Color Blindness

Article written by Joan Connelly, Equity Data Analyst

According to the National Eye institute, humans can have defects in photopigments responsible for responding to blue, green, and red light. Most people have normal color vision, or trichrome, in which all three types of light cones in the eyes are used. However, there are inherited color deficiencies that cause certain colors to look like others, or not be seen at all. The most common color deficiency is deuteranomaly, which makes yellow and green appear more red, followed by protanomaly, which makes red, orange, and yellow appear more green. The most rare form of color-blindness is blue-yellow, or tritanopia, where blue appears green and yellow appears violet or light grey[1]. A whopping 300 million people are affected by colorblindness, and it is more common in men. It is estimated that as many as 8% of men are affected by the deficiency, while only about 0.5% of women are affected[2]. This means that you likely know a person who views colors differently due to some type of color blindness!

For many of our visitors, data visualizations may be incredibly difficult to understand due to an inability to distinguish between certain colors. To bypass this barrier and make our website more accessible to a wider audience, we have implemented color palettes into our graphs and other visualizations that are easily detectable to those with color vision deficiencies.

To check out one of our color-deficiency friendly graphs, click here.

Participation Opportunity!

If you are color blind and are willing to participate in a study at the Medical College of Wisconsin’s Eye Institute, see details through the link below! Participants will be compensated $15 an hour.
https://www.mcw.edu/ophthalmology/Research-Studies/Colorblindness.htm

 

To understand just how much this color deficiency can impact your life, check out these great websites!

https://www.toptal.com/designers/colorfilter Input any url to see what it would look like with various color deficiencies. 

http://www.color-blindness.com/coblis-color-blindness-simulator/ compares 8 types of color blindness with trichromacy.

 

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References

[1] https://nei.nih.gov/health/color_blindness/facts_about

[2] https://visiontechnology.co/statistics/

Factors that Influence Academic Achievement

Article written by Joan Connelly, Equity Data Analyst

In his book “Visible Learning: A Synthesis of Over 800 Meta-Analyses Relating to Achievement,” John Hattie, a professor of education and Director of the Visible Learning Labs at the University of Auckland, New Zealand, documents the results of 15 years of research and in-depth analysis of over 50,000 existing studies relating to what influences achievement in school-age students.

Hattie researched the effects of hundreds of factors including teacher clarity, pre-term birth weight, school size, reducing anxiety, bilingual programs, effects of frequent testing, drama/arts programs, web-based learning, mentoring, student control over learning, and many more to find the most influential teaching strategies and stressors to student performance [1]. The most powerful, however, was the effect of student mobility across schools. Changing schools, even just moving from elementary to middle and middle to high school, had negative effects on reading and mathematics. Being placed in a new school environment can create adjustment issues for young students and create problems with making friendships that support learning and make them feel accepted.

While these findings are compelling and eye-opening, it is important to note that these are only the factors that occur inside the classroom. Hattie does not account for all the factors external to the classroom that can hinder or promote success. These could include parental feedback or abuse, access to the internet for assignments, food insecurity, transportation, and health issues among many others.

The reality is that for some students who are experiencing poverty, school takes the back seat to focus on survival. Many of our own Brown County students are living below the poverty line. In fact, 40% of our students in Brown County were economically disadvantaged in 2014 [2]. In order to understand exactly what the biggest influences are towards academic achievement, a holistic study including the factors outside of classroom doors must be prioritized.

 

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References

[1] Hattie, J. (2009). Visible Learning: A Synthesis of Over 800 Meta-Analyses Relating to Achievement. Abington, England: Routledge. 

[2] https://ies.ed.gov/ncee/edlabs/regions/midwest/default.aspx#view=frlStoryMap&states=’WI

GED Option #2

Article written by Joan Connelly, Equity Data Analyst

There exists a myriad of reasons why a student would not complete enough credits to graduate on time, some include mental and physical illness or disability, having to work long hours to support their parents, poverty, and other issues that may be outside of the student’s power. While most students graduate the traditional way, our public schools offer options to ensure that no one falls through the cracks. One of these options is the GED-Option #2, or GEDO #2.

GEDO #2 is an alternative education program to offer to students at risk of not graduating. Districts can apply for the program through the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction (DPI). Students who do not have the required amount of credits have the option of taking the GED to measure proficiency and readiness to complete high school. DPI requires that students be at least 17 years old, read at a 9th grade reading level, and be at least one year behind the class of students with whom they entered 9th grade. To enroll in the program, a meeting of the student, a parent or guardian, student’s guidance counselor, principal, and at least one teacher must be held to discuss the terms including hours of attendance per week and academic and behavioral expectations [1].  Admitted students are prepared to take the GED through a blend of online programs and in-person instruction to study GED concepts and take GED practice tests, along with lessons in financial literacy and employability skills [2].  After successful completion and a passing GED score, students in the program are given the same high school diploma they would have received had they gone the traditional route. This opens the doors for employment and post-secondary education endeavors that some students may have otherwise not had access to.

 

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References

[1] https://dpi.wi.gov/sites/default/files/imce/alternative-education/pdf/gedo2faq.pdf

[2] http://mps.milwaukee.k12.wi.us/en/Programs/Alternative-Education-Programs.htm