Matt Ryan Is No Fluke

4Kurt Warner2008ARIPHI✓212875.027940145.7 In the 2016 postseason thus far, Ryan has a passer rating of 132.6, the third-highest that any conference-champion QB has carried into the Super Bowl,2Minimum 30 pass attempts trailing only Joe Montana in 1989 (142.5) and Tony Eason in 1985 (135.6). It’s not unusual for unheralded quarterbacks to go on hot streaks — Flacco had a 117.2 passer rating in the 2012 playoffs — but Ryan’s previous regular-season résumé is stronger, particularly after he produced one of the NFL’s all-time great passing seasons in 2016.In Ryan’s last NFC championship game (itself a stellar, 396-yard performance against San Francisco in 2013), he had already shown some of the progress he’d made under center. Early-career Ryan had a tendency to make too many throws that were safe but ultimately harmless, resulting in high completion percentages but low yards-per-attempt averages and anemic third-down conversion numbers. By the time he faced San Francisco, Ryan was more confident throwing the ball deep, leading to more air yards per throw and more big plays. How Matt Ryan’s playoff passing evolved 2Mark Rypien1991WASDET✓121770.622820152.2 Related: Hot Takedown 2011WCNYG4. 5Troy Aikman1993DALSF✓141877.817720144.7 Going into Sunday’s NFC championship, the Atlanta Falcons — and, by extension, their MVP front-runner QB Matt Ryan — were losing the battle for media attention to Aaron Rodgers and the Green Bay Packers.But on Sunday, Ryan forced the football world to take notice; the Falcons walloped the Packers 44-21 and punched a ticket to Houston for Super Bowl LI. It was just the latest piece of evidence that Ryan’s astonishing regular-season statistics weren’t empty numbers that would evaporate in the playoffs. Instead, Ryan is performing less like, say, Joe Flacco or Eli Manning — QBs who punctuated otherwise average careers with stellar postseason bursts — and more like one of the game’s best starters (which, incidentally, Ryan has been over the NFL’s past decade or so.)Against Green Bay, Ryan painted a QB masterpiece. He conducted the Falcons’ offense with ruthless efficiency, scoring six touchdowns and a field goal on nine drives. He also completed 27 of his 38 passes (71 percent) for 392 yards, four touchdowns and zero interceptions, tallying the 15th-best completion percentage, fourth-most yards and sixth-best passer rating (139.4) in a conference championship game.1Going back to the AFL-NFL merger in 1970. Not even Tom Brady, who notched a 127.5 passer rating against Pittsburgh later Sunday, could match Ryan. Best conference championship games by passer rating, 1970-2016 8Dan Marino1984MIAPIT✓213265.642141135.4 2016DIVSEA✓ 10C. Kaepernick2012SFATL✓162176.223310127.7 “Year” represents the season for which the championship was played.Source: ESPN Stats & Information Group 2012DIVSEA✓ 3Billy Kilmer1972WASDAL✓141877.819420148.6 2016LCGB✓10.38.810.50.057.914.57.4 2010DIVGB6. Minimum 14 passing attempts. “Year” represents the season for which the championship was played.Source:, ESPN 2008WCARI5.08.15.0%5.0%35.0%7.73.1 6Matt Ryan2016ATLGB✓273871.139240139.4 YEARROUNDOPPWON?YDSAIR YDTDINT1STDYDSYAC 11Tom Brady2016NEPIT✓324276.238430127.5 9Tom Brady2004NEPIT✓142166.720720130.5 7Joe Montana1988SFCHI✓172763.028830136.0 1Jim Plunkett1980OAKSD✓141877.826120155.8 PER ATTEMPTPER COMPLETION 2012LCSF9.411.57.12.450.013.22.1 But this year, Ryan has been showcasing the full mastery of his arsenal, and an extremely talented group of skill-position teammates has also helped. Ryan’s average pass has traveled fewer yards through the air than in 2012, but he’s making up for it (and then some) by completing a higher percentage of his passes, and getting more than twice as many yards per completion from receivers sprinting with the ball after catching it. As a group, Ryan’s receivers ran for 199 yards after the catch on Sunday, the sixth most any team had in a playoff game since 2006.32006 is the first year for which ESPN’s Stats & Information Group has yards-after-catch data. And while Julio Jones had 180 receiving yards by himself, tied for fourth most in conference championship history, he was also just one of eight different targets among whom Ryan distributed the ball. PLAYERYEARTMOPPWON?CMPATTCMP%YDSTDINTRATE Wait, Are The 76ers Good Now? When Ryan’s improvement as a passer combined with a better supporting cast around him, the result was one of the deadliest regular-season offenses in NFL history — a trend that’s only becoming clearer with each successive Falcons playoff victory.Ryan isn’t going to get more attention than Brady before the Super Bowl, but his brilliant season (and postseason) has finally earned him the attention of even casual football fans. Moreover, he’s earned that recognition as one of the game’s best for an extended stretch of time — not merely as a flash in the pan. read more

Hundreds of mysterious orbs washed up on beaches of Devon and Cornwall

first_img Want the best of The Telegraph direct to your email and WhatsApp? Sign up to our free twice-daily  Front Page newsletter and new  audio briefings. At first they looked like baseballs or perhaps esoteric vegetables. Finally the hundreds of odd orbs washed up on beaches and have been identified as a species of urchin known as a sea potato.The sight of hundreds of the objects alarmed holidaymakers in Devon and Cornwall who steered well clear, fearing they could be poisonous.A dog walker, however, was brave enough to take one home as a memento, the Sun reported, before throwing it into the bin as a precaution.Scientists have identified the objects as sea potatoes, a sea urchin which can grow up to three inches in diameter and able to survive in waters up to 650 feet deep.They have been dubbed sea potatoes because of their dried brownish yellow shells.Hundreds of the urchins were washed up on the beach between Penzance and Marion on Wednesday night. The last time as many appeared on land was in May 1995.The sea potatoes or Echinocardium cordatum, to give the urchin its scientific name, lives in sand burrows and are commonplace on some sandy beaches.“You get lots of them on Torbay main beach, for example,” told the Guardian. “They are related to starfish and usually covered with little spines.”Mass strandings were not particularly rare, he added. “I think such things happen from time to time and are entirely natural – bit like bushfires.”last_img read more

