TagsCommercial Real EstateharlemRetail Real Estatetrader joe’s Share on FacebookShare on TwitterShare on LinkedinShare via Email Share via Shortlink A rendering of 121 West 125th Street in Harlem (Photo via BRP Companies; Trader Joe’s)Trader Joe’s is coming to 125th Street in Harlem.The grocery store, known for its affordable speciality items, will open its 13th New York City location at 121 West 125th Street, according to the Wall Street Journal. The 28,000-square-foot location will be one of the anchors of the 17-story building, along with a Target on the building’s second floor.Read more$242M Harlem mixed-use project will include civil rights museumHere are Manhattan’s priciest retail leases of 2020Trader Joe’s to open new UES store under Queensboro bridge Share via Shortlink The new building will be known as the Urban League Empowerment Center, which will also include a civil-rights museum, the new headquarters for the civil-rights organization National Urban League and office space. The project, developed by a team that includes BRP, Dabar Development, L+M Development Partners, Taconic Partners and the Prusik Group, will also have at least 170 units of low-income housing.“We’re all confident that New York is going to come back strong,” S. Andrew Katz, principal of Prusik Group, told the publication. “To be able to bring two of the nation’s top retailers into Harlem speaks volumes about what Harlem is and how those companies view the neighborhood.”The new Trader Joe’s will be a block away from a Whole Foods location that opened in 2017.[WSJ] — Sasha Jones
FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPHOENIX (AP)-Utah Jazz (38-12, first in the Western Conference) vs. Phoenix Suns (35-14, second in the Western Conference)Phoenix; Wednesday, 8 p.m. MDTBOTTOM LINE: Phoenix hosts Utah trying to prolong its five-game home winning streak.The Suns are 21-8 in conference play. Phoenix is fifth in the Western Conference shooting 37.9% from deep, led by Mikal Bridges shooting 41.2% from 3-point range.The Jazz are 16-7 against conference opponents. Utah is 18-8 against opponents with a winning record.The two teams play for the second time this season. The Suns defeated the Jazz 106-95 in their last matchup on Dec. 31. Devin Booker led Phoenix with 25 points, and Donovan Mitchell paced Utah scoring 23 points.TOP PERFORMERS: Booker is shooting 49.8% and averaging 25.9 points. Jae Crowder is averaging 2.6 made 3-pointers and 11.2 points over the last 10 games for Phoenix.Mitchell leads the Jazz averaging 25.4 points and grabbing 4.4 rebounds. Rudy Gobert is averaging 12.3 rebounds and 15.5 points per game over the last 10 games for Utah.LAST 10 GAMES: Suns: 9-1, averaging 116.1 points, 43.3 rebounds, 27.4 assists, 8.3 steals and four blocks per game while shooting 49.4% from the field. Their opponents have averaged 106.3 points on 44.3% shooting.Jazz: 9-1, averaging 117.4 points, 49.5 rebounds, 23.6 assists, seven steals and 5.8 blocks per game while shooting 46.9% from the field. Their opponents have averaged 100.9 points on 42.2% shooting.INJURIES: Suns: Frank Kaminsky: out (health and safety protocols), Abdel Nader: out (knee).Jazz: Elijah Hughes: out (illness), Udoka Azubuike: out (ankle), Juwan Morgan: out (calf). Associated Press Written by April 7, 2021 /Sports News – Local Phoenix plays Utah, seeks 6th straight home win
By Chantal Hadley****Even from the opening credit sequence I was struck by the similarity between Philippe Sarde’s mournful violin music and Philip Glass’s violin concerto used in The Hours. Both films deal with one’s mortality, specifically with AIDS, and with the impact of AIDS on friends and family. Les Témoins manages to evoke the tremulous time in the mid-eighties when AIDS was beginning to be seen as an epidemic in the Western World. This film, as Sarah (played by Emmanuelle Béart) says, is a “testimony” to those times and to the individual suffering of youth confronted with death.Les Témoins tells the story of Manu, living in Paris with his sister. Befriended by a respected doctor, Adrien, Manu is introduced to Mehdi (a police officer) and his wife, Sarah (a writer). Manu is attracted to Mehdi, and they begin an affair which will change their lives and the lives of those around them.Téchiné himself defines Les Témoins as a “historical film… not a documentary”, and it is. The film touches upon a variety of pretty serious issues: mixed-race couples, same-sex couples, prostitution, STIs, post-natal depression and euthanasia. It’s not a fluffy film, but nor is it hard work. As a drama with a romantic backdrop it is more in the slightly uncomfortable vein of Deux Jours à Paris or L’Appartement than of Paris, Je T’Aime.As Téchiné says, he wanted to show the characters at “a certain moment of their lives… reveal aspects” of that moment, and then “leave the rest to the audience”. We are plunged into the characters’ lives at a moment just before a radical change, just as Manu and Mehdi literally plunge into the sea. That said, the changes are at times predictable, and their consequences somewhat cliché. In a manner reminiscent of Amélie, some of the major events are chopped up into tiny montages