YPP Network Description

The MacArthur Research Network on Youth and Participatory Politics (YPP) formed out of recognition that youth are critical to the future of democracy and that the digital age is introducing technological changes that are impacting how youth develop into informed, engaged, and effective actors.

  • My Spanish Teacher Helped Me Reconnect with My Culture

    by Youth Radio Interns

    I’m Mexican on my dad’s side. I’ve always regretted not learning Spanish as a child. But one dedicated high school Spanish teacher was able to make all the difference.

    I always felt like kind of an outsider, being half Mexican and unable to speak Spanish. My family would talk and I’d just sit there waiting for my cousins to translate.

    I tried learning Spanish. I’ve been in an out of classes for years. But this year, I had a teacher who changed everything for me. She made class engaging and fun. We’d yell Spanish terms in competencias to gain extra credit, and laugh at her jokes during the listening portions of tests.

    Over my time in the class, I began to catch myself comprehending conversations. For Christmas, I asked my mom for a book. She gave me a collection of Spanish poetry. As I opened it, I felt such pride as I began to take it in.

    It’s overwhelming the difference one teacher can make. My Spanish teacher didn’t just give me a grade. She gave me a gift — of connecting to my culture and family through language.
    The post My Spanish Teacher Helped Me Reconnect with My Culture appeared first on YR Media.

  • How To: Make a Music Hyperlink

    by Money Maka

    Need help marketing your music as an independent artist? Hop on the new wave! Making a Linktree or Hyperlink for your new release is an easy and smart tool to get your followers to directly stream your music. A hyperlink, in this case, refers to a link someone can click on to pull up direct links to all the various places to stream your music. Allowing your followers quick and easy access to your music is an effortless way to build engagement and present a professional rollout strategy. This easy step-by-step process for creating a hyperlink offers plenty of benefits with no strings attached; not to mention it’s free!

    Step 1: Go to Toneden.com and Sign Up

    (FYI – there are multiple sites that create hyperlinks however ToneDen is free and fast!)

    -Create an account by inputting basic info (it’s fast and easy – don’t be lazy bruh)

    -Add your artist name

    -Add your social media accounts (optional)

    Step 2: Choose the “Music Link” Option

    -They offer a few different types of links to use depending on what you’re trying to promote (either music, an event, tour, podcast, etc.). In this case, choose the “Music” option.

    Step 3: Input a “Source”

    -In the case of “Source,” they are referring to the streaming link for whatever you want to promote (i.e., your single, EP, album, mixtape, etc.). This can be in the form of a SoundCloud link, Spotify link, or whatever link you have of the project you plan to promote.

    -Press the “Create Link” button

    -ToneDen will take the link you give them and use it to generate links to all the other platforms your music is available on. They will take all of these links to compile into the single hyperlink.

    Step 4: Choose Which Platforms You Want Displayed on Your Landing Page

    -ToneDen gives you options to choose from, however, keep in mind you can only choose up to six to display on the landing page of your link. I recommend choosing the most utilized platforms like iTunes, Apple Music, Spotify, Tidal, SoundCloud and Youtube. 

    -If your project link doesn’t automatically generate on one of the platforms you want to be displayed, you will have to manually search and copy that link.

    -Click “Continue”

    Step 5: Customize Your Landing Page

    -This is where you can customize what fans see when they click on your hyperlink

    -Fill in the “Title” field by entering the name of your project

    -In the “Description” field enter your artist name and whatever else you want to be included here

    -Pick your “Landing Page Image.” I recommend using the cover art for your project (This will be the main image people see when clicking your hyperlink).

    -Pick your “Background Image.”  You can use your cover art again (highly suggested) or another picture pertaining to your project for aesthetic reasons. However, you do have to upgrade your account for this feature. 

    Step 6: Customize Your Preview (Optional)

    -ToneDen creates an audio preview of your song which will play on your landing page if you’d like.

    -Choose which platform you want your preview to be on (Spotify, Youtube, SoundCloud, or Deezer)

    Step 7: Metadata (Optional)

    -This step is to customize how your project link will display on social media posts. ToneDen already completes this for you so you don’t need to do anything, however, if you want to change it that’s all you, Bro.

