DC Writers Way http://dcwritersway.org/ Tue, 10 May 2022 20:25:00 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=5.9.3 https://dcwritersway.org/wp-content/uploads/2021/05/cropped-icon-32x32.png DC Writers Way http://dcwritersway.org/ 32 32 Russian authorities accused of ‘abducting’ Crimean rights activist https://dcwritersway.org/russian-authorities-accused-of-abducting-crimean-rights-activist/ Tue, 10 May 2022 20:25:00 +0000 https://dcwritersway.org/russian-authorities-accused-of-abducting-crimean-rights-activist/ Danylovich is believed to have been detained by Russian authorities, but they declined to say if, where or by whom she is being held. “We’re assuming she’s still in jail,” Danylovich’s attorney, Helping Azamatov, told CNN.

Danylovich’s father, Bronislav, told the Krym.Realii news site, a Radio Liberty affiliate, that his daughter planned to take public transportation home on the morning of April 29, after finishing her shift. work in a medical institution in Koktebel, in the south-east of Crimea.

Azamatov said the nurse stopped answering her phone at that time.

Around the same time, Azamatov said, hooded officials from the Russian police special unit came to the house Danylovich shares with his parents in the village of Vladislavovka, near Feodosiya. Vladislavovka is about 34 kilometers (21 miles) from Koktebel.

He told CNN that officials who searched the family’s home told his father she had been sentenced to 10 days of administrative arrest for “transferring unclassified information to a foreign state.”

But authorities refused to hand over a copy of the decision, according to Azamatov. He still has not seen any official documents regarding Danylovich’s arrest. He was not allowed to see his client.

“Iryna has no procedural status, that’s why they hide her from me,” he said.

Azamatov, Danylovich’s family and several human rights organizations have been looking for her in detention centers in several Crimean towns since her disappearance.

Azamatov said he himself checked seven remand centers and special detention centers in the region, without success.

Crimean authorities declined to comment. The duty officer of the prosecutor’s office in Russian-occupied Crimea referred CNN to authorities in Danylovich’s hometown.

When CNN reached the Feodosiya police station on Tuesday, the person who answered the call said they knew nothing about the case and hung up.

The Interior Ministry of Russian-occupied Crimea did not respond to a written request for comment. A phone number listed on its website is not reachable.

Iryna Danylovich has been missing since April 29.

On May 6, Danylovich’s 43rd birthday, human rights activists left gifts outside one of the detention centers, despite being told she was not being held there.

Through her work as a citizen journalist, Danylovich has exposed problems with Crimea’s health system, especially in its response to the coronavirus pandemic. She has written for a number of Ukrainian media outlets and posted her findings on Facebook.

“Iryna Danylovich’s abduction shows signs of enforced disappearance under the International Convention for the Protection of All Persons from Enforced Disappearance,” Zmina, a Ukrainian human rights NGO, said in a statement. a statement.

The term enforced disappearance describes disappearances either perpetrated by state actors or by others acting on behalf of or with the support of state authorities, followed by a refusal to disclose the person’s fate and whereabouts.

Because the authorities refuse to recognize the detention, the victim has no legal protection and the perpetrators are rarely prosecuted, according to the UN.

The UN says the practice is often used as a strategy to spread terror within society.

Other than verbally telling Danylovich’s father during the search that his daughter was arrested, authorities have never officially acknowledged her detention or provided a reason for her being detained.

“On May 7, the ninth day after his disappearance, [nothing is known] where does Iryna Danylovich live and in what status,” Zmina added.

Danylovich’s case is the latest in a series of disappearances of activists, journalists and ordinary citizens reported over the past decade in Crimea.

According to a report published in March 2021, the United Nations Human Rights Office documented at least 43 cases of enforced disappearances in Crimea between 2014 and 2018.
In Russian-speaking eastern Ukraine, Putin's war is tearing families apart

The UN said it was mostly abductions and abductions and that some of the victims – 39 men and four women – had been subjected to ill-treatment and torture. Eleven of these men were still missing and one man was still in custody at the time of the report.

The UN said it was unable to document prosecutions related to any of the cases.

Azamatov said Danylovich’s parents told him that the people who entered their house were wearing civilian clothes. none of them introduced themselves or presented any identification. Instead, they read the warrant and started searching different rooms at the same time, the couple said.

They said officials had confiscated all electronic equipment, including three phones that no longer worked, and several books, including a publication by Viktor Suvorov.

Suvorov, real name Vladimir Bogdanovich Rezun, is a former Soviet spy who defected to the UK and reinvented himself as an author of World War II books.

Danylovich’s parents told Azamatov that officers refused to leave them a copy of the list of seized items or a copy of the search report.

On May 2, Azamatov appealed to the authorities, and Danylovich’s parents filed a statement with the police.

“My appeals to the Crimean prosecutor’s office, the military prosecutor’s office, the military investigative commission and the Russian investigative commission have not yet been answered. There is an appeal to the police of the father, there is no answer yet,” Azamatov said.

Bronislav Danylovich said he saw security video that appeared to show the moment his daughter was abducted.

He told Krym.Realii that he saw CCTV footage from one of the gas stations outside Koktebel showing a woman, dressed in clothes similar to those Danylovich was wearing when she disappeared, standing at a bus stop.

He said the clip showed an oncoming black car, several people in civilian clothes jumping out and – despite the woman’s resistance – pushing her into the vehicle.

Drone footage shows how Russians destroyed Ukrainian town in savage battle

Azamatov told CNN that the gas station refused to hand over the footage and after seeing the video, Bronislav Danylovich filed a new statement with the police demanding that a criminal case be opened.

“Now we are waiting for a video of the place of his abduction, they promised to provide it so that I can study it,” Azamatov said.

Meanwhile, a group of 19 human rights institutions are appealing to United Nations, Council of Europe and European Union agencies and officials to help with Danylovich’s case.

The Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) urged Russian authorities in Crimea to “immediately provide any information regarding Danylovich’s fate and let the media operate freely.”

Gulnoza Said, coordinator of CPJ’s Europe and Central Asia program, said in a statement. “The alarming disappearance of Iryna Danylovich raises fears of a further crackdown on independent reporting in Russian-occupied Crimea, which is already an extremely restrictive environment for the press.”

CNN’s Anna Chernova contributed reporting.

Tennessee is reversing its optional testing policy. Where are the other state systems? | https://dcwritersway.org/tennessee-is-reversing-its-optional-testing-policy-where-are-the-other-state-systems/ Tue, 10 May 2022 16:37:40 +0000 https://dcwritersway.org/tennessee-is-reversing-its-optional-testing-policy-where-are-the-other-state-systems/ The university will again require students to submit their SAT and ACT scores in 2023, ending its waiver process two years early.

Ben Mullins/Unsplash

Despite announcing last May that it would extend its optional testing admissions policy for prospective students through 2025, University of Tennessee officials now say the experiment will only last for the academic year 2022-23.

Starting in fall 2023, Tennessee will require students applying to all of its campuses to submit ACT and SAT scores, bucking national trends that see more than 1,600 four-year institutions continue their optional testing policies in the aim to maintain a more holistic admissions approach.

Tennessee President Randy Boyd didn’t give many details about the reason for the change, saying only at a recent board meeting that “our admissions policies do not allow for the optional test.” and that it was only permitted under the waiver process during the COVID-19 pandemic. “There was really no action needed from the board. So this is in line with pre-COVID exceptional admissions policies,” he said.

But last year, the university issued a statement announcing a lengthy extension of the policy with this quote from Associate Vice Provost for Enrollment Management Fabrizio D’Aloisio: “While we believe the admissions tests bring added validity to our decisions, we also understand that testing is just one part of a student’s story. This five-year optional testing policy will allow us to collect data and evaluate the effectiveness of admissions testing for our student population.

A Tennessee spokesperson reiterated part of that message and how they came to the decision on Tuesday:

“Standardized test scores, while important, are only one component of holistic admissions processes. Since June 2021, we have engaged in a very public and open dialogue with the UT Board of Trustees regarding the use of standardized test results in admissions decisions. Our commitment to the board since then has been to continue to evaluate standardized tests in admissions, adjusting and/or refining them as needed. We will continue to assess, as well as our transparency in public discussions with the Board of Directors.

Tennessee plans to continue discussions on “general” admissions at its next meeting in early June, though it seems clear from Boyd’s closing statement at the meeting – that all campuses agreed to no not make any revisions – that would be a long shot to bring back test-optional. Current students who have already applied for admission in Fall 2022 and those applying in Spring 2023 will still be exempt. The average SAT score in Tennessee in 2019-20 was 1,240 with some flexibility, according to several national student readiness agencies. A report from the Knoxville News Sentinel showed that around 9,000 students in 2020 applied without entering their test score.

More UBs: A two-year study by universities will examine the fairness of voluntary testing policies

How Others Approach Optional Testing

Tennessee is among the few state public systems that have chosen to reverse course on the optional test or not allow it at all. These policies have been crucial before and especially during the pandemic in getting a wider range of students interested in post-secondary education. Over the past year, students have applied to more than five institutions each, with the number of applications increasing by 14% on the common application alone. Tennessee did not provide details on

Some higher education leaders worry that their removal will lead to fewer applications from students from underrepresented groups. At least one very selective private institution, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, has chosen to bring them back so that it can assess the “academic preparation” of its candidates. Bob Schaeffer, executive director of the National Center for Fair and Open Testing (FairTest), worries that systems like Tennessee are driven by other factors.

“Just like in Florida and Georgia, the political appointees who control the university system in the state of Tennessee have overridden the judgment of admissions and enrollment management professionals,” he said. “When college entrance exam requirements are set by ideologues, it’s no surprise that data on test accuracy and fairness is ignored. While FairTest wouldn’t be surprised if public systems in a few other states controlled by ultra-conservatives were to reinstate testing requirements, most will remain ACT/SAT as an option.

In the meantime, other state public university systems have supported them, at least for now, including several in the South – Alabama, Kentucky, Louisiana, North Carolina, South Carolina and Virginia. Idaho, Utah and Wyoming are among those yet to make a decision for 2022. The other UT, the University of Texas at Austin, decided last week to extend the optional test of another year until 2023. The reason? Without going into specifics, Texas said, “This change was originally made in the fall of 2021 to allow the university to better serve prospective students by ensuring that testing limitations related to COVID-19 do not affect a student’s ability to apply.

With the pandemic still a factor in terms of financial burdens on families and whether students should pursue a college education, is pushing some institutions to press on. Texas cited Tennessee’s very reason for maintaining the status quo on elective testing — its “holistic approach to admissions.” Texas still accepts test results as part of the process, as many do. Schaeffer noted that 84 schools are blind-tested through 2022 and some beyond, including Caltech, Catholic University, Cal State University and University of California systems, l Cornell University, Pitzer College and Washington State University. And some have made optional testing permanent.

Boyd said the university and its campus leaders spent six months reviewing optional testing policies, but the process appears to be over. He thanked those who have implemented them over the past two years “to accommodate our students during the COVID pandemic, which has made testing less available.”

Next Generation of VA Researchers to Explore Maternal Health in New Summer Research Training Program https://dcwritersway.org/next-generation-of-va-researchers-to-explore-maternal-health-in-new-summer-research-training-program/ Tue, 10 May 2022 11:06:57 +0000 https://dcwritersway.org/next-generation-of-va-researchers-to-explore-maternal-health-in-new-summer-research-training-program/

UMass Chan Medical School students will conduct qualitative research focused on pregnancy and maternity care for female veterans this summer as part of the Veterans Administration’s new training program designed to diversify research staff .

