Month: January 2021

Home / Month: January 2021

first_imgSince senior Soeren Palumbo founded “Spread the Word to End the Word,” an international campaign to end the use of the word “retard,” in 2009, he said the campaign has collected more than 170,000 Internet pledges and 10 million verbal and handwritten pledges. Notre Dame students contributed over 2,600 pledges last year alone, Palumbo said. Wednesday marked the third annual “End the R-Word Day,” which more than 250 universities and 1,000 high schools recognized around the world. Volunteers collected pledges to end the R-word on both the Notre Dame and Saint Mary’s campuses throughout the day. Palumbo began the campaign with Yale senior Tim Shriver and it is co-sponsored by Special Olympics and Best Buddies. “We’re not asking for money. We’re not asking for someone to commit volunteering time,” Palumbo said. “All we’re doing is asking someone to make that slight modification in their language.” In addition to limiting the use of the R-word, the campaign seeks to raise awareness about the treatment of those with intellectual disabilities, Palumbo said. “We live in a community that excludes people with intellectual disabilities,” Palumbo said. “Hopefully … just starting to think about these issues will lead to someone being more accepting of people with intellectual disabilities, starting to value the contributions that people with intellectual disabilities give to society.” Palumbo said he started “Spread the Word to End the Word” because his sister has an intellectual disability. “I grew up with a very first-hand experience with the stigma and discrimination that goes along with having an intellectual disability in the United States and the role that the R-word plays in that,” Palumbo said. Palumbo said he and Shriver developed the idea for “Spread the Word to End the Word” while working for Special Olympics in 2009. They announced the event at a youth rally in February 2009 and established March 31, 2009, as the first “End the R-Word Day,” Palumbo said. In the six weeks between its announcement and its inception, “Spread the Word to End the Word” expanded from five participating universities to 40 solely by word of mouth, Palumbo said. In its third year, “Spread the Word to End the Word” is celebrated at schools “in every continent except for Antarctica,” Palumbo said. Palumbo said “End the R-Word Day” is one part of a larger campus campaign to raise awareness of disability issues. “We really want to represent this event as one of many throughout the semester engaging in issues of disability,” Palumbo said. “We want to present the opportunity for this to be the gateway into more involvement.” Palumbo said he hopes “Spread the Word to End the Word” would also help end bullying and discrimination. “This isn’t just a word,” Palumbo said. “It’s not just one linguistic vessel, one combination of letters. It’s more attitudes. It’s more consistent abuse and harassment of young people with intellectual disabilities. We’re trying to focus it towards that and allow the campaign, not to forget the one word, but to transcend the one word and grow beyond that.”last_img read more

first_imgThis March, the Office of Sustainability is working to make sure the buildings on each quad are just as green as the lawns and trees around them. The fourth annual campus energy competition is taking place from March 10 to 30, splitting the 29 residence halls into four teams to collectively “go green”. Rachel Novick, outreach program manager for the Office of Sustainability, said the project’s goal is to build awareness about energy conservation among students on campus. The office has projects aimed at reducing energy in classroom and facility buildings, but Novick said the residence halls are also an important target. “We definitely want to work with buildings across campus to conserve energy, but students have the most opportunity to impact the places where they live,” Novick said. “It’s a great educational tool and provides a way for them to think about sustainability and making more sustainable choices.” The four teams are South Quad, North Quad, West Quad and Mod/God Quad. The competition takes into account the varying number of dorms on each team, as well as each dorm’s respective size and characteristics. “Each dorm is ranked online against its own baseline, using data from a few weeks ago to compare conservation rates individually for each dorm in each quad,” Novick said. The competition’s progress can be tracked online through the Energy Dashboard on the Office of Sustainability’s website, which updates the energy use data for each dorm regularly and shows each team’s current ranking. Novick said the dashboard data will continue to be updated even after the competition so interested students can keep track of how their dorm consumes energy compared to the others on campus. “The dashboard is a fantastic tool because people can really see the impact of the energy they’re using and see the use in their dorms change day by day,” Novick said. Similar competitions have been held each year since 2008, but according to Novick, the decision to group the dorms in teams was new for this year. “We teamed the dorms up in quads instead of having everyone on their own because we thought it would be fun to have quad events as part of the competition, and we also wanted to see more cooperation among the dorms,” Novick said. Sustainability commissioners from each dorm are in charge of posting flyers to spread news of the competition, as well as to tell their hall mates about opportunities to conserve energy. “We definitely encourage students to think about those things or items that sit around the dorm, like a freezer or refrigerator in a break room that might be rarely used,” Novick said. “Clothes dryers might be the biggest energy user in the dorm.” According to the energy dashboard, South Quad leads in the competition with a 30.6% energy reduction as of Tuesday night, closely followed by Mod/God Quad, which attained a 28.4% reduction. Contact Ann Marie Jakubowski at [email protected]last_img read more