    Step 8: Edit Your Link (Optional)

    -The hyperlink they create for you is already hella short (for example fanlink.to/bxw9), so you’re welcome to leave it like that or create a custom link (for example fanlink.to/(Project-Name))

    Step 9: Create Link!

    -Click “Create Fan Link” and the hyperlink is ready to be shared with the world!

    -You can copy and paste the link in your IG and Twitter bio, share with the homies to promote your music for you, or email blast that thang out to your fan base.

    The post How To: Make a Music Hyperlink appeared first on YR Media.

  • When Religion Denies You Health Care

    by Chaz H

    Evan Minton was denied health care at a large Catholic hospital during his transition, and now he’s fighting to make sure the anguish he had to go through doesn’t happen to other transgender folks.
    The post When Religion Denies You Health Care appeared first on YR Media.

  • Sir Tim versus Black Mirror

    by Ethan

    On a sunny summer morning in June, professor Jonathan Zittrain is hosting Sir Tim Berners-Lee in a Harvard Law School classroom. The audience is a smattering of visiting scholars at the Berkman Klein Center for Internet and Society and a few local techies involved with open source software development. I’d come to the room half an hour early to snag a seat, but I needn’t have bothered, as the crowd to see the man who invented the World Wide Web is attentive, but thin.

    Jonathan Zittrain, one of the world’s leading scholars of creativity in an internet-connected universe, points out that Sir Tim’s current work is attempting to make a second correction in the arc of the internet. His first innovation, thirty years ago, was “the conceptualization and the runaway success of the World Wide Web.” Sir Tim’s current idea is a protocol – Solid – and a company – Inrupt – which want to make the Web as it is now significantly better. Just what are Solid and Inrupt? That’s what a smattering of us are here to find.
    Sir Tim draws an arc on the chalkboard behind him. “People talk about the meteoric rise of the web – of course, meteors go down.” Referencing internet disinformation expert Joan Donavan, sitting in the audience, he notes “If you study the bad things on the web, there’s hundreds and thousands to study.” Almost apologetically, he explains that “there was a time when you could see things that were new [online], but not the ways they were bad.” For Sir Tim, the days of blogs were pretty good ones. “When you made a blog, you tried to make it high quality, and you tried to make your links to high quality blogs. You as a blogger were motivated by your reading counter, which led to a virtuous system based on custodianship as well as authorship.” Wistfully, he noted, “You could be forgiven for being fairly utopian in those days.”
    What came out of this moment in the web’s evolution was a “true scale-free network, based on HTTP and HTML.” (Scale-free networks follow a Pareto distribution, with a small number of highly connected nodes and a “long tail” of less-connected nodes.) “It was extraordinary to discover that when you connect humanity, they form scale-free networks at all different levels. We put out HTTP and HRTML and ended up with humanity forming scale-free networks on a planetary – okay, a tenth of a planet – scale.”
    Sir Tim noted that much of what was most interesting about the web was in the long tail, the less connected and less popular nodes. Zittrain invokes philosopher David Weinberger’s maxim, “In the future, everyone will be famous for 15 people” to acknowledge this idea, and Sir Tim pushes back: “That’s not scale free. What’s possible is that for n people on the planet, we might have root-n groups. We’re not trying to make one network for everyone, not trying to design something for Justin Bieber tweeting.”
    So why doesn’t blogosphere still work? Sir Tim blames the Facebook algorithms which determine what you read, breaking network effects and leading to a huge amount of consolidation. Zittrain wonders whether Facebook’s power is really all that new – didn’t Google’s search algorithm have similar effects? Sir Tim demurs – “Google just looks at all links and takes an eigenvector – it’s still using the web to search.” There’s a fascinating parenthetical where Sir Tim explains that he never thought search engines were possible. “Originally, we thought no one would be able to crawl the entire web – you would need so much storage, it wouldn’t be possible. We hadn’t realized that disk space would become ridiculously cheap.” Jonathan Zittrain likens the moment when Google comes into being as a science fiction moment, where our ability to comprehend the universe as limited by the speed of light suddenly allows us to transcend those barriers – prior to search, we might only know our local quadrant of the web, while search suddenly made it possible to encounter any content, anywhere.
    Sir Tim brings us back to earth by discussing clickbait. “Blogging was driven by excitement around readership. But eventually ads come into play – if I am writing, I should have recompense.” What follows is content written specifically to generate money, like the fake news content written by Macedonian bloggers that might have influenced US elections. Zittrain generously references my “The Internet’s Original Sin” article, and Sir Tim notes that “some people argue that if you start off with advertising, you’re never going to have a successful web.”
