News story: Coal Authority Public Board Meeting – 17 May 2018

first_img Request an accessible format. If you use assistive technology (such as a screen reader) and need aversion of this document in a more accessible format, please email [email protected] tell us what format you need. It will help us if you say what assistive technology you use. Our next public board meeting will take place at the Coal Authority offices at 200 Lichfield Lane, Mansfield, Nottinghamshire, NG18 4RG, starting at 1:45pm.The board continues to conduct its business in public, as part of its ongoing commitment to giving stakeholders greater access to information on the activities undertaken by the Coal Authority. Exceptional items of a commercially confidential nature will continue to be dealt with by the board in closed session. This file may not be suitable for users of assistive technology. Public board meeting agenda 17 May 2018 PDF, 67.3KB, 1 pagelast_img read more

Speech: Amanda Spielman launches EIF consultation proposals

first_imgThank you Bill, and what a pleasure it is to be here today.When I last spoke to you, I commented on the energy and commitment of everyone I meet who works with young people, all the way from birth to adulthood. Two years in, that hasn’t changed.I still believe we have the most talented and dedicated generation in history working in our colleges, schools and the early years sector. That is reflected in our quality of education and is something we should all be proud of. And today I’m going to be talking about our new framework as well as about the college landscape, so I’ll be talking quite a bit about pre-16 as well as post-16. But I’ll start with your world.Times are challenging and many of you are making difficult decisions every week. And for sixth form colleges and academies, money is probably the biggest challenge – and I told the Public Accounts Committee I was concerned about this back in October.I said there that whereas real spending per school pupil has increased quite substantially since the early 1990s, this hasn’t happened for post-16. Indeed, real-terms cuts to post-16 funding are affecting both quality and sustainability. Inspection evidence, our published reports and our insights indicate several areas where the student experience is being affected in some colleges.For that reason, to reiterate, I am firmly of the view that the government should increase the base rate for 16 to 19 funding in the forthcoming spending review. My view hasn’t changed. You can be sure that where there is clear evidence that funding is damaging standards, we will send that message plainly.High-performing and improving furtherAnother challenge is constant change in your sector. Mergers and academisation are creating profound changes in the landscape. Our latest annual report highlighted that nearly a third of the original 90 sixth form colleges have academised or merged just in the past 2 years. And so the number of 16 to 19 academies has more than doubled in the past 2 years, up to nearly 50 by August 2018. That is a lot of change.So it was gratifying to be able to report that at that point, around four-fifths of the sixth form colleges and 16 to 19 academies that we’ve inspected were judged good or outstanding.This is an improvement on the previous year and has to reflect a lot of hard work, excellent teaching and dedication on your part. But beyond that, it means more young people well prepared for further study, for the world of work and for taking their place in society.Four sixth form colleges improved to good, and I congratulate you. What we commonly found, in these 4 colleges: managers had put in effective development for teachers; teaching and assessment had improved; achievement gaps between different groups of learners had reduced; and teachers’ confidence in developing students’ English and mathematics had improved.One sixth form college went from good to outstanding last year: Joseph Chamberlain College. We found high quality teaching across a range of academic and vocational subjects, a culture of high aspiration and harmonious relationships and a senior leadership team that hadn’t stood still, but had made further improvements since their previous inspection. They show how good colleges can improve even further.But, despite these successes, we know that pressures remain. I want to reassure you that we understand your challenges, and the complex and shifting landscape. We certainly don’t want to make your lives harder. Inspection should be about supporting improvement, not distracting from it.Curriculum and frameworkWhich is why a commitment to being a force for improvement sits right at the heart of the Ofsted strategy I introduced in my first year as Chief Inspector. And I have been determined that this strategy should not be the kind that gets launched with a fanfare, and then moulders in a cupboard. It is a living strategy that informs and directs every aspect of our work.Nowhere has this been clearer than in developing our new education inspection framework. And this is the consultation I am launching today.The title is the headline: it’s all about the substance of education, and how that is examined at inspection.Inspection is in essence a professional dialogue between inspectors and a provider. We want to make sure that these professional dialogues are as much as possible about what matters to young people: the substance of their education. What are they being taught? How well are they being taught it? And how is it setting them up to succeed at the next stage?Perhaps that sounds obvious. But we have collectively realised in recent years how easy it can be for practitioners and institutions, and indeed