first_imgThe use of Paper Analytic Devices (PADs) as low-cost, low-technology tests for screening counterfeit and substandard pharmaceuticals resulted from collaborative efforts between the science departments of Notre Dame and Saint Mary’s College, and now Notre Dame students are in the process of taking this new technology to the market through the entrepreneurial business venture, Imani Health.Notre Dame senior Sean McGee began research with the PADs project two and a half years ago. This past year, fellow senior Luke Smith joined the project along with ESTEEM student Amanda Miller, who graduated from Saint Mary’s in 2013, and MBA students Chase Lane and Valeriano Lima to create Imani Health.“On average, I believe the WHO and Interpol estimate that 30 percent of drugs are counterfeit that are sold, and it causes pretty significant problems with human health,” McGee said.Notre Dame associate professor of chemistry and biochemistry Marya Lieberman and professor of chemistry and physics at Saint Mary’s Toni Barstis continuously work to combat this problem, McGee said, through the creation and improvement of these cheap paper-based devices.“Hundreds of thousands of people every year are at risk for something like this and also from a monetary perspective, the pharmaceutical industry loses 75 billion dollars in revenue as a result of counterfeiting,” he said.McGee said the Imani Health business plan began when Smith approached him and suggested submitting the PADs project to the McCloskey Business Plan Competition.“Imani Health focuses on taking the PAD project and essentially transferring it out of the lab and maturing it into a product that we can get out to the world,” he said. “We’re looking at maturing the PAD itself and also the accompanying software package that would allow it to develop a worldwide database that would basically paint a real-time map of where counterfeiting is happening.”According to McGee, the software package is currently in development in the lab of professor of computer science and engineering Patrick Flynn.“He estimates that with one dedicated person it would probably take somewhere close to a year [to develop the software],” he said.Although certain aspects of the project are still undergoing work, McGee said that in addition to entering the McCloskey Business Plan Competition, Imani Health also entered the OneStart Competition for science entrepreneurs.“We just applied to get to the final round,” he said. “We submitted our stuff and we’re waiting to hear back if we’ve made it.“If we do, we will be going to San Francisco on May 22 to compete in the final round, which will entail us trying to win $150,000 in start up money and free lab space for a year at the [GlaxoSmithKline] laboratories in the Bay Area.”McGee said the results of the OneStart Competition would be released within the next few weeks.Results of the McCloskey competition were, however, released last week. Although Imani Health made it to the semifinals, which consisted of the top 12 teams from a field of more than 150 applicants, McGee said the team did not win.McGee said although the loss was unfortunate, there was still room for improvement for the business plan, the most crucial dealing with patent approval.“The intellectual property doesn’t exist yet because the patents are pending at the USPTO,” McGee said. “The problem is that they have a back log of about three years.”Although McGee will not see the project completed firsthand due to his graduation at the end of the semester, he said Lieberman and Barstis would continue working on the PADs project. Although the patent is the main missing component at the moment, progress can still occur.“Right now we’re going to focus on product maturation,” he said.McGee said quick and easy drug testing might significantly aid certain fields such as work in customs, border patrol and airports.“They can seize drugs and take them and test them on the spot rather than having to send them to a lab where they have to continue to test it,” he said.Right now, the facilities that conduct drug testing do not have the resources to keep up with workload.“Even here, domestically, we can see it being used by various dieticians and urologists because there’s becoming an increasing prevalence of people buying their medications online,” he said.With such a large counterfeit-drug industry, McGee said an efficient and low-cost method of detecting drug quality is essential. Tags: Medicinelast_img read more

‘To enjoy the occasional cigar’

