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first_img Harvard researchers, scholars identify stubborn tenets of America’s built-in inequity, offer answers The costs of inequality: When a fair shake isn’t To understand this trend, Chetty and his team analyzed factors that play into success. What they found was that location — often by block or neighborhood — is extremely predictive of how well children eventually do. That success, they found, could be influenced by a move almost any time in a child’s life, through the teens, although earlier moves had the greatest impact. This finding carried through over race and gender, although populations self-described as white uniformly did better nationally than African-Americans.These observations suggest a number possible solutions, he said. The first would be place-based: Move families at the poverty level to higher-achieving areas. This may sound untenable, but in many cases it can be achieved at relatively little cost, he said. As an example, Chetty looked at Seattle, where the Normandy Park neighborhood, which has significantly better outcomes than average, has rents at roughly the same level as the Central District, a neighborhood with much poorer outcomes.Pilot studies, such as Creating Moves to Opportunities, show ways to help lower-income families relocate to such better-performing areas. That study provided information to tenants. It recruited landlords, who might otherwise be hesitant about accepting housing vouchers or other forms of assistance, and it provided the kind of housing-search assistance that a broker might give to a middle-income family, helping it find its next, better home. These services, the study found, cost only about 2 to 3 percent more than basic housing assistance, which simply provides vouchers.A more encompassing solution, Chetty acknowledged, would be to improve lower-achievement areas. Again harnessing big data, Chetty pinpointed four key traits that affect an area’s achievement level: a lower poverty rate, more stable family structure, greater social capital (i.e., groups or institutions, such as churches, “where someone else might help you out if you’re not doing well”), and better schools.“This doesn’t tell you exactly what you should do, but it shows what you should focus on,” said Chetty. Rather than simply targeting poverty, he said, the data suggests a multifaceted approach targeting “family stability, early childhood education, social capital via mentorship, college and career readiness, along with affordable housing.”Stressing the importance of this work, Chetty said that improving economic opportunity for all is not only more fair and just, it is essential to national health. Graphing the rate of patent holders — inventors and innovators — in terms of both their family incomes and their early math scores, he highlighted the importance of both factors in their success. If we do not raise up the geniuses among us, he said, we face the “phenomenon of ‘lost Einsteins.’”“If women, minorities, and kids from low-income families were to invent at the same rate as high-income men, we’d have four times as many inventions as we do,” he said. In America, a country that has long defined itself as a land of innovation as well as a land of opportunity, “this has implications for the economy as a whole.” Raj Chetty returning to Harvard Will rejoin Economics Department, where he’ll work to leverage research on inequality into policy solutions center_img Related America is supposed to be the land of opportunity, but that reputation has frayed in recent decades. Raj Chetty is looking for common-sense ways to restore that fundamental hope.Speaking at a John F. Kennedy Jr. Forum on Wednesday evening, Chetty, Harvard’s William A. Ackman Professor of Public Economics, lasered in on the decline of the oft-cited national promise, and showed a way forward through mining big data.The American dream has always been about improvement. The idea that “through hard work, any child could move up and earn more than their parent” is at its core, said Chetty, who also serves as director of Opportunity Insights, a team of researchers and policy analysts focused on this problem. However, in recent decades that dream has faded.Comparing base family income levels with those that followed 30 years later, he showed that Americans born in the 1940s and ’50s were “virtually guaranteed” to do better than their parents, with 92 percent showing improved incomes. However, by the 1980s, that generational improvement was “a coin toss,” with only roughly half of young adults earning more than their parents.“This underlies a lot of the political and social frustration” in the land, said Chetty. “America no longer feels like a place where you can get ahead.” The Daily Gazette Sign up for daily emails to get the latest Harvard news.last_img read more