for policy makers and inspectorates, to lose sight of the substance amid the noise.Some of that noise comes from the ocean of outcome data and analysis that we can all draw on. Now, don’t misunderstand me, performance data used well is a very good thing. It is absolutely right that we have transparent measures that give insight into institutional performance. And I believe current accountability measures are a considerable improvement on their precursors. And of course, most exam and test results matter greatly to the individual. Outcomes reflect their educational achievements. However, we all recognise that when we put too much weight on individual performance data as a measure of quality of education, then problems emerge.The curriculum research studies that we have done in the past 2 years have highlighted some of the problems. They have shown how when data trumps substance, it is curriculum, teaching and learning that suffer. I won’t repeat today a list of examples of how that loss of substance manifests itself. But my hypothesis that we were on the right path with this work has been greatly strengthened by the extent to which people working at every level and stage of education have confirmed the pressure they feel to put securing grades and stickers ahead of real learning, and have welcomed a renewed focus on substance.So, a key principle of the new framework is to put inspection back into its proper place, where it complements published performance data, rather than intensifying the pressure on you to deliver higher numbers each year. It often matters ‘how’ results are achieved: done right, they reflect great education; done badly, they can give false assurance that young people have achieved well and are ready to progress. And no data measure can ever fully capture the quality of the education it reflects. On occasion we at Ofsted have been guilty of being too reliant on data, and I want the new framework to change that.So what do we understand to be the real substance of education? What is its core purpose, and what is Ofsted’s role? At the very heart of education sits the vast accumulated wealth of human knowledge and what we choose to impart to the next generation. I have made no secret of the fact that I think that curriculum, the ‘what is taught and why’, has had too small a share of inspection consideration for many years, and that this has contributed to the gradual erosion of curriculum thinking in early years, schools and post-16. This draft framework is built around a rebalanced set of judgements that restore curriculum to its proper place as one of the main considerations in good education. And in turn, I hope, to the forefront of educators’ minds.So a new quality of education judgement will look at how schools are deciding what to teach and why, how well they are doing it and whether it is leading to strong outcomes for young people. This will reward those who are ambitious and make sure that young people accumulate rich, well-connected knowledge and develop strong skills using this knowledge.In particular, I believe this will help providers with challenging intakes, but who don’t succumb to the temptation to think about performance tables ahead of young people. Such as schools that enter children for academic GCSEs, because they are right for those children, even when the school might accumulate higher point scores with other qualifications.Because this is all about standards. Nothing is more pernicious to true standards, than a culture of curriculum narrowing and teaching to the test. If for instance you want children to read really well by the end of primary school, you do it by reading to them, teaching them new things and having them read as much as possible, not just by having them take countless reading comprehension practice tests. This framework aims to sustain improvement in true standards.So what will inspectors be looking at? I must stress – again – that there isn’t and won’t be an Ofsted curriculum. Not all curriculum is equally strong, but an excellent curriculum can be constructed in many different ways. The research we’ve already published illustrates that we can recognise and judge a range of approaches fairly. And our research has also shown that we can distinguish between the providers who just talk a good game about curriculum, and the ones who are genuinely implementing a curriculum well.And of course, good curriculum is part but by no means all of a good education. We distinguish the curriculum – what is taught – and pedagogy, which is how the curriculum is taught. It is also distinct from assessment, which is about whether learners are learning or have learned the intended curriculum.This has led us to a three-pronged approach to looking at the quality of education.First, the framework for setting out the aims of a programme of education, including the knowledge and skills to be gained at each stage: the curriculum intent.Secondly, the translation of that framework in practice, within an institutional context. The contribution that the teaching makes to the intended curriculum: the implementation.And thirdly, the evaluation of the knowledge and skills that students have gained across the curriculum against expectations and the destinations they are enabled to go to next: the impact.How will we inspect it?What we are proposing reflects what our research has shown us, and the wider literature on educational effectiveness, from a child’s early years through to adulthood. What we have learned from a quarter of a century of inspections, what we have heard from all sides about what works well in inspections and what works less well, what we have learned about staff workload, what we know