first_imgWhile Massachusetts K-12 students as a group consistently rank at or near the top in the nation for their academic performance, not every local school district has found the secret to success.Take Lawrence, an industrial, Latino-majority city 25 miles north of Boston with a school system that has about 13,000 students, 90 percent of whom are from low-income homes and 70 percent of whom speak English as a second language. The district had a long history of leadership instability and student underperformance. Only half of its students typically graduated from high school in four years, and its test scores ranked in the bottom five for the Massachusetts Comprehensive Assessment System (MCAS) state-run exams for both math and English language arts during the 2010-2011 school year.That spotty track record prompted state officials, for the first time, to take control of the school system in late 2011, paving the way for a top-to-bottom reorganization, new leadership, and sweeping reforms that began in early 2012 and are still continuing.Among the changes:Higher performance expectations were established for the district;More flexibility was added for each school to determine what strategies worked best and what support was needed;The management of three schools was turned over to charter groups that expanded instruction by 90 minutes per day;District-run schools added enrichment offerings after school for kids, while teachers met to discuss and prepare daily plans;Outside data experts were brought in to guide ongoing changes;A new teacher compensation structure and contract was reached. There was broad new hiring of principals and assistant principals, and dismissal of low-performing teachers.Researchers at Harvard Kennedy School (HKS) and Harvard Graduate School of Education (HGSE) have studied the first round of academic achievement data to come out of Lawrence since the turnaround effort started. During a discussion Tuesday evening, they offered a first look at how the process is going. Compared with the state’s 48 other low-income-majority school districts, Lawrence students closed the achievement gap by two-thirds in 2012-2013.“There’s no question that in the first year of the turnaround, Lawrence’s achievement in math really jumped up by a substantial amount, whether you compare it to the state as a whole or to other low-income districts,” said Joshua Goodman, assistant professor of public policy at HKS and an HGSE faculty member, who was part of the research team.While the English language arts scores did not improve on average, those students who attended “acceleration academies” ― new weeklong intensive sessions held during school vacation breaks and taught by top teachers ― showed improvement both there and in math. “These gains that we see in math in particular are pretty widespread … so that’s somewhat comforting to us in the sense that it means these results are not being driven by one or two or three schools doing remarkable things,” said Goodman.The group will examine data from the current school year when it becomes available in early fall.“We’re trying to do something different here in Lawrence, and I think it really comes down to a school-by-school and student-by-student strategy,” said Seth Racine, chief redesign officer at Lawrence Public Schools. “We’re not trying to impose one model or one intervention on everybody.”“To me, this is very encouraging news,” said Paul Reville, the Francis Keppel Professor of Practice of Educational Policy and Administration at HGSE and the Massachusetts secretary of education from 2008 through 2012. Reville noted that given the country’s “terrible” track record trying to improve chronically underperforming schools, Lawrence is in the national spotlight as other districts and policymakers consider similar reforms.“Nowhere has a state done a good job in turning around the academic performance of a school district, and everyone has been very hopeful from the outset that we’re going to be the first state to break that logjam and to show that we can get promising educational results from an enlightened strategy” of school takeovers, he said.“We’ve got a lot more work to do if we’re going to make good on this promise of education reform, which is ‘we’re going to educate all students to a high level,’ and all means all.”last_img read more

