Getting students to enroll, stay in college

first_imgWhen he became president, Barack Obama set an ambitious goal, calling for the country to regain its status as having the world’s highest number of 25- to 34-year-olds with college degrees.In his 2009 American Graduation Initiative, Obama outlined his support of community colleges and his plan to have 5 million more community college graduates by 2020.On Monday, a panel of education experts convened at the Harvard Graduate School of Education (HGSE) to explore in detail what it will take to reach Obama’s benchmark goal. Unsurprisingly, money topped the list during an Askwith Forum discussion moderated by Bridget Terry Long, HGSE’s Xander Professor of Education and Economics, as did the need for greater collaboration and support from various stakeholders.With students graduating from college with on average $25,000 in debt, the administration has taken aim at bringing down the skyrocketing costs, said panelist Martha Kanter, undersecretary of the U.S. Department of Education and an HGSE graduate.The number of recipients of federal Pell Grants has grown from 6 million in 2008 to 9.8 million, and the government will increase the amount of the award by $900 this fall, Kanter said. It will also continue to ease access to federal student aid, and work to increase tax credits for higher education, promote and strengthen the income-based loan repayment program passed by Congress in 2010, and support public-service loan forgiveness.But Kanter said that the federal and state governments need to help families and students make informed decisions about college by providing them with simplified information. And colleges have to figure out ways to constrain costs.“Our strategy,” she said, “is shared responsibility.”Bridget Terry Long (from left), moderated the discussion with Martha Kanter, Rolando Montoya, and Hilary Pennington.The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation is trying to improve the U.S. public education system. A big part of that effort involves supporting “brave leaders in taking risks,” said Pennington, the organization’s former director of education, postsecondary success, and special initiatives.In addition to fighting disease, poverty, and hunger in developing countries, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation is trying to improve the U.S. public education system. A big part of that effort involves supporting “brave leaders in taking risks,” said Hilary Pennington, the organization’s former director of education, postsecondary success, and special initiatives.As part of an effort to meet Obama’s goal, the private foundation focuses on funding networks of institutions to attack similar problems.One such initiative, titled “Completion by Design,” involves 21 community colleges in four states that are attempting to overhaul their students’ experience. From the outset, the project insisted on the participation of representatives from state governments, said Pennington, in an effort to “understand the policy barriers” that make it difficult for organizations to effectively serve their student populations.While each college is approaching the goal differently, said Pennington, the initiative encourages them to develop their practices “in consistent ways so that there will be a body of evidence at the end of their work that helps policymakers and institutions understand better how to get change at scale.”Rolando Montoya lent his institutional perspective to the discussion from his post as the provost of Miami Dade College, a state school in Miami that has eight campuses and an enrollment of more than 174,000 students, many from low-income and minority households.As part of an effort to understand how to do a better job of ensuring students graduate, he turned to the students themselves, conducting a series of rigorous focus groups.The surprising findings revealed that the students wanted more structure and an “intrusive” administration that would be uncompromisingly strict over issues like deadlines, orientation sessions, and course enrollment options.“A big issue is a lack of structure. … The kids are telling us: ‘Tell us what to do; guide us with more detail; don’t give us so many options; please, please, give us a prescribed curriculum, a prescribed pathway that we can follow. … That’s what they really want.”last_img read more

‘I am a mass murderer,’ former abortionist tells Congress

first_imgLifeSiteNews 2 November 2017Family First Comment: The comments of Dr. Kathi Aultman, a board certified Ob/Gyn and a fellow of the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists“I love to meet adults that I delivered, but it’s always bittersweet because I am reminded of all the people I will never meet because I aborted them. It also reminds me that I am a mass murderer.” Just because “we can’t see who they will become, we feel justified in sacrificing babies in the womb for the people we can see,” she said. “Our society has been subjected to extreme propaganda” from abortion supporters, she said. “We have sanitized our language to make abortion more palatable.”“I am a mass murderer,” a former abortionist who is now pro-life told a U.S. House committee yesterday as she testified in favor of legislation banning abortions on babies with beating hearts.Dr. Kathi Aultman, a board certified Ob/Gyn and a fellow of the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG), bluntly told this to the U.S. House Judiciary Committee today as it discussed the Heartbeat Protection Act of 2017.This legislation would stop nearly all abortions by making it illegal for doctors to commit them on babies with beating hearts. Fetal heartbeats begin at 21 days after conception and are usually heard by parents when their child is six or eight weeks along.The Heartbeat Protection Act makes no exception for babies conceived in rape or incest.The Committee’s legislators were shown an ultrasound video taken hours before the hearing. The video showed an 18-week-old baby named Lincoln Miller, whose heartbeat could be heard and whose heart could be seen pulsing.READ MORE: up with family issues in NZ. Receive our weekly emails direct to your Inbox.last_img read more