Micaela Tobin, Kristin Mattocks, PhD, MPH, and Laël Ngangmeni in the community outpatient clinic for veterans on the UMass Chan Worcester campus

UMass students Chan Lael Ngangmeni, MBS, and Micaela Tobin will participate in the summer research program alongside UMass student Amherst Tanmaiyee Vaddepati and University of Pittsburgh student Akila Sanjay. Kristin Mattocks, PhD, MPH, professor of quantitative health and population sciences and associate dean of veterans affairs, is the program director at UMass Chan.


Akila Sanjay

“Student researchers will have access to interviews with pregnant women and doula agencies and to qualitative and quantitative research. They’re going to have a lot of data to work with,” Dr Mattocks said.

The VA’s Office of Research and Development is funding the pilot program at UMass Chan and a dozen other sites. The goal is to enhance the diversity of the biomedical, behavioral, rehabilitation and clinical research workforce by providing research experiences to undergraduate students and healthcare professionals from diverse backgrounds, including those from nationally underrepresented groups in the biomedical, clinical, behavioral, rehabilitation, and social sciences. .

Mattocks said students at the UMass Chan site will work on the Center for Maternal and Infant Outcomes Research in Translation study that has been ongoing for six years, in which pregnant veterans are recruited from 15 VA facilities across the country and followed. during pregnancy as researchers work to better understand postpartum outcomes. They will also be part of the first-ever VA doula study, which will take place in New Orleans, Louisiana, and Durham, North Carolina. Pregnant veterans will receive doula care at the end of their pregnancy as part of the pilot study, which Mattocks said could go nationwide in a year.

“We found that there were very large ethnic-racial disparities in caesarean sections at some of our study sites. Doula care in the non-VA world has been shown to really improve maternal outcomes,” Mattocks said.


Tanmaiyee Vaddepati

Mattocks said the goal is that by the end of the summer, the students will each publish an article on a topic that interests them.

“I’m excited to learn about the research process and clarify how you go from asking a question to doing research that’s applicable and can make a difference, especially with veterans of color,” said Tobin, a medical student. first year. in the Translational Clinical Research track at TH Chan School of Medicine who spent a year working in a fertility clinic before entering medical school. “There’s so much to look for out there and so much to change. How are we going to ask the questions that can have an impact? »

“Numbers can be a simple thing. But when someone talks about their experience and how they feel and confidence, those things are abstract,” said Ngangmeni, a medical/PhD student in the Population Health and Clinical Research Program who wants to be obstetrician/gynecologist and is interested in health. disparities. “Part of what you learn is how to hear and understand someone’s experience and convey it to providers or other patients, to better optimize a system and make health care a better experience. for everyone.

The Summer Research Program is a three-year program; students working this year will have the opportunity to return the next two summers.

Current articles related to UMass Chan:
VA pilot grant led by Kristin Mattocks to study doula care among pregnant veteran women of color
UMMS, VA Launches First-Ever VA Women’s Maternal Health Care Study
Medical/PhD student Laël Ngangmeni is dedicated to equity and justice in women’s health

What to expect from Google I/O 2022 https://dcwritersway.org/what-to-expect-from-google-i-o-2022/ Mon, 09 May 2022 13:30:00 +0000 https://dcwritersway.org/what-to-expect-from-google-i-o-2022/

Google’s annual developer conference, Google I/O, is set to take place this week and begin with a keynote presentation on Wednesday, May 11 at 1 p.m. ET. Although the conference itself aims to help developers get the most out of Google’s tools and platforms, the keynote is relevant to a much wider audience, with hardware and software announcements for products scheduled for release within the next 12 months.

This year we could see a number of hardware announcements during the keynote. There are ongoing rumors about the search giant’s first wearable, the Pixel Watch, as well as a mid-range counterpart to last year’s Pixel 6 smartphones. It’s possible we could also see a new pair of true wireless earbuds announced. And maybe even a few surprises too.

The software announcements are expected to focus on major Google operating systems like Android 13, the next major release due out later this year. Google presenters might also announce new features for other platforms like Wear OS or Android TV. The company’s ever-growing range of services (think Google Maps or business tools like Google Docs) are also likely to receive enhancements.

Here is a complete overview of what we expect:

A leaked Pixel Watch prototype between a 40mm Apple Watch (left) and a 46mm Samsung Galaxy Watch.
Photo: tagtech414 (Reddit)

Google could finally announce its Pixel Watch

Rumors of Google making its own smartwatch have been around forever, but 2022 might finally be the year it actually happens. There have been spec leaks, design leaks, and a US Patent and Trademark Office filing revealing the Pixel Watch name. Most significant, however, is an apparent prototype of the smartwatch found abandoned in a restaurant, prompting a flood of photos online.

Between all the leaks, we’re starting to get a pretty good idea of ​​what form the Pixel Watch will take. The big question now is whether all of Google’s investment (which includes billions spent on Fitbit) can create something that’s capable of presenting a real challenge to Apple’s dominance.

Unofficial renderings of the expected Pixel 6A design.
Image: Steve Hemmerstoffer/ 91Mobiles

A new mid-range Pixel 6A

Over the past three years, Google has followed up each of its flagship Pixel smartphones with a more affordable version with lower specs. This year it’s the Pixel 6’s turn, but rumors suggest the Pixel 6A might look a little different to previous A-series handsets.

While phones like the Pixel 4A and 5A paired similar camera features to their flagship counterparts with less powerful processors, reports suggest the Pixel 6A could reverse that approach. A report of 9to5Google last year suggested that the new phone could feature the same Tensor processor as the Pixel 6, but a downgraded 12-megapixel primary camera sensor instead of the Pixel 6’s 50-megapixel sensor.