January 26, 2021 | pelzfibj | No Comments

first_imgObserver File Photo In his 97 years, Fr. Theodore Hesburgh oversaw the Civil Rights Commission, the International Federation of Catholic Universities, several Vatican and United States delegations and the University of Notre Dame.The rest of the world took care of the cigars.“Just when I think I’m getting low,” he told The Observer in 2013, “someone will come in out of nowhere and say, ‘hey, by the way, I was in Central America and I picked up something for you,’ and they come up with a box of cigars.”Junior Tommy Schneeman said the president emeritus was smoking the first time he met him.“He was over 90, and it was like, alright, interesting,” Schneeman said. “[He] never had any health problems, which is like a miracle in itself.“… He was like, in his gravelly voice, ‘they’ve been trying to get me to quit smoking in here forever, but I told ‘em, if you don’t let me smoke in here, you’re going to have to take my name off the building.’”So Hesburgh kept smoking cigars — and people kept sending them — until his death Thursday.“He continued, in his final days, to visit with family, friends and fellow Holy Cross religious and to enjoy the occasional cigar,” University President Fr. John Jenkins said in an email to the Notre Dame community Thursday night.That evening, among the Grotto candles lit in his memory, someone left a cigar in a candle holder for him.On Friday, Schneeman and juniors Brian Cimons and Andrew Glover gathered to light cigars under Hesburgh’s statue in front of the library named for him.“I always kind of wanted to smoke one with him but never got to,” Schneeman said.“So this is the best we can do,” Glover said.Tags: cigars, Remembering Father Hesburghlast_img read more

first_imgReflecting on the first year of the Trump administration and what it indicates about the future, professor of political science Gary E. Hollibaugh, Jr. said the president‘s largest accomplishments include the tax reform bill and his judicial appointments, during a lecture Wednesday night in Geddes Hall as part of the Pizza, Pop and Politics series presented by NDVotes.Drawing on an opinion piece written by President Trump in the “Washington Examiner” last year and the recent State of the Union address, Hollibaugh first mentioned the tax reform bill.“This was seen by many, both political and nonpolitical observers, as possible being the crowning achievement of the Trump administration’s first year,” he said.Hollibaugh said most would argue the other large accomplishment of the Trump administration’s first year was the appointment of Neil Gorsuch to the Supreme Court. However, Hollibaugh said Trump has made more significant changes through various judicious appointments.“Possibly much more important than filling the empty seat on the Supreme Court is the fact that President Trump and his administration have been working tirelessly to fill lots of vacancies within all levels of the judiciary, and given that these are lifetime appointments, this will probably be his most long-lasting legacy,” he said.Trump has filled more circuit court positions than any other president in U.S. history, Hollibaugh said, but that is partly due to the fact that there have been an increased number of those positions in recent decades. Changes to the use of filibusters for court nominations has also helped more accomplish more nominations, Hollibaugh said.“They were actually able to leverage the fact that because of a lack of senate action on the judicial action during the waning days of the Obama administration, there was a historically high number of vacancies across all levels of the federal bench, and those judges that remained tended to be older than they historically had been,” he said.Hollibaugh said Trump has also highlighted his congressional accomplishments, such as bills reforming the Department of Veteran Affairs. These reforms were passed by a large bipartisan margin.“President Trump as well as senate Republicans have been able to streamline the process of filling judicial vacancies,” he said. “Most of these have passed on very close, mostly partisan margins, and this would not be possible if there were still a functional filibuster for judicial nominations.”Other than these few congressional bills, Hollibaugh said most of the Trump administration accomplishments have been based administratively, meaning by executive order, memorandum or something directed by the President.“We haven’t seen any real controversial legislation,” he said.Hollibaugh said Trump typically criticized President Obama for passing executive orders. As presidential actions are easily undone — evidenced by Trump’s reversal of several Obama-administration executive orders — Obama told Trump to rely more heavily on congressional actions.Drawing on the recent State of the Union address, Hollibaugh said Trump has taken credit for the defeat of ISIS, the creation of 2.4 million new jobs — primarily in manufacturing — and the rapid rise of the stock market.“For those of you who saw him on TV the other day, he was talking about how great the stock market was doing as it suffered a historic drop,” he said. “It was actually very interesting to watch.”In the future, Hollibaugh said not to expect many of Trump’s more controversial policies to make it through Congress. Hollibaugh also said the midterm elections “are only going to exacerbate the President’s problems for the next year.”“The accomplishments that the president will be able to get through the Senate in the next year will probably continue to be judicial nominations and whatever they can get through reconciliation, which will probably include something like increased military funding or maybe funding for a border wall, but probably with strings attached,” he said.Tags: executive order, Neil Gorsuch, Pizza Pop and Politics, State of the Union, trump administrationlast_img read more

