Monday, June 12, 2017

Trump sued....again.

Wow Ivanka just said she wasn't prepared for the viciousness of politics...after watching her father call Ben Carson a psychopath and accuse Ted Cruz's father of killing JFK.  I guess she didn't watch her father campaign, nor does she read his tweets.

Genetic engineering instead of prison?  Maybe someday. CRISPR

Being old is fine. I no longer am very disappointed that I didn't win a Tony Award this year.

I wonder if other 5 star hotels are even allowed to bid on where Trump stays?





Seizing on Opioid Crisis, a Drug Maker Lobbies Hard for Its Product


Despite limited evidence to prove its drug works, the maker of Vivitrol has used political connections and marketing to push for its use for detoxing.


Nick Capezzera for The New York Times. Technology by Samsung.
Video VIDEO: Before the Cloud, an Underground Mine of Physical Data
In this 360° video, tour a former limestone mine in Pennsylvania that has stored 200 acres of mainly physical data, for clients including the federal government, since the early 1950s.



Promises and pitfalls of online education

Eric Bettinger and Susanna Loeb


Online courses have expanded rapidly and have the potential to extend further the educational opportunities of many students, particularly those least well-served by traditional educational institutions. However, in their current design, online courses are difficult, especially for the students who are least prepared. These students’ learning and persistence outcomes are worse when they take online courses than they would have been had these same students taken in-person courses. Continued improvement of online curricula and instruction can strengthen the quality of these courses and hence the educational opportunities for the most in-need populations.

Online courses offer the promise of access regardless of where students live or what time they can participate, potentially redefining educational opportunities for those least well-served in traditional classrooms. Moreover, online platforms offer the promise, through artificial intelligence, of providing the optimal course pacing and content to fit each student’s needs and thereby improve educational quality and learning. The latest “intelligent” tutoring systems, for example, not only assess students’ current weaknesses, but also diagnose why students make the specific errors. These systems then adjust instructional materials to meet students’ needs.[1]
Yet today these promises are far from fully realized. The vast majority of online courses mirror face-to-face classrooms with professors rather using technology to better differentiate instruction across students. As one new study that we completed with our colleagues Lindsay Fox and Eric Taylor shows, online courses can improve access, yet they also are challenging, especially for the least well-prepared students. These students consistently perform worse in an online setting than they do in face-to-face classrooms; taking online courses increases their likelihood of dropping out and otherwise impedes progress through college.[2]


Eric Bettinger

Associate Professor of Economics of Education - Stanford Graduate School of Education

