The discipline gap, was the Saints' intentional injury system really so bad, a gun bill veto at night, the misery of the long-distance runner, and the science of ear worms.
It's Tuesday. Super!
1) THE DISCIPLINE GAP
Why are African American students disciplined at such high rates? A new Department of Education study says black students, who made up only 18 percent of those enrolled in the schools sampled, make up 39 percent of all expulsions, and 46 percent of those suspended multiple times.
Black students were three and a half times as likely to be suspended or expelled than their white peers, the survey said
The statistics are numbers the Bush administration didn't want you to have, the New York Times reports, but now that you have it, what's next?
The department began gathering data on civil rights and education in 1968, but the project was suspended by the Bush administration in 2006. It has been reinstated and expanded to examine a broader range of information, including, for the first time, referrals to law enforcement, an area of increasing concern to civil rights advocates who see the emergence of a school-to-prison pipeline for a growing number of students of color.
According to the schools' reports, over 70 percent of the students involved in school-related arrests or referred to law enforcement were Hispanic or black.
Black and Hispanic students -- particularly those with disabilities -- are also disproportionately subject to seclusion or restraints. Students with disabilities make up 12 percent of the student body, but 70 percent of those subject to physical restraints. Black students with disabilities constituted 21 percent of the total, but 44 percent of those with disabilities subject to mechanical restraints, like being strapped down. And while Hispanics made up 21 percent of the students without disabilities, they accounted for 42 percent of those without disabilities who were placed in seclusion.
The data will be released this afternoon. It will also show that schools with large numbers of black and Hispanic students have the lowest-paid and least-experienced teachers.
Dropout Nation also notes that teachers are more likely to give minority students lower scores on tests than they score on standardized tests.
2) IT HAPPENS ALL THE TIME?
Was destroying Bret Favre, denying Vikings fans a Super Bowl appearance, and making a few extra bucks doing so really that bad? Associated Press sports columnist Jim Litke writes today that the New Orleans Saints' " bounty" program that rewarded players for injuring opposition players isn't that unusual; it's just that the defensive coach who institute the plan kept good records. He hints that fans who "ooh" and "ahh" on the big hits probably should pipe down.
The NFL's biggest problem isn't Williams, or even the informal bounty schemes or side bets hatched between players whose lockers happen to be next to each other. It's not the quiet discussions that circulate on occasion in film rooms or even the over-the-top motivational speeches that loudmouth coaches like Williams deliver. The problem is the game itself.
Contact isn't a byproduct of football, it's the point. If cash makes a few players more willing to take crazy risks, or more purposeful in how they target an opponent, there are still plenty of guys who simply think of it as part of the job. The league already has its hands full trying to determine intent when there's no evidence that money changed hands, reviewing games from every weekend and occasionally applying penalties and fines after the fact. That's only going to get tougher as players get bigger and stronger.
How's this playing in New Orleans? Not surprisingly, different than it's playing in Minnesota. On NOLA.com, the fans are also wondering what's the big deal?
I think this is a very disappointing situation that we as Saints fans must endure. Over the past three seasons no opponent that the Saints have played lost anybody, was carted off or suffered a devastating injury. I think most of this is being blown out of proportion because of the language that was used and the amount of money used for different types of hits. When the league looks over this and see that there was no player(s) seriously injured because of the bounty program, they may take that into consideration. Also because these players are a fraternity and have families, I don't believe they would intentionally try and seriously injure anybody. The league should fine the coaches and players that were involved, but one good thing about it is they won't rush into an emotional decision. The media caught wind of this and broke the news and lots of responses were based off of emotions. They will take a really long look at this and determine the course of action, but right now since it's fresh its being Magnified!
3) A VETO AT NIGHT
A good indication of just how politically sensitive the "castle doctrine" expansion bill was for Gov. Mark Dayton is that he waited until after working hours to veto the bill. Extending self-defense rules for gun owners, however, isn't the type of veto that can go unnoticed.
4) MISERY OF THE LONG-DISTANCE RUNNER
Last month, 135 bikers, runners, and skiers headed out in the pre-dawn darkness on the Ultra 135 in International Falls. It's a race organizers said is about "you, the wilderness, your inner dogged spirit and self-sufficiency." No support crews are allowed.
There's lots of glory for the people who finish. Here's a little bit for one who didn't...
5) THE SCIENCE OF EAR WORMS
Got a song stuck in your head? Not surprisingly, it's probably because you heard it recently. But it also may be because you're stressed out or something you saw reminded your inner DJ about a long-ago song's existence.
The BBC and The World report that part of your memory is encoded in your brain in song:
Modern humans have been around for some 200,000 years, but written language may have been invented only around 5,000 years ago, Levitin says. So through much of human history people memorised important information through songs.
That practice continues today in cultures with strong oral traditions.
Levitin says the combination of rhythm, rhyme, and melody provides reinforcing cues that make songs easier to remember than words alone.
He says the main question people ask him about earworms is: "How do we turn them off?"
The website, Earwormery, is collecting the names of songs stuck in your head.
Bonus I: The most astounding fact in the universe (h/t: Neatorama)
Bonus II: Meanwhile, back on terra firma...
Lawsuits and other sanctions may follow an NFL investigation that found the New Orleans Saints paid its players to injure members of opposing teams. In particular, the Saints allegedly targeted Brett Favre during the game that ended the Vikings' drive toward the Super Bowl in 2010. Today's Question: What's your reaction to the scandal involving bounties and the New Orleans Saints?
