Buffalo schools fail kids when teaching that all White people play part in systemic racism: Rufo - Fox News

Buffalo schools have adopted a curriculum that pushes the controversial idea that all White people perpetuate systemic racism, while 80% of its students fail to reach proficiency in reading and writing, an editor said Wednesday.  City Journal editor Chris Rufo, during an appearance on "The Ingraham Angle," said the "diversity czar" of Buffalo public schools was caught on tape saying she believes that America's sickness leads some White people to believe Black people are less than human.  One of the district's instructional materials also includes the assertion that "all White people play a part in perpetuating systemic racism." He said the narrative of system racism has also spread to schools across the country, which shifts attention away from "their own abysmal failure to educate kids." BUFFALO'S SCHOOL DISTRICT TELLS STUDENTS THAT 'ALL WHITE PEOPLE PLAY A PART IN PERPETUATING SYSTEMIC RACISM' "Woke academics and

Free, cheap online courses from IBM, Facebook, Amazon, Google - Business Insider - Business Insider

Free, cheap online courses from IBM, Facebook, Amazon, Google - Business Insider - Business Insider

Free, cheap online courses from IBM, Facebook, Amazon, Google - Business Insider - Business Insider

Posted: 03 Dec 2020 12:00 AM PST

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Along with cheap or free courses from Ivy League universities, e-learning platforms like edX and Coursera offer programs taught by major companies such as Google, Amazon, IBM, and Facebook — and often by longtime employees, such as IBM's Chief Data Scientist Romeo Kienzler or David A. Wheeler, The Linux Foundation's Director of Open Source Supply Chain Security. Some companies even collaborate with top universities such as MIT or Harvard to produce skill-building programs like IT support from Google and data science from IBM. Some programs are even used to train their current employees.

The courses span across many different topics and purposes. Some offer learners an efficient way to stand out as job applicants — especially for rapidly growing, tech-heavy roles that are short on qualified candidates. Other courses explicitly prep students for certification assessments such as the Unity Certified 3D Artist exam or the Google Cloud Associate Cloud Engineer certification.

Some classes are simply a public good, where a company focuses its philanthropic efforts. For example, Grow with Google was launched to democratize economic opportunities through free training, tools, and resources for growing a career or business. During the pandemic, Google also issued a course teaching users how to find fast, accurate medical information. And Goldman Sachs Foundation's "10,000 Women" is a 10-course business and management program designed to support female entrepreneurs all over the world. 

Below, you'll find a few of the programs offered by Google, Amazon, Facebook, IBM, and more below. Most classes are either free or under $100 to enroll in, though multi-course programs may cost a few hundred dollars. 

P.S.: If you plan to take many online classes this year, and they're included in the membership Coursera Plus, you may want to look into that annual membership ($399/year) to save yourself money in the long term. (Its members get access to 90% of the site for $399. You can learn more here). 

25 courses offered by companies such as Google, IBM, Amazon, Facebook, and more.

Top 10 cybersecurity online courses for 2021 - TechTarget

Posted: 22 Dec 2020 07:48 AM PST

With so much online courseware on cybersecurity today, it can be a daunting task to narrow the choices to a top 10. To create this list of cybersecurity courses online, we talked to leading security professionals about what they recommend to newbies, computer science students, businesspeople and security pros looking to advance their careers.

When it comes to free cybersecurity courses online, keep in mind that there's no free lunch. Many free courses make students pay for a certificate on the back end, and online groups will sometimes offer short seven-day or 30-day trials followed by a monthly subscription charge. Federal agencies, such as the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) and the National Security Agency (NSA), are great sources of free security information. And those new to the field should check out the National Cyber Security Alliance.

For paid courses, we started with some of the favorites among hackers and security researchers and refer readers to MIT cyber training courses, as well as online courses at the University of Maryland Global Campus (UMGC), Western Governors University (WGU) and Cybrary. As a bonus, we also linked to the NSA's Centers of Academic Excellence (CAE) courses. While not exclusively online, people seriously pursuing careers in security need to be aware of these courses and the fact that many programs offer online options in the wake of COVID-19.

Best of the free cybersecurity courses online


TryHackMe features content for people new to cybersecurity and covers a broad range of topics, including training for offensive and defensive security. TryHackMe also has Capture the Flag exercises with walk-through write-ups by contributing users that let members see how problems are approached and solved. There are four levels:

  1. Complete Beginners have no computing knowledge and are unsure of where to start.
  2. Early Intermediates have basic computing knowledge and have used Linux.
  3. Intermediates know how computers work and have basic security experience.
  4. Advanced is for those who work in cybersecurity and penetration testing.