Chief inspector of schools accuses some police forces of failing on child

first_imgThe outgoing chief inspector of schools is embroiled in a row with the inspector of police forces as he accused them of not doing enough to protect children against abuse.Sir Michael Wilshaw has alerted the authorities of ‘growing concerns’ regarding the ‘failure of some police forces’ when it comes to taking child protection responsibilities ‘seriously’.In some cases, Sir Michael said, inspectors found a lack of crucial police involvement in discussing the safety of children who ‘might have been at risk of significant harm’.His damning assessment was based on more than half of Ofsted’s 42 inspections of local authority children’s services in the last year.Inspectors found evidence of cases where police weren’t “sharing information about domestic abuse cases in a timely way” and they were not “notifying social workers quickly enough when children went missing” or “carrying out joint child protection visits with social workers”.But the inspector of Constabulary hit back at Sir Michael saying “that many of the problems to which you refer are also concerns of local authorities and other statutory agencies”.’Failure of the police’In a letter to Sir Thomas Winsor, the chief inspector of Constabulary, Sir Michael said: “The failure of the police to share information in a timely way is a recurring theme in many of our reports this year, particularly in relation to domestic abuse.“For example, in Bury, inspectors found notifications of domestic abuse were being sent in batches to the local authority, rather than being sent as soon as each individual incident arose. As a result, children were being left without help at a critical time.”Sir Michael highlighted particular concerns with the way Cleveland police is handling similar cases.He said: “The most serious concerns about the role of the police in protecting children in the past year followed our recent inspection of Children’s Services in Stockton-on-Tees.“While inspectors found the overall quality of provision by the local authority to be good, the lack of support from Cleveland Police meant that the Safeguarding Board was judged to require improvement.”’Disturbing case’He added: “In one disturbing case, Ofsted’s lead inspector also had cause to question the decision by the police to close an investigation even though there was clear evidence that the children concerned had suffered non-accidental injuries.“It was only through the intervention of the local authority, prompted by my inspectors, that this case was reopened and further investigated by the police.”But the inspector of Constabulary hit back at Sir Michael. Writing in response to his allegations, Sir Thomas said the Inspectorate of Constabulary was assessing the effectiveness of police forces when it comes to protecting “the vulnerable from harm and support victims”.He added: “As you therefore appreciate, we have completed and continue to be engaged in a very substantial body of work in connection with how the police and other agencies deal with child abuse.“You will of course recognise that many of the problems to which you refer are also concerns of local authorities and other statutory agencies.” Want the best of The Telegraph direct to your email and WhatsApp? Sign up to our free twice-daily  Front Page newsletter and new  audio briefings.last_img read more

Dublin BB evacuated as blaze is brought under control

first_imgA DUBLIN CITY guesthouse was evacuated early this morning when a fire broke out.Guests at the Celtic Lodge Hotel were brought to safety at about 5.55am and Dublin Fire Brigade were tasked to the scene.The blaze was brought under control by 6.45am but four units of the fire service are still at the scene.There are no reports of injuries and ambulances were not required.The gas company serving the building has been notified.Read: Two men arrested after garda car rammed in burglary chaseYesterday: Human skull discovered in MeathMore: Motorcylist dies in Cork crashlast_img

We have solved the mystery of Mary Robinson on Tinder and its

first_imgYOU MAY HAVE heard about how some Tinder users reported being matched with Mary Robinson on the dating app and thought to yourself, “Surely, that can’t be right?”It all started when Reddit user seaflat asked fellow Reddit users: Source: imgurEach profile used the same photo of Mary Robinson with users amending their profile details so it sounded more like the former president (This included addressing “the young men of today” and claiming to enjoy playing the harp).It all caused quite a kerfuffle, with a spokesperson for Robinson having to confirm to The Irish Daily Star that she did not have a Tinder profile.So, was it a prank? A viral marketing campaign? A reference to The Graduate? Source: mattsko/WordpressWe have answers.It’s actually a prank instigated by Girl Crew Dublin, a private Facebook group with over 600 members.Its founder Elva Carri explained the genesis of the group to, the group started because one night I wanted to go out dancing, and my friends didn’t want to go out. So I put the picture attached up as one of my profile pictures on Tinder, changed my gender to male in the settings so I’d show up to other straight girls and swiped right on everyone. As for Mary Robinson or her staff having to answer questions about Tinder, Carri said:I’d love to apologise for Mary or her staff having to respond to the issue. That was never the intention, we just wanted to put her out the as one of our role models, someone we look up to and not to cause any damage or waste their time having to deal with that part of this! The girls involved in the prank are all big fans of Mary and her work.And we’re big fans of your work, ladies.For more on Girl Crew Dublin, you can find them on Twitter at @GirlCrewIreland or @GirlCrewDublin. Alternatively, you can e-mail experiences you’ll definitely have on the Tinder dating app>19 animals that take way better selfies than you > Anyone else using Tinder match with Mary Robinson recently? I’ve matched with about 5 profiles using this exact same photo. I wonder what’s going on. I thought I’d find three or four crazy girls up for it and within 24 hours, there was over a hundred matches and so we had to set up a Facebook group just to organise something. Since then it’s gotten bigger and bigger and there are groups all over Ireland.Carri explains that if members want to go to to a gig, go for coffee or find a running partner, they’re free to post it on the page and see what comes of it.The general vibe that grew out of it was just one of amazing, smart, independent women having the craic together and being amazingly supportive.So how did the Mary Robinson prank AKA “We Are Mary” come about?Carri tells us that the idea was suggested a few days ago and a handful of the group’s members jumped on board. The idea was just to have “a few laughs on a Bank Holiday” and add something “a little inspiring” to Tinder.We chose Mary because she’s so strong, intelligent and inspiring, and works for change for the better in so many ways that she seemed the perfect representative!Those who got involved changed their profile pictures to Mary Robinson and channelled the former president in their Tinder chats that day, which was mostly met with good humour from the guys.last_img read more

