Barriers facing teachers of color (part 1)

A new report by the Center for ATeachers of colormerican Progress has shed more light on the barriers and difficulties that inhibit diversification of teachers in the US education sector. It is widely known that the teaching force in the US is mostly comprised of caucasian teachers. However,  the general US population continues to diversify. This report outlines how the current system is failing students of color and how that inadvertently shrinks the pool of future minority teachers. Various barriers exists starting from elementary level education to retention of teachers of color. All of these  contribute to low representation on in the teaching workforce. Some of data presented in the paper include:

  • African American students are less likely to graduate from high school and college, which serves as a major barrier to an eventual career as an educator.
  • The pass rate of Praxis I and II, major teaching certification examinations , are twice as high in Whites compared to African Americans.
  • Teachers of color are more likely to leave the teaching profession, with the major reason being  lack of support.

Adedotun Ogunbajo, Joint Center Graduate Scholar, Johns Hopkins School of Public Health



Addressing STEM Disparities for the Future

Although the field of technology continues to grow, there is a shortage of qualified technology professionals.  In the publication Stem Urgency, researchers Joseph S. Miller and Dr. John H. Horrigan recommend an improvement in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) programs in order to address this shortage and to address the disparity in minority representation in these fields, which should be a national priority.


Sources: Economics and Statistics Administration, Good Jobs Now and for the Future, 1 (Washington, D.C.: U.S. Department of Commerce, 2011); Bureau of Labor Statistics, Science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) occupations: a visual essay (Washington, D.C.: U.S. Department of Labor, 2011).


  • Only 25% of Science and Engineering degree holders and 28% of people working in Science and Engineering careers are non-white
  • Raw SAT overall scores for Black and Hispanic students are on average 200 to 300 points lower than white students
  • In 21 of the 25 states with the largest Black populations, annual spending per pupil is less than Massachusetts, which is the state with the highest education quality in the United States

Patrice Garnette, Joint Center Graduate Scholar, The George Washington University Law School


Pew: Public Libraries Still Important to Americans – MTI Stats and Studies, 12/16/2013

Americans still value public libraries in their communities according to a new report from the Pew Research Center. Ninety percent of those surveyed said that the closure of their local library would have an impact on their community. While not considered the most important among library services, 58 percent of those surveyed found computer and Internet services at their local library to be “very” or “somewhat” important to their families, including 56 percent of Internet users without home access, who find the services “very important.”

Millennials do read newspapers, but not always traditional print, according to the Newspaper Association of America. Of young adults between the ages of 18 and 34, 56 percent read newspaper media content in print or online. Seventy-one percent of millennials who are online access digital newspaper content over an average month, while 60 percent of millennials consuming newspaper content in print or online consider their paper to be trustworthy.

Time-shifted video and video-on-demand continues to grow in popularity. Consumer research from the Leichtman Research Group found that 47 percent of U.S. households have at least one DVR, up from 40 percent in 2010 and 23 percent in 2007. Sixty-one percent of cable subscribers have used video on demand, compared to 43 percent in 2008 and 10 percent in 2004. And Netflix subscribers watch an average of 19.6 TV shows each month, up from 12.7 in 2012 and 9.9 in 2011.

Hour of Code, an initiative encouraging children to take computer programming tutorials during Computer Science Education Week, is expected to reach 15 million kids with coding courses. As per this report from AllThingsD, 73 percent of Hour of Code students were from the United States and 51 percent were female.

The Center for Data Innovation’s The Internet of Things report identifies a variety of Internet-connected devices and the solutions they can provide to dilemmas in society. Notable examples include wireless bridge sensors to detect structural changes, smart pill bottles that send phone calls or text messages if a dose is missed and the Air Quality Egg, which senses the air in a small location, like a home, and aggregates the data for personal use.

ZenithOptimedia and GroupM predict that the global ad market will become more competitive as Internet-based ads go head-to-head with television ads. While TV will still deliver growth in ad spending – from 40.2 percent in 2013 to a projected 39.9 percent in 2016 – the rise in digital media and online video will boost Internet ad share from 20.6 percent in 2013 to 26.6 percent in 2016. Mobile advertising, in particular, is projected to grow by an average of 50 percent a year between 2013 and 2016.

Apple and Samsung are dominating United States smartphone sales according to Canaccord Genuity. The iPhone 5S, Samsung Galaxy S4 and iPhone 5C have been the top three best-selling smartphones at all four major wireless carriers since September 2013.