about particular pressure points in each phase of education.In particular, we’ve made sure that we pitch our inspection criteria at the right level. So for example, if we make the curriculum criteria too weak, a poor curriculum that leads to little learning and widening gaps would go unscrutinised. If we make them too strong or rigid, the diversity and innovation that are a healthy part of our education system could be unduly constrained. We’ve done a lot of work to pitch our criteria at the right level. They draw on existing evidence around curriculum quality. They don’t extend beyond what we have found the evidence to justify.And we’ve been putting the criteria through their paces through many pilot inspections, and will be continuing pilots throughout the spring. I’d like to thank those of you who are helping with these pilots. What we learn from them will inform the final version of the framework, alongside your responses to the consultation.We have also been laying the groundwork with instalments of inspector training on the areas that have a higher profile in this framework, and have plenty more in the pipeline ahead of September.And in this preparation, we have been clear with our inspectors that the new framework is not about moving the bar for good, in either direction. We have designed the new framework on the basis that a broadly similar proportion of providers should be judged good or outstanding as under the current framework. Any suggestion that this framework is likely to push far more providers below the line than above it is just wrong.And another reassurance. No-one should think they need to develop a new curriculum from scratch, or indeed jump through any new hoops. In post-16 education you already have your study programmes. For others, the Early Years Foundation Stage or the National Curriculum provide a baseline.Nor do we want to see nurseries, schools, colleges or other providers rushing to change their curriculum, or adopting superficial solutions just “for Ofsted”. That would go against the spirit of this framework. This is why we have taken the extra step of recognising in the draft handbooks that curriculum change takes time, and that for the first year at the very least, providers that are taking reasonable steps to improve their curriculum, but aren’t necessarily there yet, will not be adversely affected.On the other hand, we don’t want innovators to see the new framework as a brake. For example, if you are trying out new models as part of Education Endowment Foundation studies, or are working on new approaches to curriculum or teaching or assessment, that will be recognised.Of course, the application will be a little different in the different sectors we inspect, so for example: For primary age children, this will mean a focus on how well pupils are taught to read. Inspectors will look at how well the schools are teaching all children to become fluent readers, starting with phonics and building up from there. This is how children become confident readers. They would also look at how well pupils remember, understand and apply mathematical knowledge. Personal development and behaviourI’ve heard from rather too many of you that the current behaviour, personal development and welfare judgement is seen as the soft part of the current framework. We also know, from our work with parents, that it’s the judgement most of interest to them.I’ve also heard concerns that the perceived pre-eminence of the outcomes judgement restricts your ability to offer the things that we know help to build young people’s resilience and confidence – such as cadet forces, Duke of Edinburgh awards, sports, drama or debating teams.So rather than conflating personal development and behaviour, the new framework will separate them out.The new behaviour and attitudes judgement will look at how well behaviour is managed, to create the calm, orderly and safe environment that we know is a basic requirement for good learning.Alongside that, a new personal development judgement will look at the opportunities providers give to build character and resilience, and to prepare children and young people to succeed as adults and active citizens in modern Britain. Importantly, this judgement will not try to assess the full impact of personal development provision: that is clearly impossible in a day or two on site.WorkloadWorkload has of course, been in front of us in letters of fire as we have worked up these proposals. While we know that any kind of accountability necessarily involves some irreducible workload, we have to do what we can to make sure that inspection adds no more burden than it must.So for example, we know that in some places, a false perception that it is “what Ofsted wants” is the rationale for an onerous cycle of ‘data drops’ where teachers feed frequent assessment information into a centralised database.Take early years for example. Staff time spent teaching, talking and playing with children is far more valuable than time spent taking endless photographs for filing under ‘progress’. A photograph of a child pouring water from one container into another doesn’t necessarily mean they have grasped the concept of capacity or have a sense of the words ‘more’ or ‘less’ or ‘bigger’ or ‘smaller’. But again, I know which way the pressures of accountability can seem to push.The great benefit of inspection is seeing first-hand what is actually happening in providers, not just data files and spreadsheets. So the proposal is that inspectors will not look at internal progress and attainment data of current children or students. Yes, of course some of it will still be useful for your own management purposes, but we don’t want you doing