Surveys: Most teachers don’t want in-person instruction, fear COVID-19 health risks — from blogs.edweek.org by Madeline Will

Excerpts:

Teachers are more likely than administrators to express concerns about returning to school. The vast majorities of school leaders (96 percent) and district leaders (90 percent) say they are willing to return to their school building for in-person instruction, compared to 81 percent of teachers.

Also, teachers of color are more likely than white teachers to be concerned about going back into the classroom. Just 35 percent of teachers of color say there should be in-person instruction this fall, compared to 47 percent of white teachers. Eighty-three percent of white teachers said they’re willing to go back into school buildings, compared to 66 percent of teachers of color.

Those are some of the key findings from a nationally representative online survey by the EdWeek Research Center. The survey was conducted July 22-23, and 1,366 educators responded—873 teachers, 251 principals, and 242 district leaders.

Also see:

 

Startup tackling systemic racism with virtual reality training — from gettingsmart.com by Tom Vander Ark

Excerpt:

If you haven’t been the victim of racism, imagine stepping into someone else’s shoes and experiencing it first hand. Imagine being transported into the realities of harassment.

Morgan Mercer combined insights from these immersive experiences into a venture-backed startup, Vantage Point. As a female founder, fundraising was a challenge but the Los Angeles venture launched in 2017 with a few clients and a beta product.

Participants have independent and collective experiences with facilitation to move conversations forward. After an immersion, participants respond to tough questions like, “Do you have privilege in that situation that a person of color might not?”

 

Here’s how colleges should help close the digital divide in the COVID-Era — from edsurge.com by Dr. Mordecai I. Brownlee

Excerpt:

One key problem prevalent in many low-socioeconomic communities around the nation—like San Antonio, which now has the highest poverty rate of the country’s 25 largest metro areas—is the digital divide. Digital divide is a term used to describe the gap present in society between those who have access to the internet and technology and those who don’t.

It speaks directly to a primary challenge facing our education system in this COVID-era: Some students and families have the means to succeed in a remote learning environment, and others do not.

 

What a Black tech movement might look like — from venturebeat.com by Khari Johnson

Excerpt:

That’s why, Wilson told VentureBeat, she is launching the National Black Tech Ecosystem Association. The group’s initial community gathering will focus on bringing together people in tech and the Black faith community.

“My ultimate vision is to build an association that allows for all of those entities to share information, to collectively organize, develop policy, and if needed protest moments around this new tech world that’s being built,” she told VentureBeat.

 

Wrongfully accused by an algorithm- from the New York Times

Wrongfully accused by an algorithm — from nytimes.com by Kashmir Hill

Excerpt:

On a Thursday afternoon in January, Robert Julian-Borchak Williams was in his office at an automotive supply company when he got a call from the Detroit Police Department telling him to come to the station to be arrested. He thought at first that it was a prank.

An hour later, when he pulled into his driveway in a quiet subdivision in Farmington Hills, Mich., a police car pulled up behind, blocking him in. Two officers got out and handcuffed Mr. Williams on his front lawn, in front of his wife and two young daughters, who were distraught. The police wouldn’t say why he was being arrested, only showing him a piece of paper with his photo and the words “felony warrant” and “larceny.”

His wife, Melissa, asked where he was being taken. “Google it,” she recalls an officer replying.

“Is this you?” asked the detective.

The second piece of paper was a close-up. The photo was blurry, but it was clearly not Mr. Williams. He picked up the image and held it next to his face.

“No, this is not me,” Mr. Williams said. “You think all black men look alike?”

 

Also relevant/see:

What a machine learning tool that turns Obama white can (and can’t) tell us about AI bias

 

The “new normal” paradox: What COVID-19 has revealed about higher education — from bigthink.com by Dr. Michael Crow, President of ASU

Excerpt:

Third, it is abundantly apparent that universities must leverage technology to increase educational quality and access. The rapid shift to delivering an education that complies with social distancing guidelines speaks volumes about the adaptability of higher education institutions, but this transition has also posed unique difficulties for colleges and universities that had been slow to adopt digital education. The last decade has shown that online education, implemented effectively, can meet or even surpass the quality of in-person instruction.

Digital instruction, broadly defined, leverages online capabilities and integrates adaptive learning methodologies, predictive analytics, and innovations in instructional design to enable increased student engagement, personalized learning experiences, and improved learning outcomes. The ability of these technologies to transcend geographic barriers and to shrink the marginal cost of educating additional students makes them essential for delivering education at scale.

Far too many higher education outcomes are determined by a student’s family income, and in the context of COVID-19 this means that lower-income students, first-generation students and students of color will be disproportionately afflicted. And without new designs, we can expect post-secondary success for these same students to be as elusive in the new normal, as it was in the old normal.

This is not just because some universities fail to sufficiently recognize and engage the promise of diversity, this is because few universities have been designed from the outset to effectively serve the unique needs of lower-income students, first-generation students and students of color.