There are also modules on Linux, network security, web hacking and Windows fundamentals, as well as courses on cryptography, shells, privilege escalation and basic computer exploitation.

Hack The Box

Hack The Box is geared toward offensive security and offers a live training area for hackers to practice their skills without harming any production systems. The course has retired boxes with write-ups by other members of the Hack The Box community for those who want to be guided through the process. It also has active boxes where the solutions are not published. Hacking into these boxes gives users points toward improving their rank in Hack The Box. Note that the site includes free and paid tiers, which include an inventory of intentionally vulnerable platforms that emphasize and illustrate vulnerabilities, exploits and attack patterns, ranging in difficulty and sophistication.

Bugcrowd University

Bugcrowd University is an excellent community resource from one of the leaders in the bug bounty field for those who want to level up their bug bounty skills. The site has a lot of good, approachable content with the stated objective of developing a wider talent pool in the bug bounty field. It ranges from a basic on-ramp into the material to more sophisticated content that even some seasoned practitioners may find useful. Bugcrowd University operates as a free and open source project to help improve the skills of the industry's security researchers. It includes content modules to help researchers find the most critical and prevalent bugs that impact customers. Each module has slides, videos and labs for researchers to master the art of bug hunting with the aim of creating a new standard for security testing training.

SANS Cyber Aces Online

SANS Cyber Aces Online operates as a philanthropic organization operated by SANS Institute, which donates the training courses for free. SANS manages one of the highest quality security training organizations in the world, so Cyber Aces can unlock the security basics for professors, teachers, businesspeople and security pros who want to learn more about security for free. The self-paced courses are selected from the SANS professional development curriculum and include a mix of tutorials and videos that students can learn at their convenience. The programs cover the three foundational areas of information security: OSes, networking and system administration.

Federal Virtual Training Environment

Federal Virtual Training Environment (FedVTE) offers its cybersecurity courses online at no charge for federal government personnel and veterans. The security industry can use the background of former military personnel. Managed by CISA, FedVTE contains more than 800 hours of training on topics like ethical hacking and surveillance, risk management and malware analysis. Course proficiency ranges from beginner to advanced levels. Several courses align with a variety of IT certifications, such as CompTIA's Network+ and Security+ and Certified Information Systems Security Professional.

Best of the paid cybersecurity courses online

Pentester Academy

Pentester Academy offers excellent courses at an even better price. Students have access to dozens of interactive labs and courses on broad subjects. Many cybersecurity training programs are narrowly focused, but Pentester Academy exposes students to a broad array of technical cybersecurity courses online. Popular courses include topics on Python, x86_64 shellcoding, Linux forensics and buffer overflows. Here's a full list of available courses, as well as testimonials.

An annual subscription fee is $249.

Cybersecurity for Managers

Cybersecurity for Managers: A Playbook is a well-known MIT offering developed for business leaders, managers and executives in technical and nontechnical positions looking to build an action plan for a more cyber-resilient and cyber-aware organization. Technology and business consultants and those acting as liaisons between technology and business units will also benefit. There are no technical prerequisites for this program. According to the MIT website, the course for technical leaders offers frameworks that lay out a strategic view of an organization's quantitative and qualitative cybersecurity risk management; covers the leading approaches to managing cybersecurity, including defense in depth and NIST Cybersecurity Framework; and offers a practical interpretation of the tradeoffs between security and privacy, as well as a method for understanding an organization's priorities in attaining secure systems. For business leaders, the course will help executives build a culture of cyber awareness in their organizations; develop the vocabulary of cybersecurity to support informed conversations with the company's CISO, CTO, data science and other technology leaders; and deliver an appreciation of how decisions made by technology leaders may affect the company's business strategy.

The online course runs for six weeks, five to six hours per week, and the fee is $2,800.

Cybrary Insider Pro

Cybrary Insider Pro is perfect for working professionals who want to advance their careers or newbies interested in learning more about cybersecurity. Students can take the seven-day free trial. Insider Pro makes the most sense for individuals, while companies can also consider Cybrary for Teams. For those who want to prepare for exams and earn certifications, become an industry expert in a specific security topic, get new employees up to speed on cyber awareness, improve employee retention, and develop or monitor cybersecurity skills development over time, Cybrary offers the tools and an online cyber community that will help students reach their goals.

