Friday, May 28, 2021

05/28/2021 The Debate Over Gun Laws Will Center On One Man This Week - 81-year-old Ohio woman gives up retirement to help her favorite restaurant stay open

Today's Article: The Debate Over Gun Laws Will Center On One Man This Week
From: NPR
Readability Score: 12.0

Senate prepares for ideological shootout as debates heat up over Biden's pick for ATF director.

Click here to view the entire article and classroom discussion questions:
https://www.izzit.org/events/index.php

Today's Alternate Article: 81-year-old Ohio woman gives up retirement to help her favorite restaurant stay open
Readability Score: 6.2


Thursday, May 27, 2021

05/27/2021 7 rural counties in Oregon have voted to secede and join Idaho - Governor Mike DeWine's “Lottery” raises constitutional, legal questions

Today's Article: 7 rural counties in Oregon have voted to secede and join Idaho
From: Business Insider
Readability Score: 11.6

A collection of rural Oregon counties, that voted for Trump, have registered their displeasure with their progressive state government by voting to secede and join Idaho. They call it a "win-win"? Is it? Discuss representative government and its challenges. Consider following up with a fun activity as the year winds down: izzit.org's izzit.org’s Win-Win: A Trading Game.

Click here to view the entire article and classroom discussion questions:
https://www.izzit.org/events/index.php

Today's Alternate Article: Governor Mike DeWine's “Lottery” raises constitutional, legal questions
Readability Score: 9.6


"Soft" Skills and Work-Based Learning

By Dean Graziano


I recently had a conversation about izzit.org and how our materials hit upon those important employers-demanded "soft skills," specifically critical thinking, collaboration, self-reliance, and creativity. Having a past life as a Work-Based Learning Specialist at the New Hampshire Department of Education, I shared what I believe work-based learning is and how it all seems to fit in both career technical education and core classes.

Work-based learning (WBL) opportunities are categorized in a hierarchy. WBL is the umbrella term under which opportunities such as job shadows, internships, mentoring, apprenticeships, business tours, and informational/career exploration interviews fall. The key to WBL is a continuum of classroom knowledge, along with experience in a real-world occupational setting. All stakeholders must develop and deploy the common definition of what constitutes each type of work-based learning experience and have consistent experiences and opportunities along the continuum of possibilities – no matter where they live in the state.


A career path leading to credentialing may be defined as the path one takes in the progeny of sequences, real-world exposure, and experiences for both short and long-term goals. One may have a simple linear path, with a direct connection to the right career, or others may be tangential – allowing for several choices that occur as a career pathway may change. In short, work-based learning is a partnership between schools and employers offering all students opportunities for a practical educational experience, including real-world occupational settings, to expand career options.

Today more than ever, the focus on workforce development centers on the upcoming worker – aka today's students. Businesses want employees who are on time, communicate well, work as a team, and solve problems. Educational institutions want to provide businesses with students who knock those attributes out of the park. The way to create this future workforce is work-based learning that builds partnerships – bringing education and businesses together. izzit.org has a plethora of resources that instill critical thinking and give students the tools to listen and respond to those with a varying viewpoint in a civil setting. Add to that the almost national cry for a financial literacy curriculum in our schools as early as second grade, and the discussion became focused on a few of our materials that address these concerns, no matter what post-secondary career path a student finds themselves on.

First, our Financial Literacy educational unit does a great job of addressing why it is important. It explains that once you understand concepts like debt, budget, etc., and planning and preparing to have financial & mental wellness, you end up with less stress and more success. Our educational unit, Where Did My Money Go?, provides a great introduction for teenagers on how taxes take a bite out of earnings. But it's more than just income taxes, unemployment, and other payroll taxes. People often forget that taxes are everywhere! The phone bill, the gas pump, an airline ticket, things we buy...taxes, taxes, taxes! Another izzit.org resource I shared was Morality in the Marketplace, asking the questions: how do YOU decide where and why you place your money? Further discussion points involved asking, "How does economic freedom affect ordinary people, and what does it mean to vote with your dollars/wallet?"
Again, whatever career pathway is taken, these are vital life skills. izzit time you checked us out?




Wednesday, May 26, 2021

05/26/2021 Californians back people having proof of COVID vaccine - Impulse Buying

Today's Article: Californians back people having proof of COVID vaccine
From: The Los Angeles Times
Readability Score: 12.6

A recent poll of Californians found that a majority of them support requiring proof of vaccination for citizens to attend concerts, sports, casinos, or other 'entertainment venues.' Is this appropriate public safety or overreaction? Should government be involved? Who should decide?