 

Colleges cut academic programs in the face of budget shortfalls due to Covid-19 — from cnbc.com by Jessica Dickler

Key points:

  • As colleges face extreme budget shortfalls, some institutions are cutting academic programs that were once central to a liberal arts education.
  • The University of Alaska system announced it will cut 39 academic departments in all, including sociology, creative writing, chemistry and environmental science.

 

Even before the global pandemic caused craters in the economy, some institutions were facing financial hardship after years of declines in state funding for higher education. A number of private schools had already made wrenching budget cuts, from curriculum changes to complete overhauls of their liberal arts programs.

 

From DSC:
A screenshot from the video (below) shows a new type of liberal arts program at Hiram College.

It could very well be that online-based learning turns out to save the liberal arts!!!!! How ironic is that!?!!

That is, many college presidents, provost, and faculty members — especially from smaller liberal arts types of schools — have disdained online-based learning for decades now. It was always viewed as “less than” in their minds…they didn’t want to go that route, as doing so would dilute their precious (and often overpriced) brands. (To be clear, this is not my view…but it was, and still is in many cases, their view.)

Anyway, it looks like more of these same folks will be losing their jobs in the next few years (if they haven’t already). At that point, we may see some of these same folks encounter a sudden paradigm shift. (A shift many of their colleagues have already gone through in prior years.) These same folks may come to appreciate that people will be willing to pay them for their knowledge — but only willing to do so at a much more affordable price…which will likely mean online.

Fewer people — especially when 47 million people in the U.S. alone have filed for unemployment over the last 14 weeks — can afford the cost of getting a degree. They are looking for inexpensive, convenient, efficient, effective means of reinventing themselves.

 

Huh…another potential irony here…it appears that colleges and universities are coming to know what many of us have known and experienced for years…and that is, the struggle to:

  • Reinvent oneself
  • Stay relevant
  • Survive
 

Acts of meaning: How AI-based interviewing will transform career preparation in higher education — from er.educause.edu by Alan Jones, Suzan Harkness and Nathan Mondragon

Excerpt:

Machines parrot and correlate information. They do not comprehend or synthesize information the way humans do. Factors such as accents in pronunciation, word ambiguity (especially if a word has multiple meanings), deeply coded biases, limited association data sets, narrow and limited network layers used in job screening, and static translations will continue to provide valid ground for caution in placing too much weight or attributing too much confidence in AI in its present form. Nonetheless, AI has crept into job candidate screening, the medical field, business analytics, higher education, and social media. What is currently essential is establishing an understanding of how best to harness and shape the use of AI to ensure it is equitable, valid, and reliable and to understand the shifting paradigm that professional career counselors play on campus as AI becomes more ubiquitous.

There appear to be three points worth considering: the AI interview in general, the predominance of word choice, and expressiveness as read by facial coding.

From DSC:
Until there is a lot more diversity within the fields of computer science and data science, I’m not as hopeful that biases can be rooted out. My niece, who worked for Microsoft for many years, finally left the company. She was tired of fighting the culture there. The large tech companies will need to do a lot better if AI is going to make FAIR and JUST inroads.

Plus, consider how many biases there are!

 

PhotoVoice -- using photography to tell one's story

Photo voice dot org

 

Why photography?

A photograph is the quickest and easiest way for somebody to document the realities of their circumstances. Most people are familiar with photography to some degree, and it can be picked up relatively quickly by all abilities and ages.

Photography also crosses cultural and linguistic barriers, with its power lying in its dual role as both a form of creative expression and a way to document facts.

It provides an accessible way to describe realities, communicate perspectives, and raise awareness of social and global issues to different audiences.

Its relatively low cost and ease of dissemination encourages sharing, facilitating dialogue and discussion, even for those who have never picked up a camera before.

 

Addendum on 6/25/20

 

Majority of minority female lawyers consider leaving law; ABA study explains why — from abajournal.com by Debra Cassens Weiss

Excerpt:

Seventy percent of female minority lawyers report leaving or considering leaving the legal profession, according to an ABA report on the challenges that they face.

The statistic isn’t statistically significant because the researchers couldn’t find enough women of color in longtime practice to conduct the needed analysis, according to a preface to the reportLeft Out and Left Behind: The Hurdles, Hassles, and Heartaches of Achieving Long-Term Legal Careers for Women of Color.

A June 22 ABA press release is here.

“Women of color have the highest rate of attrition from law firms as they continue to face firm cultures where their efforts and contributions are neither sufficiently recognized nor rewarded,” according to the report.

From DSC:
This is discouraging news. Crud.

 

“How has your school delivered on the promise of equal access and educational excellence, particularly during these challenging times?”