it for us, or to be offended if we don’t use it. We don’t want inspection to be about an inspector and a leader craning their heads over a spreadsheet on a study table. When you tell inspectors that your internal data and information helps you to know about progress and attainment, inspectors’ reaction should be: “that’s great, let’s go and see it in action”.In doing so, we hope that we will once and for all bust the myth that data should be created for Ofsted. At the same time, under the new leadership and management judgement, we will go further in considering whether leaders are realistic and constructive in managing workload. That doesn’t mean Ofsted trying to drive a wedge between leaders and teachers – far from it! Rather, it means getting a sense on inspection as to whether leaders understand and manage the demands they place on their staff.Don’t buy the snake oilIn the same vein, I want to say, hand on heart, that you do not and should not spend a penny on consultants to prepare for the introduction of this framework. As well as publishing the framework, the draft handbooks and our research findings and our literature review of existing research on educational effectiveness, we have also published videos and slides of the curriculum workshops we held last autumn.We are putting all this out now at this early stage to provide certainty, reassurance and transparency, which I hope will help you give us specific and constructive feedback.IntegrityOne other thing that I hope will flow from this new approach, is that integrity will be properly rewarded. That inspection will recognise the importance of doing the right thing by young people.I know how easy it is to let drift happen, because of the pressures of making the numbers add up, or because someone down the road is doing it and you think that you or your students will suffer unless you do the same. That’s not your fault; it’s human nature. But its effect is pernicious, and we know that it is disadvantaged pupils that suffer the most when substance comes second to point scoring. That’s why inspection needs to be a counterbalancing pressure that places clear value on doing the right thing.One area where I hope we can make real progress, is in tackling the unacceptable practice of off-rolling. Last year we identified around 300 schools where ‘exceptional levels’ of pupils are coming off state rolls between years 10 and 11. That’s a time when it seems unlikely that many parents would choose to withdraw their children from school education. Instead it seems that some of these moves are the result of pressure from the school, often directed at some of the most vulnerable families, least equipped to educate their own children. While I will always defend the right of heads to exclude people, where this is justified, removing pupils from the school rolls purely to boost results can never be right. We want to tackle that practice, and the new framework does have a greater focus on spotting off-rolling.Similar practices exist in some colleges and in other post-16 providers. We’ve seen some young people kept on level 2 study courses, when they could and should have been progressing. We’ve also seen off-rolling between year 12 and year 13 on A-level courses.We’ve seen some nurseries not taking children with SEN for a variety of reasons – sometimes to do with funding. Again this is undeniably wrong.And it’s led to some apprenticeship training providers going for quantity rather than quality – putting on numbers of apprentices, whether or not they are really learning anything.All of these practices need to be discouraged, and inspection has a valuable role to play in doing so.And so it is these 2 words that sum up my ambition for the framework and which underlie everything we have published today: substance and integrity.The substance that has all children and young people exposed to the best that has been thought and said, achieve highly and set them up to succeed.And the integrity that makes sure that every child and young person is treated as an individual with potential to be unlocked, and staff are treated as experts in their subjects or field – not just as data gatherers and process managers. And above all that you are rewarded for doing the right thing.Our consultation is your opportunity to help us refine this new framework to meet these twin goals as well as we possibly can. Please do help us.Thank you. For all school age children, we will look at whether they have a broad and rich curriculum. So for example, are the foundation subjects being taught fully throughout key stage 2, and is the full range of national curriculum subjects being taught across years 7 to 9, including the arts, technology and music? Are steps being taken to have most students take EBacc subjects as the core of the key stage 4 curriculum?center_img In early years, it will mean a focus on developing children’s vocabulary through activities across the 7 areas of learning, as well as by having stories read to them. The EYFS provides the curriculum framework that leaders and practitioners build on to decide what they intend children to learn and develop. They then decide how to implement the curriculum so that children make progress in those 7 areas. Finally, they evaluate the impact of the curriculum by checking what children know and can do. Post-16, we’ll look at how providers develop or adopt a curriculum that provides progression and stretch, and encourages maths and English for all learners. Where relevant, we’ll look at work experience or industry placements, and destination and careers guidance at all levels, from elite universities through to first steps to independent living.last_img read more