first_imgAston Villa goalkeeper Tom Heaton: Embrace top 2 testby Paul Vegasa day agoSend to a friendShare the loveAston Villa goalkeeper Tom Heaton says they must embrace their upcoming two games.Villa travel to reigning champions Manchester City on Saturday before hosting current leaders Liverpool the following weekend.Goalkeeper Heaton said: “They are widely regarded as the two best teams in the league and we are playing them back-to-back – that is what the Premier League is all about.“There is no fear or worry there. It is just a hunger to go and embrace the games, to go and put our stamp on them and try and get the wins.“Of course, it is going to be tough. We know how much quality they gave got. They are both great sides.“But we have a lot of quality here. These are the kind of teams you want to go up against. We have seen already this season it can be done. We just want to make sure we give ourselves the best chance.” About the authorPaul VegasShare the loveHave your saylast_img read more

first_imgLOS ANGELES, CA – OCTOBER 19: Katy Perry attends the Los Angeles opening night performance of ‘Dear Evan Hansen’ at Ahmanson Theatre on October 19, 2018 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Rachel Luna/Getty Images)Last year, pop superstar Katy Perry joined ESPN’s College GameDay and, among other things, joked that LSU fans smell like corndogs. Saturday, she doubled down on trolling the Tigers and their fans.Perry apparently found the time to record an intro for Ole Miss today as they took on LSU in Oxford. Perry got the “Hotty Toddy” chant started and then chowed down on a corndog. Here’s video – it’s amazing.Katy Perry pumping up Vaught-Hemingway Stadium. #OleMiss vs #LSU pic.twitter.com/TDveqQgEBt— Scott Satchfield (@Satchfield) November 21, [email protected] is the greatest!! @OleMissFB pic.twitter.com/O0gnrEifJy— OleMissPix (@OleMissPix) November 21, 2015Katy Perry and Ole Miss – apparently a match made in heaven.last_img read more

first_imgVICTORIA, B.C. — Citizens’ Services Minister Jinny Sims announced yesterday that the provincial government will contribute $7 million for Shaw Communications to build a fibre-optic cable along the Hart Highway between Prince George and Dawson Creek.The fibre optic line that will be built from the Northern Cariboo to the Peace Region will be just over 400 kilometres in length, and is one of four connectivity projects being funded by the B.C. government. Shaw has had issues serving the Peace Region in the past, and yesterday’s announcement came just one day after an issue with a fibre line caused Shaw customers in Fort St. John, Taylor, and Dawson Creek to experience a service interruption. Last year, Shaw customers in the Peace experienced three separate outages due to issues with the company’s network.On Tuesday, Sims announced that the Province and Feds are both partnering with internet service providers on $38 million worth of Internet infrastructure across B.C., with the provincial government contributing $11.3 million in total. “This is not just an investment in high-speed internet, it’s an investment in the future for those living in rural, First Nations and Indigenous communities, so they have access to cutting-edge emergency services, high-quality health care, world-class education and improved ability to participate in the growing digital economy,” said Sims. “By working with our federal and local partners, we are leveraging relationships to give people in these communities the same internet access as those living in major urban centres.”The announcement was part of an event hosted by Canada’s Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development Navdeep Bains, as the federal government committed a further $19,748,063 to the four projects.“Access to high-speed internet is not a luxury, it’s essential,” said Bains. “High-speed internet service is a basic tool that all Canadians should have access to, regardless of their postal code. Canadians need this service to do business, upgrade their education and build stronger communities. Thanks to our Connect to Innovate program, more Canadians will be able to participate fully in the digital economy.”last_img read more

first_imgThe Canadian Press VANCOUVER — Four oil and gas companies are expected to answer questions today about how they use the Trans Mountain pipeline, how refinery closures affect their prices and other factors that could contribute to British Columbia’s volatile prices at the pump.A three-member panel, chaired by B.C. Utilities Commission CEO David Morton, will listen to up to four days of oral hearings in Vancouver as part of a public inquiry into the high price of gasoline and diesel in the province.Parkland Fuels, Shell, Imperial Oil and Suncor are scheduled to give opening remarks and answer questions from the panel this afternoon. In the morning, those firms and other interveners will have an opportunity to question Deetken Group, a consulting firm that prepared a report for the inquiry identifying possible reasons for the fuel price spikes.Deetken found land values and credit card fees have likely contributed to higher retail margins, while transportation and regulatory costs could be part of the reason wholesale gasoline margins are higher in British Columbia but they don’t tell the whole story.Premier John Horgan called the public inquiry in May as gasoline prices at the pump reached a record-breaking $1.70 per litre.At the time, the B.C. Liberals and Alberta government bought advertising blaming Horgan and linking his government’s resistance to the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion for the surging costs.The National Energy Board will also appear before the panel.The inquiry will conclude with a final report by the panel due Aug. 30.last_img read more