An announcement at Google I/O would come a little earlier than the August launches we’ve typically seen for Google’s mid-range phones. But the timing of a recent FCC filing suggests its launch could be imminent.

Maybe pro wireless headphones

This rumor is less certain, but a Jon Prosser recent leak suggested that Google is gearing up to launch a new set of true wireless earbuds called Pixel Buds Pro. Not much is known about their potential features and specifications, but the use of the word “Pro” in the name of a set of headphones is usually used to show that they support active noise cancellation. – which would be a first for a pair of Google headphones. true wireless headphones.

Google currently only sells one pair of true wireless earbuds, the Pixel Buds A-Series, which were originally advertised as a more affordable counterpart to the second-generation Pixel Buds. But with the Pixel Buds now discontinued, Google is only selling the affordable entry to the line. Adding a Pro-branded input would be a natural change.

A mockup of the notification permission Android 13 apps may have to request.
Image: Google

A host of details about Android 13

On the software side, there’s Android 13, the next major version of Google’s mobile operating system. It’s technically already out in beta – offering small glimpses of Google’s plans for the update – but it’s only in I/O that we’ll get a full idea of ​​Google’s overall vision for Android 13.

So far, it looks like Android 13 is set to continue much of the work that Google started with Android 12. Last year’s customizable themes (branded as Material You) should expand to cover more UI elements in the operating system, and Google is continuing to restrict which aspects of the operating system Android apps have access to by default. Any news about major new initiatives will likely emerge during Google’s keynote.

And maybe, just maybe, foldable news

Android 13 isn’t the only major update Google has made to its mobile operating system this year. There’s also Android 12L, a new version of the operating system optimized for tablets and foldable devices. We know it’s due out sometime this year and will ship to devices from Samsung, Lenovo, and Microsoft. I/O would be a good time for the search giant to offer more concrete details.

In addition to software, Google has long been rumored to be working on one or two foldable devices. At one point there were rumors that these were going to launch last year, but given the lack of leaks recently, it doesn’t seem like an announcement is imminent. Foldable phones are, after all, still niche products outside of China, although Samsung is now into its third generation of foldable devices.

Signs of a new Nest Hub?

Given that it’s only been a year since Google released its last Nest Hub smart display, it seems premature to expect a follow-up. But a report of 9to5Google Starting in March, we might see one with a removable screen that could be used as a tablet at some point this year. The form factor seems to be ideal as a smart home controller and would also explain Google’s renewed focus on tablets.

But with a vague launch date of “2022”, there’s no guarantee Google will be ready to show off the new device this week, and that’s if it even exists in the first place.

A render of what the Pixel Watch interface might look like.
Image: Evan Blass/ 91Mobiles

Plus updates for its other platforms

Of course, Android isn’t the only operating system supported by Google. It also has Wear OS for smartwatches, which will almost certainly get some stage attention if Google does eventually announce its Pixel Watch this week. Even if it doesn’t, the presentation comes a year after Google announced it would be merging its platform with Samsung’s Tizen. (The resulting software later appeared on the Galaxy Watch 4.) And it seems likely that Google will have more to add on how development unfolds.

There’s also its Android TV and Google TV software, which are designed for — you guessed it — TVs. And we know they have new features coming this year because one of their product managers said so in January. The company is apparently interested in supporting home fitness workouts, while offering more smart home controls and video conferencing services.

Expect a plethora of Google software and service updates

Far from hardware and platform-specific announcements, a Google I/O keynote wouldn’t be complete without the search giant announcing updates for a handful of its many apps and services. . Last year, for example, we saw a locked folder feature announced for Google Photos, updates to the augmented reality view of Google Maps, and a new “smart canvas” initiative for its office productivity software designed to make its various services more interconnected.

Given Google’s vast array of software offerings, it’s hard to make any precise predictions about which of them will grab the spotlight on stage this year. But I guess Google Workspace is likely to feature prominently. “Smart canvas” has already spawned some nifty new features for Google Docs, and I suspect this is just the start of Google’s plans to overhaul its desktop software for remote work.

With a few surprises for good measure

Away from the more typical product announcements, Google always has a few I/O surprises up its sleeve. Last year, he revealed an experiment called Project Starline, actually a video chat booth designed to feel like you’re sitting right in front of someone who might be hundreds of miles away. Along with other AR/VR projects we’ve heard of (like the Project Iris augmented reality headset), it’s not a real product yet and might not be until 2024 at the earliest. But Google is often keen to show off these kinds of early R&D projects, and this year will likely be no exception.

Twitter selling shows us why edtech companies should be accountable to schools https://dcwritersway.org/twitter-selling-shows-us-why-edtech-companies-should-be-accountable-to-schools/ Mon, 09 May 2022 00:20:50 +0000 https://dcwritersway.org/twitter-selling-shows-us-why-edtech-companies-should-be-accountable-to-schools/
Theresa Harrington/EdSource

Fifth-grade students at Allendale Elementary at Oakland Unified use the ST Math computer program.

The recent news that billionaire Elon Musk is planning to buy Twitter shows how even widely used tech companies can be bought, sold, changed or shut down at the whim of their owners. This should be of concern to educators, parents and students: such instabilities affect not just social media giants, but all business platforms, including those that have become, over the past decade, vital infrastructure for the day-to-day running of public schools.

Even before the pandemic accelerated schools’ adoption of third-party platforms for virtual learning, teachers were already relying on these technologies to share assignments (Google Classroom), manage student behavior (ClassDojo), monitor school devices (GoGuardian), assess learning (Kahoot), communicate with families (SeeSaw) and supplement education (Khan Academy). According to a study, in 2019, US districts accessed an average of more than 700 digital platforms each month. Since 2021, this number has doubled.