first_imgStudents from the tri-campus community will gather Wednesday evening for ‘Take Back the Night’ (TBTN), an event intended to provide awareness and support for victims of sexual violence.Saint Mary’s seniors Julia Sturges and Kayla Zellmer, co-chairs of the Belles Against Violence Office (BAVO) Events and Campaigns Committee, worked on the college’s involvement in TBTN.“‘Take Back the Night’ … is for [the] campus communities to march in solidarity for those who have been impacted by sexual assault, relationship violence or stalking, which are all forms of power based personal violence,” Zellmer said in an email. Emma Farnan | The Observer Students march across Notre Dame to advocate for sexual violence prevention in the 2017 ‘Take Back the Night’ event. The annual occasion aims to unite the tri-campus community and ends with a prayer vigil.The event is part of a national non-profit organization of the same name, Sturges said. According to the national TBTN website, the organization aims to “create safe communities and respectful relationships through awareness events and initiatives.”The tri-campus occasion will begin with Saint Mary’s and Holy Cross students, Sturges said, who will walk from Lake Marian at Saint Mary’s to the LaFortune Student Center at Notre Dame.“[At LaFortune], survivors and other people who have been impacted by sexual violence and stalking [will] have the opportunity to share their experiences in a speak-out,” Sturges said.The event will end with a march around Notre Dame’s campus that will highlight places were sexual assaults frequently occur.“This allows people to chant and reclaim spaces that have been affected by sexual violence, specifically the quads around Notre Dame’s campus,” Sturges said. “… The whole purpose of the event is for survivors of sexual violence to share their stories in a safe setting and for people to walk in solidarity with them and show their support.”Ending at the Grotto, Sturges said a prayer vigil will follow the march.Several months of planning went into forming the event, Zellmer said.“Monthly meetings [were held] with organizers from [Saint Mary’s], Notre Dame and Holy Cross to make decisions regarding marketing and advertising design, co-sponsorship, catering [and] event spaces,” she said.This tri-campus effort is among several reasons for students to attend, Sturges said.“It’s an awesome opportunity to learn about how sexual violence has impacted our own community,” Sturges said. “It feels like a very safe space to a lot of people, which it is most of the time, but there are definitely experiences that people have had that nobody talks about.”Attending ‘Take Back the Night,’ as well as other events put on by BAVO throughout the year, gives those who have been affected by sexual violence the chance to hear they are not alone and gives others the opportunity to offer support, Sturges said.“‘Take Back’ the Night’ is a super empowering, educational and inspirational event that all students can benefit from, even if they personally have not been impacted by power based personal violence,” Zellmer said. “The event symbolizes strength, healing and empowerment, which all students can gain from attending.”John Johnstin, assistant director for violence prevention at Notre Dame’s Gender Relations Center, said TBTN has been put on for over 10 years. From academic major departments to residence halls and housing offices, almost 40 different groups from across the three campuses are listed as sponsors for the event. “Students may attend all or individual parts of the event,” Johnstin said in an email. “[TBTN is intended] to provide our communities an opportunity to publicly take a stand against sexual violence.” Johnstin said TBTN began with the inaugural event in October of 1975 in Philadelphia after the murder of a woman there. It was given its moniker in 1977. Since the late 1970s, the event has spread across the United States.“In the years since, thousands of colleges, universities, women’s centers and rape crisis centers have sponsored ‘Take Back the Night’ events across the country as a way to speak out against sexual violence,” Johnstin said. With an expectation of 200 students to be in attendance, Johnstin said the TBTN event provides an opportunity to bring the three campuses together.  “[The campuses can] come together as communities in support of safety, well-being and the respect of each individuals human dignity,” he said.Tags: Belles Against Violence Office, Gender Relations Center, sexual violence prevention, Take Back the Night, tri-campuslast_img read more