    The consequence of a monetized web, Sir Tim believes, is consolidation, designed to give advertisers larger audiences to reach. That consolidation leads to silos: “My photos are on Flickr, but my colleagues are all on LinkedIn? How do I share them? Do I have to persuade all my friends to move over to the platform I’m on?”
    Zittrain offers two possible solution the problem: interoperability, where everything shares some common data models and can exchange data, or dramatic consolidation, where LinkedIn, for instance, just runs everything. Sir Tim isn’t overly optimistic about either, noting that totalitarian societies might be able to demand deep interop, but that it seems unlikely in our market democracy. And while consolidation is easier to work within, “consolidation is also incredibly frustrating. If you want to make a Facebook app, you need to work within not only the Facebook API, but the Facebook paradigm, with users, groups, and likes. Silos are very bad for innovation.”
    Returning to the arc he’s drawn on the blackboard, Sir Tim notes that the meteor is crashing into earth. “We don’t need to imagine future web dystopias. We’ve got a television show where every single episode illustrates a different form of dysfunction.” The arc of the Web is long and it leads towards Black Mirror.
    In March of this year, Sir Tim launched the #ForTheWeb campaign to celebrate the thirtieth anniversary of the Web. For Tim, the campaign was meant to feature the web worth saving, not to demand that either governments or Facebook fix it for us. “We need to fix networks and communities all at once, because it’s a sociotechnical system,” he explains. “We need to work inside the companies and inside the government. Some things are simple to fix – net neutrality, cheaper broadband, those were relatively simple. This isn’t simple. Free speech and hate speech are complicated and need complex social processes around them.” And while #ForTheWeb is a space for articulating the key values we want to support for a future direction of the web, that new direction needs a technical component as well. We need a course correction – what’s the White Mirror scenario?
    Sir Tim pushes up the blackboard featuring the web as a meteor crashing back to earth. On the board below it, he starts drawing a set of cylinders. Solid is based around the idea of pods, personal data stores that could live in the cloud or which you could control directly. “Solid is web technology reapplied,” Sir Tim explains. “You use apps and web apps, but they don’t store your data at all.”
    Returning to his photo sharing scenario, Sir Tim imagines uploading photos taken from a digital camera. The camera asks where you want to store the data. “You have a Solid pod at home, and one at work – you decide where to put them based on what context you want to use them in. Solid is a protocol, like the web. Pods are Solid-compatible personal clouds. Apps can talk to your pod.” So sharing photos is no longer about making LinkedIn and Flickr talk to each other – it’s simply about both of them talking to your pod, which you control.
    “The web was all about interoperability – this is a solution for interoperability,” explains Sir Tim. “You choose where to store your information and the pods do access control, There’s a single sign on that leads to a WebID. Those WebIDs plus access controls are a common language across the Solid world.” These WebIDs support groups as well as individuals… and groups have pages where you can see who belongs to them. Apps look up the group and deliver information accordingly. The content delivery mechanism underneath Solid is WebDAV, a versioning and authoring protocol that Sir Tim has supported from very early on as a way of returning the Web to its read/write roots, though he notes that Solid plans on running on protocols that will be much faster.
    Zittrain picks up the legal implications of this new paradigm: “Right now, each web app or service has custody of the data it uses – LinkedIn has a proprietary data store behind it. But there might also be some regulations that govern what LinkedIn can do with that data – how does that work in a Solid world?”
    Ducking the legal question, Sir Tim looks into ways we might bootstrap personal data pods. “Because of GDPR, the major platforms bave been forced to create a way for people to export their content. You’d expect that Google, Facebook and others would fight this tooth and nail – instead they’re cooperating.” Specifically, they’re developing the Data Transfer Project, a common standard for data export that allows you not only to export your data, but to import it into a different platform. “They’ve gone to the trouble of designing common data models, which is brilliant from the Solid point of view.”
    Zittrain suggests that we can think of Solid’s development in stages. In Stage 0, you might be able to retrieve your data from a platform, possibly from the API, possibly by scraping it, and you might get sued in the process. In Step 1, you can get your data through a Data Transfer dump. In Step 2, companies might begin making the data available regularly through Solid-compatible APIs. In Step 3, the Solid apps start working off the data that’s been migrated into personal pods.