Click here to view the entire article and classroom discussion questions:
https://www.izzit.org/events/index.php

Today's Alternate Article: Impulse Buying
Readability Score: 7.5


Tuesday, May 25, 2021

05/25/2021 Texas Reports Zero COVID Deaths - India's Major Cricket Tournament Got Suspended. Should It Have Even Happened?

Today's Article: Texas Reports Zero COVID Deaths
From: Newsweek
Readability Score: 11.1

Texas drops to zero deaths after mask mandate lifted.

Click here to view the entire article and classroom discussion questions:
https://www.izzit.org/events/index.php

Today's Alternate Article: India's Major Cricket Tournament Got Suspended. Should It Have Even Happened?
Readability Score: 9.5


Monday, May 24, 2021

05/24/2021 Walmart, Trader Joe's and Costco say vaccinated customers don't have to wear masks in stores - Here’s how lightning may help clean the air

 Today's Article: Walmart, Trader Joe's and Costco say vaccinated customers don't have to wear masks in stores

From: CNN.com
Readability Score: 12.3

Is lifting mask policies too soon or long overdue?

Click here to view the entire article and classroom discussion questions:
https://www.izzit.org/events/index.php

Today's Alternate Article: Here’s how lightning may help clean the air
Readability Score: 6.9


Friday, May 21, 2021

05/21/2021 Long working hours are killing hundreds of thousands of people - How much sleep do you really need?

Today's Article: Long working hours are killing hundreds of thousands of people
From: CNN
Readability Score: 13.5

"Worked to Death" not just saying anymore? New studies suggest yes!

Click here to view the entire article and classroom discussion questions:
https://www.izzit.org/events/index.php

Today's Alternate Article: How much sleep do you really need?
Readability Score: 7.0


Thursday, May 20, 2021

05/20/2021 Florida is about to pass a law to stop Facebook and Twitter from censoring politicians - “It’s Been Devastating”: UM Amherst Students Suspended For Not Wearing Masks Off Campus

Today's Article: Florida is about to pass a law to stop Facebook and Twitter from censoring politicians
From: USA TODAY
Readability Score: 12.2

Governor Ron De Santis and other Republicans in Florida are working to prevent social media companies from "deplatforming" conservative voices. Is this a good idea or a violation of a company's freedom to make its own choices? Discuss the First Amendment, specifically free speech, with today's article. You might follow up with izzit.org's video First Amendment.

Click here to view the entire article and classroom discussion questions:
https://www.izzit.org/events/index.php

Today's Alternate Article: “It’s Been Devastating”: UM Amherst Students Suspended For Not Wearing Masks Off Campus
Readability Score: 8.7


How Stock Market Performance Responds to Social Unrest

  

ELAINE SCHWARTZ


In a 2017 Gallup/Wells Fargo Survey, investors expressed the most worry about the geopolitical climate. A new IMF working paper confirms their concern. Social unrest does affect stock markets.

But the impact can vary.

Stock Market Performance

When researchers looked at 156 examples of social unrest in 72 countries, they concluded that stock market performance does sink. In the following map, countries with the darkest orange shading had the most social unrest:


Ranging from the United States and France to Iran and Brazil, these are some examples:


However, the impact on stock market performance depended on three variables. The duration of the unrest mattered. As you would expect, long lasting events had more impact. Also, the durability of political institutions was crucial as was the voice that people believed they could express. In the IMF paper, researchers correlated the World Bank’s World Governance Indicators with stock market performance. They said that Regulatory Quality and Voice and Accountability were most crucial for a smaller market reaction:


Below, you can see that markets dip soon after the social unrest event everywhere. However, they recover in developed nations with democratic institutions:


Perhaps we have the best summary of the severity of the stock market decline when we compare countries with democratic and authoritarian institutions. More authoritarian regimes tend to experience an average stock market decline of two percent in three days and then more than four percent in the following month:


Our Bottom Line: Spillover

As forward looking institutions, stock markets can tell us what to expect. Markets could be saying that social unrest will physically impact production. They also might be expressing a more abstract message about a shift in sentiment that will affect the investing climate. An economist would say that markets are alerting us to the spillover of social unrest.

And that returns us to where we began. Investor concern with social unrest is valid. But  there will be less spillover in democracies with developed economies when the event is brief.

My sources and more: My IMF email came in handy yesterday when I saw their stock market blog. It reminded me of a recent paper on why equity markets fluctuate. Then, this last puzzle piece from a Gallup/Wells Fargo survey completed the picture.