Running Brave – the beacon of Track and Field in Guyana

first_imgBy Ras WadadaAFTER 14 years of existence, the Running Brave Track and Field Club (RBTFC) has firmly established itself as the top athletic club for positive development of the athlete in Guyana, where support is limited among the 12 registered clubs here.The club currently boasts over 120 members, inclusive of a World Champion, and consists of two groups– one based at the Leonora Track on the West Coast and the other at the National Park in the City.The fusion of certified Level II IAAF Coaches, Julian Edmond and Sham Johnny, continue to reap the rewards for their commitment to upcoming athletes.When the duo began their journey with the club in 2006, they were joined by several seasoned runners, including sprinter, Rawle Green, long distance runners, Cleveland Thomas and Lionel Dhanraj, as well as the one who really could be considered the catalyst for the birth of RBTFC – the multi-talented Alisha Fortune.The year was 2002 when Fortune approached Edmond, at his home, and requested him to be her personal coach, and after some pleading and deliberations, the former St. Joseph’s/St. Rose’s High student, who was on a sabbatical from the sport, agreed to be the full-time coach. Four years on, and it was the ideal timing for Coach Johnny to propose the union to Coach Edmond. Without much hesitation, the club was established and as the old adage goes, the rest is history.Fortune remembers the beginning and how the club got its name. ”It was Rawle Green who suggested that we name the club ‘Running Brave’ and we all agreed. Mr. Aubrey Hutson, who is the head of Athletics now, was the club’s first-elected President with Mr. Keith Campbell the first Vice -President.After Mr. Hutson resigned, due to his ascendency as head of the Athletic Association of Guyana (AAG), Mr. Campbell, who had two talented sons, Emerson and Eon, who became members, took over”.Edmond and Fortune have come a long way in athletics dating back to 1992 when both qualified to represent Guyana at the CARIFTA Games in Guadeloupe but, unfortunately, funding was not available for all and they felt the axe. The duo is also products of the now defunct Rising Stars, coached by Denis Smith, who migrated to the USA and, together, they successfully did the IAAF Level I course in 2000.Among the club’s proud achievements are consistent success at the annual prestigious CARIFTA Games and nurturing talents unto the Collegiate Track in the USA continuously.Since its formation, the club has secured a total of 4 Gold, 3 Silver and 9 Bronze medals at the CARIFTA Games, and 1 Gold, 7 Silver and 9 Bronze medals at the South American Championships. Presently, there are six Running Brave athletes on Athletic scholarships in the USA, making it a total of 9 to have gained scholarships.Coach Julian Edmond (at left) and co-coach, Sham JohnnyA proud Coach Edmond explained why the club has been having success. “ In terms of the athletes’ successes at the CARIFTA games, I am very proud of their achievements and happy to know that I would have contributed to a period when Guyana had their most success at the Games, finishing in the top 5 among Caribbean countries.“One of the main contributing factor in the consistent rise in Medals for Guyana in recent years at CARIFTA is the acquisition of the synthetic track at Leonora and, more importantly, under the presidency of Mr. Hutson, all the athletes who have qualified for CARIFTA get the opportunity to participate, unlike the past when it depended on funds available.“So, athletes in the past, despite qualifying, were prioritized to be selected, but now athletes and coaches are inspired to go all the way since they will be selected to represent Guyana once they make the qualifying marks”.Edmond added that the club pays extra attention to all the young athletes.“An important aspect of the club is keeping a close eye on the athlete, whereby, we liaise with parents to ensure they are getting their proper rest and nutrition and, more importantly, Coach Sham goes to every school where we have athletes so as to check on their academic progress and behavior; based on our findings we have one-on-one talks, sometimes it necessitates extra tutoring and in extreme cases, we do suspend from club activities so that they can get back on stream…when we formed this club, part of our vision was to assist young people by sharing our knowledge on becoming balanced individuals to secure athletic scholarships and go on to professional careers on or off the track.“Some of these scholarships are worth between 75 to 100 thousand USD”, the former National Schools record holder for the 100M and 400M related.“We start our CARIFTA preparations since in November so that when they go they can perform to optimum and secure medals…we work hard to get into the athletes head so that they get mentally focused…everything is about progression, so we keep a chart where we do yearly evaluation based on monitored progression, including keeping statistics …we have got in excess of 120 from as young as 9 years old”, Edmond shared.“Coaching comes with its challenges, but our aim, at Running Brave, is to produce an Olympic medalist and world champion. We have a structured club without any sponsorship, so we are mainly financed by membership dues and fund raising activities…at times, we as coaches and executive members have to facilitate athletes with assistance in providing transportation money”.Edmond, who had a professional stint on the grassed tracks in Australia between 1993 and 1994, cited a likely Olympics medalist for Guyana while he bemoaned the lack of support.”The talent and potential to give Guyana a first medal at the World or Olympics in athletics is one of the scholarship awardee.About six top Colleges were vying to get Natricia Hooper, and so they paid for her to tour all these colleges and in the end, she chose the University of Florida. She is definitely World class material in the triple-jump. Our programmes can only grow and get better with sponsorship and the Government must take the lead ….lack of support for development is sadly lacking here in Guyana…sometimes we get some support with transportation from Ministry of Social Cohesion….the coaching is all volunteer and making sacrifices is the order of the day; it is a daily early morning routine and afternoon as well”, Edmond lamented.Coach Johnny, who hails from Kitty and is a certified Level II IAAF Coach, is also an ex Santos Football Club player and athlete, but a motor accident ended his career. However, because of his love for sports, he pursued a career in Athletics Coaching.“Cleveland Thomas was my athlete and Edmond had Alisha Fortune; so we merged our energies at that time back in 2006 and, I must admit, that we have had success as a club.Over 35 athletes make up the West side faction of Running Brave…we have a 14-year-old gem who would have run at the 1500m Girls. We have boundless talent, but can’t help appealing to Corporate Guyana and Businesses, in general, to come on board with some much-needed sponsorship’, Johnny declared.last_img read more

