The secret gender gap in South Bend’s high school basketball programs

Clay High School’s sophomore point forward, Morgan Frasier, said her favorite aspect of basketball is how it allows for constant improvement. Photo by Cassidy McDonald

By Cassidy McDonald and Grace Watkins

In 2009, an Indiana girls basketball coach sued over Franklin County High School’s scheduling discrepancy: At the time, 95 percent of Franklin County boys basketball games took place in “prime time” (Friday and Saturday nights and the Wednesday before Thanksgiving), compared with just 53 percent of girls games.

The coach, Amber Parker, won her lawsuit against the Indiana High School Athletic Association in 2012. The courts ruled that this scheduling discrepancy was a violation of Title IX. Continue reading “The secret gender gap in South Bend’s high school basketball programs”

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A closer look at the American flag installation near Flaherty Hall

Photo by Cassidy McDonald

Notre Dame was home to the annual Run Forrest Run 5,000 meter and 10,000 meter run Saturday, which benefitted the Gary Sinise Foundation — a charity that serves active-duty military, veterans, first responders and their families.

In preparation for the race, hundreds of flags were temporarily installed near Flaherty Hall. Take a 360-degree look with this Bubbli:


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Photo by Cassidy McDonald
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Hong Kong International Airport emerges from the sea

Inside Hong Kong International Airport (by Umako, via Wikimedia Commons)

Hong Kong International Airport opened in July 1998 and was built largely on land reclaimed from the sea.

The airport is currently 4.8 square miles with two runways, though it’s expanding to three runways and is rapidly forming more land to accommodate the growth.

Hong Kong International Airport is the world’s most profitable, and Skytrax rankings recently named the airport the fifth best in the world, as voted by air travelers.

Watch the island emerge from the sea in this Google Earth Engine timelapse from 1984 to 2016:

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What are the top 10 cities for school choice? Check out this map.

School choice —a movement to provide alternatives to public school — is sure to be a top priority for President Donald Trump.

On Tuesday, during his first joint address to Congress, Trump called for a bipartisan school choice bill which would aim to help disadvantaged children trapped in failing schools.

United States Education Secretary Betsy DeVos made headlines this week, however, when she called historically black colleges and universities — which were created in response to racial segregation — “pioneers” of school choice.

She later walked back this statement, but continued to draw parallels between school choice and historically black colleges and universities.

Take a look at the top 10 cities that currently allow some form of school choice, as graded by the Thomas B. Fordham Institute, an ideologically conservative research organization.

These cities have seen mixed results in their alternative education programs, but offer the policies, public support and programming most conducive to school choice:

(City rankings from the Thomas B. Fordham Institute; map by Cassidy McDonald)

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Where do our immigrants really come from?

As the country grapples with immigration raids and travel ban battles, the time is right to dive into data about migration to the United States.

These are the top countries of origin for foreigners granted legal permanent residence status in the U.S. in 2013:

For more on migration, check out this interactive map that explores 10 major cities with large foreign-born populations.


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The evidence that links schools to depression

School calendars closely correlate with Google search patterns for the terms “bullying,” “stress,” and “depression” — an insight that may have profound implications for the way educators deal with suicide, the third leading cause of death among ages 10 to 24.

Over the past ten years, Google Trends data reveals a cyclical search pattern. Searches for these words peak during the fall and spring semesters, and drop predictably during Thanksgiving, Christmas and summer breaks.

To better understand the cycle, take a closer look at the year 2016:

Research has shown that teen suicide rates are at their highest during the academic year, but bottom out during summer months — a pattern that does not hold true for adults.

The cause may be that summer break also provides a break from classroom woes and interactions with bullies.

For educators, this connection poses a challenge. High-profile teen suicides have made headlines while policymakers continue to discuss solutions.

Currently, federal law requires all schools that receive taxpayer dollars to file reports on harassment, discipline and bullying. During her confirmation hearing last month, newly appointed Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos suggested the reporting requirement might be best left up to the states.

She said, “I would look forward to reviewing that provision.”

Melania Trump has indicated cyberbullying will be one of her top priorities as first lady, though she has yet to take public action.

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War and Religion: What I learned from Google Trends

War, what is it good for?

The word “war” has had ups and downs in Google search history over the past five years, but hit a noticeable spike around late April and early May of 2016.

The cause of the spike is unclear, but searches peaked near the day hardliner President Rodrigo Duterte won the Philippine Presidency, and when tensions were rising over disputes in the South China Sea.

Around the same time, the world witnessed an Armenian and Azerbaijani clash in a separatist region of Azerbaijan, and an acceleration of fighting in Syria.

Losing — and Google searching — my religion.

Over the past five years, Islam was the most highly searched term, compared to five of the most commonly practiced religions.

And while is Islam is the most-searched religion, the faith comes in second place off the web, according to Pew Research Center.

In terms of the number of followers worldwide, the most commonly practiced religions are, in order: Christianity, Islam, Atheism/Unaffiliated, Hinduism and Buddhism.

Islam has 1.6 billion followers worldwide and accounts for about 23 percent of the global population. It is the only religious group projected to increase more rapidly than the world’s population as a whole over the next 30 years.

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