CBS News Logo Report: E​mails, passwords from 47 government agencies leaked online

A report from a Boston-based startup shows that stolen emails and passwords belonging to representatives of 47 government agencies are floating around online. The finding highlights the danger of poorly secured federal networks in the wake of the hack of the U.S. Office of Personnel Management, currently under congressional investigation. The report was based on a scan done by Recorded Future between November 2013 and November 2014 of 17 "paste sites," where hackers often share credentials stolen from third-party sites, such as store rewards programs or travel sites. The scan identified 705 email address-and-password combinations traceable to government employees. Given that by some estimates as many as 50 percent of people reuse passwords on multiple sites (an unfortunate trend brought to the fore earlier this week in the hack of the Houston Astros baseball team), hackers could use so-called brute force techniques to try the stolen logins on and potentially gain access to government networks. "The presence of these credentials on the open Web leaves these agencies vulnerable to espionage, socially engineered attacks, and tailored spear-phishing attacks against their workforce," the report said. Scott Donnelly, a senior analyst at Recorded Future, said the company had reached out to the various government agencies implicated in the findings at the end of 2014 and beginning of this year, but was met with silence. They decided to release the report Wednesday on the heels of a February Office of Management and Budget report that 12 agencies do not require two-factor authentication for even their most privileged users. All 12 were among the 47 agencies identified by Recorded Future. They were the General Services Administration, USAID, and the departments of State, Veterans Affairs, Agriculture, Housing and Urban Development, Transportation, Treasury, Health and Human Services, Energy, Interior and Homeland Security. "These are agencies that are really lagging behind Continue Reading

How well do Minnesota’s education programs prepare students to be teachers? It’s almost impossible to tell

In 2013, the education programs at Minnesota State University-Moorhead boasted a 100 percent employment rate for its graduates. A big, round number indeed — and only an incremental uptick from 2012 and 2011, when rates were 99 percent and 98 percent, respectively. That’s a higher rate than the one posted by Harvard Law. It’s higher than the number of Ph.D.s from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology that go straight into the workforce and the number of newly minted Carlson School MBAs with job offers. Enviable or unbelievable? The fact that it’s impossible to say makes the claim a good starting point for a discussion of exactly how hard it is to evaluate outcomes of Minnesota’s teacher-training programs, and to probe whether they are recruiting and training the right teachers.Teaching is the single largest profession in the country, and there are huge gaps in how educators are recruited, trained and kept in the classroom. A mountain of evidence shows that teacher quality is the single most important in-school contributor to student achievement. Yet there are no publicly available indicators showing which schools of education are training excellent teachers. Or whether those new teachers actually end up in the classroom — or stay there for any meaningful amount of time.  State surveys show that as recently as 2013, Minnesota colleges were training twice as many teachers in some specialties as there were jobs — and far too few for positions that schools clamor to fill. There's also a gap for potential teachers of color, who make up about 10 percent of the state’s education students but just 4 percent of licensed educators, according to state figures. The diversity of Minnesota's teacher corps has actually fallen slightly in recent years.  Nationwide, policymakers and leaders of some teacher colleges estimate that half of education students graduate, with further attrition between the diploma and Continue Reading

Ranking names Kennesaw State online MBA program as the best in Georgia

If you’re looking to dig into some numbers during your off-time by enrolling in an online MBA program, you can’t do much better than Kennesaw State University. KSU’s Master of Business Administration program ranked No. 19, tied with Lehigh University and Pepperdine University. That makes it the tops in Georgia. To create its ranking, U.S. News explained that it weighed five factors: student engagement, admissions selectivity, peer reputation, faculty credentials/training and student services/technology. Each program was then given a score out of 100 — KSU earned a 76. Temple University’s program earned a perfect 100 and got the No. 1 spot. “We are excited to see our online MBA program recognized as a Top 20 program in the nation,” Kathy Schwaig, dean of the Coles College of Business, said in a news release. “The ranking reflects the outstanding achievements of our committed students, talented faculty, and devoted MBA leadership and staff.” The university also had other programs that earned spots on different U.S. News rankings, including graduate information technology and graduate engineering programs. Like Cobb County News Now on Facebook | Follow us on Twitter Continue Reading

U.S. News & World Report online college rankings for 2018: How did Arizona schools do?