with fast music. This makes the film feel disjointed at times.The best part of the film is the superb performance by Michel Blanc as the doctor who first falls in love with Manu, and supports him even after Manu becomes involved with Mehdi. Somehow, Blanc’s silent, melancholy glances just left of the lens have more emotion than the rest of the characters put together. I originally found it difficult to either have sympathy for or honestly like Manu. Johan Libéreau lacked chemistry with Depardieu, and I didn’t even realise Manu and Julie were related until she was introduced as his sister! On the other hand, Bouajila and Béart both put in solid performances, relating characters with internal demons and external pressures that prove hard to deal with. Téchiné says “perhaps loving Manu and bearing witness to his life makes the other protagonists stronger”, and even through moments where Manu seems unlikeable, grotesque or insensitive, by watching how others react, Téchiné succeeds in making all of us witnesses as well.
IS IT TRUE the border between Mexico and the USA is about 9 million feet?…About 1/3 of it already has a wall leaving a maximum need for 6 Million feet of fence, wall, or whatever….Some of it will not be necessary because it is the Rio Grande river?…At $1,000 per foot this works out to $6 Billion for the whole darn wall?…For reference an 8 foot tall chain link fence is $10 per foot and a block wall is $80 per foot?…Hadrian’s Wall that was built by the Romans to keep the Scots out of England is only about 6 feet tall but it had guards stationed to prevent unwanted crossings?IS IT TRUE there are fences and guard shacks at the border crosses and that fences away from border crossings are not much more sophisticated than the ones around a residence?…A halfway competent construction team should be able to build a wall for $6 Billion or less?…That would include trenching under it to make digging under difficult and a state of the art surveillance system?…From a pure construction perspective, a wall should be simple and the cost should be way less than the numbers being tossed about in the media?IS IT TRUE just because a wall exists does not guarantee it will work to prevent illegal immigration?…most illegals come here through existing portals and not through the desert at night?…The wall would be a deter walking across the border away from border crossings, but not for air travel, day workers, or those who are smuggled in by coyotes (Slang for the usury jerks who essentially kidnap people into the country and exploit them for labor and sex trafficking)?Is It True If a wall is to actually work, it would need a guard or two every mile with shoot to kill authority and/or bloodhounds to round people up?…An armed solution may work, but it is highly unlikely that the American public would support such a draconian process?IS IT TRUE that from a construction perspective, even an idiotic government that pays $700 for a hammer and $500 for toilet seats should be able to build a 6M foot wall for under $25B and there is plenty of graft for friends, relatives, and patronage managers in that figure?… If they really want to save some money they should pay Mexico to build the wall as they could probably build it for less than a billion dollars and permitting wouldn’t even be an issue?IS IT TRUE that working walls exist in many places including most newer schools, airports, private businesses, houses, gated communities, and even the White House?…the real question is whether or not spending good money on a wall is a wise thing to do given the process it takes to make it work and the ease of entry by other methods?IS IT TRUE last night post concerning Justin Elpers ousting Jonathan Weaver from a leadership position on City Council had a whooping 6,394 reads on both the CCO and our Facebook in a 3 hour period?FOOTNOTE: Todays “Readers Poll” question Is: Are you pleased that City Council elected 5th Ward Council member Justin Elpers as the Vice President of that body? FacebookTwitterCopy LinkEmail
I am pleased that my first overseas trip as Minister has been to Zimbabwe. The historic events the country has experienced over the last few months have created an opportunity to strengthen UK-Zimbabwe relations as part of a wider process of international engagement. The upcoming elections are a major milestone for the people of Zimbabwe. When I met President Mnangagwa, I said my government welcomed his commitment to hold credible, peaceful, free and fair elections monitored by international observers. I have seen for myself that Zimbabwe is a country of enormous potential. With the right leadership, the right policy environment and a vibrant democracy and civil society, Zimbabwe can undergo the transformation it so richly deserves. Follow the Foreign Office on Instagram, YouTube and LinkedIn Media enquiries Follow Foreign Office and DFID Minister Harriett Baldwin on Twitter @HBaldwin Further information Follow the Foreign Office on Twitter @foreignoffice and Facebook Minister for Africa Harriett Baldwin visited Zimbabwe on Thursday 1 February and Friday 2 February, on her first overseas visit in her new role as joint Minister for the Foreign