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first_imgCourtesy of Gwen O’Brien Saint Mary’s will host the 23rd annual Hypatia Day this Saturday, a day for middle school girls to be inspired by the realms of math and science.Saint Mary’s will host the 23rd annual Hypatia Day this Saturday for seventh grade girls from local South Bend schools to fight the stereotype that math and science are male-dominated fields. With the assistance of current students, professors and high school students, the day will be centered around exposing both young girls and their parents to the many opportunities available in the STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) fields for women.Hypatia Day was first organized in 1991 by Sr. Miriam Patrick Cooney, professor emerita of mathematics, director of media relations Gwen O’Brien said.Hypatia Day is named for the first known female mathematician, Hypatia of Alexandria, who was the daughter of ancient Greek mathematician and philosopher Theon, O’Brien said. According to legend, Hypatia’s father taught her mathematics during a period in Greek history when young girls were excluded from education.According to Socrates, Hypatia’s home and lecture room were the two favorite gathering places for her scholarly friends, as she was one of the most-loved teachers and well-respected scholars of her time.Assistant professor of mathematics Kristin Kuter said Hypatia Day is mainly geared towards seventh grade girls and their parents.Some of the participating schools include Indiana schools such as Boston Middle School in La Porte, Discovery Middle School in Granger, Grissom Middle School in Mishawaka, Lincoln Jr. High in Plymouth, New Prairie Middle School in New Carlisle and St. Joseph Grade School in South Bend.“The focus of the event is to encourage the seventh graders to continue to pursue an education in math and science, while informing their parents on how to support their daughters in that goal,” Kuter said.Kuter said this year’s Hypatia Day will feature hands-on activities run by STEM-related clubs on campus.“This year we have sessions organized by the biology, chemistry, engineering, math and computer science, nursing and physics clubs,” Kuter said. “During these sessions, the seventh graders will interact with college women preparing for careers in the STEM fields and will be encouraged to view one another as potential physicians, research scientists, actuaries, engineers, statisticians, data analysts, technology experts and the like.”Beginning at 8:30 a.m. on Saturday, students and their parents will arrive in Carroll Auditorium for a welcome presentation by Kuter. Then, director of patient logistics at University of Chicago Medicine Emily Lowder will deliver the keynote address, “Following Their Footsteps and Tales from the Journey” to all participants.Kuter said throughout the day, middle school students will have the opportunity to work in the lab with college and high school students who are preparing for a future in the STEM fields. Kuter said parents will also be able to speak with Saint Mary’s students about their future careers, attend panel discussions and take part in campus tours.“The parents attend a panel discussion focusing on what curriculum best prepares a student for college and keeps all of her options open. Another session will provide information on financial preparation for a college education,” she said.Kuter said she believes Hypatia Day is important not only for young girls at their current age, but for the growth of their interest in the subjects over time.“This event is important to the community because research has shown that girls of this age greatly benefit from extra attention and encouragement for their interest in studies which require a high degree of training in mathematics and science,” Kuter said.Senior Audrey Kiefer said she believes Hypatia Day to be one of the best ways Saint Mary’s can engage with the local community.“Though I haven’t participated in the day personally, I know some of my fellow classmates who are science majors always say that the young girls truly appreciate the opportunity to experiment in the labs and make connections with college students,” Kiefer said.Kiefer said she finds it essential to begin empowering young women at an early age in the same way that Saint Mary’s empowers women throughout their collegiate years.“When all of [the current students] find Saint Mary’s to be such a great place for expanding our minds and planning to make a difference, it only makes sense that we host a day like this to show young girls that anything is possible, no matter what field of study,” Kiefer said.Tags: hypatia, Hypatia Day, Kristin Kuter, Saint Mary’s hypatia day, STEMlast_img read more


