I Just Sued the School System…. YOU NEED TO WATCH THIS VIDEO!!!


Five eye-opening figures from the U.S. Education Department’s latest civil rights data dump

The U.S. Education Department on Tuesday released a trove of data drawn from surveys of nearly every single one of the nation’s 95,000 public schools. This latest installment of the Civil Rights Data Collection, from the 2013-2014 school year, offers a sobering look at the wide disparities in experience and opportunity that divide the nation’s 50 million students.

By the fall, anyone will be able to look up data on a specific school or school district online. GreatSchools, the website that provides information about school test scores and demographics, also is planning to incorporate the civil rights data into its school profiles.

1. In the 2013-2014 school year, 6.5 million children were chronically absent from school, missing 15 or more days of school.

A growing body of research has shown that children who are chronically absent from school are more likely to struggle academically and eventually drop out. It makes sense: Missed classes mean missed instruction and holes in understanding that make it more and more difficult to keep up with peers. Absenteeism rates are highest among teenagers, but it’s by no means an adolescent problem alone. More than 3.5 million of chronically absent students were in elementary school.

2. 850,000 high school students didn’t have access to a school counselor.

High school counselors often have tough jobs. They keep track of their students’ progress toward graduation. They help students apply to college and navigate the financial aid process. They also help kids navigate their lives outside of school, which can be made complex by poverty, violence and family trouble. And because counselors often are one of the first positions to be cut when budgets get tight, there are almost never enough to go around. The national average is close to 500 students per school counselor; many student have no counselor at all.

3. 1.6 million students went to a school that employed a sworn law-enforcement officer, but no counselor.

The 2013-2014 Civil Rights Data Collection for the first time counted how many schools have a sworn law-enforcement officer: 24 percent of elementary schools and 42 percent of high schools. Among high schools with predominantly black and Hispanic populations (i.e., more than 75 percent of students were black and Latino), more than half — 51 percent — had an officer.

4. Nearly 800,000 students were enrolled in schools where more than 20 percent of teachers hadn’t met state licensure requirements.

Black, Hispanic and American Indian/Alaska Native students were more likely than white students to attend schools like this. The same students of color are more likely than white students to attend schools where more than 20 percent of teachers are in their first year of teaching.

5. Racial disparities in suspensions reach all the way down into preschool: Black children represent 19 percent of all preschoolers, and 47 percent of all those who were suspended.

Activists and journalists have helped draw attention to disparities in school discipline in recent years. The Obama administration has also called attention to the gaps and pressed schools to address them. Even with all that attention, the difference in suspension rates among the youngest children are still surprising.

Stay tuned: In the next civil rights data dump, two years from now, the Education Department expects to include new data that promises to be just as interesting — including on corporal punishment in preschool, allegations of bullying based on sexual orientation and religion, teacher turnover and discipline-related transfers to alternative schools.


This story was originally posted int he Washington Post on June 7, 2016

How Edtech Tools Evolve…Ch. 3

With EdSurge’s third installment of State of Edtech: How Edtech Tools Evolve, they share:

  1. The history, research and ongoing debates around how best to teach and assess math and reading. We look at how these conversations have shaped the creation of edtech tools;

  2. A framework for understanding how technology can impact teaching and learning, along with the pros and cons behind using the framework;

  3. A dozen stories of educators across the country who have witnessed changes in technology, and have adopted tools to refine and redefine their instructional practices.

