Judge: White House must return CNN’s Jim Acosta’s credential
By JESSICA GRESKO and MICHAEL BALSAMO
Friday, November 16
WASHINGTON (AP) — A federal judge on Friday ordered the Trump administration to immediately return the White House press credentials of CNN reporter Jim Acosta.
U.S. District Court Judge Timothy Kelly, an appointee of President Donald Trump, announced his decision following a hearing in Washington. The judge said Acosta’s credentials would be returned immediately and reactivated to allow him access to the White House.
CNN had asked the judge to force the White House to immediately hand back the credentials that give Acosta, CNN’s chief White House correspondent, access to the White House complex for press briefings and other events. CNN asked for Acosta’s credentials restored while a lawsuit over his credentials’ revocation goes forward.
The White House revoked Acosta’s credentials after he and Trump tangled during a press conference last week.
The judge said the government could not say who initially decided to revoke Acosta’s hard pass. The White House had spelled out its reasons for revoking his credentials in a tweet from White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders and in a statement after CNN filed its lawsuit. But the judge said those “belated efforts were hardly sufficient to satisfy due process.”
The judge also found that Acosta suffered “irreparable harm,” dismissing the government’s argument that CNN could just send other reporters to cover the White House in Acosta’s place.
The judge told attorneys to file additional court papers in the case by Monday.
Trump has made his dislike of CNN clear since before he took office and continuing into his presidency. He has described the network as “fake news” both on Twitter and in public comments.
At last week’s press conference, which followed the midterm elections, Trump was taking questions from reporters and called on Acosta, who asked about Trump’s statements about a caravan of migrants making its way to the U.S.-Mexico border. After a terse exchange, Trump told Acosta, “That’s enough,” several times while calling on another reporter.
Acosta attempted to ask another question about special counsel Robert Mueller’s Russia investigation and initially declined to give up a hand-held microphone to a White House intern. Trump responded to Acosta by saying he wasn’t concerned about the investigation, calling it a “hoax,” and then criticized Acosta, calling him a “rude, terrible person.”
The White House pulled Acosta’s credentials hours later.
The White House’s explanations for why it seized Acosta’s credentials have shifted over the last week.
Sanders initially explained the decision by accusing Acosta of making improper physical contact with the intern seeking to grab the microphone.
But that rationale disappeared after witnesses backed Acosta’s account that he was just trying to keep the microphone, and Sanders distributed a doctored video that made it appear Acosta was more aggressive than he actually was. On Tuesday, Sanders accused Acosta of being unprofessional by trying to dominate the questioning at the news conference.
Transgender Americans still face workplace discrimination despite some progress and support of companies like Apple
November 16, 2018
George B. Cunningham
Professor of Sport Management and Sr. Assistant Provost for Graduate and Professional Studies, Texas A&M University
George B. Cunningham does not work for, consult, own shares in or receive funding from any company or organization that would benefit from this article, and has disclosed no relevant affiliations beyond their academic appointment.
Texas A&M University provides funding as a founding partner of The Conversation US.
Activist Gwendolyn Ann Smith founded Transgender Day of Remembrance on Nov. 20 to honor the memory of those whose lives were lost due to trans prejudice and hatred.
In that spirit of reflection, the day serves as an opportune time to examine how the opportunities and experiences of transgender individuals in the workplace have changed – particularly at a time when some government officials are openly advocating policies that discriminate against them.
I’ve been researching diversity and inclusion in a variety of settings including sports and work for nearly two decades. The good news is that my work and that of my peers shows transgender individuals have made significant strides in the workplace. The bad news is that many hurdles remain to equal opportunity and an end to discrimination.
Signs of progress
Various indicators and signs point to meaningful improvements in the access, treatment and opportunities for transgender employees.
One such indicator is the Human Rights Campaign’s Corporate Equality Index, an annual assessment of policies and benefits for LGBT individuals in Fortune 500 companies. In 2002, only 3 percent of Fortune 500 companies had nondiscrimination polices based on gender identity. That figure was 83 percent in the most recent report, which came out in 2018.