As educational researchers studying the impact of platform technologies in schools, we find this trend disturbing. Education’s growing reliance on a constellation of technologies controlled by the private sector cedes enormous power to corporations that are unaccountable to the publics schools are meant to serve. And the deeper these platforms are embedded in the life of districts, schools, and classrooms, the more administration, teaching, and learning are tied to the whims of their owners.

In our work with teachers, for example, we often hear complaints when an educational app releases updates that remove favorite features or change its functionality. Such instabilities can thwart a lesson or force teachers to restructure a unit. But the consequences could be even greater with a large company. If, tomorrow, Google decided to offload or shut down its education services, there are few American schools that would not be impacted. And because Google is not accountable to the public education system, these schools would have no recourse but to switch to a different third-party platform which, likewise, offers no guarantee of an engagement. long-term towards the needs of teachers and students – or, it should be noted, the security and privacy of their data.

Hypotheses like this might sound far-fetched, but the idea that Musk would try to buy Twitter also seemed unlikely — until it didn’t. Trusting in the stability and benevolence of private companies in a notoriously volatile sector is a fragile foundation on which to build enduring institutions for equitable public education. We should not be satisfied with this arrangement.

While the size and influence of some platform providers may make alternatives unthinkable, there are steps we can and should take to make edtech accountable to the public schools that rely on it.

In the short term, one can wonder about the role of such platforms in classrooms. Edtech specialists have shown how teachers can use “techno-ethical audits” to assess how the design and use of common technologies might work with or against their educational values ​​or the needs of their students. Likewise, our own research demonstrates how such inquiries can extend to coursework, where students explore the place and power of platform technologies in their own lives. Such tactics allow educators and students to demand the platforms they use rather than accept these technologies as they are.

In the longer term, we can create policies that hold tech companies accountable to the public schools that use them. Changing procurement policies in districts, for example, can put pressure on platform providers to take educators’ concerns about stability, security, and privacy seriously, lest they lose valuable contracts (or the usage data needed to maintain the viability of their products). There is also room for state and federal protections. The European Union’s recently proposed Digital Markets Act and Digital Services Act offer such a model: create oversight of technology mergers and acquisitions that affect public welfare and subjugate large “gatekeeper” platforms. to further examination. While imperfect, these policies provide a starting point for thinking about how we can create leverage so that the privacy and stability of entire school systems cannot be determined by the business decisions of a few private companies.

If that sounds unrealistic, it’s no more drastic than the future that privately controlled tech companies have imagined – where they present themselves as unregulated infrastructure for all of public education. Challenging this vision requires an equally ambitious alternative: one rooted not in growth or profit, or the mercurial ambitions of tech moguls, but in a commitment to education for the common good, and for the autonomy and development of all students.


T.Philip Nichols is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Curriculum and Instruction at Baylor University. Antero Garcia is an Associate Professor in the Graduate School of Education at Stanford University.

The opinions expressed in this commentary are those of the authors. If you would like to submit a comment, please review our guidelines and contact us.

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Is private or public better in Australia? https://dcwritersway.org/is-private-or-public-better-in-australia/ Sun, 08 May 2022 16:00:00 +0000 https://dcwritersway.org/is-private-or-public-better-in-australia/

She says My School shows similar NAPLAN scores for schools that claim to enroll similar students, and the final word likely comes from the OECD.


An international program assesses 15-year-olds in OECD countries.

the 2009 results students in independent schools achieved the highest scores, followed by Catholic, then public schools; however, after adjusting for students’ socioeconomic background, there were no significant differences between their mean scores.

In other words, it is the socio-economic background of the school that matters, not the type of school.

Research also indicated that schools with students of higher socioeconomic status had fewer discipline problems, better teacher-student relationships and teacher morale, a performance-oriented climate, and often a more fast. They have attracted talented teachers.

In almost all countries, and for all students, there was a clear advantage in attending a school whose students were, on average, from more privileged backgrounds.

Regardless of their own background, students attending schools with a high average socio-economic background tend to perform better than those attending a school with below-average enrolment.

In most countries, the effect of students’ average background on performance far outweighs the effects of individual student background.

You might read this and think, well, I’m not sending my little genius to Stonewall High to train.

Alternatively, you can trust the good start you have given them in life and believe that if we support our local schools and stop emptying them of children from more advantaged backgrounds, these children could help each other.

It could be a decision based on principles, not fear and self-interest (although I’m not saying that every parent who chooses a private school acts on these. Families have their own values, individual circumstances and considerations).

The Commonwealth’s top schools for overfunding for 2022-28 as a percentage of their school resource standard, which estimates need. By comparison, public schools get a maximum of 95% of what they need. Credit:Graphics: Kathleen Adele

But let’s not forget that if you’re a parent who makes research-based decisions that consider the common good, your child will learn that too.

Moreover, public schools might even do better than private schools in some respects.

Data from 2009 highlighted three major problems in Australian education: declining reading and math skills; large gender gaps in these two subjects and significant levels of educational disadvantage related to socio-economic background.


This was not inevitable – some countries had acted to reduce inequalities and had students performing at a high level in all areas.

So, have we acted? I dug the most recent evaluation from 2018.

Australia’s results in reading, maths and science are still falling.

After adjusting for socio-economic background, there were still no differences in reading or science scores between the public, Catholic and independent sectors.

In mathematics, however, once socio-economic background was taken into account, students in public schools achieved a higher standard than in Catholic schools, a first in Australia.

Public schools were the only sector do not record a decline in reading since 2009.

And this, despite the hundreds of millions of overfunded independent schools received.

Last week, Karen Murcia, an associate professor at the Curtin University School of Education and an expert in learning theory, told me that the biggest determinant of a student’s academic success is self-efficacy.


It is an offshoot of social cognitive theory, a respected stage of research from the 1990s. In short, a belief in one’s own ability to learn and perform.

Students with high self-efficacy, Murcia said, were more likely to set tasks and create environments for success, and to interpret their own performance and accomplishments productively.