Ideal for the classroom, econlife.com reflects Elaine Schwartz’s work as a teacher and a writer. As a teacher at the Kent Place School in Summit, NJ, she’s been an Endowed Chair in Economics and chaired the history department. She’s developed curricula, was a featured teacher in the Annenberg/CPB video project “The Economics Classroom,” and has written several books including Econ 101 ½ (Avon Books/Harper Collins). You can get econlife on a daily basis! Head to econlife.



Tuesday, May 18, 2021

05/18/2021 USC President Resigned After Plagiarized Speech Scandal, But Board Didn’t Accept - Meet America's Newest Chess Master, 10-Year-Old Tanitoluwa Adewumi

Today's Article: USC President Resigned After Plagiarized Speech Scandal, But Board Didn’t Accept
From: fitsnews
Readability Score: 12.5

Lessons in leadership: small scandals grow large.

Click here to view the entire article and classroom discussion questions:
https://www.izzit.org/events/index.php

Today's Alternate Article: Meet America's Newest Chess Master, 10-Year-Old Tanitoluwa Adewumi
Readability Score: 8.0


Monday, May 17, 2021

05/17/2021 More than 1,000 gas stations run out of fuel - Copper ‘foam’ could be used as filters for COVID-19 masks

Today's Article: More than 1,000 gas stations run out of fuel
From: Fox5ny.com
Readability Score: 10.4

How can demand be eased and supply increased during a shortage?

Click here to view the entire article and classroom discussion questions:
https://www.izzit.org/events/index.php

Today's Alternate Article: Copper ‘foam’ could be used as filters for COVID-19 masks
Readability Score: 8.0


Friday, May 14, 2021

05/14/2021 Laos records first Covid-19 related death over a year into the pandemic - Wyoming 11-year-old launches weekly newspaper

Today's Article: Laos records first Covid-19 related death over a year into the pandemic
From: CNN
Readability Score: 14.2

Laos records first Covid-19 related death over a year into the pandemic...but why?

Click here to view the entire article and classroom discussion questions:
https://www.izzit.org/events/index.php

Today's Alternate Article: Wyoming 11-year-old launches weekly newspaper
Readability Score: 9.5


Thursday, May 13, 2021

05/13/2021 US backs waiving intellectual property rules on vaccines - Nature at its craziest: Trillions of cicadas about to emerge

Today's Article: US backs waiving intellectual property rules on vaccines
From: Associated Press
Readability Score: 15.3

As poorer countries see a devastating rise in COVID infections, the Biden administration recently announced its support for waiving the intellectual property rights of vaccine makers. The stated goal is to increase production, but the drug companies have raised safety concerns. Why is intellectual property protected? Who benefits, and who pays, when property rights are temporarily waived? Follow up with a discussion of the importance of general property rights with izzit.org’s The Road To Prosperity.

Click here to view the entire article and classroom discussion questions:
https://www.izzit.org/events/index.php

Today's Alternate Article: Nature at its craziest: Trillions of cicadas about to emerge
Readability Score: 8.6


Wednesday, May 12, 2021

We've Made It – Summer Vacation is Almost Here!

By Dean Graziano

Summer vacation is both a source of pleasure and a component of good health. 

You've done it! You've completed a remarkable school year under extraordinary circumstances. With the summer recess upon us, we at izzit.org want to say THANK YOU for your commitment and passion in educating our children. In fact, we want to say, “LET IT GO THIS SUMMER” and focus on YOU – your mental & physical wellness! 

Professional DevelopmentIf you want/need to acquire time toward your certification this summer, we have several workshops recorded. We generally offer two (2) topics per month or one topic with an encore presentation. Our topics are derived from current education trends, input by educators and new izzit.org releases and/or events. To obtain a certificate of attendance after watching a recorded session, follow the instructions at the end of each webinar.

While you are enjoying your summer, we at izzit.org will be working hard to introduce two new bold projects:

Unlock & Beat the Clock Challenge

This is an interactive, group-focused activity that students assemble in a classroom laden with supporting thematic clues. They have 45 minutes to “solve the challenge posed”. The challenge may apply to successfully completing your assignment which may be assisting someone that is lost or needs YOUR assistance, completing a historical retrieval of lost documents or supplying support to prove/disprove a historical event, etc. Therefore, a successful conclusion will require you to seek and decipher hidden clues, analyze, and break codes and solve challenging prepared dilemma. Every time students working in their teams solve a clue – an “aha” moment, draws them closer to successfully complete the challenge. The entire classroom or prepared room(s) task you to not take anything or anywhere for granted! Perhaps a closer sift through related books on the shelves, particular artwork and on the walls, to certain sequences and or patterns that are either pertinent or a distractor in locating clues- no matter what YOU may think, the team must understand EVERYWHERE/ANYWHERE provides the potential for the clues necessary in unlocking & beating the clock challenge! Remember, students must know once you start the provided izzit.org videos and the provided izzit.org timer- only 45 minutes to overcome the challenge! 