The course fee for Insider Pro is $59 per month for individuals.

Western Governors University

WGU's Master of Science in Cybersecurity and Information Assurance offers a master's degree program for professionals who are ready to take the next step in their security industry careers and need a flexible, self-paced online course. WGU works closely with NIST's National Initiative for Cybersecurity Education with input from cybersecurity experts and leading information technology employers to meet the most recent Department of Homeland Security and NSA guidelines. Students can complete the program in one year or multiple years, and course costs increase accordingly. But students working in the field typically have the knowledge to move through the course quickly.

The course fee is $4,190 per six-month term.

University of Maryland

UMGC offers excellent courses for beginners and working professionals who want to improve their cybersecurity skills. Based on its proximity to the NSA and the national security establishment, students have access to some of the best practitioners and security policymakers in the U.S. University officials recommended two cybersecurity courses online in particular:

  1. Ethical Hacking CMIT 321 helps students prepare for the International Council of Electronic Commerce Consultants (EC-Council) Certified Ethical Hacker (CEH) certification. The three-credit course is based on the official EC-Council curriculum, including an individual and team Capture the Flag competition. Materials for the course include iLabs hands-on hacking labs. Students get a substantial discount if they take the actual EC-Council CEH exam and qualify without a waiver for taking the official course at UMGC.
  2. Threat Management and Vulnerability Assessment CMIT 421 helps prepare students for the CompTIA Cybersecurity Analyst (CySA+) certification as an entry-level analyst. CySA+ is a newer CompTIA certification that has gained traction. The three-credit course features hands-on labs and practice tests from uCertify, enabling students to analyze different vulnerability assessment reports.

The fee for the standard program is $499 per credit ($300 per credit for Maryland residents).

NSA Center of Academic Excellence in Cyber Operations

NSA CAE in Cyber Operations (CAE-CO) is certified at 21 colleges by the NSA. The various programs are deeply technical, interdisciplinary, higher education courses firmly grounded in the computer science, computer engineering and electrical engineering disciplines. The programs offer extensive opportunities for hands-on applications via labs and exercises. While security pros consider CAE-CO the most hands-on technical program, the CAE course also offers concentrations in Cyber Defense Education and Cyber Research. The course fees vary depending on the college, region and commitment to online learning programs in the wake of COVID-19.

Biden poised to pick Connecticut schools chief for education secretary - Inside Higher Ed

Posted: 22 Dec 2020 05:30 PM PST

President-elect Joe Biden selected Connecticut education commissioner Miguel Cardona as his education secretary on Tuesday.

"Dr. Cardona has a proven track record as an innovative leader who will fight for all students, and for a better, fairer, more successful education system," Biden said. "He will also strive to eliminate long-standing inequities and close racial and socioeconomic opportunity gaps — and expand access to community colleges, training, and public four-year colleges and universities to improve student success and grow a stronger, more prosperous, and more inclusive middle class."

The presidents of the nation's largest teachers' unions, Randi Weingarten, of the American Federation of Teachers, and Becky Pringle, of the National Education Association, congratulated Cardona in statements Tuesday afternoon. The choice was seen as a safer pick than Weingarten or former NEA president  Lily Eskelsen García. Both union leaders had been mentioned as potential candidates but would have likely faced a tough confirrmation fight in a Senate that could be controlled by Republicans, depending on two run-off elections in Georgia next month. 

Cardona's background is primarily in elementary and secondary education. In 2003, Cardona, then 28, was the youngest principal in the state when he became head of Hanover Elementary School in Meriden, Conn., according to The Hartford Courant. After becoming an assistant superintendent for teaching and learning at Meriden Public Schools in 2013, he rose quickly in the state system, becoming head of the state's K-12 schools just last summer.

As a student, he attended Meriden Public Schools and graduated from Wilcox Technical High School. Cardenas attended Central Connecticut State University for his bachelor's degree and the University of Connecticut, where he completed his master's degree in bilingual/bicultural education and his doctorate in education.

Washington higher education advocates say they know little about Cardona's higher education stances. Robert Shireman, deputy under secretary of education during the Obama administration, said Cardona will need strong advisers on higher education issues.

"If Cardona is the pick, it underscores the need for a deputy role that will focus on higher education and especially financial aid and student loans," said Shireman, director of higher education excellence at the Century Foundation.