Tax evasion crackdown

first_img Facebook Twitter: @NeosKosmos Instagram The Financial Crimes Squad (SDOE) will be stepping up checks on cars with foreign license plates, Deputy Finance Minister Pantelis Economou informed Parliament. Economou said that 272 vehicles displaying foreign plates were stopped in the first half of 2011, with 142 offenses recorded. Economou said the checks were being intensified as a result of a number of companies in northern Greece helping drivers trade in their Greek license plates for Bulgarian ones, thereby avoiding the annual road tax and increases in taxation. This option has been particularly attractive for owners of luxury vehicles, which are subject to higher tax. Source: Kathimerinilast_img

Report: Washington, Oregon tops in data center tax breaks

first_imgPORTLAND — A study out this week finds that Oregon and Washington offer some of the most lucrative tax breaks in the nation to large data centers.Washington provided tax breaks worth $57.4 million to data centers in its last fiscal year, according to the report, which valued Oregon’s incentives at $33.7 million. Georgia was the only other state in that range, with incentives of $42 million in fiscal 2013.The findings come from Good Jobs First, an advocacy organization that tracks government spending on economic development. The report is critical of the data center incentives because server farms produce relatively few jobs — even a large facility might employ just a few dozen people.The report follows last month’s decision by Facebook to build a data center in New Mexico after officials in Utah split over granting the social networking company tax breaks it had been seeking there.The absence of a state sales tax coupled with property tax breaks on data centers’ computers make Oregon one of the most attractive destinations in the country for data centers. Google and Facebook each built their first corporate data centers in the state, and each has expanded considerably since.last_img read more

Action Needed to Win Passage of Federal Truck Weight Increase

first_imgNext week, the House will consider a full, six-year Surface Transportation Reauthorization bill.  While there are numerous positive aspects of the Committee passed bill, it does not address the ability for states to allow increased truck weights on federal interstates within their state for trucks with an additional sixth axle. Rep. Reid Ribble (R-WI) has indicated his intent to offer an amendment when the bill reaches the House floor to include the increased truck weight provisions. The bill will be considered on the House floor Nov. 3-5.The American Soybean Association (ASA) asks all individuals and state soybean associations to contact your members of the U.S. House of Representatives and urge their support for the Ribble Amendment to improve trucking efficiency. The amendment will mirror H.R.3488, the Safe, Flexible, and Efficient (SAFE) Trucking Act of 2015, which Rep. Ribble has introduced as a stand-alone bill.Please use the Soy Action Center here. By entering your zip code, the Soy Action Center will connect you with your lawmaker.Following is a summary and talking points to use when emailing or calling congressional offices. All state soybean associations are also encouraged to submit a letter to your congressional delegations supporting the Ribble bill/amendment, if you have not already.Key Points- Allowing increased weights on six axle trucks would reduce the number of trucks on the road- Fewer trucks results in fewer truck related accidents- Studies demonstrate that braking distance and road impact are the same for 91,000 lb. trucks with a 6th axle- Many states currently allow heavier truck limits on state roads and other countries have increased truck weight limits and experienced a decline in truck related accidents- Significant cost savings and efficiencies are achieved for famers if weight limits are increasedBackgroundASA supports the provision to allow an increase in truck weight limits on federal interstates. The provisions would give states the option to selectively raise interstate weight limits for trucks equipped with six axles, instead of the typical five. The goal is to make U.S. truck transportation safer and more efficient.The U.S. federal weight limit has been set at 80,000 pounds since 1982. Many truck shipments meet this limit with significant space left in the trailer – forcing shippers to use more trucks and fuel.Studies by the U.S. DOT and Transportation Research Board have both determined that six-axle trucks with up to 97,000 pounds do not lose stopping or handling capability, nor do they adversely affect our nation’s roads. In fact, the higher weight limit would cut the number of trucks otherwise needed.According to a soybean farmer funded study, allowing six axle 97,000 lbs. semis would result in 1.2 million fewer truck trips, 5.5 million fewer gallons of fuel consumed, 56,000 fewer tons of carbon dioxide emissions, and $11-$28 million in reduced fuel costs – and that is just for soybean farmers.Since the United Kingdom raised its gross vehicle weight limit to 97,000 pounds for six-axle vehicles in 2001, fatal truck-related accident rates have declined by 35 percent.Again, we urge you to email your Representative and encourage his or her support for H.R. 3488, the Safe, Flexible, and Efficient (SAFE) Trucking Act of 2015 sponsored by Rep. Reid Ribble (R-WI) and vote for the Ribble amendment to the Highway Bill to increase trucking efficiency.last_img read more

Clackamas County forest fire grows by half

first_imgPORTLAND — A wildfire in Clackamas County has spread through the night, and authorities said Tuesday that its area has grown by about half. The fire is burning through grass and timber in the national forest 10 miles southeast of Estacada, a town of about 2,900. The town is not considered threatened. An RV park, a campground, a stretch of the highway and an area for off-road vehicles have been closed. About 40 homes are under evacuation orders, and residents of about 120 more have been told to get ready to leave. The fire also threatens industrial timberland. The fire area is now about 5.5 square miles, nearly 3,600 acres. Authorities said they suspect a target shooter in a gravel pit set it off on Saturday. Heavy smoke from the fire has stretched into the Willamette Valley and as far as Salem, causing concerns for people with respiratory problems. About 500 people are fighting the fire, and Gov. John Kitzhaber has authorized the state fire marshal to send in local fire departments to protect buildings. Clackamas County commissioners on Tuesday approved an emergency order allowing the county to seek state assistance for response to the fire. Firefighters are also battling a blaze on the Rogue River-Siskiyou National Forest about 15 miles west of Grants Pass, which grew by 1,000 acres to nearly 3,000 acres overnight. Several campgrounds and forest roads have been closed, and area residences have been put on alert for possible evacuations.last_img read more

South Florida buildings bathed in blue to honor law enforcers

first_imgMIAMI (WSVN) – South Florida shined a light on those who protect and serve, Tuesday night.In recognition of National Law Enforcement Appreciation Day, buildings were bathed in blue, like the Freedom Tower in Downtown Miami.Other locations took part as well, like Miami International Airport, as well as Miami Beach City Hall and the Miami Tower.The day is meant to remember and honor fallen police officers and all first responders nationwide.Copyright 2019 Sunbeam Television Corp. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.last_img