One Arizona university — and another with ties to the state — are ranked among the Top 5 in the country for their online programs, according to a popular survey released this week.Arizona State University's online bachelor's degree programs were again ranked No. 4 in the country, the same as last year, according to the annual survey by U.S. News & World Report.The top three online programs were Ohio State University, Florida's Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University, which also has a physical campus in Prescott, and Temple University in Philadelphia.This year's Best Online Bachelor's Programs ranked 346 schools on factors such as faculty credentials, class size, graduation rates and student-loan debt. The survey also considered the support services available, the technological infrastructure and the program's reputation. "The top programs not only demonstrate strong academics but also create learning environments that are particularly well-suited to remote students,“ said Anita Narayan, managing editor of education at U.S. News, in a statement.In Arizona, Northern Arizona University's online bachelor's degree program was ranked No. 47 while University of Arizona's was No. 56.Some schools have objected to the methodology that U.S. News uses to calculate rankings and chosen not to provide information for the purposes of being evaluated. For example, peer reputation (how a university is regarded by top college administrators at other schools) makes up 20 percent of an online program's score. One of the state's largest online providers, the private Grand Canyon University, again did not participate in the U.S. News rankings this year because of disagreements over the methodology used, said Bob Romantic, a university spokesman.He added that the university does participate in other rankings that measure learning outcomes, such as the College Learning Continue Reading

Teachers go back to school with online learning programs

Launching or continuing your career as a teacher can be an exciting, albeit challenging, endeavor. Ensuring that you have the right educational credentials is a must, and online education is making that easier than ever. Oral Roberts University recently launched several new online programs to assist teachers in starting and advancing their careers. The three new programs include: Master of Education in Curriculum and Instruction, Master in Public School Administration and a Special Education Certificate. ORU has been offering online courses and programs since 2015. But there is an ongoing need for teaching programs, especially in an online capacity according to Dr. Kim Boyd, dean of the College of Education at ORU. “Many adults are looking to fit college classes into their bustling schedules, which can be extra difficult if you’re working full-time,” she says. “Being able to complete accredited classes online provides several benefits to teachers.” Why Earn Teaching Credentials Online? The new Master’s programs enable teachers to move up into administrative and other leadership roles. There is also a shortage of teachers in special education, so the certificate program allows educators to expand their expertise. “Many school districts require teachers to continue taking courses and further their education, and these programs help to make that possible,” Boyd adds. Other benefits of completing a teaching program online include: • The convenience of being able to take courses anywhere with internet access • Lower costs than a face-to-face program • The ability to complete coursework around your schedule • Access to the same materials, faculty and curriculum as with in-person courses • Online sessions starting every 7-weeks, allowing students to jump in throughout the year • Curriculum that fully prepares students to pass all applicable certification tests One of the biggest benefits Continue Reading

1 in 4 teens drop out of high school; Despite progress in states like NY and Tenn., 10 states show decline

  The last straw for 17-year-old Alton Burke was a note left on his door. The high school dropout picked up the phone and re-enrolled at South Hagerstown High. Burke missed roughly 200 days of class, but Heather Dixon, the student intervention specialist who left the note, never gave up on him. Aggressive efforts to prevent students such as Burke from dropping out contributed to a modest 3.5 percentage point increase nationally in the high school graduation rate from 2001 to 2009, according to research to be presented Monday at the Grad Nation summit in Washington. The event was organized by the children's advocacy group America's Promise Alliance founded by former Secretary of State Colin Powell. The graduation rate was 75 percent in 2009, meaning 1 in 4 students fails to get a diploma in four years, researchers found. That's well below the organization's goal of 90 percent by 2020. Researchers found that the number of "dropout factories," schools that fail to graduate more than 60 percent of students on time, had dropped by more than 450 between 2002 and 2010, but that 1,550 remain. "Big gains are possible if you work hard at it, and if you don't focus on it, you're going to go backward," said Robert Balfanz, a report author and director of the Everyone Graduates Center at the School of Education at Johns Hopkins University. The increase in graduation rates was primarily because of growth in 12 states, with New York and Tennessee showing double digit gains since 2002, according to the research. At the other end, 10 states had declines: Arizona, Arkansas, California, Connecticut, New Jersey, Nebraska, New Mexico, Nevada, Rhode Island and Utah. So far, only Wisconsin has met the 90 percent benchmark, although Vermont is close. "This year's report proves struggling schools are not destined to fail," said Education Secretary Arne Duncan. "The reality is that even one dropout factory is too many." Related: Read the full report from Continue Reading

Hire Me! Unemployed woman fears ageism after being told she’s ‘overqualified’

RAMONA KEARNSEast New York, BrooklynThe first time Ramona Kearns lost her job at the phone company, she managed to land another one. The second time it happened, more than two decades later, there was no reprieve.Verizon call center in Forest Hills, Queens, in November 2008. She’s still looking for work.Brooklyn. “There was a reputation in the company that, if you were trained in operator services, you were the most effective and efficient.”Manhattan career coach Charles Moldenhauer.Upper West Side office, he suggested she revise her résumé by moving her educational credentials to the bottom from the top. (She has a bachelor’s degree from Empire State College and a master’s in business management from Colorado Technical University, an online school.)NYNEX, as the phone company was briefly called. She was one of seven assistants who scheduled and maintained records on training sessions for 12,000 employees a year.Sylvan Learning and Kaplan may prove fruitful, Moldenhauer said. He added that companies with inhouse training programs could also present opportunities through administrative positions or tutoring [email protected] Join the Conversation: Continue Reading

Do methadone prescriptions do more harm than help?