and Commonwealth Office and the Department for International Development.Minister Baldwin met with Zimbabwean President Emmerson Mnangagwa and Foreign Minister Sibusiso Moyo to discuss the Zimbabwean government’s vision for domestic transformation and international engagement through comprehensive political and economic reforms. As a central plank of this, they discussed the importance of the elections later this year being peaceful, credible, free and fair. Minister Baldwin welcomed the President’s commitment to invite international observers from the EU and UN as well as SADC and AU.Minister Baldwin met with Finance Minister Chinamasa and Reserve Bank Governor John Mangudya to discuss the government’s plans for clearing debt and normalising relations with the International Financial Institutions. Minister Baldwin welcomed the government’s recommitment to the Lima plan and confirmed that the UK would continue to support the government’s reform agenda. Minister Baldwin also welcomed government plans to attract more investment into agriculture through ensuring land tenure and compensation are tackled.Speaking at an event with prominent civil society actors, including human rights activists and elections experts, the Minister announced £5 million of new UK aid funding to support the strengthening of democratic electoral processes in the run up to and following the 2018 elections.Minister Baldwin reflects on her visit to ZimbabweMinister for Africa visits HarareIn a meeting with Zimbabwean business people and entrepreneurs, the Minister heard of the enormous potential of Zimbabwe and how some of the obstacles including the currency crisis can be overcome with the support of business.Minister Baldwin visited two DFID projects to understand how UK aid is supporting some of the most marginalised in Zimbabwe. At a school for children with disabilities, the Minister was able to speak to students and teachers to see how UK support has helped enrich the children’s lives and give them skills for the future. The Minister also visited a DFID-funded shelter for survivors of sexual and gender based violence. She was able to learn more about the experiences of the women and how UK aid is helping marginalised women and girls to access counselling, shelter and legal aid.Minister Baldwin said: For journalists Email [email protected]
Gary Hemming, commercial lending director at finance broker ABC Finance, outlines the ways a bakery might access financial supportThe coronavirus pandemic has caused massive issues to business owners around the world. Companies have been hit hard, especially with the closure of non-essential businesses.As more detail is released daily, understanding what support is available to you and your staff can be tricky. In this guide, I will break down the options available through grants and government support, in addition to opportunities to borrow through the commercial finance market.Government grants and supportSmall business grant fundingFor businesses that currently qualify for Small Business Rate Relief (SBRR), a grant of £10,000 will be paid automatically through the local council.You don’t have to apply for this grant, your local authority will contact you in early April with details, with payment expected shortly after.If you have any questions about whether you will qualify for this grant, you should contact your local authority – you can find their contact details through the government’s website.Grants for larger businessesFor businesses with a rateable value between £15,000 and £51,000 that are classed as a retail business, you are eligible for a £25,000 grant.Retail businesses are classified as shops, restaurants, cafés, drinking establishments, cinemas and live music venues.As with the small business grant, no action is required, you will be contacted by your local authority with further details.If you cannot wait for the grant, won’t qualify and need funds, or you require further funding, you may be eligible for the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CBILS).Coronavirus Job Retention SchemeTo protect the jobs of workers who would otherwise be laid off during the crisis, the government has launched the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme. Through the scheme, the government pays 80% of these staff’s wages, initially for three months, although extending it has not been ruled out.Further details are to be released, although, for your staff to qualify, you must classify them as a ‘furloughed worker’. HMRC must then be informed through a portal, which is currently being designed.It is up to the employer whether they pay the additional 20% of the worker’s wages. Once produced, pay can be backdated to 1 March.For further information on the government support schemes visit the business support website.Borrowing moneyBusiness loansBusiness loans can be arranged on a secured or unsecured basis. Unsecured business loans don’t require a charge over a property, whereas secured loans do.Unsecured loans can be arranged on the following basis:• Borrow from £3,000-£500,000 – or up to £5m through the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CBILS)• Terms from 6-60 