PISA: U.S. Students Score Low in Math, Science – Stats and Studies, 12/9/2013

American 15-year-olds continue to score below their international peers in math, reading and science according to the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development. The results of their 2012 Program for International Student Assessment (PISA) looked at 510,000 students in 34 developed countries. Among those countries, the United States ranked 26th in math, 21st in science and 17th in reading, showing little change from previous PISA tests. Notably, Shanghai ranked first in math – an estimated three grade levels above average.

The International News Safety Institute and the International Women’s Media Foundation released a report that found 64% of female journalists experience “intimidation, threats or abuse” at work.

Mark Zuckerberg’s Startup: Education and the Gates Foundation will give a $9 million grant to San Francisco-based nonprofit EducationSuperHighway to improve Internet connectivity in schools by providing technical expertise and using competition to drive down the cost of broadband.

The Federal Communications Commission announced that over $255 million from the Connect America Fund will be used to provide broadband access to 400,000 homes and businesses in rural areas of 41 states.

With the launch of providing a backdrop, Freedman Consulting, in a report commissioned by the MacArthur and Ford Foundations, released a set of policy recommendations for improving the caliber of tech expertise available to government and non-profit organizations. The report promotes tactics for improving the pipeline of workers with the appropriate skill sets, reducing barriers to retention and recruitment and other areas of improvement.

Netflix is gaining on cable in its popularity among young adults ages 18-36, according to Harris Interactive. While 46% of these consumers chose cable, 43% are Netflix subscribers. Nielsen’s Q3 cross-platform report also shows a slight decrease in live television viewing compared to Q3 2012, while time-shifted viewing, including DVR and video-on-demand, is up nearly 15 percent. However, traditional television still reigns supreme, occupying nearly 44 percent of overall video media viewing in the U.S.

Research firm IDC reports China surpassed Japan to become the world’s second largest IT company after the U.S. IT market, which is three times the size of China’s. “China’s overall IT spending is projected to hit $204 billion in 2014, versus $686 billion in the U.S., said Gens. U.S. IT spending grew 4.7 percent in 2013, and is forecast to rise by 3.8 percent next year. China’s IT spending will increase by $25 billion in 2014, the same dollar increase as in the U.S.”, infoWorld noted.

Adobe Systems, which tracks activity on more than 2,000 retail websites, reported a record year for so-called “Cyber Monday”, the Monday after Thanksgiving during which holiday shoppers take advantage of online sales. According to Adobe, Cyber Monday sales were up by 16% compared to last year, to $2.29 billion. In a pair of separate reports, Branding Brands data showed that visits to 46 mobile-optimized sites for major retailers saw a 69 percent increase in visits over Thanksgiving 2012, and a 258 percent increase in sales, as well as a 75.65 percent increase in visits and a 186.54 percent increase in sales over Black Friday 2012.

comScore reports that Apple remained the top U.S. smartphone manufacturer in October, with a 41% share of the market. However, Android still remained the top operating system, with a 52% share of the market. Apple’s iOS operating system came in second with a 41% share.

comScore and J.P. Morgan report that Twitter is the leading social media platform among young users ages 18-34.  The widest gap was among 18-24 year olds, with Twitter commanding an 18.2% share in that demographic, compared to 14.1% for second-place Facebook.

The House Energy and Commerce Committee announced that they will be re-writing the Communications Act, created in 1934 and last updated in 1996.

The U.S. Department of Justice has approved a deal that will allow Microsoft to acquire Nokia’s mobile devices and services business.

Professors at Davidson College are developing online Advanced Placement course lessons for high school students.

Media and Technology Stats and Studies – November 18, 2013

The National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) released its 2013 Math and Reading Assessments. Hispanic students made a two point gain in both fourth and eighth grade math as compared to 2011 results. Black students showed no significant improvement in math at either the fourth or eighth grade level. In reading, neither blacks nor Hispanics made significant gains at the fourth grade level. However, at the eighth grade level, Hispanics saw a three point gain and black students saw a two point gain compared to 2011. Asian/Pacific Islanders as a whole saw the most gains with a four point increase in eighth grade math and a five point increase for eighth grade reading students. White students scored one point higher each in math and reading at the fourth grade level and two points higher in math at the eighth grade level compared to 2011.

The Education Development Center, Inc. (EDC) released a study linking the use of PBS Kids platforms in the classroom to improved mathematics performance among preschoolers ages four and five from economically disadvantaged communities. “Children who used the same technology without the integrated math materials did not experience the same learning gains compared to the control.” The study also found the PBS Kids platforms improved teachers’ comfort and confidence levels in teaching mathematics and using technology in the classroom. The study was commissioned by the CPB-PBS Ready to Learn Initiative. On a related note, NBC Universal took full ownership control of children’s television channel Sprout this week. PBS had held a 40 percent share of the network.