WHAT WE'RE DOING
Daily Circuit (9-12 p.m.) - First hour: Residents in 10 states cast votes and over 400 delegates are up for grabs. Guests: Jeff Greenfield, host of PBS's Need to Know; Henry Gomez, politics reporter for The (Cleveland) Plain Dealer; Aaron Gould Sheinin, staff writer for the Atlanta Journal-Constitution; and Kristen M. Daum, government & politics reporter, The Forum of Fargo-Moorhead.
Second hour: When non-profits get too big.
Third hour: The Charter of Compassion is a cooperative effort to restore not only compassionate thinking, but compassionate action to the center of religious, moral and political life. Guest: Karen Armstrongm wgi has called on people around the world to collaborate on the writing of a "Charter for Compassion" centered on the Golden Rule
MPR News Presents (12-1 pm): Live news conference by President Barack Obama.
Talk of the Nation (1-3 p.m.) - First hour: Iran, Israel and President Obama. Plus: the parent's perspective, on caring for elderly parents.
Second hour: The science of pet therapy.
Minnesota stats are higher than national average for students of color being suspended, etc. Sobering stats... Racism is alive and well while being ignored and excused.
@Minnwhaler - Racism may be "alive and well", but I don't think you get to brand teachers racist because black students are punished more. Do you have some actual arguements to support your assertion?
How about the situation is made worse because of a higher number of single parents. Or economic hardships? etc.
There are a ton of studies on these topics that could debate the "That's racist" assertion.
This is a complicated topic and I doubt there that there is one given factor. It may be anecdotal, but I know many teachers and they care deeply about kids of all color.
As one whose weekend is Sunday-Monday, Tuesdays are rarely super. Especially when it comes to election contests.
It's not about 'Racism' at all. It has more to do with ethnic upbringing i.e.. how we teach our children. Just because one may live in poverty does NOT become an excuse to commit crimes against each other.
If Mitch Berg thinks Dayton's veto can drive a wedge on gun rights, guess again. Other than some NRA hardcores (who likely voted for Emmer anyhow), no one is really getting uptight over his veto of a bill that nobody but the gun lobby wanted.
"Just because one may live in poverty does NOT become an excuse to commit crimes against each other."
Exactly, white collar crimes (the ones commited by the uber rich and ivy league) are much more difficult to detect with the advancement of technology. They seem to have the resources and power (money) to undermine competitors whether it is business or social...and sadly even religious.
I would add that the middle class and poverty have become the tools of the wealthy
About the suspensions and expallsions, racism plays a part as well as the environment at home.
I could come up with a ba-jillion citings with statistics that support both those statements.
It's time we bulldoze the System and re do it.
Saints fans can say what they want. There were some incredibly ugly hits during the Vikings/Saints game that were unwarranted, and refereeing staff were implicit.
The deep intellect and voice of Neil DeGrasse Tyson, astounding photography, and "To Build a Home by Cinematic Orchestra" in the background (from the Ma Fleur disc, not the Live Current Volume Four disc). Beautiful. Thank you.
RE: 2) IT HAPPENS ALL THE TIME?
It just seems sort of unsportsmanlike in the end. If a team can't get through the playoffs without taking cheap shots, maybe it shouldn't get through at all? (And I've seen better running/passing games, so I'm not sure that I buy that cheap hits are inherently part of the game.)
I agree with Tyler. As usual the NFL is going to project the blame and not own any responsibility. Those Refs were terrible.
Of course, everyone knew N.O. HAD to win. Does anyone believe that the terrible reffing wasn't in some way at the behest of the NFL Org?
Every black American comes from a tradition of being kidnapped, enslaved, and treated as less than human.
And guess what - racism still exists. Rage against personal and societal injustice is normal.
While individual bad behavior should not be excused, compassion - ie don't judge me until you've walked a mile in my shoes - is the only path to healing.
What to do to help make schools a safe place of learning for everyone is above my pay grade, but God bless the teachers and administrators who do their damnedest with love in their hearts. And get rid of the bad ones.
Speaking of racism in school, I was shocked at the bias displayed at a recent school math team competition. Students with family from India were represented at a much higher rate than in the Minnesota school population.
It is unfair for teachers and the school system to place elevated rewards and pressure on that minority population.
"Every black American comes from a tradition of being kidnapped, enslaved, and treated as less than human."
Well, that's just not true. In Minnesota we have huge numbers of African immigrants. Our president is a black American who's family were never slaves. While I agree with your sentiment, your statement is wrong.
@David "This is a complicated topic and I doubt there that there is one given factor. It may be anecdotal, but I know many teachers and they care deeply about kids of all color."
I wasn't referring to the teachers as racist I was referring to our society as a whole. As Mr. Collins stated the data "will also show that schools with large numbers of black and Hispanic students have the lowest-paid and least-experienced teachers." That isn't the teachers' fault either.
Unfortunately this problem belongs to everyone of us.
Kassie: "In Minnesota we have huge numbers of African immigrants. Our president is a black American who's family were never slaves."
Touche'. Maybe one of the keys to Obama's success is that he isn't burdened by that history. That said, he has his own childhood race-based challenges that he has - to a great extent - overcome.
Actually, our president is half black and half caucasian. Even if HE negates his caucasian mother's contribution to who he is, I'm not going to do so.
How soon y'all forget. In 2002, outstate DFLers who voted against the MN Personal Protection Act got un-elected in droves. It contributed heavily to the GOP's majorities, especially outstate, between 2002 and 2006. The Gun Owners Civil Rights Alliance (GOCRA) mobilized one of the most amazing grass-roots campaigns in MN history to turn that issue around. And we're getting mobilized to do it again.
Y'all can feel free to keep forgetting it, for all I care.
BTW, Bob, thanks for the piece on ear worms. Gotta read more.
Oh, yeah - the first "Bob" in my previous was Moffitt; the second (in re the earworm) was Collins.
Sorry for the confusion.