Online college courses are rapidly growing. One out of three college students now takes at least one course online during their college career, and that share has increased threefold over the past decade.[3] The potential for cost savings and the ease of scaling fuels ongoing investments in online education by both public and private institutions.[4] Online courses have grown in the K-12 sector as well. Florida, for example, requires each high school student to take at least one online course before graduation and the Florida Virtual School offers over 150 classes to students across the state.[5] An estimated 1.5 million K-12 students participated in some online learning in 2010,[6] and online learning enrollments are projected to grow in future years.[7]
Non-selective and for-profit higher education institutions have expanded online course offerings particularly quickly. These institutions serve a majority of college-aged students, and these students typically have weaker academic preparation and fewer economic resources than students at other more selective colleges and universities. As such, their ability to provide useful course work, engage students, and build the skills necessary for economic success is particularly important. Their use of online coursework is promising to the extent that it can reach the most students in need and serve them well.
While online course-taking is both prevalent and growing, especially in non-selective higher education institutions, relatively little evidence has examined how taking a course online instead of in person affects student success in college. Our new study is the first of which we are aware to provide evidence on the effects of online courses at-scale at non-selective four-year colleges. It is also the first to assess the effects of online course taking at for-profit institutions. Nearly 2.4 million undergraduate students (full-time equivalent) enrolled at for-profit institutions during the 2011-12 academic year, and the sector granted approximately 18 percent of all associate degrees.
Our study uses data from DeVry University, a large for-profit college with an undergraduate enrollment of more than 100,000 students, 80 percent of whom are seeking a bachelor’s degree. The average DeVry student takes two-thirds of her courses online. The remaining one-third of courses meet in conventional in-person classes held at one of DeVry’s 102 physical campuses. The data include over 230,000 students enrolled in 168,000 sections of more than 750 different courses.
DeVry University’s approach to online education makes it particularly well suited for estimating the effects of taking online courses. Each DeVry course is offered both online and in-person, and each student enrolls in either an online section or an in-person section. Online and in-person sections are identical in most ways: both follow the same syllabus and use the same textbook; class sizes are approximately the same; both use the same assignments, quizzes, tests, and grading rubrics. Many professors teach both online and in-person courses. The contrast between online and in-person sections is primarily the mode of communication. In online sections, all interaction—lecturing, class discussion, group projects—occurs in online discussion boards, and much of the professor’s “lecturing” role is replaced with standardized videos. In online sections, participation is often asynchronous while in-person sections meet on campus at scheduled times. In short, DeVry online classes attempt to replicate traditional in-person classes, except that student-student and student-professor interactions are virtual and asynchronous.
Using variation in course-taking that arises both from changes in course offerings at particular campuses in a particular term and from variation across students in the distance that they have to travel to take in-person courses, we find that taking a course online reduces student grades by 0.44 points on the traditional four-point grading scale, approximately a 0.33 standard deviation decline relative to taking a course in-person (See Figure 1). To be more concrete, students taking the course in-person earned roughly a B- grade (2.8) on average while if they had taken it online, they would have earned a C (2.4). Additionally, taking a course online reduces a student’s GPA the following term by 0.15 points; and, if we look only at the next term GPA for courses in the same subject area or courses for which the course in question is a pre-requisite, we find larger drops of 0.42 points and 0.32 points respectively, providing evidence that students learned less in the online setting.
We also find that taking a course online, instead of in person, increases the probability that a student will drop out of school. In the semester after taking an online course, students are about 9 percentage points less likely to remain enrolled. This reduction is relative to an average of 88 percent of students remaining enrolled in the following term. Moreover, taking a course online reduces the number of credits that students who do reenroll take in future semesters. While this setting is quite different, we can compare the effects on online course taking to other estimates of effects of on college persistence. For example, the literature on financial aid often finds that $1000 in financial aid increases persistence rates by about three percentage points[8] and college mentorship increases persistence rates by five percentage points.[9]
The negative effects of online course taking are concentrated in the lowest performing students. As shown in Figure 2, for students with below median prior GPA, the online classes reduce grades by 0.5 points or more, while for students with prior GPA in the top three deciles we estimate the effect as much smaller and, in fact, we cannot tell whether there is negative effect at all for this higher-achieving group. Thus, while online courses may have the potential to differentiate coursework to meet the needs of students with weaker incoming skills, current online courses, in fact, do an even worse job of meeting the needs of these students than do traditional in-person courses.
These analyses provide evidence that students in online courses perform substantially worse than students in traditional in-person courses and that experience in these online courses impact performance in future classes and their likelihood of dropping out of college as well. The negative effects of online course-taking are far stronger for students with lower prior GPA. The results are in line with prior studies of online education in other settings such as community colleges and highly competitive four-year institutions that also show that online courses yield worse average outcomes than in-person courses.[10]
The current negative effect of online course taking relative to in-person course taking should not necessarily lead to the conclusion that online courses should be discouraged. On the contrary, online courses provide access to students who never would have the opportunity or inclination to take classes in-person.[11] As one indication, of the 5.8 million students taking online courses in the fall of 2014, 2.85 million took all of their courses online.[12] Moreover, advances in AI offer hope that future online courses can respond to the needs of students, meeting them where they are in their learning and engaging them in higher education even better than in-person courses are currently able to do.[13] Nonetheless, the tremendous scale and consistently negative effects of current offerings points to the need to improve these courses, particularly for students most at risk of course failure and college dropout.
The authors did not receive financial support from any firm or person with a financial or political interest in this article. They are currently not officers, directors, or board members of any organization with an interest in this article.

Shot this on the way to some sleepy little county court house 5 years ago




President Trump with Prime Minister Theresa May of Britain at the White House in January. She said at the time that Queen Elizabeth II had invited him to make a state visit.
Trump May Not Visit U.K. This Year as Planned


The president has expressed skepticism about such a visit amid a backlash over comments he made after the recent terrorist attack in London.



Officials sue Trump in first lawsuit of its kindAttorneys general for the District of Columbia and the state of Maryland are suing President Donald Trump. The lawsuit accuses Trump of violating anti-corruption clauses in the Constitution by accepting millions in payments and benefits from foreign governments.

Read the lawsuit:
Read the story:





        Today, June 12, the family of John Hernandez filed a civil lawsuit against John's killers, Harris County Sheriff's deputy Chauna Thompson and Terry Thompson, four days after a Harris County Grand Jury indicted them for murder.  Last week a Harris County medical examiner determined the manner of John's death was "homicide" and the cause of death was lack of oxygen to the brain caused by choking. Video revealed Terry Thompson using a Mixed Martial Arts blood choke on John while his deputy wife assisted until he went brain dead. Thereafter, scene deputies attempted to cover for the killer deputy by failing to summon detectives, trying to charge John with a crime and hiding his serious injury from the district attorney intake, and isolating his wife for 4 hours and taking her cell phone. Plaintiffs in the lawsuit are John's parents, his wife and 3 year old daughter. The lawsuit reveals new facts not previously released to the public.   
 w baby.jpg

There will be a press conference to release the lawsuit with the parents and wife of John Hernandez and their lawyers:
DATE:         Tuesday, June 13 at 10:30 am
PLACE:       6575 West Loop South, Suite 605, Houston, TX 77027; Chandler McNulty, LLP  
CONTACT: Randall Kallinen: 713.320.3785

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