first_imgNew Delhi: The world ranking says so and India football captain Sunil Chhetri too has no qualms in conceding that the national women’s team is better than the men’s side. The men’s team is currently ranked 103rd out of 211 countries. It was in the top-100 last year. The women’s side is currently at 62nd out of 152 nations. Chhetri, the poster boy of Indian football with second most goals among active international players, praised the national women’s team for its fifth consecutive SAFF title win. Also Read – Puducherry on top after 8-wkt win over Chandigarh”Extremely proud of all of you. I have always maintained that the women’s team is much better than the men,” Chhetri said in a release from the All India Football Federation. “Go there, and give your best in Myanmar. I have been keeping a track of all of you playing. Keep up the good work,” Chhetri said. The women’s team will feature in the round 2 of the Olympic qualifiers which kick off in Mandalay, Myanmar from April 3. India have been clubbed with hosts Myanmar, Nepal and Indonesia. All India Football Federation (AIFF) president Praful Patel also congratulated the women’s side on its success. “Congratulations to our women’s football team for winning the SAFF Championship. You have once again proved that you are the true champions. Keep up the good work and add many feathers of success to your crown. Best wishes,” he said.last_img read more

The best rivalry in professional men’s1In women’s tennis, Chris Evert and Martina Navratilova played each other 80 times, including in 60 finals. tennis history continues to unfold — and it isn’t Roger Federer against Rafael Nadal.It’s Federer against Novak Djokovic.Federer and Nadal are probably the best players of all time.2A whole article, or book, could be written about what that means. In tennis as in other sports, the level of play keeps rising as competitors get bigger, fitter and stronger, so the two dominant players of the last decade likely are the best ever. In relative measures, such as dominance of their peers, major titles and consistency, Federer and Nadal also stand up well to the likes of Pete Sampras and Rod Laver. They may have played the best match of all time. But their head-to-head history is mostly predictable and one-sided. It’s better than nearly every rivalry that came before it, yet it’s not even in the top two current matchups.Nadal’s rivalry with Djokovic, the current world No. 1, is much better. Nadal and Djokovic have met 42 times, more than any other pair since the sport went pro in 1968, according to data provided by Jeff Sackmann of Tennis Abstract. From September 2010 through June of this year, Nadal and Djokovic have played a remarkable 21 times,3More than all but 24 other pairs of players who have played each other throughout their careers since 1968. including in seven major finals, and have contested several classics. But they’ve also played many duds. And while their overall record is nearly even, the rivalry breaks down into several lopsided sub-rivalries: Nadal dominates on clay (14-4), Djokovic on hard (14-7). Nadal won 14 of their first 18 matches; Djokovic has won 15 of 24 since.Compare that to the running feud that is Federer vs. Djokovic. They have been playing close matches since their first meeting after Djokovic’s 20th birthday, when Djokovic won in a winner-take-all third-set tiebreaker. Since then, neither man has won more than three of the matches between them in a row. They’ve been even on every surface: 1-1 on grass, with Federer holding narrow leads of 4-3 on clay and 14-13 on hard courts. Djokovic is 6-4 in finals, Federer 11-10 in semis. They’ve split their 12 Grand Slam matches. They could meet for a 37th time in the World Tour Finals, the year-end event featuring the tour’s best players that ends Sunday in London.These are three of the sport’s greatest rivalries ever, and they remain very much alive, with the three participants currently holding the three top spots in the rankings. The continuing drama of these rivalries owes to the greatness of the trio, the happy coincidence that Nadal and Djokovic were born a year apart and the stubbornness