Running Out Of Time, Census Scales Back A Critical Step: Checking Its Own Work

Running Out Of Time, Census Scales Back A Critical Step: Checking Its Own Work

With just three months to review the 2020 census results because of a last-minute change by the Trump administration, Census Bureau officials are scrambling to decide what quality checks to toss out. Continue Reading Running Out Of Time, Census Scales Back A Critical Step: Checking Its Own Work Online Application Form Government Jobs 2020 – Sarkari Naukri. Latest Job: Pawan Hans Limited Invites Application for Aircraft Maintenance Engineer Recruitment 2020 Here’s what happened at the Cowboys practice on Monday. You’re considering online homeschooling for your student but aren’t sure how it works. Here’s what you need to know about online high school with James Madison.

With scores of people displaced because of the coronavirus pandemic and other disasters, the U.S. Census Bureau is facing an especially daunting challenge of meeting its once-a-decade goal of tallying every person living in the country “once, only once and in the right place.”

After counting is set to end on Sept. 30, the bureau has about three months to process all of the information it’s gathered this year for the once-a-decade, constitutionally mandated head count. “If you want an accurate census, the quality checks are as important as the initial enumeration itself,” says former Census Bureau Director Ken Prewitt, who oversaw the 2000 count.

But the last-minute schedule changes the Trump administration directed the bureau to make have left the agency’s staff scrambling to decide what quality checks to trim or toss out.

In recent weeks, Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross, who oversees the bureau, has been pushing bullish claims that the new approach is not “sacrificing quality.”

U.S. Census Bureau worker Marisela Gonzales adjusts a sign at a walk-up counting site for the 2020 census in Greenville, Texas, in July. CREDIT: LM Otero/AP

U.S. Census Bureau worker Marisela Gonzales adjusts a sign at a walk-up counting site for the 2020 census in Greenville, Texas, in July. CREDIT: LM Otero/AP

A growing number of former Census Bureau officials and other census advocates, however, are raising the alarm that the truncated time for processing responses is likely to further undermine the accuracy of the data and exacerbate undercounts of people of color, immigrants and other historically undercounted groups.

“It is literally impossible to say that with less time than we’ve ever had before, with more problems than we’ve ever had before, we’re going to have better results than we ever had before,” says Arnold Jackson, the chief operating officer for the 2010 census who also served as a consultant on the 2020 count.

A report released this week by the Government Accountability Office, the investigative arm of Congress, warns that the bureau is behind in finishing tests of the dozen IT systems it uses for processing census responses.

“If the Bureau does not complete all required testing, it may face an increased number of system defects or other issues,” wrote Chris Mihm, managing director of the GAO’s strategic issues team, and Nick Marinos, a director on its IT and cybersecurity team, “which could affect the quality and accuracy of the census count.”

Any technical problems could also slow down the bureau’s staff, many of whom are already spread thin trying to carry out President Trump’s request from last year to use government records to produce data on the U.S. citizenship status of every adult living in the country, as well as his recent call for information on unauthorized immigrants.

Even without any IT issues, the bureau is hard-pressed to swiftly sort through what could turn out to be an unusually complicated mess of census responses.

Because of COVID-19, many residents have scattered from where they were living on Census Day, April 1, including renters and homeowners who can no longer afford their housing and college students who fled campuses shortly before the bureau had planned to start counting them in person at their school addresses.

Some census watchers are also worried about whether the bureau can verify all of the online responses it has been collecting without a 12-digit “Census ID” that’s assigned to each known home address.

The bureau has been preparing fixes for these kinds of situations for years. But cutting short the time left to correct errors heightens the risk that the 2020 census results will count some residents more than once and at the wrong location, which could result in unfair distributions of federal funding and political representation for the next decade.

In a charged political climate churning with anti-immigrant sentiment and government distrust, the curtailed schedule could also leave the bureau with more gaping holes in information about unresponsive households than in past counts.

What’s more is that the bureau — known for releasing detailed plans years before carrying out its operations — has yet to put out any specifics about how it will, according to a statement by the bureau’s current director, Steven Dillingham, “streamline” its processing work. Meanwhile, the bureau emphasizes that it is committed to meeting the legal deadline of Dec. 31 for delivering the latest state population counts to the president. Those numbers are used to reapportion the 435 seats in the House of Representatives among the states before they start receiving more detailed data for redistricting next year.

