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AKA Review
January 21, 2022
At AKA, we closely follow trends and latest developments
in higher education and the nonprofit sector.

Here are some recent articles and reports that we found particularly informative.
From The New York Times:
The Real Roots of the Debate Over Schools During Covid
By Tressie McMillan Cottom
Tressie McMillan Cottom applies her ongoing exploration of scams and scam culture, and their harmful effect on public discourse, to the Covid-19-fueled debate over opening/closing schools. She invokes "taxpayer citizenship," which she describes as an "identity that construes rights as those conditioned on one’s ability to pay taxes" that "has always been about exclusion" based on race and class and whose voices really matter. McMillan Cottom’s focus is on public K-12 schools, but it’s not a stretch to apply it to angry debates over public higher education—their Covid-19 policies as well as what they can teach and who should teach it . Read this article
From EdTech:
Modernizing the College Transcript with Blockchain
By Mol Doak
Due to the continuing changes in higher education, the U.S. Department of Education is calling for universities to invest in digital learning records to promote student mobility. Students would have a digital transcript they could add to during and after college, enabling them to continually store achievements throughout their lives. This would serve to help support each career move, while simultaneously making the re-enrollment and transfer process much easier. Read this article
From Time:
The Surprisingly Low Price Tag on Preventing Climate Disaster
By Yuval Noah Harari
Instead of focusing on restricting climate change to 1.5oC, why not ask what the world would need to spend to address this issue? Only 2% more of annual global GDP, this author concludes. What does that mean? Well, in 2020 world governments spent nearly 14% of global GDP to fight COVID-19. The 2008 financial crisis saw the U.S. spend 3.5% of GDP on banks deemed "too big to fail." How can colleges and universities marshal their expertise in public affairs, policymaking, international relations, and communications to make a compelling case to world leaders to take out their pens and sign a check for 2% of the global GDP. Read this article
Further Reading
From The National Science Foundation:
The State of U.S. Science and Engineering 2022
This comprehensive NSF report elucidates the state of the U.S. S&E enterprise over time and within a global context, using quantitative indicators of scope, quality, and vitality. An interactive tool allows comparisons among states and with nations on S&E performance. Several teasers: Global R&D is concentrated in a few countries, with the U.S. and China comprising half the total (27% and 22%, respectively). Over the past decade, Federal R&D funding decreased from 31% to 21% of total U.S. R&D funding. STEM workers represent 23% of the total U.S. labor force, with Black and Hispanic people underrepresented. Read this article
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