first_imgThe beginning of the academic year marked a significant change in the administrative operations at Saint Mary’s. Due to the retirement of Susan Vanek, associate dean of advising and director of first year studies, Saint Mary’s divided Vanek’s responsibilities into three new roles, all which fall under the Student Academic Services division.Philosophy professor Karen Chambers has been hired as dean of student academic services, which is one of the three new roles. The other two positions, director of academic advising and registrar and director of first year experience and retention, have yet to be filled.“My position is new, but only because the person that was sitting here before — Susan Vanek — she had served the College for a really long time, and she was doing so much that they didn’t feel like one person could legitimately do it,” Chambers said. “So we reorganized a lot of the tasks she did.”Chambers’s duties center around developing College policy, serving on committees and advising on high-level advising issues, she said.“We’re doing a little bit of revision at the College to try to serve students better, and so this division is trying to pull together some of the services that we offer to students so that we might be able to do work across groups,” Chambers said.Another of Chambers’s responsibilities, she said, is overseeing the processes of other departments and their leaders, including the new position of director of first year experience and retention. This will enable smooth communication between the various organizations across campus, she said.“That’s going to be somebody who dual-reports to Karen Johnson, vice president of student affairs, and myself,” Chambers said. “So, [with the director of first year experience and retention] we’re going to try as one of the key points of bridging student life and student academics together so that there’s a cohesive first year experience, but also first year students have different kinds of concerns and crises and to sort of work together in a concerted kind of way to serve those students.”The College decided to add the director of academic advising and registrar in order to assist in making the two offices more cohesive.“We’re going to try to integrate these two offices more … so there’s less walking a piece of paper back and forth between the two offices and we can again work together so students aren’t being run around as much,” Chambers said. “We are just down the hall, but still. Sometimes they send you to the registrar and then they send you back here, and you know if we’re together we might be able to streamline some of those tasks a little more.”Chambers said she hopes combining these offices and their services will make it easier for faculty to assist students throughout their academic journeys.“If we’re not chasing things down and reminding each other of things so much, if we’re working as a unit, then we should have more time to advise our students, to work with our students and those kinds of things,” she said.Handling the challenges that may accompany such close and frequent work with students is one of the aspects of being the dean of student academic services that appealed to Chambers, she said.“There’s something new to think about or something new to learn,” she said. “So personally, that’s what I like. But I also am interested in trying to work with the administration on student-centered policy. So coming from the faculty and being at that kind of level discussion I think gives a different view of how we’re thinking about students and student services. So I think that will be useful for Saint Mary’s and that service to Saint Mary’s is enriching to me.”Tags: student academic serviceslast_img read more

first_imgApproximately one in four children in Northern Indiana doesn’t have enough food to eat, according to the Food Bank of Northern Indiana.Fighting Irish Fighting Hunger (FIFH) hopes to help address this problem through its annual September food drive. Since its founding in 2010, the group has raised over 14,000 pounds of food, 2018 FIFH chairperson Anne Kolaczyk said. Photo courtesy of Anne Kolaczyk Fighting Irish Fighting Hunger is a campus group that aims to alleviate hunger in the northern Indiana region. The group also raises funds to help this cause through events such as this bake sale.“We’ve tried different times of year to have it and we’ve kind of settled on September because it seems to be a good month where people are looking for something to support,” she said.FIFH originally arose out of an HR class for managers, Kolaczyk said. As part of a class project, a group of participants started FIFH to consolidate numerous food drives across campus. Since its founding, the efforts have been entirely volunteer-based.“It is something that is run on a department by department basis,” Kolaczyk said. “We try to collect money because the food banks and the food pantries who get the money we collect can buy a whole lot more with that money than we could if we went to the store and used that same amount of money to buy items to donate.”According to its website, in 2017, the organization raised $24,000 and collected 300 pounds of food, thanks to competitions and bake sales throughout the month. Donations benefit People Gotta Eat — a United Way coalition of food pantries — and the Food Bank of Northern Indiana.Though FIFH collects both funds and food items, it has mainly focused on raising money for the organizations, Kolaczyk said.“When we collect food, everybody gets tomato soup and chicken noodle soup, and the pantries often have a lot of certain items and giving them money means they can buy produce or dairy products, or they can buy things that their clients need that they’re not getting in food items,” she said. “So it gives them a lot more flexibility.”Because the event is based on volunteer efforts across departments, one of the biggest logistical challenges of the drive is simply making sure people are aware it’s happening, Kolaczyk said.“Our time is limited and [our] ability just to get the word out [is limited],” she said. “We can get it out within our departments okay. I’m in OIT so I can send an email out to OIT and say ‘Hey, we’re doing this’ and ask for donations, but there are departments across campus where we don’t have volunteers.”While the main FIFH food drive takes place in September, various Notre Dame organizations have organized charity events under the FIFH’s auspices. Last year, the Student Union Board organized an early Turkey Trot race to raise funds for FIFH. In conjunction with the Notre Dame-Syracuse football game, a group of alumni are also initiating a service event to donate food for Thanksgiving meals, Kolaczyk said.“[We] still have a bunch of food drives on campus,” she said. “Many are under the name of FIFH, which is great. I encourage that [because] not everybody knows about that and I just like everybody using the same name because it gives us much more exposure.”Ultimately, Kolaczyk said, the most rewarding part of participating in FIFH is helping address hunger issues in the community.“It is just so moving to see the gratitude from these people who are trying so hard to help people in need,” she said. “And sometimes the checks — they’re never as much as I would love to give, but [the organizations] are so grateful for any help they get and it really brings back how we are a community. When there’s parts of our community that are suffering, we all suffer in a way.”Donations can be made by visiting one of the donation boxes listed on FIFH’s website. Monetary donations can also be made through the organization’s website.Tags: charity, Fighting Irish Fighting Hunger, food bank, food drives, hungerlast_img read more