The report also shows that most Fortune 500 companies now include transgender-inclusive medical benefits. In 2002, no companies offered such provisions.
Another measure of how much things have changed is in the willingness of corporate giants and their CEOs to oppose policies that discriminate against transgender individuals.
A recent example is when President Donald Trump said he would seek to legally define gender as immutably male or female. Coca-Cola, Apple, JP Morgan Chase and dozens of other major U.S. companies swiftly signaled their opposition.
Another is the backlash that has followed legislative efforts to limit the rights of transgender individuals to use pubic restrooms. North Carolina, for example, was estimated to lose US$3.76 billion over a dozen years after companies nixed plans to build facilities in the state or canceled concerts because of the “bathroom bill” lawmakers passed. They later repealed it.
My own research with a colleague shows why corporate America is taking a stand: Most consumers value inclusiveness. Participants in a study we conducted in 2014 interpreted LGBT-inclusive statements by organizations as a signal that the company valued all forms of diversity. As a result, the consumers’ attraction to the organization increased.
Despite the progress, hurdles still exist, impeding full trans inclusion in the workplace.
A study I conducted with another colleague in 2017, for example, showed that, although attitudes toward transgender individuals have improved over time, they still lag behind perceptions toward lesbian, gay and bisexual individuals.
Legal scholars from UCLA’s Williams Institute have shown that transgender people earn less and are more likely to be unemployed than their cisgender peers – whose gender corresponds to their birth sex. In fact, in 2011, one in seven transgender individuals earned $10,000 or less a year, while the unemployment rate for trans people of color was nearly four times the national rate.
For those who are employed, they routinely face discrimination. In another study out of the Williams Institute, state law and policy director Christy Mallory and colleagues found that more than one in four reported being fired, passed over for promotion or not being hired in the past year because of their gender identity and expression.
Others are aware of the mistreatment. In a survey of Texans – a state where employment discrimination against transgender individuals is legal – 79 percent of the respondents agreed that LGBT individuals face workplace discrimination.
Texans are not alone. According to the Movement Advancement Project, an organization whose mission is to promote equality for all, 48 percent of LGBT individuals live in states lacking employment protections based on sexual orientation or gender identity.
More inclusive workplaces
The evidence suggests transgender individuals have made progress in the workplace, but they still face considerable barriers. What, then, can employers do to create more inclusive environments?
Legal protections are key. Organizational psychologists Laura Barron and Michelle Hebl have shown that the presence of anti-discrimination ordinances and laws decrease bias in employment decision making. Absent federal protections, states and cities can ensure all people have employment protections, irrespective of their gender identity and expression.
Organizational leaders also make a difference. My research shows that leader advocacy and role modeling are critical when creating and sustaining an inclusion culture. Apple CEO Tim Cook, for example, has a history of strongly advocating for LGBT rights. It is little wonder, then, that Apple is routinely listed among the most LGBT-friendly companies.
Finally, co-workers play an important role, especially when they serve as allies. These are persons who advocate for transgender equality in the workplace and try to create welcoming, inclusive spaces. Allies seek to create social change, leading the charge at times and supporting their transgender colleagues in other instances.
Transgender inclusion helps all involved. Employee engagement and performance improves, as does their psychological and physical health. Diverse and inclusive organizations outperform their peers on objective measures of success, such as stock market performance.
Thus, the path forward – one that clears the hurdles in place and creates an inclusive environment – is one that can benefit everyone.
For the sake of kids, embrace math
November 14, 2018
Research Professor in Education, Boston College
Professor of Education Policy, UNSW
Andy Hargreaves has received funding from the Council of Directors of Education for Ontario (CODE) – the report of this research is cited in this article.
Pasi Sahlberg does not work for, consult, own shares in or receive funding from any company or organization that would benefit from this article, and has disclosed no relevant affiliations beyond their academic appointment.
UNSW Australia provides funding as a member of The Conversation AU.