    Sir Tim notes that exciting things start to happen in Step 3. “My relationship with a bank is just a set of transactions and files. I can get a static copy of how the bank thinks of my current relationships. What I would like is for all those changes to be streamed to my Solid pod.” He concedes, “I probably don’t want to have the only copy.” Much of what’s interesting about Solid comes from the idea that pods can mirror each other in different ways – we might want to have a public debate in which all conversations are on the record and recorded, or an entirely ephemeral interaction, where all we say to one another disappears. This is one of many reasons, Sir Tim explains, “Solid does not use Blockchain. At all.”
    Zittrain persists in identifying some of the challenges of this new model, referencing the Cambridge Analytica scandal that affected Facebook. “If the problem is privacy, specifically an API that made it easy to get not only my data, but my friends’ data, how does Solid help with this? Doesn’t there need to be someone minding controls of the access lists?”
    Solid, Sir Tim explains, is not primarily about privacy. Initially, people worried about their personal data leaking, a compromising photo that was supposed to be private becoming public. Now we worry about how our data is aggregated and used. The response shouldn’t be to compensate people for that data usage. Instead, we need to help combat the manipulation. “Data is not oil. It doesn’t work that way, it’s not about owning it.” One of Sir Tim’s core concerns is that people offer valuable services, like free internet, in exchange for access to people’s datastream.
    Zittrain points out that the idea that you own your own data – which is meant to be empowering – includes a deeply disempowering possibility. You now have the alienable right of giving away your own data.
    Sir Tim is more excited about the upsides: “In a Solid world, my doctor has a Solid ID and I can choose the family photo that has a picture of my ankle and send it to the doctor for diagnosis. And I can access my medical data and share it with my cousin, if I choose.” Financial software interoperates smoothly, giving you access to your full financial picture. “All your fitness stuff is in your Solid Pod, and data from your friends if they want to share it so you can compete.” He imagines a record of purchases you’ve made on different sites, not just Amazon, and the possibility of running your own AI on top of it to make recommendations on what to buy next.
    A member of the audience asks whether it’s really realistic for individuals to make decisions about how to share their data – we may not know what data it is unsafe to share, once it gets collected and aggregated. Can Solid really prevent data misuse?
    “The Solid protocol doesn’t tell you whether these services spy on you, but the spirit of Solid is that they don’t,” offers Sir Tim. Apps are agents acting on your behalf. Not all Solid apps will be beneficent, he notes, but we can train certified developers to make beneficent apps, and offer a store of such apps. Zittrain, who wrote a terrific book about the ways in which app stores can strangle innovation, is visible uncomfortable and suggests that people may need help knowing who to trust in a Solid world. “Imagine a party able to be designated as a helper with respect to privacy. Maybe a grandchild is a helper for a grandmother. Maybe we need a new role in society – a fiduciary whose responsibility is to help you make trust decisions.” Zittrain’s question links Sir Tim’s ideas about Solid to an idea he’s been developing with Jack Balkin about information fiduciaries, the idea that platforms like Facebook might be required to treat our personal data with the legal respect that doctors, lawyers and accountants are forced to apply to personal data.
    Another question wonders who will provide the hardware for Solid pods. Zittrain points out that Solid could run on Eben Moglen’s “Freedom Box”, a long-promised personal web server designed to put control of data back into users hands. Sir Tim suggests that your cable or ISP router might run a Pod in the future.
    My question for Sir Tim focuses on adoption. Accepting for the moment the desirability of a Solid future – and, for the most part, I like Sir Tim’s vision a great deal – how do we get from here to there? For the foreseeable future, billions of people are using proprietary social networks that surveil their users and cling to their data. When Sir Tim last disrupted the Internet, it was an academic curiosity, not an industry worth hundreds of billions. How do we get from here to there?
    Sir Tim remembers the advent of the web as a struggle. “Remember when Gopher was taking off exponentially, and the web was growing really slowly? Remember that things that take off fast can drop off fast.” Gopher wasn’t free, and its proprietary nature led it to die quickly; “People seem locked into Facebook – one of the rules of Solid is not to disturb them.” People who will adopt Solid will work around them, and when people begin using Solid, that group could explode exponentially. “The billion people on Facebook don’t affect the people using a Solid community.”
    Returning to the 80s, Sir Tim notes that it was difficult for the Web to take off – there were lots of non-internet documentation systems that seemed like they might win. What happened was that CERN’s telephone directory was put on the web, and everyone got a web browser to access that directory. It took a while before people realized that they might want to put other information on top of the directory.
    “We don’t want everyone using Facebook to switch to Solid tomorrow – we couldn’t handle the scale.” Instead, Sir Tim offers, “We want people who are passionate about it to work within it. The reward is being part of another revolution.”