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first_imgSleek melodies, bouncy beats and charming choreography will enliven Legends this Thursday during the “Aca–Off.” Four Notre Dame and Saint Mary’s a cappella groups are set to face off in this battle of voice at 9 p.m.The groups Harmonia, Unchained Melodies, The Echoes and Bellacappella will compete. The winner of the competition must best its competitors in three separate categories and will win a $500 reward.Senior Laura Eckert, member of the Notre Dame Christian a cappella group Unchained Melodies, said the Aca–Off is a way for a cappella groups to exhibit the music they have been rehearsing and bond through a mutual passion for singing.“There‘s going to be a lot of different musical styles there,” Eckert said. “It’s a really interesting way for all of the a cappella groups to come together and share our music.”The categories for this year’s event are ballads, throwbacks and chart–toppers. Each group has prepared four songs, one for each category, as well as a final “battle song.” The audience will choose the winner. The Aca–Off is expected to demonstrate a variety of musical styles while allowing the groups to engage with each other and a new audience, Eckert said.“Everyone tends to pick soloists who do great on a specific song because everyone has something unique to bring as far as voice goes,” she said. “What I really enjoy about Unchained Melodies is our purpose beyond just singing the songs. All of our songs have a really deep meaningful message. Sharing that message with a broader audience who wouldn’t necessarily come to one of our concerts will be great.”In addition to their work on–campus, Unchained Melodies also reaches out to the South Bend and Chicago communities to perform at nursing homes and homeless shelters, Eckert said.The Aca–Off allows each group to can gain experience with competitive singing. In addition, the Aca–Off helps Legends continue to build a relationship with student groups on campus. It also offers a chance to build community amongst the a cappella groups, senior and co–director of Saint Mary‘s group Bellacappella Franny Wall said.“I think our biggest takeaway will be experience performing in front of audiences, which is always beneficial,” Bellacappella co–director and senior Franny Wall said in an email. “It is also a great opportunity to get to know members from other groups and hear what kind of repertoire they are performing this semester.”To prepare for the Aca–Off, Bellacappella picked out music it has previously rehearsed on and also incorporated a new piece into its set.“Once we had all the songs chosen, it was just a matter of pulling them out regularly at rehearsals to keep them fresh in our minds and voices,” Wall said.Bellacappella also performs a full concert each semester and at various other events on and off campus, such as football tailgates and Board of Trustees dinners. Harmonia co–president and senior Claire Alexander said Aca–Off is an opportunity for the group to perform songs it may use for future concerts and to build community within Harmonia. Harmonia is Notre Dame’s only all-female a cappella group.“Of course Harmonia would love to win the event, but our main goal is to help build friendly, collaborative, fun relationships between the a cappella groups of Notre Dame and Saint Mary’s,” Alexander said in an email. “We also want to sound our best and use this event to reintroduce members we’re welcoming back from being abroad last semester.”Harmonia will also have a spring concert April 20 and recently performed at Junior Parents Weekend.“We always like having different performances throughout the semester before our main concert at the end of the semester,” senior and Harmonia member Molly Chen said in an email. “Competitions are an especially fun way for us to see what other groups have been working on and support them.”Editor’s Note: Molly Chen is Scene Writer for The Observer.Sophomore Mary Hope Clark, member of Notre Dame’s co–ed a cappella group The Echoes, said she hopes that the Aca–Off will help publicize the group and that the singers can use the event as a forum of support and pride.“We really want to show people what The Echoes are all about,” Clark said in an email. “We love getting to perform for students, so we just want to do our best and say, ‘Hey, we’re The Echoes. We’re doing what we love and we want to share our passion with you.’ “We also want to enjoy and support the other groups because all of the a cappella groups perform in many varied facets, so it’s rare that we all get to perform together.”The Echoes previously performed at the International Championship of Collegiate A Cappella (ICCA) at Ball State University and their spring concert will take place April 28.“The competition we did earlier in the year, the ICCAs, was a lot of fun and great experience, but all the groups, pardon one, weren’t from Notre Dame,” Clark said in an email. “It was incredible to interact with groups from different campuses, but there’s something special about singing with and celebrating your peers that makes us particularly excited about the Aca–Off.”Tags: a cappella, Aca-Off, Bellacapella, Harmonia, The Echoes, Unchained Melodieslast_img read more


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first_imgThere have been weeks of tantalizing fragrance in the past few months that few children or families have experienced. This champion of aroma I am referring to is the banana shrub. The banana shrub is an heirloom from the 1700s. It produces blossoms for months of sweet, fresh bananas with a scent so intense, you’ll wish you could bottle it up so it could compete with the French perfumes, or put it in a shake and drink it. It is one of the more amazing scents in the plant world.It’s funny how we all can fall under the spell of a smell. For me, it was night-blooming jasmine; for others, it is a gardenia or perhaps an old garden rose. Once we start growing plants for the enjoyable fragrance, our garden becomes not only a visual panorama, but a garden of participation. Here, the gardener and visitor alike are encouraged to bend and smell or even touch. Even a toddler somehow knows the routine. The banana shrub is so rich and wonderful, it will even tell you when you are within 10 or 20 feet of its presence.Fragrant gardens become like recording studios, making imprints on our children and grandchildren’s memories of what life was like at a particular time, what Mom and Dad or the grandparents were like. I know without a doubt that my children will want to grow night-blooming jasmine, and when it blooms, they will think about it out by the pool when they were young or how it got hammered by the tornado but survived, as did the family huddled in the closet. Hopefully visitors to the Coastal Georgia Botanical Garden at the Historic Bamboo Farm in Savannah, Georgia, will approach our 12-foot-tall specimen and, because of the olfactory experience, remember both the garden and the family trip to one of the most beautiful cities in the United States.When I was going to Texas A&M, we were taught that the banana shrub, botanically speaking, was Michelia figo and resided in the Magnolia family. Now, after all the taxonomists have earned their living, it is actually Magnolia figo and is obviously still in the Magnolia family.It is cold hardy in an area running from Dallas-Fort Worth, through the middle of Arkansas, up to Raleigh, North Carolina, and Richmond, Virginia. ‘Port Wine’ is one of the more sought-after cultivars, as is a variety named skinneriana, which is a little superior in bloom and offers slightly more cold hardiness throughout zone 7. There are many gardeners who relish the fragrance to the extent that they choose to grow it as a movable container plant. The large specimen at the Coastal Botanical Garden started blooming in January this year, then a lot of buds were hammered by 25-degree weather in mid-March. It bounced back, is loaded up with blooms and is giving the welcome royal treatment to tour groups and visitors as we head into April.The banana shrub is native to China and will be quite at home in your garden, possibly reaching 15 feet tall and around 10 feet in width at maturity. In our area, though, they are most commonly 8 to 12 feet tall. It can grow in full sun to part shade, but in the Deep South, a little afternoon shade protection gives a lusher plant. This heirloom should be planted in a prepared, fertile shrub bed that is moist and slightly acidic. We have ours growing in partnership with tropical-looking fatsias and a nearby Chinese pistache that gives a fiery orange contrast in the fall compared to the dark, evergreen leaves of the banana shrub. Since they are large, you may not have a need to cluster three together, but that would certainly work if you had the space available. Probably the most important consideration after soil, sunlight and available water is to grow them where they can be enjoyed. The Coastal Botanical Garden banana shrub is close to a gazebo that always seems to have a visitor. You may, however, want yours close to the patio, deck or a bedroom window that you are prone to open in the evening. If you are into homegrown fragrance, make the banana shrub a part of your landscape. Follow me on Twitter @CGBGgardenguru.last_img read more