first_imgAfter the first identified case of coronavirus in Indiana, Governor Eric Holcomb declared a public health emergency to receive federal funding for response, FOX 59 reported Friday.The patient, a resident of Marion County, traveled to Boston, coming into contact with people infected with coronavirus. After arriving back in Indiana on Wednesday, the article said he reached out to Community Health Network on Thursday because he was concerned he may have COVID-19.Taken into isolation, the patient was placed in a room with negative air flow to be tested and then was transported back to the self quarantine, Ram Yeleti, chief physician executive of Community Health Network said in the article.The patient is currently in self isolation and listed in stable condition. State health officials said the patient had a minor case and the hospital did everything they could to limit risk of exposure.Currently, the article said the Marion County Public Health Department is investigating the case to determine the patient’s whereabouts following infection to determine who he could have been in contact with.Indiana began testing COVID-19 on Saturday, with 12 people having been tested so far with 35 quarantined. The article said none of the patients are experiencing symptoms.While the Marion County Public Health Department and the Indiana State Department of Health said they have been preparing for the potential spread of the coronavirus, Kristina Box, the Indiana State Health Commissioner, said in the article that they are not expecting to see other cases.“I encourage Hoosiers to continue to educate themselves about COVID-19 and take steps to protect themselves from this and other respiratory illnesses — by covering their coughs, washing their hands thoroughly,” Box said.This report followed a Friday email regarding Notre Dame’s response to and updates on coronavirus, including the school’s website on the virus, from Paul Browne, the University’s vice president of public affairs and communications. Notre Dame sent students home who were studying in countries with a Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Level 3 travel advisory. Students who are studying in Japan this semester are also returning to the United States, the email said, due to Nanzan University in Nagoya requiring international students to return home even though the country is at Level 2.The site features information and updates regarding the virus and Notre Dame’s response to it. The University encourages students who are traveling for spring break to visit the site and follow the travel and health tips listed on the site, the email said.Furthermore, the email states all those who are “on University-sponsored travel are required to register their foreign and domestic itineraries here” so the University can assist in any way possible if necessary.Tags: community health network, coronavirus, COVID-19, marion county, Public Healthlast_img read more

first_imgSMSDALBANY – New York State’s Teachers Union is calling for a waiver of testing mandates amid the novel Coronavirus outbreak.The teachers are asking U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos to waive state testing mandates for children in grades 3-8 for the rest of this school year and the duration of the coronavirus pandemic as New York schools are shut down to help stem the spread of the virus.“This is not the time to create more stress for our kids,” NYSUT President Andy Pallotta said in a statement Wednesday. “It is critical that the federal government step up now and waive mandated state testing for all kids for the rest of this school year and the duration of this crisis.”NYSUT says they’ve been working with the state Education Department and state Board of Regents to ensure that the federal government waives testing mandates and that no school is penalized. The union believes that even if schools do re-open in several weeks, students would have dramatically less preparation time for the tests, putting them at a significant disadvantage and radically skewing the results. Even worse, considering the pervasive unease and uncertainty that this global pandemic has created, it simply isn’t fair or prudent to create more stress and anxiety for our students, NYSUT says.NYSUT is urging its members to contact DeVos and the U.S. Department of Education to tell them to waive mandated testing for the rest of this school year and the duration of this crisis. Share:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to email this to a friend (Opens in new window)last_img read more