Electric Forest Expands 2017 Lineup With Flume & Dillon Francis Headlining Sets

first_imgElectric Forest recently revealed their 2017 lineup, bringing their eclectic blend of live and electronic-based music for two exciting weekends in the summer. Today, the festival has revealed two additional headliners, who will be joining The String Cheese Incident, Bassnectar, Odesza, My Morning Jacket, Above & Beyond, Thievery Corporation, Lotus, Claude Von Stroke, Nero, Oliver Heldens, A-Trak, Bassnectar and DJ Snake as headliners. Those new headliners are Flume, who will be performing on weekend two, and Dillon Francis, who will be performing both weekends.The festival also promises more artists to be announced, and is set for June 22-25 and June 29-July 2 in Rothbury, MI. You can see the full lineup poster below, and head to the website for details.last_img read more

Updating embryo research guidelines

first_img Related Hard look at ‘who’s responsible?’ in HMS lecture Because of that, some suggested rooting out factors behind the guideline — such as the ability to feel pain or to think — and using those to create guidelines more appropriate to the scientific work being done today.“We’re making more and more faithful, more and more elaborate neural structures for any part of the brain, skipping over the body parts that may make it seem like an embryo,” said Harvard Medical School’s (HMS) Robert Winthrop Professor of Genetics George Church. “But there’s essentially no limit to the technology, so we need to focus on ethics and humanity.”The 14-day rule is a widely accepted research guideline in the United States and is enshrined in law in a number of countries around the world. Its roots go back decades. Speakers said it was seen as appropriate because it is the point after which an embryo will not twin, and so can be considered an individual. It is also before the development of a nervous system that could allow the embryo to feel pain or think.Robert Truog (left) and Insoo Hyun participate in a panel discussion on the ethical ramifications of the 14-day rule and its future. Stephanie Mitchell/Harvard Staff Photographer“What are the first appearing features of the developing embryo that signify the emergence of an entity that we should protect from experimentation?” asked John Aach, lecturer on genetics at HMS.The event, “The Ethics of Early Embryo Research and the Future of the 14 Day Rule,” was sponsored by Harvard’s Edmond J. Safra Center for Ethics, the Petrie-Flom Center for Health Law Policy, Biotechnology, and Bioethics, the Harvard Stem Cell Institute, and Harvard’s Office of the Vice Provost for Research. It included a review of the guideline’s history, of recent progress in human developmental biology, and a panel discussion about the rule’s possible future. The event was also supported by the International Society for Stem Cell Research and HMS’ Center for Bioethics.While Greely advised against changing the rule as it would relate to natural human embryos, he and Roger Pedersen, a professor at the University of Cambridge, were less concerned about newly developed embryo-like structures. Since they don’t have the capacity to develop on their own, Pederson said he’d create a “bright line” between them and natural human embryos with regard to the rule.“Unless there’s a really good reason to wave the red flag in front of that bull, don’t do it,” Greely said.SaveSave With advancing lab technology perhaps calling into question a longstanding guideline that prohibits experimentation on human embryos older than 14 days, scientists and ethicists gathered at Harvard Law School recently to discuss whether and how that stricture should be revised.Some speakers at the event, held at the School’s Austin Hall on Nov. 7, urged changes that get to heart of why 14 days was once considered appropriate rather than a simple prohibition. Lifting that limit would allow scientists to learn more about human development and improve guidance on the handling of newly developed cellular structures that mimic embryos.“My view is the 14-day rule should be looked at as a public-policy tool and not as a strict moral distinction between right and wrong,” said Insoo Hyun, associate professor of bioethics and philosophy at Case Western Reserve University. “Is it time to get rid of such lines in the sand and rely solely on clear ethical principles?”Gist Croft presents his research at the conference in Austin Hall. Stephanie Mitchell/Harvard Staff PhotographerOther speakers, however, said it’s important to understand the political ramifications of any change, ramifications that — once the guideline was opened for discussion — could see it revised in a way that many scientists wouldn’t favor.“I’m terrified to ask lawmakers to pass laws, I’m terrified of what we’d get,” said Stanford University Law School Professor Henry Greely. “Probably worse than what we have now.”A driving force behind the debate has been research advances that have led to the creation of self-organizing embryo-like structures (SOELS) and synthetic human embryo-like entities (SHELEs), which resemble natural human embryos in some ways.As work continues on these embryo-like structures, some scientists question whether they should be concerned about violating the 14-day rule. Further, they said, stem cell science has enabled them essentially to fast-forward through human development to create organ-like human tissues, making calendar-based guidelines less relevant. Large-scale ethicslast_img read more

SMC hosts foreign language celebration

first_imgSaint Mary’s students shared in the native languages of six women from five different countries Monday through “Writing Across the World,” an event sponsored by the Saint Mary’s English Language School. At the event, which also marked the beginning of International Week, the women translated and transcribed students’ names into their native languages. She designed the event to promote dialogue – in English or otherwise –  between students, Terra Cowham, assistant director for International Student Scholar Services at the English Language School, said.  “During International Week, we want to highlight all the diversity in the international students on our campus,” Cowham said. “We thought it’d be really awesome if they wrote some themes or sayings while sharing their native language with us.”  “This event begins a cultural festival,” Ethiopian student Neima Mohammed said. Mohammed’s ability to speak English fluently is a result of five months of language classes from Saint Mary’s, she said. The Center for Women’s Intercultural Leadership offers a rigorous program in the English Language School to non-native speakers, and Cowham said the four-week program is open to anyone. “We have a program for anyone, [from] adult women [to] students just out of high school, if they want to come and learn English they come here, live on campus and they take classes that are non-degree but focused on learning the English language,” she said. Cowham said many women come for additional practice or instruction before they enter another college. “I am extremely passionate about making students global citizens and connecting the world every day,” Cowham said. “I want to help all of campus see what wonderful resources we have, all the wonderful students that come here from across the world.” Noemy Siles-Alvarado, a Costa Rican student, said she feels the strong sense of community that Cowham has tried to foster for international students at Saint Mary’s. “The professors are really, really good. All the girls are friendly,” she said. “I have enjoyed it, it feels like family.” Siles-Alvarado said she found her role at the writing event amusing. “It’s interesting for me because I’m from Costa Rica. It’s not that amazing and for most people it’s the same name in English as it is in Spanish,” she said. “For the other girls, I think it’s really cool because they can write in their own language.” Siles-Alvarado said she chose to attend the English Language School to improve her grammar before she begins pursuing a pre-medicine degree at Goshen College. Maha Alshahrani, a student from Saudi Arabia, said she chose Saint Mary’s to study among pupils of her own gender and aspires to receive a Master’s degree from Notre Dame. Mayumi Oda and Misa Inaba are both studying abroad from the same college in Japan, which Inaba said was “kind of a sister school to Saint Mary’s.” This semester they live with two American roommates in Le Mans Hall. Oda said as much as they miss home now, when they leave they will miss Saint Mary’s as well. “It’s beautiful to communicate with another country’s people,” Oda said. Contact Rebecca O’Neil at [email protected]last_img read more