YouTube Contest, “With Justice for All,” Seeks Submissions from Students About the Effect of Covid-19 and Recent Tragedies on Their Educational Experience

Prizes include 11 scholarships for students who best address the question, “How has your school delivered on the promise of equal access and educational excellence, particularly during these challenging times?”

WASHINGTON, D.C. — The Center for Education Reform (CER), in partnership with the Freedom Coalition for Charter Schools, the Children’s Scholarship Fund, and the National Alliance for Public Charter Schools, today launched “With Justice for All,” a national YouTube contest for students.

Over the last few months, students and schools have faced significant challenges from distance learning and national tragedies. Times like these highlight how a great education is the most important asset a student has to effectively change the world.

So CER decided to ask students directly: Has your school delivered on the promise of equal access and educational excellence, particularly during these challenging times? Tell us how well your school did — or didn’t do — in providing you a great education.

“We want you to be able to take charge of your education,” said Jeanne Allen, CER’s founder and chief executive. “We want to assist you in writing the next chapter of your education story. Tell us your story, and we’ll tell everybody who needs to know, especially those in power.”

Videos must be shorter than three minutes, hashtagged with #MyEducationVideo, and submitted to MyEducationVideo.com by 11:59 PM EDT on July 4, 2020. Submissions will be evaluated by a panel of celebrity judges. Awards include 10 $2,500 scholarships — and one $20,000 scholarship — to the high school or college of a student’s choice. Winners will be announced during a live-streamed ceremony (date and time T.B.D.), and their videos may be shown to delegates at both of the 2020 national conventions this summer.

“We’ve designed this contest for students ages 13 and older, because we know it can be hard to get your ideas about education heard when you’re a kid,” said Allen.

For more information, visit MyEducationVideo.com.

https://www.myeducationvideo.com/

 

Also see:

“If we are not centering equitable student success, we’re gonna be put back decades and decades. And we’re already trying to retrofit.”

 

‘Unauthorized Practice Of Law’ Rules Promote Racial Injustice — from law.com by Rohan Pavuluri with thanks to Daniel Rodriguez for his Tweet on this

Excerpts:

A less discussed, yet still pernicious, set of policies that must change are the rules lawyers use to regulate their own profession.

Known as unauthorized practice of law, or UPL, rules, every state in America has policies that grant lawyers a monopoly on providing legal advice, prohibiting professionals who are not lawyers from providing meaningful legal assistance. These policies promote racial inequity and guarantee that black Americans don’t have equal opportunities and equal rights under the law.

“It should come as no surprise that only 5% of lawyers are black.[3]”

To reform UPL doesn’t mean choosing between regulation and no regulation of the legal industry. It’s a choice between maintaining a status quo where black people are disproportionately excluded from both providing and receiving assistance and a system where we re-regulate the legal industry to make it more inclusive, increasing the supply of vetted, qualified helpers available.

Also see:

 

Homework gap a growing focus for nonprofits, lawmakers as closures persist — from educationdive.com by Shawna De La Rosa

Excerpt:

Dive Brief:

  • After declaring success in the goal of connecting most schools to fast, reliable internet, nonprofit EducationSuperHighway is turning its attention to the “homework gap,” according to The Hechinger Report. More than 9 million students still lack internet access at home.
  • Evan Marwell, CEO and founder of EducationSuperHighway, said school closures triggered a change in attitude about the importance of home internet service for students. Now, some lawmakers indicate they are willing to spend billions of dollars to bridge that gap.
  • The organization launched digitalbridgeK12.org to provide detailed information on the problem, as well as recommendations for policymakers and school leaders, and advice and best practices on topics like how to collect data on connectivity at the district level or purchase in bulk.
 

From DSC:
Normally I don’t advertise or “plug” where I work, but as our society is in serious need of increasing Access to Justice (#A2J) & promoting diversity w/in the legal realm, I need to post this video.

 

Six quick— but very important— points about Coronavirus and poverty in the US –– from commondreams.org by Bill Quigley; with thanks to a colleague at WMU-Cooley Law School for her message on this.
The most vulnerable among us simply do not have the same options as the most privileged.

Excerpts:

In the United States, tens of millions of people are at a much greater risk of getting sick from the coronavirus than others.  The most vulnerable among us do not have the option to comply with suggestions to stay home from work or work remotely. Most low wage workers do not have any paid sick days and cannot do their work from home.  The over two million people in jails and prisons each night do not have these options nor do the half a million homeless people.

One.  Thirty-four million workers do not have a single day of paid sick leave. Even though most of the developed world gives its workers paid sick leave there is no federal law requiring it for workers.

Two.  Low wage workers and people without a paid sick day have to continue to work to survive.

Three.  About 30 million people in the US do not have health insurance, according to the Kaiser Family Foundation.

Four.  Staying home is not an option for the homeless.

Five.  Nearly 2.2 million people are in jails and prisons every day, the highest rate in the world.

Six.  Solutions?  [The article lists several.]

 

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