 

Virtual International Field Trip

 

This activity allows participating students to experience a myriad of countries as they take their “Virtual International Field Trip” without leaving the classroom or home. The interest levels may vary – a student may never have known particular facts and background of countries. Others may need to become competent in Geography studies as part of the curriculum, and others just may want to “travel” this summer. Regardless of the reason, there are skills necessary to be successful in the classroom as they return in the fall. Research, fact-checking, critical-thinking, and self-reliance are must-have skills in a post-secondary career path. Summer vacation should NOT be a vacation form learning! Come travel the world this summer! Our pilot program at Westwood High School is building geography awareness—one country and one student at a time! This program will educate, engage, and empower students during a critical break in their studies. Our materials lend themselves to a wonderful inter-disciplinary approach as well as promoting critical thinking. Passport books are being distributed to each participating student and an amazing world tour “concert shirt” has been designed and will be given to students upon successfully completing this project! 


Enjoy the summer! You've worked hard and we at izzit.org look forward to assisting you in the fall with a myriad of professional development, no-cost award winning educator resources and so much more!

Our profound thanks for your contributions to student learning. When the summer comes to an end, please check out izzit.org and find out what's new for the 2021-22 school year!

Happy Summer!

Dean Graziano, J.D.

V.P. of Education, izzit.org

[email protected]

413-306-2598

 


05/12/2021 Births in U.S. Drop to Levels Not Seen Since 1979 - Why We Need New Logos

Today's Article: Births in U.S. Drop to Levels Not Seen Since 1979
From: The Wall Street Journal
Readability Score: 10.9

izzit.org refers to "people... skilled, spirited, and hopeful" as the Ultimate Resource. However, in the US, as in other developed countries, families are getting smaller. How will this affect our nation's future? Discuss demographics and consequences with today's article. Then check out a video like Recipe for Success or The People's Economy to discuss the power of people!

Click here to view the entire article and classroom discussion questions:
https://www.izzit.org/events/index.php

Today's Alternate Article: Why We Need New Logos
Readability Score: 7.5


Tuesday, May 11, 2021

05/11/2021 The East Bay real estate market is so hot, houses are selling for more than $1M over asking price - Raindrops on alien worlds will obey Earth-like rules

Today's Article: The East Bay real estate market is so hot, houses are selling for more than $1M over asking price
From: sfgate.com
Readability Score: 10.3

A seller's market on fire: how prices emerge.

Click here to view the entire article and classroom discussion questions:
https://www.izzit.org/events/index.php

Today's Alternate Article: Raindrops on alien worlds will obey Earth-like rules
Readability Score: 8.2


Monday, May 10, 2021

05/10/2021 USPS admits to spying on Americans’ social media posts: report - A Giant Organic Farm Faces Criticism That It's Harming The Environment

Today's Article: USPS admits to spying on Americans’ social media posts: report
From: NY Post
Readability Score: 13.1

Should the Post Office monitor your social media?

Click here to view the entire article and classroom discussion questions:
https://www.izzit.org/events/index.php

Today's Alternate Article: A Giant Organic Farm Faces Criticism That It's Harming The Environment
Readability Score: 9.4


Why Renaming Countries and Cities is Costly

 

ELAINE SCHWARTZ


During 2018, King Mwsati of Swaziland said the new name of his country would be eSwatini. He was switching because he wanted to erase reminders of colonial rule and eliminate mix-ups with Switzerland.

The downside though is the cost.

Renaming Countries and Cities

eSwatini

The cost of replacing Swaziland with eSwatini has been estimated at $6 million.

Publicly, it includes new signage for government properties, for roadways, a new domain name, and a flag (our featured image). The tourist board has to rebrand and create new maps. A frugal official said to use up the old stationery rather than discarding it. In addition, existing coins and bank notes would remain valid as would international agreements.