“We are still working to identify which processing steps may need to be adjusted,” the bureau tells NPR in a statement that offered no timeline for providing updates to the public. “Our focus is to identify processes that can be started earlier, run in parallel, or be deferred until the redistricting phase of processing.”

Frank Vitrano, a former associate director for the 2020 census who helped manage the 2010 count and retired in 2018, says the bureau generally builds into its plans a cushion of time to give itself some wriggle room when carrying out the count.

“Part of streamlining could potentially be removing some of that contingency time,” Vitrano says. “But then what happens when something unexpected happens?”

This month, the bureau quietly cut at least one of its quality-checking efforts short, rattling many census advocates.

While the bureau sent an email to representatives of the states and territories involved with the program, it has not made a public announcement about the change.

Relying on the local expertise of demographers, the count review operation has helped the Census Bureau identify more than 240,000 housing units and 6,500 group living quarters, such as nursing homes and prisons, that were missing from the bureau’s records, the agency confirmed to NPR in a statement.

Qian Cai, a demographer who directs the Demographics Research Group at the University of Virginia’s Weldon Cooper Center for Public Service, had been preparing to do another review of the bureau’s data files in September to help make sure college student housing in her state was correctly counted.

“We lined up the resources and the personnel ready to provide input,” Cai says. “And all of sudden, that’s canceled.”

Huda Alkitkat, the manager of the Population Estimates Program at Portland State University’s Population Research Center, said she was relieved that her team had already completed most of its work on data about Oregon.

“We are lucky that we were able to finish this phase before the pandemic,” Alkitkat says.

But at the Arkansas State Data Center, demographer Diego Caraballo says he feels “a bit nervous” now that his team has lost an opportunity to review the Census Bureau’s files again.

“The thing that concerns me and my coworkers the most are nursing homes, since they tend to pop up and close down pretty often,” Caraballo says. “Some of them we know for a fact are located near county boundaries or city boundaries, so it could cause some funding problems down the line if that’s not correct.”

Thomas Louis, a former chief scientist at the Census Bureau who oversaw its research and methodology, has cautioned against curtailing the bureau’s count review operation.

“Eliminating it will help the Bureau achieve the December 31, 2020 deadline for delivery of apportionment data, but will do so at a considerable cost in the quality and credibility of that data,” Louis wrote in a court filing this week for a federal lawsuit led by the National Urban League that’s trying to get the administration to go back to the extended schedule the bureau developed in response to COVID-19.

Instead, the 2020 census is hurtling into a fog of uncertainty in its final months as bureau officials rush to deliver numbers from which Trump says he wants to exclude unauthorized immigrants despite the 14th Amendment‘s requirement to include the “whole number of persons in each state.”

“A lot of those changes, without a very clear explanation or justification, make data users wonder, ‘How much can I trust the census?’ There’s a big trust issue,” says Cai, the University of Virginia demographer.

Katherine Wallman — who retired in 2017 after close to 25 years as the chief statistician within the White House Office of Management and Budget, overseeing the federal government’s statistical policies — worries that skepticism about the quality of 2020 census data could taint public perception about the reliability of other critical information the federal government releases that is based in part on census data.

“We’re actually endangering all of government statistics because it just feeds the notion,” Wallman says, “that those guys, they just make up the numbers, right?”

Wallman, who was part of the approval process for the 2000 and 2010 census forms, says she finds the rush to produce the 2020 results amid the pandemic perplexing.

“I am not finding any rationale that I can accept as an objective reason for rushing through, ending up with crummy data and destroying the trust in a system that depends almost entirely on the voluntary cooperation of the American public,” Wallman says.

The recent additions of three political appointees at the bureau — including two new deputy directors at an agency where day-to-day operations have been overseen for decades by one deputy director who is a career official — have heightened worries that the Trump administration is trying to manipulate the 2020 count to benefit the Republican Party.

To help assuage concerns, many census advocates are calling for the bureau to release more detailed indicators of the level of public cooperation door knockers are experiencing among households that have not yet participated in the count, many of whom are among historically undercounted groups with high levels of distrust of the government.

Tim Olson, the bureau’s associate director for field operation, tells NPR that in the coming days, the bureau is planning to release data “a little more detailed below the state level” on its website.