    There’s something very surreal about a moment in which thousands of researchers and pundits are studying what’s wrong with social media and the Web, and surprisingly few working on new models we can use to move forward. The man who built the web in the first place is now working on alternative models to save us from the Black Mirror universe and the broader academic and professional world seems… surprisingly uninterested.
    I can certainly see problems with Solid apps – your Pod will become a honeypot of private information that’s a great target for hackers. Apps will develop to collect as much of your Pod data as possible, unless they’re both regulated and technically prevented from doing so. Unless Pods are mostly on very fast cloud services, apps that draw from multiple pods will be significantly slower than the web as it operates today.
    But there’s so much to like in Sir Tim’s vision. My lab and I are working now on the idea that what the world needs now is not a better Facebook, but thousands of social networks, with different rules, purposes and community standards. Like Sir Tim, we’re not looking to replace Facebook but to create new communities for groups of 5 to 50,000, self-governing and capable of different behaviors than the communities with hundreds of millions of users and central corporate governance are capable of. There’s no reason why the networks we’re imagining couldn’t live atop Solid.
    It’s hard to remember how small and strange an experiment the web was in 1989, or even in 1994. I remember dropping out of graduate school to work on a web startup. My motivation wasn’t that I might make a lot of money – that seemed extraordinarily unlikely. It was that someone was willing to pay me to work on something that seemed… right. Like a plausible and desirable future. And for me, at least, Solid seems plausible and desirable in much the same way. It also seems roughly as hard to love as the Web was in 1994, with its grey backgrounds and BLINK tag – Solid.Community allows you to register an ID, which at present doesn’t seem to let you do anything, though you can read the Github repository and see how you might create a chat app atop Solid.
    Can Sir Tim revolutionize the Internet again? I have no idea. But someone needs to, because a web that crashes to earth is a Black Mirror episode I don’t want to see.