months• Complete in 5-7 days80% of CBILS-qualifying loan amounts are guaranteed by the government, meaning the lender will be reimbursed if you fail to keep up repayments. In addition, the first 12 months’ interest is paid by the government and lenders are instructed to judge a business by its previous performance and future viability, with current issues looked at sympathetically.Secured business loans work as follows:• Borrow from £26,000 with no maximum loan• Terms up to 25 years• Complete in around 14 daysSecured business loans may benefit from slightly more relaxed criteria, due to the additional security offered by way of your property.Business revolving credit facilitiesRevolving credit facilities allow you to borrow and repay funds as required, with no real upper or lower limits on facility sizes. The most well-known facility is the overdraft, although many lenders offer standalone facilities managed through online portals.Some revolving credit facilities qualify for CBILS and can have the first 12 months’ interest covered by the government.Completion can take place very quickly, often in two to three days.Asset refinanceWhere your business owns solid assets, such as commercial kitchen equipment, you can raise finance against them using asset refinance. These facilities can work much like a loan, or as a sale and leaseback.As security is offered, you may benefit from a lower rate than those offered through an unsecured loan, and more flexible criteria.These facilities can often be completed in 7-10 days.Commercial mortgagesCommercial mortgages can be used to raise capital against your business premises, up to a maximum of 75% of the property value.The rates offered are usually very low, terms are available up to 25 years and the criteria are flexible, depending on the lender chosen.Commercial mortgages do come with set-up costs for valuation and legal fees and can take around 8 weeks to complete, so aren’t ideal where funds are needed urgently, or cash flow is very poor.Bridging loansWhere funding is needed quickly and must be secured against property, a bridging loan can be used to finance your requirement quickly.Bridging loans can be arranged up to 70% of the value of commercial properties and can be taken for up to 36 months, although 12-18 months is more common. Monthly interest costs can often be rolled into the loan.Applications are based on the security offered and your planned exit route (your method of repaying the loan), with accounts and credit history being less of a concern.Funding can be arranged in 7-10 days and they can be an ideal temporary solution while you wait for a commercial mortgage to complete.
A federal policy aimed at improving access in rural areas to buprenorphine, a key medication for treating opioid use disorder, appears to be working, according to new research led by Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health.Known as The Comprehensive Addiction and Recovery Act, the legislation allows for nurse practitioners (NPs) and physician assistants (PAs) to obtain federal waivers so they can prescribe buprenorphine, which can typically only be prescribed by physicians. The waiver process was considered especially important in rural areas, where there are fewer physicians.Led by Michael Barnett, assistant professor of health policy and management, the study examined federal data and found that the number of waivered clinicians in rural areas increased by 111 percent between when the legislation was enacted in 2016, to 2019. The study noted that NPs and PAs accounted for more than half of the increase.Barnett and co-authors wrote that the “rapid growth in the numbers of NPs and PAs with buprenorphine waivers is a promising development in improving access to addiction treatment in rural areas.”In a Dec. 5 article in The Columbus Dispatch, Ohio Sen. Rob Portman, who co-sponsored the legislation, said that “we need as many qualified providers as possible to treat patients who are struggling with addiction” to effectively counter the opioid epidemic. Read Full Story
Senior MurphyKate Montee won’t need to shy away from the classic senior spring question: “Do you know what you’re doing next year?” Montee, along with 13 other students, will head to Churchill College at Cambridge University as a Winston Churchill Scholar. “The scholarship offers pretty much all of my school costs, travel and visa. It’s an incredibly generous gift from the Winston Churchill Foundation,” said Montee, the second Notre Dame student to receive the award. “I’ll be doing Part III, which is a taught program in math,” she said. “I’ll be concentrating in theoretical math, probably with a geometry and topology focus.” Although Montee will continue to pursue mathematics, the subject has not been her sole focus at Notre Dame. In fact, she is a math and music double major. “I love them both. They are both beautiful and creative in their own way, and very fun,” Montee said. “The feeling of proving something in math is very like the feeling after a successful performance. It’s a high.” Montee first heard about the Churchill math program over a year ago from the Center for Undergraduate Scholarly Engagement (CUSE) and