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Friday, October 4, 2013

How Government Shutdown is Affecting Higher Education

As the partial shutdown in the U.S. government continues, high school and college students and educators are feeling the effects:
The above message is from the Institute of Education Sciences. This is the center that manages The Nation's Report Card and the National Center for Education Statistics. Both provide data, statistics and guidance related to students and our educational system. 

The IES is one area under the U.S Department of Education and that site is shut down too.  The agency that "fosters educational excellence and ensures equal access" may not be so excellent or accessible as most employees are on furlough "due to lack of appropriations".

 Here are some other educational areas affected by the shutdown:  
  • College search sites like College Scorecard, College Affordability and Transparency Center and College Navigator are all unavailable to students and families during this critical time of college search and planning.
  • Federal Student Aid - while the delivery of student aid and the repayment of student loans will be largely unaffected, getting the answer to questions may be challenging with most staff on furlough.
  • The Library of Congress, which is used by students to do research and to gather information for projects and assignments is unavailable.
  • National Archives - all facilities are closed and all activities are cancelled for the duration of the shutdown. Students seeking information from any of the sites, virtually or in-person, are out of luck. This includes all Presidential libraries.
  • is also shut down. This is the Education Resources Information Center, an online digital library for educators, researchers,students and the general public.
  • The NIST (National Institute of Standards and Techology) is 99% shutdown. This particularly affects educators and students in computer science and information technology programs.
Instead of "the dog ate my homework", many students may be telling teachers and professors, "the government shut down my homework"!