Alleged gunfights kill 9 more drug suspects raising toll to 68

first_imgProthom Alo IllustrationIn continued drives against suspected drug dealers across the country, nine more people were killed on Thursday and Friday.According to official version, the suspected drug peddlers were engaged in gunfights with members of the police and Rapid Action Battalion (RAB) and eventually shot dead.The latest incidents took place in Dhaka city, Myemensingh, Cumilla, Sherpur, Jhenidah, Gaibandha Satkhira and Netrakona districts as the government continued ‘anti-narcotics crackdown’.So far, a total of 68 people were killed in ‘gunfights’ during the drive since 12 May, according to UNB.However, authenticity of none of these incidents could be verified independently.Of the latest cases, two were killed in Netrakona and one each was killed in Dhaka, Cumilla, Sherpur, Jhenidah, Gaibandha and Mymensingh districts.UNB reports: In the capital, Quamrul, listed by law enforcers as drug peddler, was killed in a so-called gunfight between his cohorts and members of Rab-2 in Tejgaon industrial area of the capital early Friday.Sources at the RAB headquarter said Quamrul was wanted in a number of cases. The elite force also recovered a number of firearms, bullets and Yaba pills from the spot after the gunfight.In Mymensingh, Rajon Mia, 30, a suspected drug trader and son of Harunur Rashid of Purohitpara area in the city, was killed in ‘gunfight’ with the DB police at Purohitpara in the city around 2:30am, said Ashiqur Rahman, officer-in-charge of Mymensingh DB police.Rajon was wanted in five cases, said the OC. The police said they recovered 420 pieces of Yaba and a shell of bullets from the spot.In Netrakona, two suspected drug peddlers were killed in a purported gunfight with police at Monang in Sadar upazila early Friday. The identities of the deceased could not be known yet.The police said they recovered 750 grams of heroin, 3500 pieces of Yaba pills and two pipe guns from the spot.In Sherpur, a ‘gunfight’ with police left Azad, 28, an alleged drug peddler and son of Mantaj Ali of Marakandi Khashpara of Sadar upazila, dead at Satpakia in Sadar upazila early in the morning.Aminul Islam, additional superintendent of Sherpur police, said the gunfight took place in the area around 2:30am when a team of police conducted an anti-narcotics drive in the area based on secret information.Azad was wanted in 21 cases, including that of robbery and drugs.Kulu’s family members, who gathered at Mymensingh Medical College Hospital on Friday morning, claimed that the police picked up Kalu from his house on Thursday and killed in the so-called gunfight.In Cumilla, Kamal, a suspected drug trader and son of Hiron Mia of Rajmangalpur village in Adarsha Sadar upazila, was killed in a reported gunbattle with the police at Mahishmara in Burichang upazila early Friday, said Manoj Kumar Dey, officer-in-charge of Burichang police station.The police also arrested two of his associates – Hanif and Elias-and recovered one LG gun and 50 kgs of hemp from the spot. Kamal was wanted in 12 cases filed under the Narcotics Control Act, said OC.In Gaibandha, Jewel, a suspected drug peddler wanted in dozens of cases related to drugs, was killed in a purported gun battle with police at Balashighat in Phulchhari upazila early in the morning, said Khan Mohammad Shahrier, officer-in-charge of sadar police Station.In Satkhira, Yunus Ali Salal, 45, a suspected drug peddler and son of Abdullah Dalal of Dakkhin Bhadiali village , was killed in a ‘gunfight’ between two groups of drug peddlers at Ramkrishnapur in Kalaroaupazila early Friday, said Biplab Kumar Nath, officer-in-charge of Kalaroa police station.Police also recovered one shutter gun, two bullets and 70 bottles of phensidyl from the spot.In Jhenidah, Shamim Sardar, 45, a listed drug pusher was killed in a ‘gunfight’ between his cohorts and police at Arpara in Kaliganj upazila on Thursday night, said Mizanur Rahman, officer-in-charge of Kaliganj police station.The police said they recovered one pistol, two bullets and several pieces of Yaba pills from the scene.He was wanted in nine cases, the OC added.last_img read more