Lecture featuring NPR executive discusses women’s right to vote in 2020

first_imgGabrielle Penna | The Observer Speaker Kenya Young, class of 1994, and executive producer of the Morning Edition at NPR, along with Notre Dame professors Christiana Wolbrecht and Dianne Pinderhughes led a discussion regarding the history of women’s voting rights in America.The moderator Kenya Young, Notre Dame 1994 graduate and executive producer of “Morning Edition” at National Public Radio (NPR), opened the discussion by addressing the session’s aim. “Now more than ever, it is time for us to wrestle with these difficult topics and difficult issues, but to do so respectfully and with an open mind,” Young said. Young introduced the two speakers for the series’ fourth session: Christina Wolbrecht, professor of political science and director of the Rooney Center for the Study of American Democracy, and Dianne Pinderhughes, presidential Faculty Fellow and professor of political science and Africana studies.Before diving into modern-day implications for women’s votes, Wolbrecht gave a brief history of how the 19th Amendment has increasingly impacted political turnouts over the years. “When women first got the right to vote in the 1920s, they were almost immediately described as a failure, and what that meant was that women did not seem to be taking up their right to vote,” Wolbrecht said. The turnout gap was not in favor of women as it is today, Wolbrecht said. “Black women have never stopped fighting for voting rights,” she said.For Black women, the 19th Amendment is a minuscule part of their fight for voting rights, Wolbrecht said.Pinderhughes elaborated on resistance Black women have faced in pursuit of a role in politics. “The 19th Amendment was passed, but when various state legislatures approved the amendment, the agreement was that there wouldn’t be an effort to permit Black women to vote,” Pinderhughes said. The point of legislation from the late 1890s, when southern states began to alter their constitutions, was to silence Black women’s voices, Pinderhughes said. Pinderhughes then turned the discussion to modern politics. “Now, with the decision by the Supreme Court in Holder v. Shelby County, the protection of the Voting Rights Act is no longer in place,” Pinderhughes said.  Pinderhughes said she sees issues with such actions. “There is no intervention on the part of the department of justice to monitor changes in voting laws,” Pinderhughes said. “[Southern states] have moved very quickly to put restrictions on, and change the law, again to make it more difficult and discourage Blacks from voting.”The discussion then pivoted towards the stereotypes around women voters. Pinderhughes noted there is a whole range of policy issues that affect how women function — they do not just care about one sector of politics. She noted everyday concerns such as nutrition, transportation and air quality, all of which impact a woman’s life. “We tend to narrow the orientation in terms of what it is that people think is important for women,” Pinderhughes said.Wolbrecht spoke about misconceptions and assumptions made regarding what actually concerns women. “We care about the economy, we care about healthcare, we care about the same issues that affect daily life that men do,” Wolbrecht said. “The reality is that women are placed differently in the economy. … Their evaluations of the economy, of what’s best for their family, of where they want to see government protection, is on average, slightly different from men’s.” After explaining the role gender differences have on political objectives, Wolbrecht turned towards speculations regarding the 2020 election. Policy changes, to Pinderhughes, negatively impact the Black voter community. “Access to voting rights is a concern in the sense that with Holder v. Shelby County, protection, under section four of the right voting act, is no longer offered,” Pinderhughes said. Young then turned towards Wolbrecht, asking what then needed to be done. “We are nowhere close to being done,” Wolbrecht said. She explained that the constitution does not include the affirmative right to vote, which does not require states, counties or municipalities to ensure the right to vote — accountability she wishes existed. Pinderhughes said that in addition to this legal framework, “what needs to happen at present is for the tensions that remain between and among women of color to be addressed.”Tags: bridging the divide, voting 2020, voting myths Two Notre Dame political scientists discussed the 19th Amendment and women’s role in elections over the past 100 years during a Monday evening lecture called “The 19th Amendment and the Myth that All Women Vote the Same.” The discussion was part of the Bridging the Divide lecture series sponsored by the Klau Center for Civil and Human Rights and the Rooney Center for the Study of American Democracy. last_img read more