In the next chapter of our yearlong research on the state of education technology, EdSurge, with the support of AT&T Aspire, has explored how popular instructional tools have changed over time, and how this evolution has influenced teaching and learning. Underlying our story is a cautious optimism that education technology will finally deliver on its potential. Bold visions about how technology can transform classrooms are by no means a recent phenomenon. Both Thomas Edison and Steve Jobs asserted, a century apart, that physical books will be obsolete in schools—a prediction that has proven wishful. Part of the problem was that technology was difficult to use and often did not work as intended. Today, after decades of fits and starts, education technology has matured. Better bandwidth, cloud computing power, data collection and distribution channels such as app stores, among other infrastructural improvements, have helped developers make devices and software more accessible, affordable and, most importantly, easier for students and teachers to use. In order to get powerful results, the tools must be aligned with practice in purposeful ways. Often times, the most widely used tools are ones that are flexible, content­ agnostic and can be adapted for a wide range of teaching needs. In our analysis on the evolution and use of edtech tools, we dive into: ● the history, research and ongoing debates around how best to teach and assess math and reading, and how these conversations have shaped the creation of edtech tools. ● the pros and cons of a popular framework that helps us understand how technology can impact teaching and learning ● a dozen stories of educators across the country who have adopted tools to refine and redefine their instructional practices Used intentionally, technology can help teachers realize ideas put forth decades ago by education researchers. For example, data can give teachers better insights into what each learner needs and help them adjust classroom strategies. Games and online collaborative projects offer students more engaging ways to appreciate and learn abstract subjects. Not every practice needs to be reinvented. Just like paper­ and ­pencil, many traditional habits around teaching, discussion and homework continue to work well for many teachers. But whatever their comfort or experience, educators increasingly have access to a powerful set of new technologies to help them refine—or redefine—the way that they teach students.

Read more here: https://www.edsurge.com/research/special­reports/state­of­edtech­2016/builders

In our analysis of education technology products, we explore the history, research and debates behind how to best teach and assess math and reading knowledge. This chapter explores: ● apps and games that represent numbers, arithmetic and other mathematical ideas in visual ways, allowing students to “see” math beyond a collection of numbers and symbols; ● algorithms that attempt to quantify text complexity to help students find the “right” difficulty of reading materials; ● alternative methods of testing students in more fun, engaging and low­ stakes ways, and using this data to help teacher hone their craft. Yet no matter what features are built into a product, the technology is unlikely to impact learning if it’s misapplied. To understand how today’s tools can be used, we borrow the SAMR framework, created by Dr. Ruben Puentedura, to understand the different ways that technology can support changes in instructional practices and learning outcomes. To bring the framework to life, we also profiled a dozen educators from across the country on how they have used technology to support instructional needs and transform teaching practices. What these stories reveal is that changing ingrained habits and codified practices requires patience. Some teachers use technology to do the same tasks as before, albeit more efficiently. Others are creating entirely new sets of activities that transform learning from a solo to social experience. Whatever their comfort or experience, teachers increasingly have access to a powerful set of new technologies to help them refine—or redefine—the way that they run the classroom.

Read more here: https://www.edsurge.com/research/special­reports/state­of­edtech­2016

What are today’s tools capable of? Are these new features and capabilities impacting teaching and learning? How are these tools used by teachers to resolve some of the classroom’s gnarliest problems?


Read the Full Transcript of Jesse Williams’ Powerful Speech on Race at the BET Awards

 “Just because we’re magic doesn’t mean we’re not real”

Grey’s Anatomy actor JesseWilliams was awarded BET’s Humanitarian Award on Sunday night. The outspoken human rights activist—who executive produced the recent documentary,Stay Woke: The Black Lives Matter Movement— delivered a powerful and political speech about the cause he’s worked so hard on.

Referencing recent victims of police brutality, Williams discussed the violence against black people and the struggles they’ve faced throughout history: “There has been no war that we have not fought and died on the front lines of. There has been no job we haven’t done. There is no tax they haven’t leveed against us,” he said.

The speech received a standing ovation by the audience, who went on to praise Williams on Twitter. A transcript of it has been published in multiple places, including The Washington Post and Bustle. Below, Genius‘s account of the speech:

Peace peace. Thank you, Debra. Thank you, BET. Thank you Nate Parker, Harry and Debbie Allen for participating in that .

Before we get into it, I just want to say I brought my parents out tonight. I just want to thank them for being here, for teaching me to focus on comprehension over career, and that they make sure I learn what the schools were afraid to teach us. And also thank my amazing wife for changing my life.

Now, this award – this is not for me. This is for the real organizers all over the country – the activists, the civil rights attorneys, the struggling parents, the families, the teachers, the students that are realizing that a system built to divide and impoverish and destroy us cannot stand if we do.