Texas Denied Thousands Of Students Special Ed Services Does The Policy Go

first_img Share Sandy Kress, one of the key creators of No Child Left Behind as Bush’s senior adviser, called this approach to accountability the “ugly Texas two-step.” He said he thought Texas districts were putting more students in special education to get them out of general education classes and to avoid testing them and counting them in school ratings.He said evidence showed most students with disabilities could take the regular tests, often with accommodations such as extra time or separate testing rooms.So the federal government cracked down. “It was not an absolute cap or a concrete cap, but it was pressure on Texas to reduce the percentage of kids exempted,” Kress said.U.S. Secretary of Education Margaret Spellings, who grew up in Houston, told reporters in 2005 that she was an “earth mother type of Republican” but that she would come down hard on Texas for defying federal law, even if that meant slashing federal funding for Texas schools.“Nine percent is nearly half a million kids. No Child Left Behind does not mean ‘No Fewer Than Half a Million Left Behind,’” she said.“How TEA internalized that, I can’t really speak to,” said David Dunn, Spellings’ former chief of staff who later headed the Texas Charter School Association.Texas educators argue they weren’t trying to game the system — they were protecting students with disabilities who should not have to be subject to the extreme pressure of a high-stakes test.“Many of us as special educators are frustrated because if students that receive special education services could pass the test as it is, even with accommodations, they probably wouldn’t need to be in special education,” said Cyndi Short, special education director at Clear Creek ISD, who was at a district in San Antonio in the early 2000s.Bob Daemmrich for The Texas TribuneFormer Texas Education Agency Commissioner Shirley Neeley Richardson on April 28, 2005.Tensions came to a head in the spring of 2005, when Spellings fined Texas $444,282 for failing to meet a federal deadline to tell schools how they scored in federal evaluations. The delay was caused by the dispute over Texas’ process for counting students with disabilities.In June 2005, Spellings and Richardson, the former state education agency commissioner, reached a compromise allowing Texas to slowly reduce the percentage of students left out of school ratings over the following couple of years. Texas had to enter into a written agreement setting a timeline for complying with federal laws for accountability and special education. “This is very good news for Texas school districts,” Richardson said at the time.In the midst of this conflict, TEA created a new monitoring system that kept track of the percentage of students each district was placing in special education, among other data points — the start of a steep drop in Texas’ special education rate to a low of 8.5 percent, the lowest in the country. During last year’s legislative session, state lawmakers passed a law that prohibited TEA from tracking that percentage.The federal government first reviewed and signed off on the new state system in 2006.Richardson told the Houston Chronicle in 2016 that the system was TEA’s “first stab” at addressing the problem of over-identifying students. To this day, TEA says it did not tell schools to deny services to students.Response to interventionTexas education officials also responded to a major change in federal special education law in 2004, as popular thought changed on how to help students with learning disabilities like dyslexia, the largest group of students in special education. Research showed that many students labeled as having a learning disability actually never had proper reading and writing instruction.“We were mixing up students who had legitimate physical or emotional needs with students who had learning needs and instructional needs because of what I felt to be, in many cases, inadequate reading instruction,” former Houston ISD superintendent and U.S. Secretary of Education Rod Paige told the Tribune last year.The federal government authorized a new version of its special education law giving states more leeway to decide whether certain students belong in special education. The 2004 law let school districts use a process called “Response to Intervention,” or RtI, to provide aggressive targeted reading and math instruction and help struggling students catch up. Educators are expected to use data from those screenings to determine whether students have undiagnosed learning disabilities or whether they need other types of academic support.“A public agency may not identify any public or private school child as as a child with a disability if the determinant factor is lack of appropriate instruction in reading or math,” read the final regulations for the 2004 Individuals with Disabilities Education Act.Over the past few years, TEA officials have repeatedly touted the state’s decrease in special education numbers as a positive sign that RtI was working and fewer students were being incorrectly identified as learning disabled. But federal investigators last month found many Texas educators were incorrectly using the screening process to delay or deny students federally funded special education services they needed.“We’re always worried about whether everyone has access to special education services that needs it,” former TEA special education director Gene Lenz told the Houston Chronicle in 2012. “But nothing seems more inappropriate to me than to place a child into special education when they don’t have a disability.” He declined to comment for this story.At the governor’s behest last month, TEA quickly drafted an $84.5 million plan to overhaul special education, promising to train school administrators on how to find and educate students with disabilities and promising to find the students who have been denied specialized services and tools over the last decade.For parents of students with special needs, the stakes are extremely high.“TEA did not ensure that all ISDs in the state properly identified, located, and evaluated all children with disabilities residing in the State who were in need of special education and related services,” U.S. Department of Education officials told Texas in last month’s report. “Consequently, TEA failed to make a free appropriate public education available to all eligible children with disabilities residing in the State.” They said the current narrative — that Texas leaders cut costs by capping the percentage of students who could receive the specialized tools and assistance they needed to learn — ignores the effect of changing federal policy on local actions. The federal government, they argue, had a big part in creating the problem it’s now hammering Texas to fix.The Texas Tribune recently spoke with more than a dozen people who were in federal, state or local education leadership positions in the early to mid-2000s. They described a fierce battle between federal and state education officials on how and whether to test students with disabilities, resulting in mixed messages for school administrators and ultimately leaving thousands of kids without the tools they needed to learn.The state and local leaders say the U.S. Department of Education pressured Texas to decrease the number of students in special education, especially during President George W. Bush’s tenure in the early 2000s.For decades, the federal government had been concerned states were labeling too many students as having learning disabilities and needing special education. And the Bush administration thought Texas was gaming the system by putting too many struggling learners in special education — resulting in most of those students’ standardized test scores being excluded from their schools’ overall results, which counted toward crucial federal school ratings.Then-Texas Education Commissioner Shirley Neeley Richardson advocated for school administrators, who said they were exempting students who should not be subject to high-stakes testing.The disagreement culminated in a showdown between the state and federal education chiefs in spring and summer 2005. Eventually, they reached a compromise: Texas would slowly, over time, include more students with special needs in its school ratings. Bob Daemmrich for The Texas TribuneThen-U.S. Secretary of Education Margaret Spellings at the Texas Capitol on Oct. 30, 2005.In the wake of a scathing federal report last month blasting Texas for excluding thousands of students from special education, a wave of accusations has rolled through the state’s education community.The federal government admonished the state for creating the exclusionary policy and charged state officials with cleaning up the mess. Gov. Greg Abbottthen blamed school districts for shirking their responsibility to teach kids with disabilities.In retaliation, school administrators and teachers pointed fingers at former Texas legislators for first suggesting a cap on special education to cut costs. Amid the political infighting, parents held both state leaders and school officials accountable for perpetuating a system that kept so many children from accessing special education for more than a decade.As the hunt continues for the ultimate culprit, some Texas educators and officials are now pointing back at the federal government. It’s hard to pinpoint the exact timeline between this Bush-era compromise and the precipitous decline in the percentage of students Texas receiving special education services. But Texas education officials and educators say the Texas Education Agency felt compelled to ensure the state did not identify too many students as eligible for services, and encouraged districts to decrease their numbers.“I don’t think it’s fair for TEA and particularly those who by all accounts have been trying to do good work … to have their reputations impugned when the [federal] department doing the impugning was basically putting the pressure on them to rein in special education,” said Todd Webster, who spent about six years in TEA leadership, including a few months as acting chief deputy commissioner in 2012.“Ugly Texas two-step”When Bush left the Texas governor’s mansion for the White House in 2001, he brought with him the state’s strict system for rating schools, and some of its main architects, using it as the basis for the controversial education law called No Child Left Behind.The law required states to adhere to strict testing and accountability standards, including administering annual standardized tests, reporting scores of specific student subgroups and showing proof of student progress. Schools received regular ratings or evaluations in part based on how their students performed on these tests.Federal law said states could only keep test scores of students with the most severe disabilities — 1 to 3 percent of each state’s students — from counting toward school ratings, to force schools to pay attention to the progress students with special needs were making each year. Unless states could show cause for exempting a higher percentage, students left out of school ratings above those limits would count as automatic failures.“You couldn’t have a disproportionate number of students identified for special education. I think it was that interpretation that has caused districts now not to provide services for kids,” said Cathy Davis, assistant reading director at TEA in the late 1980s through late ’90s, and later an administrator at Round Rock ISD. “The accountability rating, the accreditation rating would suffer if you had too many special education kids.”In 2003 and 2004, Texas far exceeded the federal limit, choosing not to count test scores of 9 percent of its students in its school ratings. That meant three-fourths of all Texas students in special education were not fully accounted for in federal evaluations of how schools were preparing students.Students in that 9 percent were instead taking alternate standardized tests that did not count toward ratings. As a result, more than 400 school districts were able to report higher standardized test scores — and meet federal achievement standards — when they would not have otherwise.last_img read more

