Haven’t you had enough of forgetting important things? Do you make a list of items you need to buy every time you go to the grocery store? Has it ever happened to you to forget the list itself? Well, that happened to me in the past. Did you know that 70% of what we learn today…
OAKLAND (AP) — Marian Cleeves Diamond, a neuroscientist who studied Albert Einstein’s brain and was one of the first to show that the brain can improve with enrichment, has died.
The University of California, Berkeley, where Diamond was a professor emerita of integrative biology, confirmed Diamond died July 25 at her home in Oakland, California.
She was 90.
In 1984, after receiving four blocks of the preserved brain of Einstein, she found that it had more support cells than average.
In her work with rats, she showed that an enriched environment – toys and companions – changed the anatomy of the brain.
She found that the brains of all animals, including humans, benefit from an enriched environment, and that impoverished environments can lower the capacity to learn.
“Her research demonstrated the impact of enrichment on brain development – a simple but powerful new understanding that has literally changed the world, from how we think about ourselves to how we raise our children,” said UC Berkeley colleague George Brooks, a professor of integrative biology.
Her findings were initially resisted by some neuroscientists. At one meeting, Diamond later recalled, a man stood up after her talk and said loudly, “Young lady, that brain cannot change!”
“It was an uphill battle for women scientists then – even more than now – and people at scientific conferences are often terribly critical,” she wrote in her 1998 book, “Magic Trees of the Mind: How to Nurture your Child’s Intelligence, Creativity, and Healthy Emotions from Birth through Adolescence,” co-authored with Janet Hopson. “But I felt good about the work, and I simply replied, ‘I’m sorry, sir, but we have the initial experiment and the replication experiment that shows it can.'”
In a career at UC Berkeley spanning half a century, Diamond inspired thousands of students over generations, according to the university.
For decades she could be seen walking through campus to her anatomy class carrying a flowered hat box containing a preserved human brain.
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Many writers, whether authors or bloggers have an abundance of ideas. For some of you, the problem isn’t coming up with ideas, but rather keeping track of all of your great ideas. Ideas are worthless without execution, but how can you execute if you can’t remember the idea in the first place? I know you.…
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Nearly 41,000 former students of now-defunct for-profit educator Corinthian Colleges will soon receive refunds for the private student loans they received to attend college, after a coalition of state attorneys general and federal agencies reached a $183.3 million settlement with Aequitas Capital Management, the issuer of these loans.
New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman announced today the settlement [PDF] — reached by 13 state attorneys general and the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau — essentially canceling or writing down all outstanding balances for former students of Corinthian.
For instance, students who have fallen into default and whose campuses closed as a result of Corinthian’s bankruptcy will have their debts canceled. The remaining students will have 55% of their Aequitas loan discharged, including any past-due interest.
This, the AGs estimate, will result in each former student receiving between $6,000 and $7,000. The settlement must still be approved by the Oregon federal court overseeing the Aequitas receivership.
Prior to Corinthian College’s demise, the school relied heavily on federal student aid. However, the so-called 90/10 Rule, schools can only derive 90% of their revenue from federal funds. This means they must find a way to collect 10% of their revenue from other sources.
To do this, Corinthian entered into an agreement with lender Aequitas Capital Management. Under the deal, Aequitas provided private student loans to Corinthian students. Corinthian then agreed to buy back all loans that defaulted within a specified period, eliminating Aequitas’ risk of losses from defaults.
The AGs and CFPB alleged that Aequitas made the loans despite knowing that Corinthian students were unlikely to be able to repay the loans. The loans had a default rate of 50% to 70%.
“Aequitas Capital Management took advantage of their ambition and schemed with Corinthian to saddle these students with high-default loans at the now-bankrupt college,” New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman said in a statement. “This was nothing more than a sham that victimized unwitting students and deceived the government and taxpayers.”
In recent months, several states and the federal government have worked to refund borrowers hundreds of millions of dollars in student loans taken out by those attending now-defunct for-profit colleges.
However, a majority of these refunds are related to federal student loans, and the so-called Borrower Defense rule, which allows students at failed schools to appeal to get out of their federal loan obligations.
This rule, however, does not apply to private student loans.
Still, at least one college in the last year has forgiven private loans. In Sept. 2016, Bridgepoint Education, the operator of for-profit colleges Ashford University and the University of the Rockies, was ordered to forgive $23 million in student loans to resolve allegations it deceived students into taking out private student loans that cost more than advertised.
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Earlier this year, Education Secretary Betsy DeVos revealed plans to “reset” the Gainful Employment rule meant to hold for-profit colleges more accountable for the education they provide students. Today, she continued tearing apart the rule, announcing the intention to allow colleges to continue enrolling students in programs that run afoul of the regulation.
In a notice [PDF] published in the Federal Register today, the Department of Education announced that it would “reduce the burden on institutions” by revamping the appeals process for colleges when their programs fail to meet the gainful employment standards for employment after graduation.
Under the Gainful Employment rule [PDF], for-profit educators must demonstrate their former students are making a living wage after they graduate.
For-profit colleges are at risk of losing their federal aid should a typical graduate’s annual loan repayments exceed 20% of their discretionary income, or 8% of their total earnings. Discretionary income is defined as above 150% of the poverty line and applies to what can be put toward non-necessities.
So for example, say the typical recent graduate of a career education program earns $25,000. That student would need to average annual student loan payments less than $2,000, or the school would be at risk for losing federal financial aid.
