Biden Campaign Gets Boost From Retired Military, Intelligence Officers

Nearly 500 retired senior military officials, diplomats and other officials signed an open letter last Thursday, endorsing Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden as “the leader our nation needs” and “a good man with a strong sense of right and wrong.”

“We are former public servants who have devoted our careers, and in many cases risked our lives, for the United States,” the officials wrote. “We are generals, admirals, senior noncommissioned officers, ambassadors, and senior civilian national security leaders. We are Republicans, Democrats, and Independents.

Joe Biden

Joe Biden

“We love our country. Unfortunately, we also fear for it. The COVID-19 pandemic has proven America needs principled, wise, and responsible leadership. America needs a President who understands, as President Harry S. Truman said, that ‘the buck stops here.’”

The letter was released Sep. 24 and included 489 signatories, calling themselves National Security Leaders for Biden.

Retired U.S. Navy Rear Admiral Michael E. Smith is listed as the executive director of National Security Leaders for Biden. Other members include retired Navy Admiral Steve Abbot; former National Security Council director Steven Brock; former Secretary of the Navy Richard Danzig; former Under Secretary of Defense Michèle Flournoy; former National Security Adviser Susan Rice; retired U.S. Air Force Major General Margaret H. Woodward; former Agency Director for the Department of Homeland Security Dr. Patrick Carrick; and former CIA Officer and Senate Staff Steven A. Cash.

Dr. Peter Feaver, a professor of political science and public policy at Duke University, said that about half of the signatories – 207 – are former military members.

Dr. Peter Feaver

Dr. Peter Feaver

Biden was ascribed several positive characteristics in the letter, including empathy, honesty, integrity and wisdom.

“We believe America’s president must be honest, and we find Joe Biden’s honesty and integrity indisputable,” the si

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Responding to the Call: The Many Hats and Roles of Academic and University Medical Centers

As the world continues to navigate the COVID-19 pandemic, public health workers remain on the front lines to treat, diagnose, and curb the spread of the virus. While the media have often focused on the individual doctors, nurses, and health care officials that encounter this issue daily, we must also look to the institutions that are found on college campuses: academic medical centers.

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Institute For Student Achievement Keeps Closing Achievement Gaps in K-12 Schools

Lilo and Gerard Leeds, two Holocaust survivors, felt like they had great school options for their kids. They also noticed that students from underrepresented backgrounds often didn’t. In 1990, they founded the Institute for Student Achievement (ISA), a nonprofit that partners with underperforming K-12 schools to close achievement gaps. Over the last three decades, what started as an after-school program blossomed into an organization for school design and reform lauded for its impact.

ISA has now served schools in seven states, including 5,000 educators and 100,000 students, under the auspices of Educational Testing Service (ETS). And it’s seen impressive results, according to three evaluation studies.

A 2014 report showed Black male students at ISA schools had better attendance, lower dropout rates and higher graduation rates than peers at other institutions. Overall, 90% of students in ISA schools persisted to the third semester in college, and after four years of college, 81% graduated or stayed enrolled.

The U.S. Department of Education also recognized the organization’s success. Its What Works Clearinghouse approved ISA’s methods as an official evidence-based Whole School Reform model, which means schools can use School Improvement Grants (SIG) to work with them.

“We wanted our model to be different from what we’ve seen people doing with schools,” said ISA President Dr. Stephanie Wood-Garnett. “We wanted it to be based in research … We wanted high schools to better prepare kids to graduate from college. Not just go for a year or two. Graduate.”

ISA’s model came out of a unique partnership with the National Center for Restructuring Education, Schools, and Teaching (NCREST) at Columbia University’s Teachers College, a continued partner.

ISA operates on seven research-based principles, which includes students participating in a college preparatory instructional program with campus visits, individual student counseling and support for completing college applications and applying for scholarships and financial aid. There’s also an emphasis on hands-on, continuous professional development for teachers and administrators, provided by ISA coaches.

Dr. Fenot Aklog, NCREST’s director of research and development, noted the importance of partnerships “bridging the relationship between the academy and practitioners.”

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Gallaudet University’s Fall 2020 Semester Focused on Robust Student Support Programs

Washington, D.C.-based Gallaudet University, like all colleges and universities nationwide, faced the decision of whether to bring students back to campus for the fall semester amid the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. 

Gallaudet ultimately decided to offer all courses remotely. However, on-campus priority housing was given to up to 100 students who are DeafBlind, experience an unsafe home, have no other viable housing options and/or need support resources for online learning. The semester began Aug. 31 and will end Dec. 18. 

“Students generally understand and appreciate the reasons for our decision to go online this fall, although they have let us know that they miss being on campus in a language-rich environment and seeing their peers and professors,” says Dr. Jeffrey W. Lewis, interim provost at Gallaudet.

Gallaudet, founded in 1864, became the “world’s only institution in which all programs and services are specifically designed to accommodate deaf and hard of hearing students.” Hearing students make up almost 8% of the undergraduate student body, according to the university. 

Under Gallaudet’s reopening plans, the key areas of health, safety, technological and academic support and the student experience were highlighted. Tuition was also reduced by 15% for all full-time and part-time students. 

In fall 2019, 41% of the incoming cohort during fall 2019 had zero expected family contribution. Of that percentage, 66% were students of color, an increase from 38% from the year before. The total number of students of color enrolled last fall was 51%, the highest number seen by the university, according to Dr. Thomas P. Horejes, associate provost of student success and academic quality at Gallaudet.

Additionally, in fall 2019, 58% of all undergraduate and graduate students came from families with incomes below $60,000. Additionally, 60% of the undergraduate students were Pell Grant-eligible, reported Horejes. 

“Going forward, we must ensure that fiscal barriers are minimal when obtaining a higher education,” he adds. 

Due to financial barriers, some students lacked access to technological resources needed to complete their virtual classes. During the switch to onl

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