Mathematics is causing headaches in schools across Canada, Australia and many other parts of the world. Teachers in both Canada and Australia feel neither competent nor confident in math and, frankly, they are the first to admit it.
As researchers, educators and authors who have advised globally about best practices for improving learning and achievement, we have had opportunities to notice common trends and obstacles, and notable gains, in math education.
Up close, we’ve heard from teachers in Ontario, Canada, and in Australia and we’ve considered how people can best collaborate to protect and grow students’ love of learning.
We’ve seen that some math improvement efforts get bogged down by fears of the unknown. Others get an initial spark but soon lose energy.
Let’s start with the bad news.
‘Way more effective?’
In response to a year-on-year decline in math scores, Ontario, for example, has started to give math achievement high priority. An underlying principle of the Ontario mathematics curriculum is to “investigate ideas and concepts through problem solving.” A September report from Canadian think tank The Institute for Competitiveness and Prosperity pointed out that inquiry-based approaches to mathematics actually get better results than more “basic” alternatives.
But many parents and some educators remain skeptical, if not downright hostile, towards unfamiliar math strategies.
In Australia, critics of inquiry-based mathematics curricula have suggested a change of course. In a recent story in the Sydney Morning Herald, with the headline “There is a better way of teaching bored Australian students,” a research fellow at Australian think tank the Centre for Independent Studies lamented that “explicit, direct instruction across the board is way more effective in achieving higher student outcomes.” One could not help but wonder how many parents might have been nodding their heads over their coffee.
But while we can’t resolve the math problem simply by getting “back to basics,” we can revive good ideas about math education.
More oxygen please
From the early 2000s, Ontario’s government pledged to improve achievement in literacy and math (or numeracy, as it was then called). The government invested significant resources and established a Literacy and Numeracy Secretariat to spearhead the effort.
Principals made literacy their top priority. Expert coaches worked alongside classroom teachers, demonstrating effective strategies and giving teachers feedback on how to use them with students.
The gains in literacy were impressive and are now the envy of the world.
But, like in a number of other countries, the literacy strategy consumed all the attention and left math with too little oxygen. It’s almost impossible to reform literacy and math all at once — the scope is too great, so the effort either leaves one of them to fall by the wayside by default or just burns teachers out.
It’s time to give math reform the same treatment as literacy. But math reform has to confront an obstacle that literacy reform didn’t: Almost every primary and elementary teacher in many countries, including Canada and Australia, loves reading, writing and books, as do many of the kids.
Literacy reform had a lot to build on. This is not the case with math.
In interviews one of us conducted last year with more than 200 Ontario educators, teachers would say things like:
“I’m not a math person.”
One principal reflected how they had all been “amazing readers and writers.” But she also wondered:
“Did we share that similar passion and appetite for numeracy?”
Fear of math vs. higher salary
Compared to literacy, there is a shortage of teachers who feel competent in math and confident enough to teach students what mathematics is and what mathematicians do. Many schools also have shortages of colleagues with the expertise to help them.
Some of the current answers to this problem — such as more hours allocated to how to teach math during elementary teacher training, or assigning professional development days to improving math teaching — won’t do any harm. But we must also address how confident and comfortable, and not just minimally competent, elementary teachers need to feel about math.
In Ontario, for example, 80 per cent of elementary teachers have no university qualification in math. However, in Finland, one of the world’s leading performers in mathematics, around half of elementary teachers have studied math or science and how to teach them effectively during their university degrees.
Second, in Singapore, the world’s No. 1 performer in math, elementary teachers are paid as much as engineers when they start teaching. This means students who are good at math choose teaching based on their mission and purpose in life, not on salary differentials. Perhaps Canada and Australia need to think harder about how to attract more people with math and science backgrounds into elementary teaching.
Teacher and parent aid
Third, improving teaching mathematics should be built on collaboration between experienced teachers and those with less confidence in schools. This coaching should focus not just on how to teach math but also on teachers’ relationship to math generally.