  • Following in My Parents’ Footsteps, Without Repeating Their Experiences

    by Youth Radio Interns

    When my parents were teenagers, they fled from a war between
    Eritrea and Ethiopia. In their 20s, they settled down in California. My parents
    and I have a generation gap and a cultural gap. On top of that, they survived a
    violent, historic event that robbed them of their adolescence.

    My mom often tells stories about her childhood in Eritrea in relation to mine. When I was 14, I was anxious about entering high school. When she was 14, she was doing chores for her five-person family. When I was 16, I was worried about midterms and when I could see friends. When she was 16, she was crossing a desert to save her life.

    Recently, I forgot to do the dishes. When my mom saw a pile of
    dirty plates in the sink, she scolded me. She said that at 18, she was working
    as a maid in Italy and taking care of her brothers, while also learning
    Italian. If she could handle that, then I should at least do the dishes. I felt
    inadequate saying that I forgot because I had debate practice and homework.

    At times, I feel like I’m disappointing my mom by not living up to
    the standards she set.

    As I’ve grown older, I realized my mom’s experiences are unique
    and important. But so are mine. That’s when I started looking at our stories
    side by side, rather than measuring my life experiences against hers.

    I realize I can follow in my parents’ footsteps without repeating their experiences. For instance, although my mom took care of her family at 18, it doesn’t mean I have to take care of my entire family now. It means that I should work hard for myself and those I care about.

    By changing my perspective I was able to build a stronger relationship with my mom, and honor her journey — a journey that led to this life I have now.
    The post Following in My Parents’ Footsteps, Without Repeating Their Experiences appeared first on YR Media.

  • Will Arming Florida Teachers Protect or Harm Students of Color?

    by Nancy Deville

    A Florida law that would allow public school teachers to be armed has been met with controversy. Some civil rights advocates and students of color worry it opens the door for racial bias.

    According to the legislation, which Gov. Ron DeSantis signed earlier this month, teachers who want to carry weapons must undergo 144 hours of training, including firearm instruction, precision shooting, active shooter scenarios, and diversity training. They also must pass a psychological evaluation and a drug test.

    While implicit bias is a required part of the training, groups like the NAACP question whether this law will actually keep students safe, especially black and Latino students.  

    Students of color are already under stricter supervision in schools and adding guns to the mix could make matters worse, said Tiffany Dena Loftin, director for the NAACP Youth and College Division.

    “If a teacher who I know constantly suspends students of color because of their behavior, if at any point they feel unsafe, them having access to [a gun] — on their hip, in the classroom, under their desk, wherever it is — could result in continuing the catastrophes that we’ve seen across the country when it comes to endangering black lives,” she said.

    The law comes more than a year after the Parkland, Florida shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School. And despite the criticism, some lawmakers say it’s a necessary safety provision and believe an armed teacher should have the ability to protect their students in an emergency situation.

    “We need to stop treating our teachers like second-class citizens,” said Republican Rep. Dane Eagle. “Grant them the opportunity — not the mandate, but the opportunity — to protect themselves and others if they choose to do so.”

    But many students and teachers of color believe that placing guns in classrooms is not the answer.

    “I think this law is a step backward,” said Janice Robinson-Celeste, who previously taught in Flagler County, Florida. “Then you add in teachers who don’t understand children of color and you have a disaster in the making.”

    Jaylin Cole, a rising junior at Middleton High School in Tampa who is also African American, thinks firearm training will be insufficient for teachers with no background experience in emergency situations.

    “These teachers don’t know how to handle themselves in these situations, and you can’t expect them to,” Cole said. She added, “In schools like mine where we have a large population of African American kids, you can see that some teachers are automatically not going to know how to handle students of color….A teacher’s job is to guide and help students further their academic success. We’re trying to turn them into police officers or soldiers, and that’s not what they signed up for.”

    Florida’s teacher gun training program is available statewide, but is only active in counties that choose to opt-in and currently there are 30 counties registered.

    “I’m honestly scared for the students that are in those counties,” Cole said.
    The post Will Arming Florida Teachers Protect or Harm Students of Color? appeared first on YR Media.

  • Coming Soon to Your SAT Score: A “Disadvantage” Index

    by Lissa Soep

    The College Board is receiving a mixed response to adding what’s been dubbed an “adversity score” to the SAT.

    In mid-May, the company announced that it will be making an “Environmental Context Dashboard” (ECD) available to colleges alongside its SAT score reports.

    The ECD compares students’ SAT scores to those of other students at their high school and assigns each student an “Overall Disadvantage Level” score between 1, least disadvantaged, and 100, most disadvantaged.

    Thirty-one factors related to a student’s school and neighborhood inform the disadvantage level score, including median family income, poverty rate, percentage of adults with a college degree, unemployment rate and crime rate.