“There’s nothing to hide,” Olson says. “When people do see that greater level of detail, they will see areas that are way ahead and areas that are behind. And that’s the normal churn.”

“At this point, it will take an unprecedented level of transparency for this count to have the credibility it needs,” says Denice Ross, a senior fellow with the National Conference on Citizenship who once co-directed the Data Center in New Orleans. “When they’re out there in the field and they’re counting a household, did they actually reach people in that household or did they ask a neighbor, for example?”

These technical details could help put into focus exactly how precise this once-a-decade portrait of the U.S. population is.

The bureau says it has “enumerated” more than 80% of housing units in the country as of Thursday. But that rate is not a clear indicator how much of the U.S. population has been counted so far. Some of those housing units could have been verified by the bureau’s workers as vacant or not actual home addresses. Others may have been added to the head count through dubious information door knockers have collected from neighbors. That’s one of the bureau’s back-up methods for filling in information gaps, in addition to looking to government records and, as a last-ditch effort, generating educated guesses through a statistical technique known as imputation.

But the more the bureau relies on these alternative processes to finish the count, the higher the risk of producing inaccurate information about historically undercounted groups, including people of color, resulting in national statistics that show a country much whiter than it actually is.

In 2010 and 2000, close to 1.2 million people were added to each count through imputation. In a court filing in support of the National Urban League’s lawsuit, former Census Bureau Director John Thompson, who has worked on four past U.S. head counts, warns there may be a greater need for imputation for this year’s count given the challenge in retaining enough door knockers and the time crunch they’re working under.

Thompson also cautions against census workers relying more on “proxy” interviews with neighbors to get households counted — a method that the bureau found was more than twice as likely to produce an error compared to the overall error rate for the 2010 census.

All of this uncertainty is leading many census advocates to wonder what kind of data the bureau is preparing to give to the president by the end of this year — and to the states next year.

Louis, the bureau’s former chief scientist, spelled out in the court filing concerns about how census data are used in “key pillars of our democratic society.”

“The Bureau will most likely release numbers at the end of the census process,” Louis wrote. “But if the quality of those numbers is low, fair apportionment and redistricting will be compromised.”

Copyright 2020 NPR. To see more, visit npr.org

Source: www.nwpb.org

Author: BY HANSI LO WANG


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Cowboys training camp practice number 12 updates: Trysten Hill continues his good work

Cowboys training camp practice number 12 updates: Trysten Hill continues his good work

The Dallas Cowboys held what is traditionally known as their annual blue and white scrimmage on Sunday, although few details emerged from what happened. Training camp to this point has been very unlike anything we’ve ever seen before as the team navigates life in the new normal created by Covid-19.

Monday marked the 12th practice of camp so far for the Cowboys, and it appears that this could be the last one that we get information from potentially until the regular season begins. Here’s what we’ve gathered.

Apparently Monday was the last practice that the local media was allowed to attend. With the regular season beginning in less than two weeks, we could be looking at a bit of a dry spell information-wise.

Cowboys practice has ended, so tweeting is now permitted. Some news and observations from Day 13 of camp practice. This is the final day not only of training camp but full practice viewing for media.

Onward.

The Dallas Cowboys have one of the best wide receiver groups in the NFL. While there is no game this weekend, it should be noted that they are taking things lightly with the highest-paid player in the group, Amari Cooper.

it doesn’t seem serious, but there’s definitely something up with Amari Cooper. he didn’t do much at practice again today, as he left to go do conditioning. he did suit up and warm up, tho. and he watched team period in uniform. Doesn’t seem alarming from our vantage point.

It sounds like there is nothing to really fret over, but it is obviously a situation worth monitoring.

Lather, rinse, repeat.

Highlight of today’s practice: Michael Gallup with a one-handed (Randy Moss, Odell Beckham Jr., Dez Bryant type) grab in the back of the end zone in red zone drills

That is quite the list of comparisons.

We have known that Chidobe Awuzie, Jourdan Lewis, and Xavier Woods are all each dealing with something. All of them were held out on Monday.