of Federer, sticking around at age 33 to keep challenging his younger rivals.Federer-Djokovic provides plenty of intangible pleasure for neutral fans. Each can defend but prefers to play the aggressor, making for quick reversals and for many unpredictable points. Federer has one of the sport’s most effective serves ever. It has a mighty foil in Djokovic’s possibly best-ever return. Federer’s rekindling of his love for the serve-and-volley raises the tension.Many of their matches have been meaningful and memorable: Federer’s French Open win to break Djokovic’s 43-match winning streak in 2011 was bookended by two Djokovic wins in U.S. Open five-set semifinals after saving match points in 2010 and 2011. Their final this July at Wimbledon was about as high in quality and excitement as Nadal’s more celebrated win over Federer at Wimbledon in 2008.The Federer-Djokovic relationship has occasionally been tense; last July Djokovic’s father criticized Federer’s character. Other external figures keep the rivalry interesting: Djokovic coach Boris Becker and Federer coach Stefan Edberg are former world No. 1s who played each other 35 times.The statistical side of ranking a sport’s best rivalries is necessarily arbitrary. There is no single, universally accepted way to assess matchups, but here is what we can safely look for in a great rivalry: Frequent, competitive matches in significant situations. Just as the world’s best player probably isn’t best at every shot but must be really good at each one, the Federer-Djokovic rivalry doesn’t rule each category but it’s strong in all of them.Let’s take them in turn.FrequencyNadal-Djokovic is the most common meeting among men’s tour players since 1968. Federer-Djokovic ties for second; its next edition will push it past Ivan Lendl-John McEnroe. Nadal-Federer ranks eighth.SignificanceFedal, as fans call it,4Since Nadal has dominated the rivalry, his name probably should come first, but that doesn’t lend itself to as pithy a nickname. Naderer? ranks higher for total significance of matches. Of their 33 meetings, 20 have come in finals — double the number of Federer-Djokovic finals.After Federer’s match Sunday in London, I asked him to compare his rivalries with Nadal and with Djokovic. He ranked his Nadal tussles higher because of all the finals they’ve played. “I know Novak, the matches and the rivalry is nice,” Federer said. “I really enjoy playing against him. It’s very evenly matched, you know. But I played him more often probably in semis than in finals most likely. I don’t know if that’s true, but that’s kind of how it felt like.”He’s right, but you have to win semis to reach finals. I came up with a quick way to assess the importance of matches in winning titles, which I call title leverage.5A final counts as one, a semi as one-half — since winning a semi gives you a chance to play a final — a quarterfinal as one-fourth and a round-of-16 match as one-eighth. By this measure, Nadal-Djokovic ranks first in title leverage overall, and second at Grand Slams. Nadal-Federer is second in title leverage, and first at Grand Slams. Federer-Djokovic ranks sixth and third, respectively.CompetitivenessSo far, Federer-Djokovic looks like a contender for top rivalry but it’s hardly the leader. Consider competitiveness, though, and today’s top two players are the very best at challenging each other:The rivalry is unusually even. Djokovic, who trails in the head-to-head, has won 47.2 percent of their matches. That’s the highest winning percentage for the man who’s trailing in any rivalry with at least 25 matches. They mount comebacks. Two in nine of their matches were won by a player who trailed by a set at some stage. That’s higher than average and ahead of Nadal-Djokovic, though just behind Nadal-Federer.10Matches are considered comebacks only if they occur in completed matches; walkovers, retirements and defaults aren’t included. The sets are close. They’ve played the closest sets of any rivalry with at least 27 meetings.8If the loser of the set won five or more games, I counted that as leaving no games on the table. So I counted a 7-5 set and a 7-6 set the same, as leaving no games. A 6-4 set left one possible game, a 6-3 set two, and so on. Federer-Djokovic has averaged 1.47 games, compared to an average figure for rivalries of at least 15 matches of 1.73. The smaller the figure, the closer the sets. One-third of their sets have been 7-5 or closer. That’s the highest mark for any rivalry with at least 25 meetings.9The average is 25 percent for rivalries with at least 15 meetings. No amount of evidence will trump taste for most tennis fans. They might appreciate a matchup for the personalities, for the aesthetic joy of watching one player’s backhand volley against another’s