    For now at least, the ECD will only be visible to college admission officers; students cannot see their own ECD. The score also doesn’t account for the student’s individual characteristics or life experience, which is in part why the College Board rejects the term “adversity score” to describe the index.  

    “Selective college admissions officers already do these kinds of things but in an informal, ad hoc way,” Morgan Polikoff, an associate professor of education at the University of Southern California, told YR Media. “This gives a way for that to be done in a more standardized way so that it really accounts for the relationship between various forms of adversity and student performance. So I was enthusiastic about it when I first heard about it.”

    “It’s about efficiency,” said David Hawkins, the executive director for educational content and policy at the National Association for College Admission Counseling. “Colleges have access to a lot of the information that goes into the score, but they have a short window to review applications.”

    The College Board has faced heavy criticism over the years for the SAT test, which many claim gives an unfair advantage to wealthy and white students.

    For 2016 high school graduates, the average SAT score was 1230 out of 1600 for those with a household income of above $200,000. It was 970 for those with a household income of less than $20,000.

    For years, the College Board has presented SAT scores by themselves, letting colleges make determinations about students’ backgrounds. The ECD is changing that.

    “The Environmental Context Dashboard shines a light on students who have demonstrated remarkable resourcefulness to overcome challenges and achieve more with less,” said College Board President David Coleman in an e-mail statement provided to YR Media.

    The College Board piloted the ECD program this past school year at 50 colleges, including Yale, Florida State University and Trinity. This coming academic year, more than 150 colleges will receive the ECD attached to student score reports.

    Jerome White, who directs media relations and external communications at the College Board, said the company found students with higher disadvantage level scores were more likely to be admitted at these schools this past year when admissions officers had ECD information than in previous years.

    He also claimed admissions officers found the ECD particularly helpful when evaluating applicants from schools they were unfamiliar with.

    Despite these results, the ECD has faced criticism.

    Some have claimed that it will encourage gentrification, as wealthy families move to poorer areas to beat the system.

    Others have suggested the current ECD cannot accurately assess a student’s disadvantage level because it doesn’t include race.

    “My inclination is that I would prefer [the ECD] included race,” Polikoff said. “We know that systemic racism and structural forms of racism go well beyond just socioeconomic status. That suggests to me that race is still a highly salient factor that should play a role.”

    Another concern still is that the score may unfairly penalize low-income students living in wealthy areas.

    “In the 70s, they really clustered low-income families in one area,” Hawkins said. “Now, the trend is to distribute families more evenly throughout a locality. If you’re in a place like Arlington, Virginia, low-income housing is being built among some of the higher-priced dwellings in this county.”

    The College Board is adding the ECD to the SAT at a time when some are questioning the worth of the test and an increasing number of colleges are making it an optional component of the application.

    Hawkins expects this trend to continue, even with the ECD in place.

    “By no means does this new measure solve all of the challenges we have with standardized testing in this country, and we’re still on a historical arc toward more colleges dropping standardized admissions tests as a requirement,” he said.
    The post Coming Soon to Your SAT Score: A “Disadvantage” Index appeared first on YR Media.

  • 5 Things You Missed in Music Business News

    by Noah

    Things are constantly changing in the landscape of the music industry and it’s important to stay on top of trends and news updates, especially as an independent artist. We’ve got you covered with a weekly recap of the top stories you need to know.


    Lil Wayne’s 5th annual Lil’ Weezyana Festival is set to take place on 9/7 in New Orleans. For this year’s lineup, Lil Wayne recruited Travis Scott and Meek Mill to headline, as well as Trey Songz, Kash Doll, Megan Thee Stallion, and more.


    This K-pop group is next in line following BTS to sign a major label deal in the U.S. After a year of success with sold out shows and millions of streams, they are signing with Epic Records to take them to the next level.

    SoundCloud Launches DJ Software Integration With Native Instruments

    SoundCloud recently launched a DJ integration software in partnership with Native Instruments. With this new update, Traktor DJ 2 users are allowed to choose music from a pool of 200 million songs. DJs can now stream music for their live sets without having to go through the trouble of buying or downloading music.  This is a game changer right here.


