Notes in the Margins: English, cost comparisons and the sequester

Are Colleges Really Creeping On Your Facebook? After going to so much trouble to mask themselves online, students might be surprised to find out that some colleges aren’t paying much attention to prospective students’ social media accounts. (The Mash via The Huffington Post)

English Proficiency Falters Among the French France’s secondary school system, which has only recently started testing English oral skills as part of the Baccalaureate, is a major reason for poor language skills. (The New York Times)

Battle brewing over cost comparison site for colleges While some applaud Collegeabacus.com for its ease of use and transparency, others say it is trying to profit from colleges’ proprietary information — and several schools have blocked it from accessing their prices. (CNN via Education Dive)

Obama College Rating System Will Take On U.S. News & World Report Colleges instead will be ranked in terms of access, graduation rate and affordability, but educators remain unclear about how the system will work. (National Journal)

Universities continue to lobby against sequester’s cuts of research funding The toll goes on: 30 percent reported reductions in undergraduate student research; 35 percent, reductions in new federal training grants; 23 percent, reductions in admission of graduate students; 35 percent, cancellation of research projects. (The Washington Post)