forehand passing shot. Or they might adopt a favorite in their hearts, not in their minds, after a single memorable match. As much as I enjoy Federer-Djokovic, and especially was gripped while attending their Wimbledon final this year, I had more fun watching two players ranked outside the Top 100 playing a late-night five-setter in the third round of the 2009 U.S. Open.The players themselves use their own criteria for ranking rivalries.I wanted to lay out my entire statistical case to Federer and Djokovic this week, but their post-match press conferences weren’t the right setting. So I asked them, simply, where their rivalry ranked in their careers. Federer ranked his rivalry with Nadal over his tussles with Djokovic. He also put in a good word for rivalries with players closer to his age or older: Tim Henman, David Nalbandian, Lleyton Hewitt, Andy Roddick and Andre Agassi.11Federer won as high a percentage of his matches against those five as Nadal has won against him.“Both of these rivalries that I have with Roger and Rafa are special in their own way,” Djokovic said Wednesday. “I do feel those rivalries have contributed to my success a lot.” And he, like Federer, put in a good word for Nadal-Federer. “Their rivalry was amazing, and still is.”CORRECTION (Nov. 14, 5:25 p.m.): Chris Evert and Martina Navratilova played each other 80 times, including in 60 finals, according to the Women’s Tennis Association. An earlier version of a footnote to this article said that they played each other 56 times, including in 47 finals. (There is some disagreement about their record; Tennis Abstract lists 56 Evert-Navratilova matches and 47 finals while the International Tennis Federation lists 59 non-walkover matches and 50 finals.) They play very few duds. Just 47 percent of their matches have ended in straight sets, below the average rate of 58 percent and below the level for Nadal-Djokovic, though just above the 45 percent for Nadal-Federer. And just 14 percent of Federer-Djokovic matches have been what I call duds: straight-setters without a set 7-5 or closer. The rate is at least 30 percent for the two Nadal rivalries, and averages 33 percent overall for frequent matchups. They rarely leave any tennis unplayed. They’ve played 77.6 percent of possible sets in their matches.6If they finish a best-of-five-set match in four sets, they’ve played 80 percent of possible sets. That’s above average for rivalries with at least 15 matchups,7The average figure is 75 percent. Unless otherwise noted, the averages in this section are among matchups with at least 15 meetings since the professional era began. better than Nadal-Djokovic and behind only Nadal-Federer, by a nose, among rivalries with at least 27 meetings. read more

Welcome to this week’s episode of Hot Takedown, our podcast where the hot sports takes of the week meet the numbers that prove them right or tear them down. On this week’s show (June 30, 2015), we discuss the U.S. women’s national soccer team lineup, preview Wimbledon and discuss the weirdness of NBA free agency. Plus, our Significant Digit of the week: Luke Ridnour was traded this week for the fourth time this offseason, to the Toronto Raptors.Stream the episode by clicking the play button, or subscribe using one of the podcast clients we’ve linked to above.Below are some links to what we discuss on this week’s show:Allison McCann on the greatest Women’s World Cup game of all time.Andy Murray defending his coach ahead of Wimbledon.A full list of NBA free agents.Significant Digit: Luke Ridnour, the man that no team, and every team, wants. Hot Takedown More: Apple Podcasts | ESPN App | RSS If you’re a fan of our podcasts, be sure to subscribe on Apple Podcasts and leave a rating/review. That helps spread the word to other listeners. And get in touch by email, on Twitter or in the comments. Tell us what you think, send us hot takes to discuss and tell us why we’re wrong. read more

OSU center Pat Elflein (65) looks across the line of scrimmage during the second half against Indiana on Oct. 8. The Buckeyes won 38-17. Credit: Mason Swires | Assistant Photo EditorLast Saturday, Ohio State struggled in pass protection with a team that averaged just a half sack a game in Michigan State. Buckeyes’ quarterback J.T. Barrett was hurried three times, and hurried seven of his passes. Barrett, who threw for just 86 yards against the Spartans, has taken a high level of abuse in recent weeks, carrying the ball 35 times in the last two weeks, on top of being sacked. This year, OSU has allowed its quarterbacks to be dropped in the backfield 17 times through 11 games.Although OSU has given up over a sack a game, Michigan’s defensive line is a different kind of beast with pass rushing. On defense, the Wolverines have 36 sacks, more than the team had all last season, including bowl games.The tendency of quarterbacks to be injured by the Michigan defense this season has been noted by coaches from Jim Harbaugh’s staff. So far, five opposing starters have been knocked out of games with injuries when playing against the Maize and Blue. When asked about the topic, Michigan junior defensive end Chase Winovich said it is never something that teams take pride in, but it’s just a matter of fact when playing a sport as physical as football. After Maryland starter Perry Hills hurt his shoulder against the Wolverines, Winovich was unapologetic in his answer to why so many quarterbacks have been injured against his team.