Victoria Clark’s Longtime Dresser Vicky Grecki on Getting Slap Happy & Coveting the Gigi Hats

first_img Gigi View Comments Related Shows Victoria Clark, who was recently honored with a Tony nomination for her performance as Mamita in Gigi, has enjoyed both a long and illustrious career and a long and treasured friendship with her dresser, Vicky Grecki. Clark’s many Broadway credits include her Tony-winning performance in The Light in the Piazza as well as Cinderella, Sister Act, The Snow Geese, Titanic, How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying and many more. Clark and Grecki have been friends for decades and their fondness for one another is obvious. Read on to find out what Grecki has to say about her pal and colleague.When did you first meet Victoria Clark, and what was your first impression of her?Vicki and I first worked together on Cabaret at Studio 54 in 1999. She impressed me with her dedication and continual preparation. Her work process never stops. She explores and grows continually on stage and off.What do you two bond over?We experience the same joys in our work. We both love being a part of live theater and balance each other well. We are able to deal with whatever may happen as best we can and try to work through the bumps.What do you wish more people knew about dressers?It’s a physical job that requires strength and flexibility.What makes the two of you laugh?We laugh most when we’re tired. I think that’s called “slap happy.” It’s still our favorite sound in the dressing room.What are some items you both like to have on hand backstage?I carry water, hot tea drink and Ricola throat drops. There are personal handkerchiefs belonging to her mother which she uses in her various handbags on stage.What is the most challenging part of dressing Victoria Clark?All changes entail choreography between the actor and the dresser. Vicki is always willing to help in changes because she understands this relationship. She knows the importance of standing still and I depend on that.Which of her costumes do you wish you had in your closet?I love the beautiful hats Vicki wears. They are massive, stunning and feminine. I would have to build another closet just to house them in my apartment.What’s the best gift she’s ever given you?Her glorious voice that I hear every performance. It’s the only gift I selfishly would never part with.What’s something she says all the time?At the end of each show: “Love you, safe home.”What is something you do that makes her roll her eyes?We have procrastination issues. I give her a look like, “Are we done?” Then we both laugh.What is her biggest pet peeve backstage and what is yours?Hers is loud talking or singing backstage while the show is going on. My pet peeve is the overuse of cell phones on deck backstage.What’s the secret to your relationship?We help each other.Any fun anecdotes you want to share about your time working with Vicki?A ritual before each show is to pick “Angel” cards. The cards help us to focus on a specific task such as understanding, joy, freedom, birth. We believe our angels stay with us during the show. Note: If you pick “brotherhood and/or integrity” you get to pick again.What is the best part about being part of Team Clark?We have a close and trusting relationship. Vicki loves to teach and explore, and she allows me to be a part of it. Show Closed This production ended its run on June 21, 2015last_img read more

Venus in Fur, Constellations & The Gin Game Top Your Fave Two-Handers

first_imgThe Last Five Years Venus in Fur ‘night, Mother John & Jen Two actors and a stage: What could be more pure and simple? With a couple of high-profile two-handers recently joining the Broadway boards (the revival of D.L. Coburn’s The Gin Game and David Mamet’s new play China Doll), we started thinking about all the two-person shows we love. From musicals to classics, we asked you to chime in and rank your top 10 two-performer shows on Culturalist. The results are in an. Check out the top 10 two-handers below. Love Letters Constellationscenter_img Daddy Long Legs The Way We Get By Red The Gin Game View Commentslast_img read more

Three execution elements your strategic planning likely overlooks

first_imgThis is placeholder text continue reading » Partnering with credit unions on strategic planning, we see various kinds of plans, initiatives, focuses, projects, goals, visions, missions, concentrations and implications. These terms can all mean different things, and everyone has their own spin on what is included in each. While for the sake of the argument, we can agree that all of these concepts are related, however, all too often three key items are missing when credit unions do strategic planning (no matter what they call it). When these three elements are missing, credit unions face unnecessary confusion about priorities—and then teams miss out on the opportunity to become more strategically aligned and optimize execution efforts.1. Plan of ActionThe most common, and I’d say the most useful, missing variable is what we call a “plan of action.” A POA is a documented timeline of identified actions that support a particular strategy. It provides clarity about the chronological sequence required for the strategy to gain traction. It presents a documented strategy’s associated actions and goals in a way that people can more usefully digest, respond to and retain. It provides people a way to visualize the agreed-upon actions that will happen in the future—that is, how the strategy is expected to land on the ground. The absence of a POA is a clear-cut formula for sowing confusion about priorities and for increasing the likelihood that resources will be the misallocated.You might be reading this and thinking to yourself, “That’s not us. We have our plan mapped out. We’re clear on where we are going.” Although some of your priorities are likely charted, too often “priorities” means “goals,” which is different from “specific actions.” Our experience tells us there is a great deal of opportunity for boards and executive teams, and the executive team with the mid-level talent, to discuss the sequence of resource allocations as they reflect stated priorities. Trust me, there is more to do here. ShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblrcenter_img This post is currently collecting data…last_img read more