later from a friend from the University of Michigan, Nicholas Triantafillou, who also won the award for 2013. She said her interest was immediately piqued, and she felt driven to apply for the Churchill scholarship. “It’s a really great taught math program at Cambridge, very rigorous and with lots of interesting possible topics,” she said. The application process included the submission of a personal statement and a collection of short essays focused on Montee’s interest in England and Cambridge University. Montee was also interviewed by Peter Patrikis, executive director for the foundation in the United States, over the phone, during which she was informed of her acceptance. “Mr. Patrikis was pretty sneaky about how he told me actually,” Montee said. “We had been talking for about fifteen minutes, and he asked, ‘So, what are you most looking forward to when you’re in England next year?’ It was a really exhilarating moment when I realized that I had actually done it.” The Churchill Scholarship is the latest in a number of distinguished awards for Montee. She recently won the Alice T. Schafer Prize in Mathematics from the Association for Women in Mathematics and the Norman and Beatrice Haaser Mathematics Scholarships from the Notre Dame Math Department. While Montee is passionate about her work in mathematics, she said she is going to make some time to enjoy her new surroundings next year. “This is going to be my first long term visit abroad,” she said. “I’m looking forward to meeting people, and travelling to see the geography and some great musical sights.”
A group of students, administrators and faculty gathered for “Identity and Belonging: Highlighting Diverse Voices in the Classroom and Dorm,” a panel discussion about diversity and inclusion Notre Dame on Thursday evening in Bond Hall. Sponsored by End Hate at ND, the Film, Television and Theater Department and the Gender Studies Program, the panel featured speakers who reflected on how Notre Dame could be a more inclusive environment for underrepresented students. Tom Naatz “Identity and Belonging: Highlighting Diverse Voices in the Classroom and Dorm” addressed inclusivity on campus, and featured the experiences of senior Savanna Morgan, an End Hate at ND organizer.Senior Savanna Morgan — one of the principal organizers of the End Hate at ND movement — began by speaking about her positive experiences at Notre Dame.“I’ve had some incredible experiences here as a student at Notre Dame,” Morgan said. “I’m studying something I love — theater and the art of playwriting and performance — and I’ve been afforded opportunities to participate in half a dozen theatrical productions, travel to half a dozen countries, sing the music I love with Notre Dame Jazz Band and for years I’ve conducted research on performance pedagogy with the support of several faculty across departments. I’ve met amazing people here and I’ve grown intellectually and spiritually in ways I couldn’t even have imagined growing up.”Nevertheless, Morgan said the positives only comprise a small part of her experience at the University.“While these accomplishments have been essential to my professional and intellectual growth, accomplishments have only made up a small piece of the pie that is my Notre Dame experience,” she said.Morgan then described three instances of overt racism she has experienced during her time as a student. Once during her freshman year, a group of students in her dorm harassed her about her hair and addressed her in a disrespectful way. In a sophomore philosophy class, she said a white student argued that America’s wealth excused the enslavement of African Americans, as well as the “genocide” committed against Native Americans; the professor did not challenge these remarks. Finally, she discussed being the victim of hate speech in Stanford and Keenan Halls last November — the incidents which incited the creation of End Hate at ND.Morgan condemned the systematic racism she said exists at Notre Dame.“We fail to address the preferential treatment of white people and white things,” she said. “Every type of thing at this school is extremely white, even our curriculum. Black and brown voices are not equally prioritized in the classroom or the dorm, so how can we expect student and faculty to value our contributions as human beings? As equals? … Not enough has been done to promote cultural consciousness and awareness of the dynamics at play in regards to power in the world and on campus.”Hugh Page, vice president and associate provost for undergraduate affairs, acknowledged that, though some progress has been made, Notre Dame has work to do in addressing issues of inclusion.“The root problem I would identify is how to enhance belonging on campus in ways that honor the identities and embody the experiences of faculty, staff and students, and empower them to be change agents and move towards becoming a more fully engaged community of what I would call compassionate intellectuals,” he said.While he mentioned some recent steps to alleviate the issue — including new administration posts related to diversity and inclusion, more affinity groups and college and school specific diversity plans — he lamented the lack of diversity at the school.