Intensive coaching was a big factor in raising literacy achievement. Because math expertise is now thinner, teachers need more resources and resourcefulness in classrooms.
Last, parents have a responsibility for their children’s math development too. But two-thirds of surveyed Ontario parents don’t know how to help their elementary-aged children with mathematics.
Supporting school interventions known as family math that help parents converse about numbers and shapes with their children as easily as they might about words could do a lot to rectify this.
We need to make math as much a priority now as literacy has been. We need to get teachers in primary or elementary schools just as comfortable as well as competent with math and how to teach it successfully to all children as they are with reading in their lives as well as in their classes.
If we avoid falling for simplistic solutions, then eventually, the words “I am not a math person” may become a thing of the past.
Columbus Symphony Seeks Nominations for 2019 Music Educator Awards
Now Accepting Online Nominations
The Columbus Symphony is currently accepting nominations for their annual Music Educator Awards, honoring individuals making a difference in our community through their dedication to music education and their efforts to promote a greater understanding of and appreciation for music education. Nominations may be submitted online at www.columbussymphony.com/education/educator-awards/.
Parents, students, colleagues, and principals are encouraged to nominate music educators who instill and inspire a love of music in the children and adults of central Ohio. Three awards will be given to exemplary music educators in the categories of elementary, secondary, and community education.
Each Music Educator Award winner will receive a monetary grant to be spent at their discretion on a wide range of music education endeavors. Past winners have used these funds to host guest instructors, repair instruments, take professional development classes, and purchase new instruments, computer software, and music.
The recipients of the Music Educator Awards will be presented at a celebration event preceding the Columbus Symphony concert on Saturday, April 6, 2019. The Music Educator Awards are made possible through the generous support of American Electric Power and Kim and Judith Swanson.
Nominees should be music educators in the central Ohio area who:
- Make a lasting difference in the lives of students of all abilities and backgrounds
- Routinely go “above and beyond the call of duty” by extending efforts beyond the classroom
- Make a significant impact on their community through music education
- Inspire students to reach appropriately high levels of musical understanding and ability
- Demonstrate longevity in the field of music education by their many years of work
- Instill a lifelong appreciate of music in their students
Nomination information must include:
- Notation of the educator’s nomination category – elementary, secondary, or community.
- Three letters of support (no longer than 3 pages each) describing how the nominee meets the selection criteria.
- Information about the nominee (name, place of employment, title, home and work addresses, email address, number of years in current position, and number of years experience in music education.)
- Nominator’s information (name, relationship to nominee, home and work addresses, phone number, and email address).
- Additional information can be found on the CSO education website at http://www.columbussymphony.com/education/educator-awards/
Nominations must be received by Friday, January 11, 2019, and can be mailed to:
Columbus Symphony – Music Educator Awards
55 E. State St.
Columbus, OH 43215
Nominations may also be submitted via fax at 614.384.5945, email at jstahler@Columbussymphony.com, or online at www.columbussymphony.com/education/educator-awards/
The 2018-19 season is made possible in part by state tax dollars allocated by the Ohio Legislature to the Ohio Arts Council (OAC). The OAC is a state agency that funds and supports quality arts experiences to strengthen Ohio communities culturally, educationally, and economically. The CSO also appreciates the support of the Greater Columbus Arts Council, supporting the city’s artists and arts organizations since 1973, and the Kenneth L. Coe and Jack Barrow, and Mr. and Mrs. Derrol R. Johnson funds of The Columbus Foundation, assisting donors and others in strengthening our community for the benefit of all its citizens.
About the Columbus Symphony Orchestra
Founded in 1951, the Columbus Symphony is the only full-time, professional symphony in central Ohio. Through an array of innovative artistic, educational, and community outreach programming, the Columbus Symphony is reaching an expanding, more diverse audience each year. This season, the Columbus Symphony will share classical music with more than 200,000 people in central Ohio through concerts, radio broadcasts, and special programming. For more information, visit www.columbussymphony.com.