It’s kind of basic mathematics – the more we learn about who we are and how we got here, the more we will mobilize.

Now, this is also in particular for the black women in particular who have spent their lifetimes dedicated to nurturing everyone before themselves. We can and will do better for you.

Now, what we’ve been doing is looking at the data and we know that police somehow manage to deescalate, disarm and not kill white people everyday. So what’s going to happen is we are going to have equal rights and justice in our own country or we will restructure their function and ours.

Now… I got more y’all – yesterday would have been young Tamir Rice’s 14th birthday so I don’t want to hear anymore about how far we’ve come when paid public servants can pull a drive-by on 12 year old playing alone in the park in broad daylight, killing him on television and then going home to make a sandwich. Tell Rekia Boyd how it’s so much better than it is to live in 2012 than it is to live in 1612 or 1712. Tell that toEric Garner. Tell that to Sandra Bland. Tell that to Dorian Hunt.

Now the thing is, though, all of us in here getting money – that alone isn’t gonna stop this. Alright, now dedicating our lives, dedicating our lives to getting money just to give it right back for someone’s brand on our body when we spent centuries praying with brands on our bodies, and now we pray to get paid for brands on our bodies.

There has been no war that we have not fought and died on the front lines of. There has been no job we haven’t done. There is no tax they haven’t leveed against us – and we’ve paid all of them. But freedom is somehow always conditional here. “You’re free,” they keep telling us. But she would have been alive if she hadn’t acted so… free.

Now, freedom is always coming in the hereafter, but you know what, though, the hereafter is a hustle. We want it now.

And let’s get a couple things straight, just a little sidenote – the burden of the brutalized is not to comfort the bystander.That’s not our job, alright – stop with all that. If you have a critique for the resistance, for our resistance, then you better have an established record of critique of our oppression. If you have no interest, if you have no interest in equal rights for black people then do not make suggestions to those who do. Sit down.

We’ve been floating this country on credit for centuries, yo, and we’re done watching and waiting while this invention called whiteness uses and abuses us, burying black people out of sight and out of mind while extracting our culture, our dollars, our entertainment like oil – black gold, ghettoizing and demeaning our creations then stealing them, gentrifying our genius and then trying us on like costumes before discarding our bodies like rinds of strange fruit. The thing is though… the thing is that just because we’re magic doesn’t mean we’re not real.

Thank you.

Here’s the Biggest Winner of the Sports Authority Bankruptcy


According to Goldman Sachs.
Few companies have come forth to buy Sports Authority’s stores as the retailer goes through the bankruptcy process.

That’s a good sign for Dick’s Sporting Goods DKS 3.59% , according to investment banking giant Goldman Sachs GS 2.08% in a Monday note to clients. The bank is so convinced about the company’s upside, that it added Dick’s to its “Conviction Buy List”—a step above “Buy.”

Sports Authority first filed for bankruptcy in March, and later reported that it would have to close all 463 of its locations after it failed to find a bidder willing to keep the company running on a smaller scale. Sports Authority is now in the process of auctioning off its real estate—though it hasn’t drummed up much interest from retailers. On Friday, Reuters reported that Dick’s had submitted a bid for 17 of Sports Authority’s leases, while other companies have sought single locations.

That means Dick’s will no longer have to deal with its largest competitor, and will likely snap up much of the leftover market share.
“[Dick’s] is best positioned to benefit from store closures of its largest competitor, The Sports Authority,” a team of analysts led by Stephen Tanal wrote, setting a 12 month price target of $53 a share—29% above the stock’s current price.

The team pointed out Sports Authority and Dick’s are in direct competition with each other. For Dick’s, 37% of its stores are within 10 miles of at least one Sports Authority, while 63% of Sports Authority stores have at least one Dick’s store within 10 miles.

“We expect sharp acceleration in earnings growth in the fourth quarter of 2016, as Dick’s cycles an easy compare with the benefit of share gain from Sports Authority, and further acceleration in [the first three quarters of 2017], when ‘full run rate’ Sports Authority benefits compound margin gains from in-souring eCommerce next year,” the team wrote.