Athletics: Two National Records set at the Indoor Championships

first_imgOn the athletic championship, which was held last weekend in Zenica and Sarajevo, two state records were achieved.On the first day in the Olympic Hall “Zetra” competitions in disciplines of 60 meters and 60 meters obstacles were held.There were 114 competitors from 16 clubs. Given the difficult conditions and extremely low temperature in the hall, good results have been achieved. Among all, we should emphasize the results of Svetlana Graorac, a member of AK Banja Luka. She ran 60 meters for 7.87 seconds and equaled her own national record in the 60 meters for seniors.The most successful was the host club AK Sarajevo, with six first places, followed by AK Borac from Banja Luka whose athletes won four first places.The second part of the championship in disciplines the long jump and triple jump was held in Zenica. Due to severe weather conditions, a number of clubs canceled participation, and was attended by only 69 competitors from seven clubs.Two national records were set: Milica Pelemiš, a member of AK Zvornik, jumped 4.68 meters in the long jump. This is a new national record in the competition of the pioneers. State record in the same discipline in the competition for girls has set by Josipa Dragicevic, a member of AK Brotnjo, with a score of 5.30 meters.The second day, the most successful representatives were the ones from AK Sarajevo, who have won six first places. Members from AK Brotnjo from Čitluk won five places, AK Zvornik three, and AK Zenica and SAK Rogatica with one won first place.(Source: Klix)last_img read more