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first_imgIn a first-of-its-kind lawsuit, 21 American youths are suing the U.S. government for inadequately handling human-caused climate change. Ranging from 9 to 20 years old, these youth claim that failure to not properly address global warming violates their constitutional rights to life, liberty and property. They argue that the rising amount of greenhouse gases in our atmosphere threaten the survival of future generations. The lawsuit also asserts that the government violated the public trust doctrine, a legal concept grounded in ancient law that says the government is responsible for protecting natural resources such as land and water for public use.The lawsuit originally targeted the Obama administration in 2016, but it is now aimed against the climate-skeptical Trump administration. The Trump administration has pushed back against the claim saying the children don’t have viable case.Last November, U.S. District Court Judge Ann Aiken allowed the case to proceed and turned away the Obama administration’s motion against the lawsuit. “I have no doubt that the right to a climate system capable of sustaining human life is fundamental to a free and ordered society,” Judge Aiken said regarding the case.  She went on to say that “this lawsuit is not about proving that climate change is happening or that human activity is driving it. For purposes of this motion, those facts are undisputed.”A letter written by the lawyers of the youths requested that all federal agencies and fossil fuel companies bring forth all their records relating to climate change. Fossil fuel companies attorney’s responded to the letter by saying the cost to retain all the witnesses and documents would be “enormous,” while the Trump team described the letter as “extraordinarily broad.”Similar lawsuits have been won in Pakistan, Austria, and South Africa, and last year, a a Netherlands court ordered the government to reduce carbon emissions by a quarter within the next five years.last_img read more


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first_img 20th JNC to fill a circuit vacancy The 20th Circuit Judicial Nominating Commission is now accepting applications to fill a vacancy on the circuit bench created by the retirement of Judge Ted Brousseau, effective April 30.Applicants must have been a member of the Bar for the preceding five years, a registered voter, and must be a resident of the territorial jurisdiction of the court at the time he or she assumes office. Applications can be downloaded from the Bar’s Web site at floridabar.org and are also available from the office of George H. Knott, JNC Chair, 1625 Hendry St., Suite 301, Ft. Myers 33901, phone (239) 334-2722.An original and nine copies of the completed application and attachments must be delivered to Knott by March 16. The submission of a photograph is encouraged. March 15, 2006 Regular News 20th JNC to fill a circuit vacancylast_img read more


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first_imgSign up for our COVID-19 newsletter to stay up-to-date on the latest coronavirus news throughout New York A 21-year-old woman was critically injured in a serious car crash in Merrick on Monday night.Nassau County police said the woman was riding in the backseat of a 2004 Honda that was turning off of Sunrise Highway just before 6:30 p.m. and was struck by a 2006 Hyundia driving west.The woman was ejected from the car through the rear passenger door window, police said. She was transported by ambulance to a local hospital with multiple injuries and is listed in critical condition, police said.The two drivers and another passenger in the Honda were transported to a local hospital with minor injuries, police said.Police said there is no criminality suspected at this time, but the investigation is ongoing.last_img read more