“It’s a violent game,” he said. “Nobody makes it out alive. Nobody’s safe in this game, especially if you’re playing quarterback against us. We’re coming.”While Winovich did express his desire for a quick recovery by Hills, the message was clear. Michigan pulls no punches when hitting opposing signal callers. OSU players were asked about the strange statistic on Monday at the Woody Hayes Athletic Center. Adding to an already heated rivalry with serious playoff implications, many members of the team did not seem pleased with the comments made by the Michigan defensive end.Among them was redshirt junior guard Billy Price. Cooler heads prevailed for Price, who said he understood the tall order of keeping Barrett off the long list of injured starter“If you have a defensive line making a statement like that, that’s a challenge,” Price said. “We look forward to getting after it and protecting J.T.”Historically, the battle up front between Michigan and OSU has determined the outcome. The last time the Wolverines topped the Buckeyes, then-OSU quarterback Braxton Miller was dropped four times. Without time to pass, the Buckeyes could be in for a long game. Although OSU’s offensive attack depends mostly on running the ball and wearing down a defense, Michigan is allowing just 108 yards rushing per game to opponents.Even more frightening, Michigan has given up just four rushing touchdowns this season, one of the lowest marks in the entire NCAA. Redshirt senior center Pat Elflein has been pitted against the Wolverines before, and has witnessed firsthand the physicality of the trenches in The Game. OSU has faced more than one stout defensive front this season, but Saturday will be the ultimate test.Even with a formidable defense wanting nothing more than to drag Barrett down in the backfield, Elflein remains confident in his unit’s ability to dictate the outcome and is unaffected by the comments made by Winovich.“I know they’re a good defensive line,” he said. “We’ve faced good defensive lines this year and I don’t really care about any (talk) because we are going to do our job and we’re going to run the ball and protect our quarterback.”Elflein and Price will get their chance to back their claims on Saturday in Ohio Stadium against Michigan. Kickoff is set for noon. read more

first_imgCeltic Football Club manager Brendan Rodgers has revealed his delight with the competition for places in the club’s midfield position.The Scottish Premiership champions who’ve lost a captain and central midfielder, Scott Brown to injury have been impressive over the last few games.Callum McGregor’s success in the deep-lying playmaker role, coupled with the emergence of Ryan Christie and re-emergence of Scott Sinclair, has provided the Celtic with a balance and propulsion that is allowing them to produce their invincible treble season of two campaigns ago.Speaking about Scott Brown’s potential return to the starting lineup once he returns from injury and the competition the former Scotland international might face, Rodgers said, according to Scotsman:“We want all the boys back,” said the Irishman.”Leicester City, Manchester UnitedMatch Preview: Manchester United vs Leicester City Boro Tanchev – September 13, 2019 Old Trafford is the venue for the Premier League encounter between Manchester United and Leicester City, which kicks off at 16:00 (CET) on Saturday.“But it’s what you want as a coach from the guys who have come into the team. Scott Sinclair looks back to his level, and Ryan [Christie] coming in has been like signing a new player, so it’s brilliant.”Talking about keeping his player’s motivated, the former Liverpool boss said:“That’s your job as manager and coach, to provide a stimulus for players to keep having the hunger.”“Part of that was to bring players in, we wanted to do that but it didn’t happen. Because you can be as good a coach as you want, but sometimes the best stimulus for players is competition. However that’s OK – let’s keep working to how we want to play, and as you saw against Leipzig, they’ve been fantastic.”last_img read more