They learned by observing the behavior of their models. More recent research has also suggested that parents still exert a major influence on students’ career choices.

“It depends on what they see modeled and what they can relate to,” she said.

A school can contribute to self-efficacy, but is only one element.

The key was for the child to have a sense of well-being, connection and belonging to this school community.

I’m going to take a risk here and assume that children from high socioeconomic families might also have a better chance of having good self-efficacy.

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A brutal week of layoffs – TechCrunch https://dcwritersway.org/a-brutal-week-of-layoffs-techcrunch/ Sat, 07 May 2022 20:12:59 +0000 https://dcwritersway.org/a-brutal-week-of-layoffs-techcrunch/

Hi friends.

In case you missed it last week: I’m Gregand I take care of Week in Review now that Lucas left with Anita building their new crypto-focused podcast/newsletter, Chain Reaction.

I am technically Supposed to be on vacation today, but thought it probably wasn’t cool to send the newsletter to someone else ONE WEEK after taking over, so I came back for this one. I normally have a very good work/life balance, I promise! Sure, I have way too many co-worker numbers set to automatically bypass my phone’s “do not disturb” toggle and, yeah, sometimes I wake up in the middle of the night to a ghost Slack ding that doesn’t really sounded, but… um. Maybe I’m withdrawing that promise.

the big thing

If there’s one “big thing” this week, it’s sadly not at all fun to write about: Employees in the startup world are being hit hard by layoffs right now, apparently with a new round of cuts every two days.

The first was Robinhood, announcing that it would lay off 9% of its full-time employees.

Then Netflix, cutting (but not closing!) much of its new in-house publication, Tudum.

Then came Thrasio, Cameo, On Deck and MainStreet. And I’m sure there are some I’ve missed or we haven’t heard about yet.

Why now? The short version: Many of these companies have seen massive positive changes in their user base (in terms of size, usage, or both) with the pandemic and have adjusted accordingly. Now that we are arguably on the other side of the pandemic (or as close to an “other side” as possible) and things are moving in another direction…

Natasha Mascarenhas and Amanda Silberling have a deeper dive into recent layoffs and some of the reasoning behind each. Check that here.

other stuff

What else happened this week? Here are some of the things people read the most on the site:

The “father of the iPod” presents his collection of prototypes: Tony Fadell, the man behind iconic devices such as the iPod, iPhone and Nest Thermostat, is writing a book about building things – and as part of the process, he’s dusted off his collection of prototypes and designs. once so secret concept art. . He shared a few with us, including an absolutely bizarre iPod Mini/phone hybrid with a swiveling head.

Rocket Lab catches a rocket booster… with a helicopter: As more and more space rocket parts become reusable, companies are still working out the best/safest/most efficient way to actually…you know, salvage those parts. Last weekend, Rocket Lab decided to use a HELICOPTER to catch a reusable booster as it fell from the sky… and succeeded! At least, at first. I won’t even fly the most video game helicopters because they are always too hard, so all that breaks my brains.

Apple, Google and Microsoft team up to kill passwords: It’s not everyday you see Apple, Google and Microsoft is working on something together…but this week the trio announced they’re teaming up to tackle a beast that’s been giving them all sorts of trouble: passwords. If all goes as planned, over the next year they will be implementing a passwordless standard that will allow you to use your smartphone’s fingerprint reader or face scanner to log into macOS/ Safari, Android/Chrome and Windows/Edge.

Instagram is testing a full-screen experience: Why? It’s damn hard to answer that without using the word “TikTok”.

Google is trying to improve the removal of personal information: Have you ever searched Google and found your home address or phone number on a sketchy website that refuses to remove it? Google is – after many, many years of complaints – rolling out a process to zap these search results. Zack explains step by step how to submit a request…but how long can it take to process? To be determined.

things added

We have a paid section of our site called TechCrunch+. It costs a few dollars a month and it’s full of very good things! From this week, for example:

The plummeting valuation of UiPath: UiPath’s valuation has completely plummeted over the past year. Why? Ron and Alex have a few thoughts.

6 problems sought by investors: You’ve built something cool and it seems to be finding an audience, and now you’re ready to raise some money…right? Bill Petty of investment firm Tercera outlines six things every investor will look for in the due diligence process.

Common mistakes founders make with financial projections: Financial projections don’t just exist to please potential investors. In this article, Jose Cayasso, co-founder of founder readiness platform Slidebean, breaks down some of the most common mistakes he sees among the founders they work with.

Char Dham ‘verification’ campaign: ‘We have to get them out of here, and we will’ https://dcwritersway.org/char-dham-verification-campaign-we-have-to-get-them-out-of-here-and-we-will/ Sat, 07 May 2022 18:02:07 +0000 https://dcwritersway.org/char-dham-verification-campaign-we-have-to-get-them-out-of-here-and-we-will/ They knew a verification campaign was coming, but little had prepared the Sapera Basti of some 500 people in Dehradun for Wednesday morning, when a team descended from the local Prem Nagar police station with a reserved force, two buses , two SUVs and motorcycles, blocking their main exit.

Within minutes, half a dozen youths were captured and taken away.

This was a fortnight after the start of the verification campaign which began on April 21, before the Char Dham Yatra. Following requests from some sadhus to ban the entry of “non-Hindus” into the Char Dham region to “preserve the dharma and culture of the Himalayan region”, Chief Minister Pushkar Singh Dhami announced that people coming to the state for the Yatra should undergo “proper vetting” so that those who might pose a threat to the peace do not enter.

According to DGP Ashok Kumar, they carry out a detailed check of those who come for the Yatra and identify any elements that may “disturb the peace”, including laborers, street vendors and tenants.

The Char Dham Yatra began on May 3, with the opening of the gates of the Gangotri and Yamunotri temples. The Badrinath temple gates will open on Monday.