A Harris Interactive survey showed that while nearly a third (64 percent) of over 2,000 respondents felt “individuals” were responsible for safeguarding their privacy online, less than half (49 percent) reported actually reading recent privacy policy revisions for at least some of the social networks they subscribe to. The report also found one in five have never changed their social media privacy settings, and nearly a third (28 percent) have had their account hacked at some point.

forthcoming study by the Annenberg Public Policy Center at the University of Pennsylvania and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, to be published in the December issue of Pediatrics, confirms the level of gun violence in top films rated PG-13 has risen dramatically and now exceeds that of the most popular films rated R. 

Half of America’s “downstream” traffic delivered over “fixed” broadband networks during peak hours is comprised of YouTube and Netflix traffic, according to a new Sandvine report. Netflix and YouTube accounted for 31.62% and 18.69% of downstream traffic, respectively. On Tuesday, research firm MoffetNathanson released a report estimating a loss of 113,000 pay TV subscriptions in the third quarter. Separately, Entropy Economics released a report analyzing competition in the Internet ecosystem.

NBC’s The Voice broke records Tuesday night by becoming the most tweeted about TV show in history. According to Nielsen results, 2.5 million distinct Twitter accounts viewed one or more of 595,000 Voice-related Tweets throughout the hour-long program. The traffic was generated by giving viewers the chance to “save” the bottom three artists on the show from elimination by tweeting the name of the contestant they wanted to continue with the hashtag #VoiceSave.

Media and Technology Institute Stats and Studies – November 11, 2013

The Joint Center for Political and Economic Studies’ Media and Technology Institute released a report entitled Broadband and Jobs: African Americans Rely on Mobile Access and Social Networking in Job Search, showing African Americans rely disproportionately on the Internet, as opposed to personal relationships, to find jobs. Among the report’s findings, 50% of African American Internet users said the Internet was very important to them in successfully finding a job, significantly higher than the 36% average for the entire sample. Further, 46% of African American Internet users used the Internet at some point when they were looking for a job, compared to 41% for all respondents. Thirty-six percent of African Americans said they applied for a job online the last time they were in the job market, compared with 26% for all respondents. Social networking sites were very important to African Americans as well, with 31% saying they are very important to job search, which is seven percentage points greater than the entire sample (24%).

The Yale Rudd Center for Food Policy and Obesity released a report entitled Fast Food FACTS 2013 which focuses on fast food advertising targeting children and teens. Among the report’s findings, “children ages 6 to 11 saw 10% fewer TV ads for fast food, but children and teens continued to see three to five fast food ads on TV every day.” Further, only one quarter of fast food ads were for healthier kids’ meals. Nevertheless, only 1% of kids’ meals served at the top fast foods restaurants meet experts’ nutritional standardsSpanish language fast food advertising increased by 16%, and “fast food marketing via social media and mobile devices – media that are popular with teens – grew exponentially. released its third quarter tech employment snapshot showing 3.9% unemployment in the technology sector compared to 7.3% unemployment overall. The unemployment rate in September was 12.9% for blacks and 9% for Hispanics. According to the National Science Foundation (NSF), Asian women have the highest unemployment rate (7.4%) among all racial and ethnic groups within the technology sector. The NSF has also found that underrepresented minorities including African Americans, Latinos and American Indians are unemployed within the technology sector at a rate of 6.7% for men and 6.6% for women.

The Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland released a study of federal longitudinal data since 1997 showing a high correlation between the level of math students completed in high school and their high school graduation, college attendance and unemployment rates. High level math (Algebra II or above) completion correlated more strongly with high school graduation rates than parental educational backgrounds, according to the report. Students who completed math above Algebra II attended college at a rate more than 20 points higher (over 90%) than those completing only Algebra II. High school graduates with Geometry or Algebra II were also more than 10 percentage points less likely to be unemployed than those with Pre-Algebra or Algebra I.

The U.S. is losing its advantage in spying and cybersecurity, according to a new report by the National Commission for the Review of the Research and Development Programs of the United States Intelligence Community, a congressional panel tasked with evaluating the nation’s cyber-defense capabilities.

The Economic Intelligence Unit (EIU) released a report recommending a shift, in researching the digital divide, away from access and more toward “the willingness and ability of citizens to use [broadband] for productive purposes”. Among other key findings, 64% of survey respondents cited affordability as the most significant obstacle to adoption, and 56% cited a lack of ability/skills to use ICTs.