The Walking Dead Mid-season Premier Fails to Impress

first_imgSign up for our COVID-19 newsletter to stay up-to-date on the latest coronavirus news throughout New York By Lissa HarrisBecause I have loved The Walking Dead for five and a half seasons, I’ll start with the good.Daryl and his bazooka are awesome. His character continues to be the greasiest bad ass on the planet and the moment he took out Negan’s bikers with a missile was a rallying point for all who watched. In fact, the scene leading up to Bazooka Daryl was intense and emotional.It was the deeply thoughtful and action-packed scenes we’ve gotten used to seeing the last five seasons. The first episode of the mid-season finale was off to a good start. But it was all downhill from there.Episode 9, “No Way Out,” picked up right where they left off back in late November. Rick and other residents had covered themselves with walker guts and were attempting to escape among the thousands of walking dead unnoticed. We saw this before in season one, in the Episode 2, “Guts,” when the characters must find a way to escape an overrun Atlanta. In this season’s mid-finale, “Start to Finish,” Rick recalls this successful strategy and suggests it to the remaining residents of Alexandria.Of course, they are disgusted but agree to go along. We leave them as they are exiting the house to walk among the dead. Then the camera focuses on Jesse’s very fragile son, Sam. He looks terrified and calls out, “Mom?” End of scene.We were left to wonder, for almost three months, what was about to happen to them now that they’ve been discovered. But Sam’s slip-up apparently had no effect because it’s never mentioned in the mid-season premier. Wait, what? That, my friends, is what’s known as “lazy writing.”“Start to Finish” also gave us a climax of sorts on the characters’ opposing philosophies, which I wrote about in November. This discussion was communicated most beautifully in Episode 4, “Here’s Not Here.” The episode highlighted Morgan’s transformation from insanity to peacefulness via the help of a man who believed that people could live in this savage world and still hold onto their humanity.It was this debate that seemed to drive the entire first half of season six. In “No Way Out” we got the answer: If we all work together, we can achieve a new civilization and a society worth fighting for.But isn’t that what all the nearby gangs think? I’m sure the Wolves believe that by working together they are achieving an ideal society, same as Negan’s gang, judging from the first scene of the episode. These gangs don’t believe in everyman for himself, they work together for their own version of the “common good.”Our heroes are only realizing this now, and express it with the cheesiest of dialogue. In Gabriel’s epiphany, he states: “God will save Alexandria because God has given us the courage to save it ourselves.”Cut to a scene that slices through the edits as quickly as our heroes slice through walkers. A cute trick but not enough.Rick’s big moment comes in his monologue at the end. A touching moment until he declares to an unconscious Carl that he wants to show him “this brand new world” that Deanna showed him. I would have been more engaged if I knew exactly what that vision entailed. It’s still relatively unclear what Deanna had planned other than to build more walls and a school.I would have been more impressed if Rick had decided he was going to travel the world lighting lakes on fire in an effort to eliminate the entire walker species once and for all. And then create an International Public Health Policy on how to dispose of the newly dead.I’ve never been a viewer impressed with blood, violence or shock alone. Pair that blood, violence and shock with serious plot and character development, and a commentary on the human condition that makes me rethink my very existence and you have me hooked for life. The Walking Dead used to give that to me.Yes, one could argue that we have become desensitized to violence, but a good writer would anticipate that and continue to up the game in smart ways. That’s what Vince Gilligan did with Breaking Bad.I could forgive Greg Nicotero for being distracted by his work on Fear the Walking Dead, the series prequel. But that show is lackluster as well. Maybe they should let Scott Gimple, who wrote “Here’s Not Here,” re-write the remainder of the season’s episodes.I don’t know. But I don’t like where this season is headed. Bad dialogue and cheesy emotion are not what I’ve come to expect from one of my favorite shows. My only hope is that Carl’s physical deformity will prevent him from wearing that stupid hat in future episodes.There were some quality moments: Denise’s terror as she realizes she has no choice but to partner with the Wolf gang member and Abraham and Sasha’s tension right before they are saved by Daryl. But overall, there was nothing stellar in this week’s mid-season premier.last_img read more