statue that "provides federal courts with residual authority to enforce its orders be interpreted broadly enough to cover compelled assistance on the part of the device and software manufacturer?"