A new Gallup poll shows Internet use “among seniors and Americans of lower socioeconomic status has surged since 2002, but still lags behind that of the rest of the public.”  In 2002, 33% of adults aged 65+ used the Internet, compared to 65% today. Further, in 2002, just 42% of U.S. adults earning less than $20,000 per year in annual household income used the Internet, compared to 73% today. In 2002, 69% of all U.S. adults used the Internet, compared to 87% in 2013.

Nielsen and CBS began a trial to “measure cross-media campaigns on local TV and radio.” The trial is part of an effort to provide more useful analytics to advertisers seeking to develop more effective and measurable cross-media advertising strategies that “address day-to-day and week-to-week reach” and deliver messaging to consumers close to their purchases and actions.

T-Mobile released its Q3 earnings report in which it stated that it has doubled the amount of spectrum used by its LTE networks in 40 of the top 50 U.S. metro markets. The company also plans to upgrade to 40 MHz networks in 22 of the top 25 markets by 2014.

A Brigham Young University study of 276 young adults’ relationship communication habits found excessive amounts of texting for serious conversations to be potentially harmful to relationships. Among the report’s findings, women using text messages “to apologize, work out differences or make decisions is associated with lower relationships quality,” and for men “too frequent texting is associated with lower relationship quality.” However, for both men and women, “expressing affection via text enhances the relationship.”

Eight percent of U.S. adults get their news via Twitter, compared to 30% who get their news from Facebook, according to the Pew Research Center. Twitter’s users are also “younger, more mobile and more educated” according to the report. The report surveyed 5,000 U.S. adults comprised primarily of Facebook users, who made up 3,268 of the survey respondents.

Time Warner Cable released a report last month advocating for the need for the FCC to free up unlicensed spectrum for Wi-Fi.

Apple released its government request report showing law enforcement officials requested info on 2,000 to 3,000 accounts between January and June of this year.

Media and Technology Stats and Studies – October 14, 2013

The Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) released a study of mostly developed nations showing U.S. adults trail the rest of the world in their facility with the mathematical and technical skills necessary to thrive in the modern workforce. U.S. adults fare worse than those in 17 other nations in basic math skills, 12 other nations in literacy, and 10 other nations in their ability to work with technology on the job.

The Internet Association released a study illustrating the integral role of the Internet in empowering and spurring the growth of part-time businesses. According to the report, these businesses contributed $141 billion to U.S. GDP in 2011 while employing 6.6 million people. Among several other findings, more than half (54%) of part-time businesses surveyed reported that they would be unable to conduct business without the Internet.

The Jordan Edmiston Group (JEGI) reported that “media, information, marketing and related technology sectors merged and acquired to the tune of $67.5 billion – about 1,057 deals – during the first three quarters in 2013.” These deals included the $21.9 billion Publicis/Omnicom merger, acquisition of ExactTarget for $2.25 billion, Baidu’s acquisition of 91 Wireless Websoft in China for $1.8 billion, Google’s acquisition of Waze for $1.3 billion and Yahoo’s $1.1 billion Tumblr acquisition.

The market for personal computers continues to decline, according to new market research by IDC and Gartner. The market fell by nearly 8%, to 81.6 million units according to IDC and by nearly 9%, to 80.3 million units, according to Gartner, during the third quarter. However, IDC and Gartner anticipate a recovery on the horizon for the PC market in 2015, when they expect consumers to replace their aging PCs.

A new survey conducted by Frank N. Magid and Associates further confirms the rapid growth of mobile, showing that 74% of mobile users own a smartphone.

An Internet Innovation Alliance-commissioned study authored by Dr. Anna-Maria Kovacs concluded that “legacy switched traffic amounts to less than 1% of IP traffic today and is likely to decrease to a small fraction of 1% by 2017.” However, regulations have not kept pace with the growing diversity of IP platforms now available to consumers, according to the report.

The Pew Research Center released an analysis comparing the amount of news coverage of the 2016 presidential election in 2013, to that of three years prior to the 2008 and 2012 presidential elections. In 2013, there have already been 335 newspaper stories prognosticating about the 2016 election, compared to 261 such stories in 2005 and 132 stories in 2009.

CNBC had its lowest rated quarter in 20 years, with just 38,000 total day viewers in the coveted 25-54 demographic, according to Nielsen. Among all viewers, CNBC had the lowest number of total day viewers since Q2 2005, with just 133,000 viewers tuning in.

A New York Times study finds that more than a third (34%) of millennials watch mostly online video and no broadcast TV.

The percent of American adults uploading or posting video content online has doubled 14% in 2009 to 31% today, according to the Pew Internet and American Life Project.