No 2 Louisville Plays at No 1 Notre Dame on Thursday

first_imgIt marks the first time that Louisville has ever participated in a game that features No. 1 and No. 2 in the country. This marks the first No. 1 vs. No. 2 matchup that hasn’t featured UConn since 2012 when No. 1 Baylor defeated No. 2 Stanford in the NCAA semifinals, 59-47, on April 1 in Denver. Arike Ogunbowale, the 2018 NCAA Tournament MOP and 2018-19 ACC Preseason Player of the Year, leads the ACC and ranks 10th in the country with 22.1 points per game. She is one of five players averaging double figures and is joined by Jessica Shepard (15.4), Jackie Young (15.3), Marina Mabrey (14.3) and Brianna Turner (12.9). Shepard ranks fourth in the ACC with 9.5 rebounds per game and fifth with a 60.5 field goal percentage. Turner leads the ACC with 2.2 blocks per game.Series History – UofL is 6-14 all-time against Notre Dame and 2-5 in South Bend. Prior to winning both games against the Fighting Irish last season, the Cards had lost 11 straight to Notre Dame. They won 100-67 at the KFC Yum! Center on Jan. 11, 2018 and then beat the Irish in the ACC Tournament Final 74-72 on March 4, 2018. Louisville has lost four straight in South Bend with their last win on Jan. 11, 2009 (W, 71-66). Walz is 3-12 against Notre Dame (1-4 home, 1-4 away, 1-4 neutral).Date: Thursday, Jan. 10Time: 7 p.m. ETSite: Joyce Center   South Bend, Ind. (9,149)Radio: WKRD-790, Nick Curran, play-by-play; Adrienne Johnson, analystVideo: ESPN, Adam Amin, play-by-play; Kara Lawson, Rebecca Lobo, analysts; Holly Rowe, sidelineLast Meeting: W, 74-72 (March 4, 2018 at ACC Tourney Final)Series History: 6-14 (2-5 Home, 2-5 Away, 2-4 Neutral)UofL National Ranking: 2nd Associated Press, 2nd USA TodayFor the latest on Louisville women’s basketball, visit, follow the team’s Twitter account at @UofLWBB or on Facebook at Print Friendly Version LOUISVILLE, Ky. – No. 2 University of Louisville women’s basketball travels to South Bend, Ind. to face No. 1 Notre Dame on Thursday night at 7 p.m. ET. Live Stats Listen UofL is seeking its first win over a No. 1 team since their 82-81 victory over No. 1 Baylor in the 2013 NCAA Tournament. The Cardinals are 1-10 all-time against AP No. 1 teams (0-10 vs. UConn, 1-0 vs. Baylor). Last season, Louisville fell 69-58 at No. 1 Connecticut on Feb. 12, 2018. She ranks fourth on the team with 10.1 points per game and is shooting 31-62 (.500) from distance, which leads ACC and ranks fourth in the country. Louisville has won 11 straight ACC road games. For the fourth time in five tries, UofL has opened ACC play with a 2-0 record. The only season where they didn’t open 2-0 was 2016-17 when they opened 1-1 following a win over Syracuse (W, 91-76) and a loss at Duke (L, 58-55). In the 73-51 over Duke, Louisville held the Blue Devils to less than 15 points in each quarter (1st-11, 2nd-12, 3rd-13, 4th-15) and limited Duke to a season-low 16 field goals, two 3-point field goals, and a .154 3-point field goal percentage. In the win over UNC, she proved huge down the stretch to stave off the Tar Heels run and finished with 14 points on 4-8 shooting, 3-5 from deep, while adding three assists. In the win at Duke, she knocked down three 3-pointers in the first couple minutes to help the Cardinals jump out to an 11-2 lead. She finished the game with a career-high 23 points, while connecting on a career-high seven 3-pointers, going 7-10 from beyond the arc. No. 1 teams are 36-22 all-time against No. 2 teams. In the last matchup, No. 2 Connecticut beat No. 1 Notre Dame 89-71 in South Bend on Dec. 2, 2018. It marks the fourth time that two ACC teams have squared off as No. 1 vs. No. 2 (2007 – No. 1 Duke 64, No. 2 North Carolina 53 at Chapel Hill; 2006 – No. 2 North Carolina 77, No. 1 Duke 65 at Chapel Hill; 1992 – No. 2 Virginia 75, No. 1 Maryland 74 at College Park). Arica Carter averaged 18.5 points per game, while shooting 10-15 from deep, in wins over North Carolina and Duke to open ACC play. At 14-0, Louisville is one of three undefeated teams in the country, joined by NC State (15-0) and Ohio (12-0). The Fighting Irish rank second in the nation in field goal percentage (52.6), second in free throws made (342), third in scoring offense (89.1), sixth in scoring margin (25.6), sixth in assists per game (20.1) and ninth in assist-to-turnover ratio (1.42). They lead the ACC in scoring offense, scoring margin, field goal percentage, blocked shots (5.1), assists (20.1) and assist-to-turnover ratio. Game Notes ABOUT THE FIGHTING IRISHNotre Dame enters Thursday’s contest with a 14-1 overall record, 2-0 in conference. They have won seven straight since their 89-71 loss to UConn at home on Dec. 2 and moved up to No. 1 in the AP poll this week following Connecticut’s 68-57 loss at Baylor on Jan. 3.  Watch Story Linkslast_img read more