BILL: Dave, listen to this letter. "My mother died of an overdose of prescription methadone. She was 58 years old, a grandmother with much to live for. My question is, Why is it acceptable to treat someone in pain with a drug virtually equivalent to heroin?"  DR. DAVE: As a synthetic form of opium, methadone has indeed safely helped millions get relief from pain. But - because it is also abused by thrill-seekers and often prescribed by doctors unfamiliar with its risks - methadone is now the fastest-growing cause of narcotic deaths in many major metropolitan areas. BILL: Isn't the rise of its use as a prescription drug due to a change in medical attitudes in the 1990s? DR. DAVE: In the 1990s, the national hospital credentialing body, the Joint Commission on Accreditation of Health Organizations - also called JCAHO - made an aggressive push to reduce patient pain. As MDs scrambled to respond, methadone became attractive as a generic, cheaper alternative to other long-lasting painkillers. BILL: Like the brand-name opiate drug OxyContin, which has been widely publicized as a leading cause of overdose deaths  itself in recent years. DR. DAVE: And that's why so many MDs began to prescribe methadone instead. BILL: Because it seemed cheaper and less prone to abuse than OxyContin? DR. DAVE: Less controversial too. Besides, methadone was already being used by tens of thousands of ex-heroin addicts on a daily basis. The initial bump in prescriptions, by an individual doctor or the nation as a whole, sort of flew under the radar. BILL: Never having used methadone, I can't make up my mind about it. In fact, I'm not even sure I agree with the entire "War on Drugs." What good did Prohibition do? So before talking to you, I called Dr. Keith Humphreys, a friend of mine who's a professor at Stanford. "Wasn't methadone originally intended to treat heroin addicts?" I asked him. "And isn't it still being prescribed for that purpose to this day - a cheap and Continue Reading

Corrections & Clarifications

To report corrections & clarifications, contact:Please indicate whether you're responding to content online or in the newspaper.The following corrections & clarifications have been published on stories produced by USA TODAY's newsroom: February 2018Life:An earlier version of this report incorrectly credited the 1996 Summer Olympics performance of The Power of the Dream. Celine Dion sang the theme at the opening ceremony; the song was performed again at the closing ceremony by Rachel McMullin and a choir of other children.​ Sports: A previous version of this graphic incorrectly located hockey player Megan Keller's hometown on the map. Sports: An earlier version of this story misidentified the U.S. hockey player who is quoted in the third paragraph. Opinion: An earlier version of this column mischaracterized who could receive a tax credit for campaign donations. It would be refundable and available to all Americans who file taxes. Sports: A photo in some editions Feb. 8 incorrectly identified the person next to New England Patriots coach Bill Belichick. The person was special teams coach Joe Judge. Sports: A headline in some Feb. 12 editions had an incorrect result of Serena and Venus Williams’ doubles match in the Fed Cup. The sisters lost. Twitter: On Feb. 11, a previous tweet misidentified Olympic gold medalist Jamie Anderson. Continue Reading

Guide to Area Schools

St. Joseph’s College has been dedicated to providing a diverse population of students with an affordable education rooted in the liberal arts tradition. Independent and coeducational, the college provides a strong academic and value-oriented education. It aims to prepare each student for a life characterized by integrity, intellectual and spiritual values, social repsonsibility and service. For the fourth consecutive year, the 2006 ranking of America’s Best Colleges by U.S. News & World Report named St. Joseph’s in the top tier of the Northern Comprehensive Colleges.With campuses located in the Clinton Hill area of Brooklyn and in Patchogue, L.I., the college offers degrees in over 22 majors, special course offerings and certificates and affiliated and pre-professional programs. Graduate degrees include an executive MBA, MBA in accounting, and master’s degrees in management, nursing, literacy/cognition and infant/toddler early childhood special education.St. Joseph’s progressive academic approach is combined with outstanding inter-active teaching and hands-on experiences. Professors and instructors encourage students to develop their own views and approaches as they apply them to real-life situations.St. Joseph’s newest programs — a BS in criminal justice, a BS in organizational management through the Online Degree Program (OMOP); an MS with a major in nursing; and the MA in literacy/cognition — allow graduates to step right into these growing fields.Dorm space is available for Brooklyn students. For more information, call (718) 636-6868 (Brooklyn); (631) 447-3219 (Patchogue); or log on to and flexibility are two of the most important characteristics of an Empire State College education. The school caters to working adults who choose to pursue academic goals. With work, family and other obligations, Empire students appreciate what the college offers. They study with faculty mentors who Continue Reading