University of Northern Iowa plans to tackle ‘education debt’

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Mark Nook, Iowa View contributor
Published 5:15 a.m. CT Oct. 11, 2020


When lifelong educator Gloria Ladson-Billings framed the concept of “education debts,” she had Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s “Dream” in mind; that one day, our nation would overcome inequality, uplift one another to realize the full potential of our gifts, and let judgment fall on our character.  

More than six decades after Brown v. Board of Education legally desegregated America’s schools, we have made progress in our society’s effort to confront racial inequality. High school completion rates continue to increase for minoritized students. The percentage of minoritized students between the ages of 18 and 24 enrolled in a college or university also continues to rise. But let’s be clear: We still have so much work to do.

High school completion and college enrollment rates, along with a litany of research and news headlines, continue to show that our nation has not yet achieved the dream of equality King pronounced at the footsteps of the Lincoln Memorial nearly 60 years ago. That work, as Ladson-Billings describes, is the “education debt” we must confront to overcome centuries of racial injustice in our nation. Education debts require us to shift from deficit thinking (”why are students not succeeding?”) to accountability (“how can we strengthen practice to better help students navigate the societal barriers to success?”). We know all students can be successful. It is our charge to ensure they are. 

We are taking this work very seriously at the University of Northern Iowa. The six-year graduation rate of our minoritized students far exceeds the average of institutions similar to UNI. We are investing in scholarships for first-generation students, and we are growing our outreach to help communities confront inequities that fall along demographic lines, among many other efforts. We are


College football winners and losers from Week 6 include LSU, Texas A&M

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Losing to Mississippi State and Missouri in a three-game span would send any coaching staff scurrying back to the drawing board in search of answers. 


Who Puts the Right into “The Right Stuff”?

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I’m not generally a fan of reboots. I had no need for an updated version of Total Recall, and I’ll be just fine if I never again have to watch Bruce Wayne’s parents die so that he can grow up to become Batman. My feeling is: If you’re going to return to familiar material, at least come at it in a fresh way—like the second Battlestar Galactica, or like each new rover that NASA sends to Mars.

Fortunately, the TV adaptation of The Right Stuff (whose first two episodes were just released on Disney+) is more Curiosity rover than Total Recall 2012. As the title tells you, the new series draws on Tom Wolfe’s 1979 beloved book of the same name, which is still one of the best accounts of the dawn of the space age. The book, in turn, begat a 1983 film adaptation, which has its own devoted following. But a lot has changed in the 37 years since then.

In its latest incarnation, The Right Stuff is structured as an 8-episode streaming season. Its episodic structure and vastly increased running time allow the series probe into details of history and character that simply could not fit into a feature film. The cultural context is also much different than it was in 1979 or 1983. Back then, the Space Shuttle program was starting up, promising a rebirth of NASA’s adventurous spirit. Today, NASA shares headlines and public adulation with private startups, most notably Elon Musk’s SpaceX.

The Right Stuff plays out quite differently as a result, and its creators seem well aware of that. They seem aware, too, that watching streaming video at home while waiting out a pandemic yields a vastly different experience than curling up with Tom Wolfe’s gonzo prose or chomping over-buttered popcorn


Former all-state RB opts out rest of high school season to focus on college prep

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Former all-state running back and Temple commit Johnny Martin has opted out of the remainder of his senior season at Timber Creek.

First-year Timber Creek football coach Brian Wright said he received a text from Martin on Wednesday night, a few hours after Martin and the Chargers wrapped up practice for Friday’s 15-12 win over Delsea.

“He just texted me Wednesday night and said he was opting out to prepare for college,” said Wright. “That was pretty much the extent of it. I had no inkling he was even thinking about it. It is what it is. I wished him good luck.”

Martin posted three 1,000-yard seasons – including a 2,000-yard season as a sophomore when he was second-team all-state – at Highland the previous three years, though he missed the final four games of his junior campaign after being suspended for an off-the-field incident.

Martin transferred to Timber Creek for his final season. He played in the Chargers’ 21-0 opening-night loss to No. 7 Williamstown, gaining 45 yards on 14 carries and catching two passes for 16 yards.

Prior to the game, Wright talked about how engaged his new running back was in practice, even taking scout-team reps when he wasn’t needed on offense.

“He was awesome,” said Wright, who added the running game will be by committee without Martin. “I liked his mentality, but if his interest is elsewhere then we’ll focus on the kids we have that want to play.”

Timber Creek resumes its season Friday against Martin’s former team, Highland.

Martin didn’t respond to a text and call asking for comment.

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Bill Evans covers the West Jersey Football League. He can be reached at [email protected]



NASA delays commercial crew mission to study Falcon 9 engine issue

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WASHINGTON — NASA is delaying the launch of the first operational SpaceX commercial crew mission to the first half of November to provide more time to review a problem during a recent Falcon 9 launch attempt.

NASA announced Oct. 10 the Crew-1 mission, which was scheduled to launch on a Falcon 9 in the early morning hours of Oct. 31 from the Kennedy Space Center, will now launch no earlier than early to mid-November.

The delay, the agency said, will provide more time for SpaceX “to complete hardware testing and data reviews as the company evaluates off-nominal behavior of Falcon 9 first stage engine gas generators observed during a recent non-NASA mission launch attempt.” NASA did not identify the specific launch attempt in question, but an Oct. 2 launch of a Falcon 9 carrying a GPS 3 satellite was scrubbed just two seconds before liftoff because of SpaceX Chief Executive Elon Musk later described as an “unexpected pressure rise in the turbomachinery gas generator.”

“With the high cadence of missions SpaceX performs, it really gives us incredible insight into this commercial system and helps us make informed decisions about the status of our missions,” Kathy Lueders, NASA associate administrator for human exploration and operations, said in the agency statement. She said an investigation into the problem is ongoing “and we should be a lot smarter within the coming week.”

Both the Crew-1 and the GPS 3 missions are using new Falcon 9 first stages that have not previously launched. After the GPS 3 scrub, SpaceX successfully launched another Falcon 9 Oct. 6 carrying 60 Starlink satellites using a booster making its third flight. SpaceX has yet to reschedule the GPS 3 launch.

NASA said the issue with the Crew-1 mission will not delay another Falcon 9 launch, of the Sentinel-6

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