“Some of our undergraduates are likely to receive degrees without ever having been taught or mentored by a faculty-person of color. Some will leave without having encountered or heard the works of some women and scholars of color,” Page said. “Many may well leave Notre Dame without having had opportunities to think about how colonialism, the Trans-Atlantic slave trade and race have shaped American history and have impacted privilege, heritable wealth, the wellbeing of people of color and even access to education at elite colleges and universities like this one.”Justin McDevitt, the rector of Stanford Hall, spoke about his college years at the University of Houston. McDevitt said his school was one of the most diverse in the country, so the whiteness of Notre Dame was apparent to him.“I remember one football Saturday last year, I was walking across campus taking in the sights, the sounds and the excitement of game day. The bagpipes, the green shamrocks painted on faces, the Celtic font on shirts and flags and buildings — the sheer Irishness of that experience,” he said. “For the first time, I admit, I wondered how Notre Dame got so universally culturally white. This was only reinforced when I turned the corner between O’Shag and Fitz and heard gospel music coming from a tent right in front of DeBart. About seven or eight African American students were selling burgers to raise money for their student group … in a sea of people at Notre Dame on a game day — and in plain sight of the stadium — not a single person was at their tent buying food.”McDevitt said Stanford is committed to improvement after the hate speech incident and has introduced several measures to increase cultural sensitivity in the wake of that incident.“After the protest, dozens of my guys came to me and said, ‘J-Mac, this isn’t us. We’re not like this. We’re better than this,’” McDevitt said. “To which I would always reply: ‘We may not have done a lot of harm in the past, but we also haven’t done a lot of good either. And it’s time to change that.’”Director of the Gender Studies Program Mary Kearney said the school needs to work on creating more hospitable classroom environments to make underrepresented groups feel more comfortable. She called for adding diverse voices to syllabi and described how the gender studies program makes students feel welcome.“We encourage students to always connect what they are learning to their own experiences, their relationships with other people and the social institutions they interact with and move through,” she said. “We make space in our classroom discussions and course assignments for that kind of productive, critical reflection. Much more of that is needed at Notre Dame.”Director for academic diversity and inclusion Pamela Nolan Young called attention to the lack of diversity among Notre Dame faculty — particularly on the tenure track. While she noted there are several different types of faculty on campus, she said the lack of diversity in this group is troubling. She also noted that while the school offers cultural consciousness training for teachers, such workshops are optional.“Our current tenure track faculty population is 908 … of that number, only 84 have identified as being two or more races, African American or Latinx. We have 104 Asian-American faculty; 247 of our faculty are female,” she said. “So we have a long way to go in diversifying our faculty.”Arnel Bulaoro, the interim director of multicultural student programs and services, said his group has made progress in mentoring students from underrepresented groups as they perform undergraduate research. He stressed the importance of representation in education.“For well over a decade, identity and belonging have been the words that have anchored my work at Notre Dame … These [words] over the years have taught me that we have to pay attention to … who’s in the room, and who’s not in the room,” he said.Finally, Lyons Hall rector Kayla August described ways she thought dorm life could be made more inclusive. She offered several critiques of Welcome Weekend, noting that from the very first moment students arrive on campus they are exposed the school’s whiteness. As an example, she cited the songs dorms choose to use as their serenades.August — who is African American — said the school’s lack of diversity is immediately visible to incoming freshmen.“I have one-on-ones with all of my incoming freshmen,” she said. “I talk to them about how life is going at Notre Dame. One of my African American freshmen, the first time I had actually sat down with her, said, ‘I just feel like God put me in this hall. … I got a black RA and a black rector. You guys must’ve beat the system.’ It took her only two weeks to think that there was a system, and that someone beat it, and that she too needed to be invited into that community. I think that says something about what our students experience here.”Speaking about how overwhelming Notre Dame can be for students from underrepresented groups, August said the same student later told her she was just trying to survive her time at Notre Dame.“Our students are carrying weight that is more than books into the classrooms and into the halls. We need to help them,” August said. “It effects how they perform in the classroom, it effects how they get through campus. The same student … when I ask her how it’s going, she says, ‘I just got to get to senior year.’ She hasn’t even been here a whole year yet, and that’s the only thing I’ve ever heard from her when she walks into my hall.”Tags: belonging, end hate at ND, gender studies program, identity, race, Racism