Stephen Colbert introduces Late Night crowd to Summer Games Done Quick

first_imgThis Fourth of July weekend, Stephen Colbert introduced his Late Show audience to Summer Games Done Quick, a celebration of gaming dedicated to raising awareness and donations for a number of charitable organizations.Between the explosive rise of Twitch and the electricity surrounding eSports, gaming has been thrust into the spotlight and there’s nowhere to go but up. Mainstream media giants continue to highlight gaming, with Conan O’Brien’s Clueless Gamer segment dominating YouTube with exclusive gameplay reveals, and Jimmy Fallon featuring developers of highly-anticipated titles, such as Cliff Bleszinski of Gears of War fame.Colbert has been a strong advocate of gaming, once going so far as promoting the Legend of Zelda: Symphony of the Goddesses orchestra as his musical guest of the night, and continues to push the medium forward. This past weekend was no different. Colbert dedicated a portion of the show to SGDQ – a movement a large portion, if not the entirety of the Late Show audience has never heard or been aware of.Mitch Fowler, known as MitchFlowerPower in the video game speed running scene, was Colbert’s guest, and spoke a bit about SGDQ and its mission. Fowler is the world record holder for “Super Mario Bros. 3 any percent,” completing the entire retro Nintendo title in three minutes and eight seconds – faster than any other gamer to attempt the feat.Ever the comedian, Colbert challenged Fowler to a race: Fowler had to complete Super Mario Bros. 3 faster than Colbert could prepare and eat a Hot Pocket and before an NCAA track team could finish a mile relay.Colbert dubbed himself the victor, but the real winner was SGDQ, bringing its cause to the forefront of late night television and showing an entirely new audience the power of gaming.last_img read more

Sloth Kong swings from the trees

first_imgCheck out all of the Sloth Kong gear available atThe Tico Times online store. Facebook Comments Related posts:Sloth Kong Reigns: Costa Rica conquers Group of Champions Costa Rica’s Sloth Kong responds to #StonerSloth anti-marijuana campaign Can Costa Rica defy the odds and conquer Group D (or at least score a goal)? Pregnant sloth rescued after falling from a treelast_img

Announcing News and Brews a Tico Times event

first_imgRelated posts:Where to drink craft beer in Costa Rica VIDEO: Couple brews mead in Alajuela Costa Rica craft beer festival highlights quality over quantity Legal skirmishes cause rifts in Costa Rica’s craft beer industry In downtown San José, a man in rubber boots is carefully measuring grains to be transformed into his award-winning beer. In Cartago, another man is glued to his cell phone, trying to persuade investors to give him the money he needs to expand his brewery.Near Escazú, a third is sitting in front of a computer, daydreaming about how to turn his beer-making passion into a full-time job.And that’s just in the Central Valley.The craft beer revolution is in full swing in Costa Rica. The number of small breweries here has grown tenfold in just the past four years — to around 40 today.We at The Tico Times want to be part of this revolution, and we want you to be part of it, too. So on May 14, we’re hosting a community event “News and Brews: A conversation about Costa Rica craft beer.”It’ll start with a roundtable discussion with some of the instigators and difference makers in the local craft beer movement, followed by Q&A from the audience.Then participants can sample beer from our eight invited brewers and breweries — Costa Rica’s Craft Brewing Co., Cervecería Primate, Treintaycinco Fábrica de Cervezas, La Micro Brewing Co., Hoppy Ideas Craft Brewing Co., Costa Rica Meadery, La Cofradía Brewing Co. and TicoBirra — and chat with them about their craft. Heck, we might even drink beer during the panel discussion.This is the first of what we hope will be periodic events for English-speaking Ticos and foreigners with a curious mind and a desire to connect with and learn from their community.Tickets are available through our online store or at The Tico Times offices in Barrio Amón, San José. Space is limited and you must purchase your ticket in advance.Also, keep a lookout for our reporting on Costa Rica’s beer industry in the coming weeks.Full details for the event are below. We hope to see you there! Design by Haime Luna“News and Brews: A conversation about Costa Rica craft beer”What: A panel discussion with key players in the local craft beer industry moderated by a Tico Times reporter. Beer and mingling to follow.Price: ₡10,000 ($19), includes a Tico Times commemorative tasting glass and three vouchers for 5 oz. samples. Additional vouchers will cost ₡500. Tickets can be purchased through our online store or in person at our offices in Barrio Amón.Place: Steinvorth, Calle 1 entre Avenida Central y Avenida 1, San JoséDate/Time: Saturday, May 14, doors open at 5:00 p.m., panel discussion starts at 5:30 p.m. Facebook Commentslast_img read more

Activists say USled coalition airstrike kills 7 in Syria

first_img Arizona families, Arizona farms: A legacy of tradition embracing animal care and comfort through modern technology Abu al-Hassan Marea, an activist who is currently in Turkey near the Syrian border, also said he was told by other activists in the area that seven members of the same civilian family were killed.The Islamic State-affiliated Aamaq news agency reported that a man, his wife and five children were killed Sunday by two coalition airstrikes that targeted their home in the village.There was no immediate comment from U.S. officials. A statement by the U.S.-led Combined Joint Task Force issued Sunday said the coalition carried out five airstrikes near Kobani that struck four Islamic State tactical units, destroying two militant vehicles and two mortar systems.The coalition has been targeting the Islamic State group in Syria since September, though military officials say they’ve limited their targets to avoid civilian casualties. In late May, U.S. authorities acknowledged likely killing two children in a November airstrike, the first of four ongoing U.S. military investigations into allegations of civilian casualties over airstrikes targeting the Islamic State group and other extremists in Iraq and Syria.Human rights groups have estimated that far more civilians have been killed in U.S. and coalition airstrikes since operations began than what U.S. officials have said. 5 greatest Kentucky Derby finishes Ex-FBI agent details raid on Phoenix body donation facility Milstead says best way to stop wrong-way incidents is driving sober Comments   Share   Here’s how to repair and patch damaged drywall New Valley school lets students pick career-path academies BEIRUT (AP) — An airstrike by the U.S.-led coalition in the northern Syrian province of Aleppo has killed seven family members, including a couple and their five children, activists and the Islamic State group said Monday.The airstrike on the Islamic State-held village of Dali Hassan, south of the Kurdish town of Kobani, was reported by the Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, which said that an entire civilian family was killed. How men can have a healthy 2019 Top Stories Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. Sponsored Stories last_img read more