Until last week, Uttarakhand police claimed to have completed vetting of more than 67,000 people across the state, finding at least 2,526 ‘suspects’. In accordance with the Police Act, they received a challan. At least 10 people have been taken into custody.

Some motorcycles are seized after their owners cannot provide documents for them. (To express)

The Sapera Basti was once home to traditional snake charmers, who started doing odd jobs since the ban on keeping snakes. Many of them in this illegally developed settlement are now beggars; police say many of them also deal in marijuana.

“These people moved here from different states and have nothing here. The land on which they built huts is government land. We continue to receive reports that some are involved in crimes like chain robbery and vehicle theft,” says Manoj Nainwal, SO of Prem Nagar Police Station, as he oversees Wednesday’s conduct, adding: “That’s why we have to get them out of here. And we will remove them.

He grabs a man from Nagpur and puts him in a police vehicle, ignoring his pleas that he makes a living by removing earwax. Another who claims to be a local is also arrested because he has no ID on him.

Police also check shacks for “suspicious items” and find a cannabis plantation. Some motorcycles are seized after their owners cannot provide documents for them. Some are searched for drugs. Many are arrested because they “look suspicious” and taken to the police station.

Several settled in the Basti from other states are asked to leave. Those who claim to be residents of Dehradun are asked to leave government land; officials also threaten to use bulldozers to clear the huts if they are not gone the next day.

Several settled in the Basti from other states are asked to leave. (To express)

The SO says they will take “suspicious items” to the police station for verification. “People taken into custody…we will check their papers and call their hometown police stations to check if they have any criminal backgrounds. Otherwise, we will let them go. Vehicles seized by us will also be released to their owners when they provide us with the paperwork.

DGP Kumar says the will is only to verify “outsiders” and dismisses questions about threats made by officials during the verification. The police can only intervene when a “criminal element” is identified, and some people can “add some things on their own”, he says.

“The police only have the right to ask someone to leave a place if the suspect is a foreign national. No one can be asked to leave a state as long as they are an Indian national and have documents to prove it. If the person lives in an illegal basti, the police have no right to request eviction. Only the administration and the government can do it…Police officials have been informed,” he said.

Those who claim to be residents of Dehradun are asked to leave government land; officials also threaten to use bulldozers to clear the huts if they are not gone the next day.
(To express)

During the briefing, Sub-Inspector PS Negi, who is part of Wednesday’s campaign, said: “We have been informed that we have to raid the area and carry out a physical check of people. Our duty is to check their identity papers, to see if they have drugs, to check their vehicles and their papers. Negi says they were told to film the whole process.

Wednesday’s trip lasts two hours, and as the police leave, there is silence in the basti. A meeting is called by the residents to discuss their next course of action. The first priority is to get the detainees released.

Sunawwar Devi claims that among the motorcycles seized is that of her husband Sameen Nath. “They took it and threatened to blow up our house with a bulldozer if we didn’t leave. My husband is not there. I told them I had the insurance and shopping bill but they wanted the registration certificate, and it’s at my brother-in-law’s, who’s in a rehab. I don’t know what to do,” she said.

Raghubir Singh, 72, who has an Aadhaar card showing Dehradun as his local address, is worried about what happens next. “We are banjaras and have no permanent home. I have lived here for 12 years and I sell herbal medicine… The last time the police came here was three years ago,” he says.

Claiming that most people in Basti have voter cards with an address in Dehradun, Mukesh, 35, a rag picker, says that during elections politicians come to collect their votes and do not return for the next five years. He also claims that it is foreigners who use their area for drug use, earning them a bad reputation.

State Congress Speaker Karan Mahara said that while similar campaigns had also taken place under previous governments, the motivation of the current one had raised suspicions. “The campaign started after a so-called saint wrote a letter to the CM demanding a ban on non-Hindus. The saint even became a hero for raising the demand…If the drive starts after a demand for action against non-Hindus, one can imagine what that will bring,” says Mahara.

Nvidia misled investors about impact of crypto mining on its business, SEC says https://dcwritersway.org/nvidia-misled-investors-about-impact-of-crypto-mining-on-its-business-sec-says/ Sat, 07 May 2022 00:53:27 +0000 https://dcwritersway.org/nvidia-misled-investors-about-impact-of-crypto-mining-on-its-business-sec-says/

By Brian Fung, CNN

For years, video gamers have blamed the shortage of PC graphics cards on cryptocurrency enthusiasts, who have scooped up an increasing number of devices to generate digital coins. The pandemic, along with the Trump administration’s tariffs on Chinese imports, have only worsened the situation, driving retail and secondary market prices soaring.

Now, US securities regulators say graphics card giant Nvidia knew cryptocurrency miners had eaten into card sales intended for gaming – and therefore potentially contributing to supply issues – but had illegally hid this fact from investors who repeatedly asked about the impact of crypto mining on Nvidia. game segment.

In a cease and desist order on Friday, the Securities and Exchange Commission said Nvidia would pay $5.5 million to settle allegations of improper disclosure, adding in a statement that the “omissions of material information from the society…were misleading”. Nvidia declined to comment for this story.

The order marks another sign of the SEC’s growing interest in virtual currencies; the agency separately announced this week that it was hiring 20 more people to investigate and prosecute cryptocurrency fraud and cybercrime. It also confirms concerns that PC gamers have been increasingly forced to compete with the cryptocurrency industry as the generation of coins such as Ethereum have become increasingly computationally demanding.

The SEC allegations focus on Nvidia’s quarterly reports in fiscal year 2018, when graphics cards began being used to mine virtual currencies. As the value of currencies such as Ethereum rose, “some NVIDIA sales personnel expressed their belief that much of the increased demand for the company’s gaming products, primarily in China, was driven by the cryptomining,” the SEC order said.