What the Mookie Betts trade means for Dodgers and Red Sox

first_imgAfter weeks of rumors about a potential Mookie Betts trade, the hammer dropped Tuesday night. The 2018 AL MVP, along with left-hander David Price and cash, is reportedly headed to the Dodgers as part of a three-team deal also involving the Twins.Let’s take a moment to look at some of the factors involved, and what it means for both the Red Sox and Dodgers, assuming all the medicals are clean and the trade goes through. Both Mookie Betts and David Price would head to Los Angeles if #RedSox and #Dodgers complete their blockbuster, a source tells The Athletic. Alex Verdugo would be centerpiece for Boston. Deal could be in place tonight, per @alexspeier. Would require completion of medical reviews.— Ken Rosenthal (@Ken_Rosenthal) February 5, 2020Why it’s worth it for LAIt’s been a rough handful of months for the Dodgers. First, there was the crushing end to the 2019 season, when they squandered a Game 5 lead in the NLCS and lost to the Nationals, who went on to win the World Series. And the teams that beat them in the 2017 and 2018 World Series — the Astros and Red Sox — have both been accused of stealing signs during the season they beat the Dodgers. The Astros were hammered by MLB for their cheating, and the Red Sox investigation is ongoing. Oh, and they’ve watched the best free agents in the game choose other teams, again and again: Gerrit Cole picked the Yankees, Anthony Rendon picked the Angels and Stephen Strasburg went back to the Nationals. But aside from all that, there’s this: The Dodgers have been the NL’s best team the past three years, but they still haven’t won a World Series since 1988. Even without Betts, they had the team to get back to that level, and adding Betts helps move them even closer to achieving their ultimate final goal.How it would impact the Red SoxThe white flag is unofficially raised on the 2020 season. The Sox won’t be worse than the Orioles, of course, but they’d be right there with (behind?) the Blue Jays, looking up at the Rays and Yankees in the AL East. A miracle playoff run could happen, but it’s not likely. TRADE GRADES: Dodgers win big on Mookie Betts deal; Red Sox get poor markWhy the Red Sox traded BettsBy any definition of the word, Betts is a superstar. He’s an incredible player on the field, and the type of person any baseball franchise would be proud to have representing the team. But Betts is set to become a free agent after the 2020 season, and the Red Sox, apparently, weren’t interested in shelling out to sign him to a long-term deal. And because the Sox, apparently, already saw their chances of contending for a title in 2020 as unfavorable, they chose to deal Betts now rather than get the compensation pick that would’ve come when he left as a free agent.Crucially, with the inclusion of left-hander David Price in the deal, the Red Sox get under the luxury tax for 2020. Betts will make $27 million in 2020, and Price is owed $96 million over the next three years, so Boston also had to send Los Angeles some cash to help offset the blow to the Dodgers’ payroll.Because the luxury tax increases penalties for teams that exceed the salary threshold in consecutive years — as Boston has done — the Red Sox front office views giving up some money today a smart move in the long-term.Significant cash would go from #RedSox to #Dodgers in Betts-Price deal as well. Betts owed $27M in 2020, Price $96M over next three years.— Ken Rosenthal (@Ken_Rosenthal) February 5, 2020How Betts fits with the DodgersImagine putting Mookie Betts next to Cody Bellinger in the Dodgers’ outfield, with A.J. Pollock and Chris Taylor in the mix for the left field spot. (Joc Pederson has been dealt to the Angels). A Bellinger-Betts combo would be a pair no other team in baseball could match, at the plate or with the glove — both won Gold Gloves in 2019 (Bellinger’s first, Betts’ fourth). And Betts would go a long way toward solidifying Los Angeles’ revolving door in the leadoff spot. For all their success the past three years, the Dodgers haven’t had much consistency atop the lineup — eight different players have started at least 16 games in the leadoff spot from 2017 to 2019. Pederson was the most common leadoff hitter the past two years, but he posted just a .327 on-base percentage in 166 games batting first. Betts has a career .373 on-base percentage in the leadoff spot. What it cost the DodgersThe great question about any Betts deal always revolved around what kind of return the Red Sox could command. Because, on one hand, Betts is one of the five best players in baseball, and it seems that type of player would bring back a whopping prospect package. But then, there’s this: The Dodgers are only guaranteed one year of Betts’ services, and it was never likely the Red Sox would pay his $27 million salary.But that’s why the Dodgers always made so much sense as a trade partner. They had plenty of payroll flexibility, absorbing the $27 million without any problem, and had a deep stable of elite prospects from which to deal, with seven players on Baseball America’s list of Top 100 prospects in baseball and plenty more young major leaguers to choose from.Ultimately, the Red Sox got Alex Verdugo, the highly regarded youngster who hit .294 with a 3.1 bWAR and .817 OPS as a rookie last year and was the name most associated with the trade talks.last_img read more