Share:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to email this to a friend (Opens in new window) Alberto G. / CC BY 2.0 High school students who were blocked by technical issues from submitting their completed online Advanced Placement exams sued Wednesday demanding their work be counted. The executive who oversees the program said they likely would have to retake the tests instead.About 15,550 of the more than 3 million timed tests taken at home during the past two weeks resulted in errors, according to data provided by the College Board.Students have publicly shared their anger and frustration at watching the clock run out while they frantically tried to submit responses.Mika Newey got a series of increasingly upsetting texts from her daughter, Claire, as the 17-year-old tried seven or eight times to upload an AP English essay from their Hobbs, New Mexico home last week: “Mom, I finished the test. I thought I did real good. It won’t submit.”“It won’t submit. It won’t go through.”And finally, “I’m going to have to retake the test.”“I was freaking out. It was very stressful,” Claire Newey said by phone, adding she took AP government and calculus exams with no trouble on previous days.Students who score well enough on the College Board’s AP exams have a chance to earn college credit. The three-hour exams are typically taken on paper in school but were quickly redesigned as 45-minute online exams when the coronavirus shut down schools and put a halt to large gatherings.College Board President David Coleman said he understands the frustration of those who couldn’t submit their results but said no student has lost the chance at college credit.“The worst recourse is that they will have to retest,” he said by phone, noting security issues surrounding accepting work saved by students last week.“We are looking at everything we can do to see if there’s any submitted work that we can grade and score,” he said.“The only thing that would stop us is not some bureaucratic inflexibility or a cold heart. …. We just have to work within the limits of our secure procedures,” he said.The technical problems, Coleman said, appeared to arise from students working on older devices with outdated browsers or newer smartphones that made it difficult for them to upload photos of their written responses.The issues affected half of 1% of tests, the College Board said.Students testing this week have been given the backup option of submitting answers through email, and customer service and makeup requests have decreased.Mika Newey said that took the pressure off of her daughter this week but wondered why such a safety net was not available from the start.Despite the shift to computer testing, a slightly higher percentage of students completed the exams through the first seven days of testing than in a typical year, the College Board said.A class-action lawsuit demands the College Board accept the time-stamped answers of students who could not submit them last week instead of requiring re-testing in June. The suit also seeks more than $500 million in damages from the not-for-profit College Board and Educational Testing Service, which administers the tests, claiming, among other things, breach of contract, negligence and violations of the Americans with Disabilities Act.“The first week of the 2020 AP exams revealed the deep digital divide among AP test-takers, and it became clear how the revised exam format disproportionately impacted certain groups of students, including those who are underresourced, who lack access to technology or quiet workspaces, students with disabilities, and students testing in non-ideal time zones,” according to the lawsuit filed in federal court in California.Along with students and families, the suit was filed by the nonprofit National Center for Fair & Open Testing, known as FairTest, which targets the misuse of standardized tests. FairTest interim Executive Director Bob Schaeffer and the plaintiffs’ attorneys accused the College Board of rushing out the computerized exams to preserve revenue. Students or schools pay about $94 per test.“This is inexcusable in light of the unprecedented challenges faced by students and their families this year,” Los Angeles attorney Phillip Baker and attorney Marci Lerner Miller of Newport Beach, California, said in a written statement.The College Board’s general counsel, Peter Schwartz, said it would vigorously defend itself against the lawsuit, which he called factually wrong and legally baseless.“This lawsuit is a PR stunt masquerading as a legal complaint being manufactured by an opportunistic organization that prioritizes media coverage for itself,” Schwartz said in a statement.ETS did not immediately comment.