The company’s senior executives have sought to capitalize on that demand with a line of specialized cryptomining-only cards, the SEC wrote, but Nvidia salespeople and internal company estimates have suggested that cryptomining still represents “a important factor in year-over-year gaming revenue growth.

In the company’s quarterly reports, Nvidia reported revenue increases of 52% and 25% for the second and third quarters of 2018, respectively, compared to the same quarters a year earlier, according to the SEC.

“NVIDIA analysts and investors wanted to understand how the company’s gaming revenue was affected by crypto mining and regularly asked senior management how much gaming revenue increased during this period was due to crypto mining,” the SEC wrote. .

But because Nvidia did not mention the role of cryptomining in these numbers – while correctly citing cryptomining in other areas of its report – it gave the misleading impression that Nvidia’s gaming growth was sustainable or organic. , and not because of demand for a volatile digital currency, the SEC said.

“NVIDIA’s disclosure failures have deprived investors of critical information to assess the company’s business in a key market,” Kristina Littman, who heads the SEC’s Crypto Assets and Cyber ​​Unit, said in a statement. . “All issuers, including those seeking opportunities involving emerging technologies, must ensure that their disclosures are timely, complete and accurate.”

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]]> New on-campus exhibit honors Native American Aggies past and present https://dcwritersway.org/new-on-campus-exhibit-honors-native-american-aggies-past-and-present/ Fri, 06 May 2022 16:29:52 +0000 https://dcwritersway.org/new-on-campus-exhibit-honors-native-american-aggies-past-and-present/

Side-by-side portraits of Texas A&M senior George Hass show him wearing his Cadet Corps uniform and a set of traditional handmade insignia.

Emily Sartin/Texas A&M University Division of Marketing and Communications

Two photos of Texas A&M University senior George Hass hang side by side on a wall in the Forsyth Galleries at the Texas A&M Memorial Student Center. On the left, Hass is pictured standing to attention in the Corps of Cadets’ iconic midnight uniform. On the right, he stands with his hands on his hips, sporting a set of traditional regalia that he has meticulously handcrafted to honor his Creek and Nez Perce heritage.

“The Corps me that you see every day is one side, but that other side with insignia and respect for the culture is also me,” Hass said. “It may be two sides, but it’s the same coin.”

Hass, who will graduate in Environmental Design Architecture Studies in May, is one of many Native American Aggies whose stories and experiences are highlighted by Forsyth Galleries’ latest exhibition, “HERE: Faces and Voices of Native Aggies”. Organized by students from Department of Anthropology An advanced course in museum studies, the exhibit showcases the many contributions Native Americans have made to Texas A&M from its founding to the present day.

“I really hope that someone walking away from this exposure has a new understanding of what it means to be a Native American in the United States today,” said Assistant Professor Heather Thakar, who teaches the course.

Thakar, who is also curator of anthropology research collections, said the exhibit draws heavily on work she and other researchers have done as part of an ongoing project funded by the Q3: Texas A&M Triads for Transformation program.

a photo of several strands of turquoise beads on a transparent base

A set of traditional Navajo turquoise beads loaned to the exhibition by Rolando Pineda, class of 2021.

Emily Sartin/Texas A&M University Division of Marketing and Communications

One of the many goals of this project, titled “Understanding the Role of Indigenous Lands and Peoples for Texas A&M University,” was to piece together the history of Native American students on the A&M campus. This semester, Thakar students went above and beyond to share this story with a wider audience.

“They were able to pull it all together, adding new interviews, content and belongings borrowed from former students, to produce something that I think really showed an amazing side of who we are as a community here. at A&M,” Thakar mentioned.

The Aggies featured in the exhibit come from a wide variety of tribes, backgrounds, and time periods. Photos, documents and other materials tell the stories of star athletes, war heroes, artists and scientists.

PhD in anthropology. Student Olivia Brill, who worked on the exhibit with classmates Abigail Hill, Casey Black, Claire Zak and Jannah Burgess, said she was particularly enthralled to learn about an Aggie who spoke about the Choctaw code during World War I, Otis W. Leader.

“Natives weren’t allowed to speak their native language in the United States at that time,” Brill said. “They weren’t considered full citizens, yet he served our nation in a very unique way.”

Other notable figures from A&M’s early years include Victor “Choc” Kelley and Michael R. Balenti, noted multi-sport athletes who played for the Aggies in the early 20th century. Balenti was the first Texas A&M alumnus to play major league baseball.

Many of the newer stories featured in the gallery come from current or former members of the Native American and Indigenous Student Organization (NAISO) who worked closely with the exhibit’s curators throughout the planning and design process. ‘execution.

“It really helps to reinforce and highlight the idea that we belong in the Texas A&M community,” said Madeleine Flanders, animal science manager, member of the Oglala Lakota Nation and president of NAISO. “Native American students have contributed so much to the culture here, and we are an integral part of the Aggie network.”

It is precisely this sense of enduring presence that the exhibit aims to convey, said Angela Hudson, a professor at Department of History and Educational Advisor to NAISO. The exhibit opened shortly before this year’s Aggie Muster, and it intentionally invokes Muster tradition in its title, “HERE.”

“A lot of times we go to a Native history exhibit, and it presents Native people as people of the past, people who once were,” Hudson said. “I love that this exhibition is organized around Muster’s week and around the theme ‘HERE’, because it kind of touches on both levels: the loved ones who are no longer here, but also demand an account of who is here now. , and pay attention to their stories.

For Hass, being surrounded by the faces and voices of so many other Native American Aggies was an experience like no other. Looking around the gallery, he said he felt much less alone – and even more proud of this part of his identity.

“The fact that I can come here and see that it’s not just me, see that I’m part of a long chain that goes back to when I started college, is fantastic,” Hass said. “It’s phenomenal, and I couldn’t be more grateful that it’s something I can say.”