"Every year nearly 20 million Americans complete the [Free Application for Federal Student Aid], and one in six Americans have student loans. Further, with state budget cuts looming, access to affordable college options will be threatened, leading to a likely surge in [for-profit] predatory schools," he said. "The next secretary must have a strong team to help address those challenges."

Cardona is best known for pressing Connecticut schools to reopen, fearing low-income students would fall behind because of disparities in online learning. 

That impressed Ted Mitchell, president of the American Council on Education. Mitchell said in an interview he does not know Cardona."But I'm a big fan of how he managed the coronavirus, and he did it with students' welfare in mind." 

Mitchell said that augers well for how he'd handle higher education issues. "He has his eyes focused on lower-income students of color."

However, state education officials in Connecticut said that although Cardona's focus has been on K-12, he has worked closely with higher education leaders, attending meetings and participating in discussions of the Connecticut State Colleges & Universities Board of Regents as an ex officio member, and he speaks frequently about the importance of lifelong learning.

"He is a strong advocate for public higher education. I think he understands the value of higher education and what needs to happen for make higher education more accessible," Mark E. Ojakian, president of the Connecticut system, said in an interview.

Much of that, he said, stems from Cardona's history. During his confirmation hearing in the Connecticut Senate, Cardona described himself as a "goofy little Puerto Rican kid" born in a public housing complex in Meriden.

"He understands what it's like to struggle. He wasn't born with a silver spoon in life. He's had to work for everything he's achieved," Ojakian said. "He hasn't forgotten where he's come from. He's a really smart, dedicated person who is also just a down-to-earth, nice guy."

Testifying at his confirmation hearing, Cardona said, "The passion I have for public education stems from my belief that it is the best lever for economic success and prosperity in Connecticut and the belief that public education is still the great equalizer. It was for me," he told lawmakers.

That understanding of the importance of education, Ojakian said, has led Cardona to speak about the importance of the state's free college program at its 12 public community colleges. Biden has pledged to make attendance free at community colleges, as well as at public four-year colleges for families with incomes less than $125,000.

Ojakian said Cardona will bring an understanding of the importance of wraparound services. "In K-12 students have transportation issues. They come to school hungry. The same issues exist in higher education," he said.

Cardona has also worked to create connections between high schools and colleges, creating programs to allow Meriden high school students to take community college courses at their schools, and having college counselors go to high schools to help students fill out financial aid forms, Ojakian said.

That helps public colleges hang on to students who might otherwise go to for-profit colleges, said Ojakian, though he did not know Cardona's feelings about for-profit institutions, which are expected to come under greater scrutiny in the Biden administration.

If selected, Cardona will also face a push by advocacy groups to forgive student debt. Neither Ojakian nor Timothy Larson, executive director of the Connecticut Office of Higher Education, knew where Cardona stands in the debt cancellation debate.

"I think he would be very mindful that student debt is a significant burden," said Larson.

Larson said Cardona has also been an advocate for advancing all types of education after high school. "He's talked to me a lot about how education sets you up for the next journey and how the next journey never ends with college, or trade school or a certificate, but is over a lifetime," Larson said. "This is a tremendous individual who has a presence when he walks into a room."

In selecting Cardona, Biden fulfilled some of his promises to supporters, including unions. He had promised during the campaign to name someone who had taught in a classroom, in contrast to Education Secretary Betsy DeVos.

In a statement, Pringle praised Cardona's teaching background. "As a former public-school teacher, he understands what's at stake for students and promises to respect the voice of educators as we work to safely reopen school buildings, colleges, and university campuses, while also forging a path to transform public education into a racially and socially just and equitable system that is designed to prepare every student to succeed in a diverse and interdependent world," she said.

"Dr. Cardona will help fulfill President-elect Biden's promises to make community college free, tackle the student debt crisis, and enable college graduates to pursue careers in education and public service by expanding and simplifying the Public Service Loan Forgiveness and Teacher Loan Forgiveness programs," she said.

Weingarten said Cardona "is not just a proud product of public schools -- he's made strengthening public education and fighting for equity his life's work. With his experience as a student, fourth-grade teacher, principal, assistant superintendent and commissioner in Connecticut, Dr. Cardona -- a former AFT member -- will transform the Education Department to help students thrive, a reversal of the DeVos disaster of the last four years."


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