Additionally, institutions must publicly disclose information about the program costs, debt, and performance of their career education programs so that students can make informed decisions.
The rule allows schools found to be in violation to appeal the findings if they believe the program graduates earn more than the federal data indicates.
Changing The Appeal
The Department’s new proposed changes appear to tip the appeals process in the college’s favor.
Currently, a school has 60 days to appeal findings that their programs are in violation of the Gainful Employment rule. In the case of this year, schools had until March 1 to file; however, that date was pushed back to July 1. Under today’s announcement, schools found to be in violation of the rule now have until Feb. 1, 2018 to appeal.
In appealing these findings, a school must base their arguments on surveys that include at least 50% of program graduates or state data that uses at least 30 graduates of the program. Additionally, appeals based on surveys with few than 80% of a program’s graduates must demonstrate the respondents are representative of all grads.
Now when appealing, the schools would no longer have to meet a minimum percentage or number of represented students in their findings. Instead, DeVos would determine what is reliable on her own.
The Department’s notice claims that the changes are being made on a one-time basis to comply with a court order. However, the agency notes that the order only applies to members of the American Association of Cosmetology Schools.
Consumerist has reached out to the Department of Education for additional information on the changes. We’ll update this post if we hear back.
That’s Not Okay
Several consumer advocacy groups characterized the Department’s most recent changes to the rule as an “illegal gutting,” noting the agency has taken action without going through the legally required process to amend regulations.
“The gainful employment rule was extensively deliberated, based on years of evidence and diverse stakeholder engagement, to ensure that students and taxpayers do not bear the financial burden of subsidizing failing career education programs,” Suzanne Martindale, staff attorney for our colleagues at Consumers Union, tells Consumerist. “Today’s actions by the Department are a major step in the wrong direction. We cannot allow poor-quality programs to operate with impunity when they do little more than saddle students with debt.”
Pauline Abernathy, executive vice president for The Institute for College Access & Success, notes that today’s “unilateral changes illegally gut” the rules, while “opening the floodgates for schools to use federal taxpayer funds to enroll students in failing programs and reinstate low-quality programs and predatory practices.”
As a result of the changes, TICAS warns that failing programs will be able to continue to enroll students without warning them, and may avoid sanctions entirely based on data that could significantly overstate the earnings of graduates by excluding those with no or low earnings.
The Center For American Progress echoed TICAS’ sentiments, noting that weakening the appeals process is another “extralegal action by the Department of Education to avoid enforcing a rule its political leadership does not like.”
“The lack of any clear standards could let any appeal pass, regardless of how ridiculous or poorly designed it is,” Ben Miller, senior director for postsecondary equation at CAP, said in a statement. “The department should stop putting schools ahead of students and enforce the gainful employment regulation.”
The organizations claim that the Trump Administration’s own filing in response to a June 2017 lawsuit contradicts the validity of today’s changes.
In the filing, the administration notes that “the prospect of future rulemaking has no bearing on the validity of the current gainful employment regulations, which remain in effect unless and until they might be revised.”
“The Department may intend to dismantle student and taxpayer protections by rewriting the regulations, but until new rules are finalized and in effect, the current rule is the law of the land,” Debbie Cochrane, TICAS Vice President, said in a statement.
LONDON (AP) — Nobel Peace Prize winner Malala Yousafzai, who was shot by a Taliban gunman for speaking out for girls’ rights to an education, has been accepted by the University of Oxford.
The 20-year-old activist shared word of her acceptance on Twitter and included the screenshot of her “Congratulations” notice. She plans to major in philosophy, politics and economics, the favored degree of many of Britain’s top leaders.
“So excited to go to Oxford!!” she tweeted Thursday.
Yousafzai will study at Lady Margaret Hall, an Oxford college whose notable alumni include the late Benazir Bhutto, the one-time leader of Pakistan and a hero of Yousafzai’s, and Myanmar’s Aung San Suu Kyi, a fellow Nobel Peace Prize winner.
Yousafzai won international renown in 2012 after she was shot by a Taliban gunman in Pakistan as a teenager for speaking out for the right of girls to go to school, a topic she started raising publicly as an 11-year-old with a blog.
After being treated at a hospital in Birmingham, England, she continued her education in the city and went on to win the 2014 Nobel Peace Prize.
“As far as I know, I am just a committed and even stubborn person who wants to see every child getting quality education, who wants to see women having equal rights and who wants peace in every corner of the world,” she said on the day she collected the Nobel. “Education is one of the blessings of life, and one of its necessities.”
Her acceptance to such a famed university marks a milestone in Malala’s steady progression to achieve her dreams. Social media erupted into the technological equivalent of rounds of applause.
Among those offering accolades were author J.K. Rowling and Alan Rusbridger, the former editor of the Guardian newspaper who is now the principal of Lady Margaret Hall. He tweeted: “Welcome to @lmhoxford, Malala!”
Others pointed out that Oxford was about to get a Nobel laureate not on the faculty but in the student body.
“To be fair, I think we should be congratulating Oxford,” novelist Julian Furman tweeted.
Malala’s father, Ziauddin Yousafzai, all but burst with pride.
“My heart is full of gratitude,” he tweeted. “We are grateful to Allah & thank u 2 al those who support @Malala 4 the grand cause of education.”
© Copyright 2017 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.