    Jay Z set to host a listening party for the upcoming Prince album titled, “Originals” in Los Angeles on June 6th. The 15-track LP features 14 unreleased songs set to be released on June 7th exclusively on Tidal.


    The widely-known record label formerly named Warner Bros. Records is undergoing a (minor) name change. From now on the record label will legally be titled Warner Records (no more Bros.).  This is due to the expiration of a 15-year deal that gave the label rights to the “Warner Bros.” name after splitting with Time Warner Corporation.
    The post 5 Things You Missed in Music Business News appeared first on YR Media.

  • Gobo: Your Social Media, Your Rules

    by Anna Woorim Chung

    Social media influences our daily lives, but we have little influence on how social media platforms work. We’re tired of algorithms that don’t really understand what we want to see. We’re concerned about how content on these platforms is being moderated. And we’re frustrated with our lack of control over these communities. If you could change how social media works, what would you want to see? Gobo is our playground for answering this question. Gobo […]

  • This Week’s Rotation: 5 New Albums to Check Out

    by Yared Gebru

    What’s great about living in this current digital era of music is that there are always new releases at your fingertips. The days of waiting on the radio to tell you what’s hot or depending on your circle of friends to put you on to new songs are over. If you’re one of those people that are always exploring and looking for something fresh to add to your library, here is a list of five new albums to check out. Find what you like to liven up your playlists, and then you can become the one to put your friends on to the latest jams.

    Flying Lotus – “Flamagra”

    Marking five years since his last project, “You’re Dead!,” Flying Lotus is back with “Flamagra.” The 27-track LP is a peregrination into modern-day psychedelic funk and features artists such as Solange, Anderson .Paak, Toro y Moi, and more. If you’re looking to take an hour-long break from the world, “Flamagra” will take you on a spiritual journey you didn’t even know you needed.

    Song to Check Out: “Burning Down The House (feat. George Clinton)”

    Steve Lacy – “Apollo XXI”

    With summer just around the corner, there’s no better way to start it off than with a Steve Lacy project. His debut album “Apollo XXI” treks into multi-generational territory, combining the grooviness of the ’70s, the colorfulness of the ’80s, and the easy-going nature of the ’90s all into one album. Reminiscent of Prince’s style and flare, Lacy creates a body of work that is both energizing and compelling, and it couldn’t be a better introduction for the artist.

    Song to Check Out: “N Side”

    YG – “4Real 4Real”

    YG released his fourth studio album, “4Real 4Real,” which was originally scheduled for an April release but was pushed back due to the death of a friend and fellow rapper Nipsey Hussle, to whom the album is dedicated to. The album embraces the best of West Coast rap, both old and new school, and features some of rap’s heavy hitters, such as Meek Mill, Ty Dolla $ign, and Tyga.

    Song to Check Out: “Play Too Much”

    Shay Lia – “Dangerous”

    Shay Lia dropped her first single on SoundCloud back in 2014. Since then she’s had several Kaytranada-assisted singles, and over the years she has been making a name for herself. After occasionally dropping singles in between features on Kaytranda projects, Shay Lia unleashes her full self with her first EP “Dangerous.” Lia delivers a record full of laid-back, head-bumping jams ready for a summer full of dancing and fun. Drawing influence from house music while still keeping the grooviness of R&B, “Dangerous” is the perfect soundtrack to your personal dance party.

    Song to Check Out: Voodoo

    Beast Coast – “Escape From New York”

    If you are unfamiliar with Beast Coast, let us clear up some of the confusion. Beast Coast is a rap collective that consists of three smaller collectives, Flatbush Zombies, The Underachievers, and Pro Era. All three come with their own specialty; Pro Era comes with introspective lyrics, Flatbush Zombies bring energy and creativity with their wordplay, and The Underachievers display a flow similar to Olympic gymnasts. All three rap groups come together like a Megazord. “Escape From New York” proves how dynamic the scene can be when they come together to create a chaotic-yet-intriguing album.

    Song to Check Out: “Far Away”
    The post This Week’s Rotation: 5 New Albums to Check Out appeared first on YR Media.