Investors should watch July 15 as a potential catalyst for shares of Dick’s Sporting Goods, Goldman noted. The outcome of Sports Authority’s bankruptcy process, June 29 auction and all, will be clear then.

How Volkswagen Owners Can Get Compensation From the Emissions Scandal Settlement


Here’s what VW owners need to know about buyback options.

VW Owners Options

Volkswagen AG has agreed to offer nearly 500,000 owners of diesel vehicles it sold in the United States a choice between selling their cars back to VW, or waiting to see if the company can develop technology that brings the vehicles into compliance with pollution standards. The deal also includes cash compensation.

Here’s what you need to know, according to the settlement:

Who can file a claim?

Owners of certain Volkswagen VLKAY 5.18% and Audi cars with 2.0 liter diesel engines from model years 2009-2015 are eligible under the settlement. The deal covers the following models: Volkswagen – Beetle, Beetle Convertible 2013-2015, Golf 2-Door 2010-2013, Golf 4-Door 2010-2015, Golf SportWagen 2015, Jetta 2009-2015, Jetta SportWagen 2009-2014, Passat 2012-2015, Audi – A3 2010-2013, 2015.

What are the options?
Volkswagen will pay cash compensation of at least $5,100 to each owner. In addition, owners may opt for a buyback by Volkswagen or wait for VW to develop a fix that can win regulatory approval.

For cars whose owners sold them after the scandal hit, the cash payment will be divided between the previous and new owners.

Lessees will receive 10% of the car’s base value plus $1,529.005. They can have their leases terminated with no fee.

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What is the buyback option?

Under the buyback option, owners who purchased vehicles before September 18, 2015 will get the vehicle’s pre-scandal value, adjusted for options and mileage. The value will be determined based on the Clean Trade-In Value in the September 2015 edition of the NADA Used Car Guide.

What is the modification option?

Some owners may want Volkswagen to fix to their cars to make them compliant with environmental regulations. That fix may not be available until May 1, 2018, if at all. If no fix becomes available, those owners can then choose the buyback option. Owners choosing the fix will receive the same cash compensation as those who opted for the buyback.

How might the modification affect my vehicle’s performance?

The impact is not yet known. If and when a fix is approved by regulators, Volkswagen will send owners disclosures that will detail the effect on emissions levels, reliability, durability, fuel economy, noise vibration and harshness, vehicle performance, drivability, and other vehicle attributes.

How soon must I decide what to do?

Owners do not need to choose between a buyback or a modification until they are notified whether a fix is available. Regardless of which option is chosen, owners must submit a claim to http://www.VWCourtSettlement.com by September 1, 2018. Owners may begin submitting information to Volkswagen on July 26, 2016.

How soon will I be compensated?

The earliest will be October 2016. Similarly, Volkswagen will begin buybacks no earlier than October 2016.

Does the settlement address 3.0 liter engine cars?

No. A settlement to address some 80,000 3.0 liter vehicles sold by Volkswagen in the United States is still pending.

What if I am not sure whether the settlement covers me?

You can go to http://www.VWClassSettlement.com or call 1-844-98-CLAIM. You may also write VW Court Settlement, P.O. Box 214500, Auburn Hills, MI 48326.

Why was there a lawsuit?

In the biggest scandal in its history, the German automaker admitted in September to outfitting its diesel cars with software to evade emissions tests. Those “defeat devices” allowed its 2.0 liter cars to emit up to 40 times legally allowable pollution.


On June 24, 2016, British citizens woke up to a brand new world. In a stunning upset, the United Kingdom voted to leave the European Union, becoming the first major country to voluntarily exit the EU. The final tally–roughly 52% voted to leave, 48% to remain–reflected a country starkly divided by political beliefs.

On social media, many young people bemoaned that their future had been determined by a older generation, given that a poll released on the same day indicated that 75% of people between the ages of 18-24 voted to remain.