CBs Chidobe Awuzie (knee) and Jourdan Lewis (ankle) missed another practice. Add safety Xavier Woods (groin) to that list, too. Three of Dallas’ top DBs nicked up. Opportunities for rookie Trevon Diggs + vets Darian Thompson, Ha Ha Clinton-Dix

It will be fascinating to see how the Cowboys utilize both Ezekiel Elliott and Tony Pollard. We have seen a lot of the former, but the latter is now ready.

all due credit to @megmurrrray, because I need y’all to understand that TP is on a roll. like Cottonelle.

I charted Tony Pollard with 3 TDs today. one was a really nice pass out of the flat. one was a 3-4 yard dive up the guy. the last one came from 20-25 yards out, untouched

The Cowboys are finding ways to utilize Pollard so far.

Mike McCarthy seems keen on practicing the way the Cowboys are going to play. That includes artificial crowd noise in 2020.

Practice #13 Notes:
-Crowd noise continued to The Star
-Dak was fantastic in simulated game
-Hill gave Martin fits on multiple occasions
-A. Brown and Diggs have really closed the window
-I’m not as worried about the LB depth as I used to be
-Cedrick Wilson keeps making plays

Nice to see Trysten Hill’s name there, too.

Source: www.bloggingtheboys.com

Author: RJ Ochoa


How Does Online Homeschool Work? - James Madison High School

How Does Online Homeschool Work? – James Madison High School

Online homeschooling your student often works similarly to traditional homeschooling. Your child will study the same subjects students in a public school setting learn, but in the more comfortable environment of your home. The biggest difference is often that, when using an online school, you don’t have to play the role of teacher for your student. While you can act as support, study buddy, and task manager by encouraging your child to ask for help and stay on track with their studies, you don’t have to stress about making sure you’re teaching them the right subjects. But before you are ready to sign your child up for online homeschool, here’s what you should know about how it works.

Enrolling in online homeschool with James Madison is a straightforward process, but you may not be sure where to start. After doing your research and deciding that online high school will be the best fit for you and your student, you can get them enrolled in two ways.

  • Enroll online. If you’re interested in enrolling ASAP and have had all of your questions and concerns about the program addressed, signing your student up online can be the fastest route.

  • Enroll with an Admissions Specialist. If you have a few more questions about online school or just want to make sure you don’t miss any details, you can enroll your student over the phone with an Admissions Specialist. They’ll walk you through signing up step by step, answer any additional questions, and make sure you know what your next steps are. You can reach James Madison’s expert admissions department at .

  • Students who are under 18 must be enrolled by a parent or legal guardian. Besides setting up your student’s account, you’ll make the first payment toward your tuition plan to get started. Once the payment is successfully processed, your next step is to understand what, if any, paperwork needs to be sent to the school.

    Underage students need to provide proof that they’ve finished at least the 8th grade in order to make sure they’re ready for high school level coursework. This can be through an official copy of their transcripts from a previous school, a homeschooling portfolio, or standardized test scores.

    If they’ve completed some high school, even better! They can potentially transfer in any work they’ve already completed at their former school and pick up where they left off. Transcripts should be sent into James Madison High School within 90 days of enrolling.

    Keep in mind that any student under 18 years old is subject to truancy rules, which could vary based on your school district and state of residence. When transferring your child to an online school like JMHS, make sure to contact the school district to provide any necessary homeschooling forms.

    The first payment toward tuition is processed and you know where to send your student’s transcripts. What next? Taking time to help your student get familiar with their student portal will help build their confidence and make sure they are prepared for success in their studies. So, right after logging in

  • Confirm the student information is correct. Make sure your student’s name is listed and spelled correctly, and that your mailing address is accurate.

  • Have your student click around, explore, and find their lessons.

  • Set up a study plan with your student. How many lessons and exams should they finish each week? Should they make an effort to study at the same time each day or can they decide when to study based on how they feel? Since the program is self-paced, you’ll be able to adjust the study “schedule” as needed.

  • Connect with JMHS online. From our Student Community to social media, there’s always a way to connect with other students, teachers, and James Madison staff.

  • Don’t forget, academic advisors and teachers are available for help should your student get stuck on a subject!

    The benefit of online homeschool is that you and your student have control over when and how they learn. While the curriculum aligns with common core standards, students can take as much or as little time as they need to understand the material and prepare for exams. If online high school sounds like the perfect fit for you and your family, reach out to an admissions specialist for questions and information today!

    Source: www.jmhs.com


    Running Out Of Time, Census Scales Back A Critical Step: Checking Its Own Work


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