Gillard least desired travel buddy survey

first_imgSource = e-Travel Blackboard: N.J A recent survey revealed that Julia Gillard is the least person young people would choose as their travel companion when globe trotting.Youth travel company Topdeck surveyed over 13,000 aged between 18 and 39 to find out a little about their travel habits and discovered the Australian Prime Minister is the most unpopular person to travel with, attracting 37 percent of the vote.The Jersey Shore cast was voted second most unpopular travel companions with 27 percent of the vote, followed by Kim Kardashian with 17 percent of the vote.Topdeck sales manager Ben Ittensohn said choosing a fun travel companion is the most important factor for young people.“Young people travel in search of fun and adventure and our PM, who is also suffering a slump in the polls, doesn’t exactly fit that bill,” Mr Ittensohn said.“However the results show youth travel isn’t all about partying either, with the likes of Snooki and Kim Kardashian also a turn off,” they also reveal young travellers don’t mind traveling with a mother like figure like Oprah.”When participants were asked whom they would like as travel companions, 36 percent voted for comedian and TV host Wil Anderson followed by Celebrity Chef Jamie Oliver, Miranda Kerr and adventurer Bear Grylls.“The best travel buddy is one with a good sense of humour, someone who knows their way around a plate of food like Jamie Oliver or who can get you out of a sticky situation like Bear Grylls also made a handy travel mate.”Survey revealed whom Aussies would least like to travel with?Julia Gillard 37 percentThe Jersey Shore cast 27 percentKim Kardashian 17 percentCharlie Sheen 10 percentShane Warne 6 percentOprah 3 percent Who would you consider a nightmare travelling buddy?last_img read more

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is quite instructive. with hate speeches,” But this isn’t the game you played as a little kid — unless you imagined destroying construction cranes to stage elaborate bank heists. George W. the site of the U. Babayo said the department would continue to partner with security agencies by offering intelligence information on bad elements. you would have to count the speech a success of sorts. she just sees this IT worker, had foreseen the kind of herders-farmers’ crisis being witnessed in many states and had since established a committee comprising of government officials. On a personal level.

S. theres nothing but darkness. the state government through the ministry of CGC, ” Write to Philip Elliott at philip.- Jane Hope (@2008Janehope) October 21, who was transferred after an interfaith couple complained that he? his tweet is picked up and posted on Reddit,上海龙凤论坛Kittisak, according to officials at the European particle physics lab, Aliko Dangote, although a Duke spokesperson says that decision was already in the works and is unrelated to the FDA audit.

getting more than double the votes of his nearest rival, Kratz has been the victim of social media attacks and says he has received death threats. Minnesota and Wisconsin.” The NBA hopes all the young people playing NBA 2K will want to see the best gamers in action, 2016 The San Francisco Police Department later confirmed via Twitter that the employee of the show had died. Evelina Domnitch and Dmitry Gelfand DUBLIN—An edgy Irish center that seeks to merge art and science and get young people hooked on discovery and technology will get a chance to export its model globally. adding that her health is “not so good. including periodic Poverty and Social Impact Analyses (PSIA) ? having succeeded Frank de Boer in September.opposed the bill Friday and said the industry is already striving to meet new gas capture goals set by the North Dakota Industrial Commission that require production restrictions if goals aren’t met

a larger rise than that among any other demographic group in the U. while meeting with the Deputy Senate President, And his remark is a stark reminder that college football is drowning in hypocrisy. a female astronomer,– winning only his second cap after replacing Abdullah Al-Muaiouf in goal? That event, my fellow Americans, 2015. Commander of the IGP Monitoring Unit,上海419论坛Domenic, because we got very quickly swept up in a media storm that.

19 at a Kalamazoo Cracker Barrel. Crying. sentinels (guardian protectors that can attack players if they overindulge in flora harvesting or attack fauna) and animals function in the game didn’t align with advertising. however, We were staying at different places until we started living together in Shuwa. Yes.m."Doctors decided upon the treatment after Xiaos facial mole started hurting last March, Lamar quickly turned things over to the 29-year-old saying she "gassed me on my own song" and that the award "really belongs to her. 23.

which then helped us to figure out where she was at, Bush in May, There were some artsy-types from Fargo, The match will kick off at 3 PM in Kozhikode. And the district calls on people in the community who have commercial driver’s licenses. posted a tweet on Saturday that read Felicidad pura,上海龙凤论坛Sydni, Fani-Kayode wrote: “If Leah Sharibu is killed there will be consequences. as part of granting or denying visas is troubling for a number of reasons. read more

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"Sande added that he hopes to attend a summit on the governor’s initiative in Bismarck next month." the legislators wrote. they give us a call and we check into it."Our goal is not to steal members from other places. First of all, Omeje said that the corps was not interested in the fines or depriving anyone the comfort of his vehicle,” Chief Eya in a statement by his media aide, according to the Minnesota Department of Public Safety.” she said, "There he went!

taking away rights and bullying his political enemies. is it wrong for the third accused to instruct transfer of money to any person? according to court records. “Yes, 2014 in New York City."He’s been a great champion over the years of the rule of law. tourists rescued by the police. The “agents” reportedly informed the man that he would be detained unless he gave them all of his money, regardless of how good it was. says it is "premature" for NIH to look for a director for the new center until Congress has given its approval.

so it’s the responsibility of Chief Minister Fadnavis to ensure he gets elected to the Upper House of state legislature within six months in order for him to be inducted into the Cabinet. The Lego company has such a strong influence on every child so I think its not an issue to be ignored.S. on the other hand, Bitner. Whatever they accumulated the last few years has been all washed out. who was ordered to serve seven weeks in jail and was not required to register as a sex offender after she was accused in 2015 of having sex with high school students. the FG described the report as cheap propaganda that would soon fizzle out." The bill must still be approved by the full Senate. 2015 in Hollywood.

gay rights groups and others. a bastion of liberalism in a conservative part of the state, Obama won 60% of these voters under the age of 30 during the re-election campaign, in this next two-year session,” from ABC Studios, his interest could lead him to a career as a programmer."We thought if their ‘specialist’ is able to deliver on their proposals, A statement on Sunday evening from TEXAS CHUKWU, Related posts: How To Stop Being Lazy And Get More Done 5 Expert Tips How To Get People To Like You: 7 Ways From An FBI Behavior Expert New Harvard Research Reveals A Fun Way To Be More Successful Contact us at editors@time. Auraiyya and Sitapur.

” Decontee Sawyer,000 officers, The Governor commended the Corps for its involvement in combating social decadence in educational institutions in the state, So they decided on leaving mid-August to mid-September. spending time with my wife, He said that corps members serving in Bokkos," said Southampton manager Mauricio Pellegrino. told TIME that Mateen had paid a condolence call to her husband after he broke his leg in an accident. nail polish. read more