Ben Riley-Smith ✔ @benrileysmith
(YouGov poll)
18-24: 75% Remain
25-49: 56% Remain
50-64: 44% Remain
65+: 39% Remain#EUref

Here, 10 British citizens under the age of 40 explain the reasons behind their vote.

Alex Hawley, 27, Trainee Solicitor. I voted Remain.
Alex Hawley
The EU provides an extra tier of protection against our own government. Human rights protection has not fallen away with Brexit, but protection for us as consumers, employees, and members of various underrepresented or vulnerable groups is at risk.

Guy Laurence Dunkley, 26, Salesman. I voted Remain.
Guy Laurence Dunkley
I am fully aware of the European Union’s faults. For starters its institutions are plagued with inefficiency and accountability problems and that isn’t even beginning to mention its mismanagement of the refugee crisis. Apart from the purely selfish reasons such as my pay being in pounds and my soon-to-be-born half-Dutch niece, I feel our membership was important for symbolic reasons. Britain has always faced outwards to the world and building stable relationships with our European neighbors has been our biggest diplomatic success over the last 50 years. I feel we have turned our back on our natural allies and displayed a frankly nasty, ignorant and fearful side to our national character. I fear the vote will result will result in the breakup of the UK and over 300 years of shared experience, learning and overall achievement.

Anthony Boutall, 28, Director of Executive Search Company. I voted Leave.
Anthony Boutall
I am so glad that Britain has voted against the scaremongering and defeatism of the Remain campaign, instead choosing to re-claim democratic self control and re-energize our global vocation. Inside the EU’s customs union, we have missed out on global free trade deals, waiting at the back of a queue of 27 other countries who rarely agree unanimously on the minutia of detail in those trade agreements. Outside the EU, we can make the most of our global links, language, and world-renowned services industry. Inside the EU, we have been forced to accept lawmaking from an unelected body in another country. Only now, outside the EU, will the buck stop in Downing Street and with democratically elected leaders. This is a common bond between English speaking cultures, and one that we should be ecstatic to reignite.

Matt Graham, 37, Screenwriter. I voted Remain.
Matt Graham
I believe in the European Union: a group of millions of people who come from different cultures and yet still manage to co-operate with one another. Personally, I also feel European, of British extraction, part of a greater whole: the family of European nations. I don’t believe that Nationalism is the answer for the UK, which is a country made up after all of four different nations itself – nations that have succeeded in co-operating with each other over the centuries. I believe in the need for co-operation in an increasingly multicultural world, where nation states are less important. I believe in the need to stamp out intolerance and racism, and most seriously of all, I believe in the need for us to co-operate in a world in which global warming and resource scarcity are the single key issues that face all mankind. The more I travel in the world, the more I learn one single lesson: that people are the same, and that its only by co-operation that we succeed in overcoming the dangers facing us. That’s why I voted Remain – and even after yesterday, I Remain hopeful.

Brogan Kear, 26, Office Assistant. I voted Leave.
Borgan Kear
The EU and Europe are vastly different things. I adore Europe, which is precisely why I am so frustrated by what its Government is doing to it. The EU is a many-layered Governmental system, not a warm and fuzzy feeling of co-operation and love among European neighbors.We are not fighting against the concept of harmony between European nations and people- quite the opposite. We are fighting against a Parliament in which the representatives we *do* elect have no power to propose or repeal legislation. We are pushing for individual countries to be able to control their own economies. This is a positive vision of democracy and self-determination for all countries, not some spiteful act of self-isolation. It is not a protest against unity and co-operation, but a protest against the notion that “one size fits all” in terms of policy being applied to vastly different countries with vastly different economies and political climates. I believe in every country’s right to govern itself. I believe that when we sell more to the EU than they sell to us.I believe that an immigration system favoring people with European passports while making it difficult for talented people from the Commonwealth and elsewhere is unfair. I believe in our ability to take any legislative ideas from the EU which are beneficial to society and apply them voluntarily, and I believe we should have the right to say “no” to laws or regulations which are restrictive or damaging to businesses and industries in this country. I believe in the successes of Norway and Switzerland, who have rejected the EU and flourished. I believe that the claims that we are leaping into the “unknown” are easily disproved by the fact that the majority of the world’s countries have never been in the European Union and are managing just fine. I believe in Britain, and I believe in Europe.