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first_img ShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblr continue reading » Mission Federal Credit Union President and CEO Debra Schwartz, Webster First Federal Credit Union President and CEO Mike Lussier, Strategic Resource Management Senior Vice President Larry Pruss, and NAFCU President and CEO Dan Berger joined NAFCU COO and Executive Vice President Anthony Demangone for a wide-ranging discussion on trends in payments, lending, strategic planning, and more during a town hall Wednesday.TechnologyOne of the core issues credit unions are facing is ensuring their technical capabilities are strong enough to support members as more adopt mobile payments and shop online during the pandemic. Lussier encouraged credit unions to review their mobile and online platforms to make sure they’re quick, easy to use, and accurate, and to bolster that with strong customer support. Pruss doubled-down on that sentiment stressing the need for a frictionless payments process.For Schwartz, one key decision her credit union made was to hire an employee that was responsible for digital strategy, rather than having various departments trying to implement different components. In addition to investing in technology on the member side, Schwartz and Lussier also advised fellow credit union leaders to have business continuity plans in place and test bandwidth to ensure employees can work from home and credit union operations continue without interruption in the pandemic environment. Berger noted that more credit unions are accelerating their tech investments and strategy in the wake of the pandemic.last_img read more


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first_imgTo access this article REGISTER NOWWould you like print copies, app and digital replica access too? SUBSCRIBE for as little as £5 per week. Would you like to read more?Register for free to finish this article.Sign up now for the following benefits:Four FREE articles of your choice per monthBreaking news, comment and analysis from industry experts as it happensChoose from our portfolio of email newsletterslast_img


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first_imgThe government has tried out a facial recognition verification system to make it easier for recipients to claim social assistance.The National Team for Accelerated Poverty Reduction (TNP2K) said that its trial of the system to disburse subsidized household gas, staple food assistance and subsidized electricity last year had an average success rate of 85.2 percent.The trials were conducted in cooperation with e-wallet platform LinkAja in three regions, namely Madiun in East Java, Sleman in Central Java and North Penajam Passer in East Kalimantan. With the new system, recipients only need to visit a designated merchant where facial scanning technology will be used to verify their identity.  Utilizing financial technology is more cost and time efficient than disbursing aid through the cards, as the cost of producing the cards, distribution and maintenance of electronic data capture (EDC) machines can reach Rp 1 trillion (US$67.5 million), Elan added.“We received feedback that people find it hard to keep their social aid cards or remember their PIN [personal identification number], so [the facial recognition verification] is a simpler solution that I believe people can adapt to quickly,” he stated.The technology also lowers costs for the recipients, as they do not need to own a smartphone to access the assistance, he added.Read also: World Bank warns pandemic could push 60 million into extreme poverty“Even though the cards are currently considered the most accessible and inclusive method for disbursing aid, the government needs to collaborate with fintech service providers to innovate and reach more people,” said Social Affairs Ministry technology and social welfare expert staff member Andi ZA Dulung during the same discussion.He acknowledged that digital disparities still posed a challenge to the ministry’s efforts to reach underprivileged people in remote areas.Recently, experts criticized the use of online platforms to disburse COVID-19 relief, as the country’s low internet penetration rate and internet literacy had prevented some people from accessing the assistance.Furthermore, the government still faces challenges to integrating and storing citizens’ data, said Home Ministry Population and Civil Registration (Dukcapil) Director General Zudan Arif Fakrulloh.“Our infrastructure is also outdated, so we cannot store every citizens’ biometric data in our system,” he said, adding that the directorate general would collect additional funds to upgrade its infrastructure by charging users to access population and civil data.  Read also: Airlines resume operation in state of loss amid COVID-19He admitted that another challenge was that each ministry kept their own data on social assistance recipients, resulting in uneven and unfair distribution.Last year, the Home Ministry considered connecting regional governments’ closed-circuit television (CCTV) systems to Dukcapil’s data bank to allow for facial recognition and fingerprint matching.  However, experts said this could lead to data leaks if the government hired a third party to operate the CCTV systems and warned that it could also lead to privacy violations if not implemented with sufficient safeguards.Topics : “Facial recognition technology can be used for all citizens, even in rural areas,” TNP2K policy working group head Elan Satriawan said during a webinar hosted by the Indonesia Fintech Association (Aftech) on Wednesday.Read also: Govt rolls out $43b stimulus in bid to rescue economyHe added that the biometric data could be obtained through the Home Ministry’s e-identification card (e-KTP) database.The government’s social assistance has mostly been channeled through various types of cards connected to the recipients’ bank accounts, allowing them to use the cards to shop for basic needs at appointed merchants.last_img read more