Privately, businesses need new stationery and signage, new marketing, website adjustments. On the global level, we can think of mapping sites. Checking Google Maps, I saw eSwatini as the country’s name but then a map created by a “user” still used Swaziland.

eSwatini is located near South Africa:


Kolkata and Mumbai

Like eSwatini, places in India also wanted to erase the British names that echoed their colonial past. Once Calcutta became Kolkata in 2001, businesses named after the city had to decide what to do. The Calcutta Electric Supply Corporation kept its old name even though it supplied Kolkata with electricity and students still attended Calcutta University. Somewhat similarly, when Bombay became Mumbai, residents, business owners, and the city needed to make countless changes.

Our Bottom Line: Negative Externalities

A long list of cities have new names. New York City used to be New Amsterdam and Austin, Texas was briefly Waterloo. Istanbul had been Byzantium and then Constantinople, while Saigon is now Ho Chi Minh City. In South Africa, during February, Port Elizabeth became Gqeberha.

Imagine the tax dollars that were spent for these changes as well as the business expenditures. Looking at the money, the time, the tangible and intangible costs, an economist could say that renaming creates a slew of negative externalities. It has an impact that ripples to parties quite distant from the original decision makers. Also though, especially on the political level the externalities can be rather positive.

And that returns us to eSwatini and its new identity.

My sources and more: Thanks to Business Daily for a podcast that alerted me to the impact of a city’s name change. From there, I discovered more on the Port Elizabeth story through CNN while NPR focused on India. As for eSwatini, the BBC and this blog had the details. And finally, this article shows why renaming just one street can be expensive.

Ideal for the classroom, econlife.com reflects Elaine Schwartz’s work as a teacher and a writer. As a teacher at the Kent Place School in Summit, NJ, she’s been an Endowed Chair in Economics and chaired the history department. She’s developed curricula, was a featured teacher in the Annenberg/CPB video project “The Economics Classroom,” and has written several books including Econ 101 ½ (Avon Books/Harper Collins). You can get econlife on a daily basis! Head to econlife.




Thursday, May 6, 2021

05/06/2021 USA Today may have let Stacey Abrams stealth edit op-ed to downplay support for Georgia boycotts - Understanding Your COVID-19 Vaccine Card

Today's Article: USA Today may have let Stacey Abrams stealth edit op-ed to downplay support for Georgia boycotts
From: National Review
Readability Score: 0.0

Stacey Abrams, former gubernatorial candidate in Georgia, apparently changed some of her language in an op-ed published in USA Today after Major League Baseball decided to move the All-Star game from her state. Should USA Today have allowed her to do so? Discuss the role and responsibility of the press in today's article; then follow up with izzit.org's Read All About It!

Click here to view the entire article and classroom discussion questions:
https://www.izzit.org/events/index.php

Today's Alternate Article: Understanding Your COVID-19 Vaccine Card
Readability Score: 9.7


Wednesday, May 5, 2021

05/05/2021 Georgia Tech structure certified as "living building" - An African Trade Deal

Today's Article: Georgia Tech structure certified as "living building"
From: Associated Press
Readability Score: 10.1

Helped by a $25 million grant, Georgia Tech has constructed a building that was designed to demonstrate sustainability and that might even help its environment. Learn what innovations the builders used, and discuss what impact such a building might have.

Click here to view the entire article and classroom discussion questions:
https://www.izzit.org/events/index.php

Today's Alternate Article: An African Trade Deal
Readability Score: 9.6


Tuesday, May 4, 2021

05/04/2021 Degree designs inclusive deodorant for people with physical disabilities - Gov. Greg Abbott says he’ll sign bill allowing permitless carrying of handguns, believes Senate is “making progress”

Today's Article: Degree designs inclusive deodorant for people with physical disabilities
From: cnet
Readability Score: 12.4

Designing for disabilities: profitable inclusivity?

Click here to view the entire article and classroom discussion questions:
https://www.izzit.org/events/index.php

Today's Alternate Article: Gov. Greg Abbott says he’ll sign bill allowing permitless carrying of handguns, believes Senate is “making progress”
Readability Score: 9.5


05/03/2021 Farming Robot Kills 100,000 Weeds per Hour With Lasers - Article: Patterns in brain activity can identify who will struggle to read

Today's Article: Farming Robot Kills 100,000 Weeds per Hour With Lasers

From: freethink.com
Readability Score: 10.7

Farming robots with lasers!

Click here to view the entire article and classroom discussion questions:
https://www.izzit.org/events/index.php

Today's Alternate Article: Patterns in brain activity can identify who will struggle to read
Readability Score: 7.5