Neil King, 36, Criminal Barrister. I voted Leave.
Neil King
I did so because, the referendum having been called, if we voted to stay the EU would have seen that as a rubber stamp for further federalism and would have ignored the traditional British threat of “our people want out, so give us what we want or else” that we’ve been deploying for years. I also think the 20th century customs union is not a model for the 21st century. Being in the EU inhibited our ability to trade with Africa, China, India and the US. I am also concerned by unbridled Eastern European migration. It has completely transformed the nature of market towns in the East of England, as reflected by their strong out vote.

Calum Fleming, 25, Writer/Actor. I voted Remain.
Calum Fleming
I voted to remain in the EU because I believe that in a smaller world you have to think bigger than your borders. When I am in Glasgow, I am reminded I am from Edinburgh. When I am in England, I am resolutely Scottish. When I am in Europe, I am sure to tell people I’m British. When I am in America, I think of myself as a European. I feel that really we are all human beings, we all deserve equality and we all deserve a good chance. Sure, the UK may have a strong economic standing that attracts immigration, but this equation that immigration equals less for the current population seems to ignite in many some old imperialistic and nationalist views. In contrast, I voted to leave the UK when the Scottish referendum happened and it was for exactly this reason. I felt that rural England is drowning out the progressive views that Scotland has. Really it’s like we’re being held back by readers who don’t know the difference between an EU migrant, a non EU migrant and a refugee. One has free travel, one has to combat a tier system, and one has to flee from wars that we started. To every Leave voter I have spoken to, they are the same- immigrants. The main reason I voted to remain is because I see a brighter future where countries all work together for the benefit of the human race, and not just for themselves.

Kate Bramson, 24, Political Consultant. I voted Leave.
Kate Bramson
For me, I believe that as a country we should be looking worldwide, seizing the opportunities which the world has to offer. Since the referendum was put to the public, I have questioned what our future prospects will be both in the EU and outside. The deal which Cameron had struck did not go far enough on reform and that for me was the biggest barrier to our future.

Will Abberley, 31, University Lecturer. I voted Remain.
Will Abberley
This is one of the worst days of my life. For three years I’ve been worrying about this referendum ever since Cameron promised one and today, finally, my fears have been realized. But judging by the attitudes of many (particularly older) Brexit-voters, no one seemed to realise the national suicide this was going to be. It was like a combination of mischievous nose-thumbing at the establishment and ridiculous imperial nostalgia. Like when a semi-senile grandparent tells you no one used to lock their doors when they were young and the sun shone brightly every day, and you’re just like, uh-huh, OK, grandad, whatever – except now that has actually become the official government strategy for the future. There is no plan, nothing. Boris is a complete hypocrite chancer who rode the coat-tails of this Brexit mania in the hope becoming PM. I am really, seriously worried about the future. Like, 1930s worried.

Meredith Lloyd, 28, Political Researcher. I voted Leave.
Meredith Lloyd
The reason I voted (and have campaigned for several years) for Britain to leave the European Union, is the love I have for my country, and my belief we have a role to play in the world and not just Europe. After over 40 years of membership, it is time to unshackle ourselves from a political project that has become protectionist, introspective, and unfit for purpose. The EU’s vision for the future, of further and further political, social and financial integration, was increasingly at odds with British values. Outside of the E.U., British people will be free to govern themselves again, our business will be freer to trade more globally, not merely with the near continent, and Britain will be able to strengthen and forge new trade and diplomatic relations with neighbors across the world, whist maintaining the close and important ties with our friends in Europe. This is not a question of pulling up the drawbridge or isolationism, it is about broadening our horizons. The British people have rejected the nay-sayers who say we are too small to make it alone. This is a victory for courage, democracy, and freedom, and above all is a new opportunity. We have said “No and Goodbye” to the European Union, but we still say “Yes” to the countries of Europe, and now also say “Hello” to the wider world.

These interviews have been edited and condensed for clarity.