Archive for March, 2019

Play Ball!

With the opening of the 2019 baseball season safely behind us (Go, Mets!), now would be a good time to add to this site’s entries on baseball.

“This boy comes the nearest to perfection in pitching of anyone in either major league at the present time. He has more speed than Spahn and almost perfect control of a slow curve, – that really curves. He also has an exceptional fast ball and occasionally throws a change up off the fast ball.” This is the opinion of the legendary Branch Rickey in one of his numerous scouting reports – this one on the superb pitcher Sandy Koufax. (A point of transparency here. I am a native-born Brooklynite and actually saw Koufax pitch with the Brooklyn Dodgers.) All of Rickey’s insightful reports, including ones of Henry Aaron and Roberto Clemente, are now available online at the Library of Congress. A timeline of Rickey’s contributions to baseball accompanies this site as do other useful links.

How about viewing the first baseball cards? There are 2,100 of them printed between 1887 and 1914 representing 1,000 players from thirteen leagues and seventy-five cities. They feature the likenesses of some of the great names from that era including Christy Mathewson and Cy Young. And the collection even has the 1909-13 Brooklyn Dodgers! In addition, the backs of the cards are also displayed because they contain either biographies of the players or other sporting information. You can search by city or league.  A special feature is the chronological arrangement of the cards by the collections in which they appeared. A wonderful site for those who consider baseball as the only true sport in this country.

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How Did Your School/District Do in the 2017/18 New Jersey Report Cards?

A plethora of information are contained in the various reports that were issued this month: from languages spoken at home to metrics involving career and college readiness. Reports are available in English and Spanish; summaries are also given as some of these documents are 60 pages long.

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Major Report on Financial Waste in New Jersey Charter Schools

This report, based on countless documents culled during a year-long investigation, reveals an appalling system of financial waste with no accountability in the running of charter schools in New Jersey. Case studies are presented along with excerpts of texts, timelines, and interviews. A brief overview listing seven takeaways from this report is also available. For those involved in the charter school sector, this read is a must.

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The State of Online Learning, 2019

Based on the responses of 280 chief online officers from a wide variety of higher education institutions, CHLOE3: Behind the Numbers presents the current landscape of this growing sector. A revealing observation explains that:

“In every sector and enrollment range, the majority of respondents confirmed earlier CHLOE findings on the predominance of fully online courses in current inventories and projected development. With few exceptions, the same pattern was evident in the emphasis on fully online programs versus blended programs, although a majority of online students, both graduate and undergraduate mix online and on-ground courses in practice. Public two-year institutions are more focused on building courses than online or blended programs. The survey uncovered widespread interest in establishing or experimenting with alternative credentials, but relatively few institutions are investing substantially in this area.” (5)

Supplemented with dozens of figures and tables, this report provides potent data for those advocating for more of an online presence.

 

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Pesticides in Fruits and Vegetables

This comprehensive report, along with references and methodologies, from the Environmental Working Group, takes a look at what vegetables/fruits contain toxic chemicals. According to their work “Nearly 70 percent of the produce sold in the U.S. comes with pesticide residues….The most surprising news from the USDA tests reveals that the popular health food kale is among the most contaminated fruits and vegetables. More than 92 percent of kale samples had two or more pesticide residues detected, and a single sample could contain up to 18 different residues.” Read the report to find how other produce rank in this sobering evaluation.

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What Women Earned in 2017

This Census Bureau graphic presents median income  for various occupations. Compare the Institute for Women’s Policy Research presentation that also includes income levels for men; the gender pay gap, unfortunately, is still all too real.

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Watch Mayor Fulop’s 2019 “State of the City” Address

You can watch this hour+ talk here.

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