UConn vs. Texas A&M: Point-by-Point, Minute-by-Minute

by Categorized: Data, Sports, UConn Date:

After a rocky start, the UConn women roared ahead of Texas A&M to secure yet another familiar spot in the Final Four. A key turning point: a nearly five-minute Texas drought near the end of the first half, during which the Huskies scored 10 unanswered points. And it wouldn’t be UConn’s only 10-point run.

The first graphic below is a minute-by-minute chart of the game. Move your mouse over the chart to see the play-by-play progress. Below that is a graphic showing points scored by every player. Use the slider or the arrows to advance through the minutes of the game, to see how the teams and the individual players performed.

 

 

UConn-Michigan State: Point-by-Point, Minute-by-Minute

by Categorized: Data, Sports, UConn Date:

The UConn men defeated Michigan State Sunday and are headed for the Final Four after a powerhouse second half led by Shabazz Napier, who scored 12 points in 8 1/2 minutes. Relive the game with these interactive graphics.

The first graphic below is a minute-by-minute chart of the game. Move your mouse over the chart to see the play-by-play progress. Below that is a graphic showing points scored by every player. Use the slider or the arrows to advance through the minutes of the game, to see how the teams and the individual players performed.

UConn-Iowa State: Point-by-Point, Minute-by-Minute

by Categorized: Data, Sports, UConn Date:

The UConn men trailed Iowa State for barely more than half a minute in Friday’s Sweet Sixteen game at Madison Square Garden. But it felt like a much closer game in the final minutes before Connecticut’s 81-76 victory.

The first graphic below is a minute-by-minute chart of the game. Move your mouse over the chart to see the play-by-play progress. Below that is a graphic showing points scored by every player. Use the slider or the arrows to advance through the minutes of the game, to see how the teams and the individual players performed.
 

Connecticut’s $10.10 Minimum Wage: Adjusted For Inflation, We’ve Been Here Five Times Before

by Categorized: Data, Employment, Finance, Government, Poverty Date:

Connecticut is making national news with legislation boosting the minimum wage to $10.10 an hour beginning in 2017. With Gov. Dannel P. Malloy’s planned signature on the bill Thursday evening, the Nutmeg State becomes the first in the nation to agree to eventually knock through the $10 mark for the lowest-paid workers.

But adjusted for inflation, we’ve topped $10.10 before – albeit not for several decades. As the chart below shows, the hourly minimum wage, in 2014 dollars, exceeded $10.10 in 1968, 1969, 1971, 1972 and 1978. The top rate was in 1968, when the inflation-adjusted minimum was $10.78.

The $10.10 wage is, however, significantly higher than the average inflation-adjusted minimum wage over the last 63 years. Since 1951, the lowest-paid workers have earned an average of $8.39 in today’s dollars.

So $10.10 isn’t the most Connecticut employers have been required to pay, and it certainly isn’t the least. And that alone will assure the topic remains controversial and politically divisive.

CT_Minimum Wage

Minute-by-Minute: UConn Women Vs. St. Joseph’s

by Categorized: Data, UConn Date:

As expected, the UConn women trounced St. Joseph’s, with the Huskies putting their first points on the board seven seconds after tip-off, and never trailing over the next 40 minutes of play.

Below is a minute-by-minute chart of the game, and a separate graphic showing points scored by every player. Use the slider or the arrows to advance through the minutes of the game, to see how the teams and the individual players performed.

UConnW_StJosephs

UConn-Villanova, Minute-by-Minute

by Categorized: Uncategorized Date:

After a remarkably slow start, the UConn Huskies roared back against Villanova Saturday night, scoring 14 unanswered points as half-time approached, and never trailing in the last 14 minutes of the game.

Below is a minute-by-minute chart of the game, and a separate graphic showing points scored by every player. Use the slider or the arrows to advance through the minutes of the game, to see how the teams and the individual players performed.

UConn_Villanova

A Sunshine Week Question: Why Are Evaluations of Public University Professors Kept Secret?

by Categorized: Education, Employment, Government, Law Enforcement, Media, Public Safety, Transparency/FOI, UConn Date:

I began teaching a journalism class at Central Connecticut State University this semester, with the taxpayers and students’ families picking up the tab for my modest salary. At some point, I imagine the school will evaluate my performance, and when that happens, it will be the official policy of the state legislature that it’s none of the taxpayers’ business whether I’m doing a great job or a crummy job.

If you teach in a public school in Connecticut, from Kindergarten to a Ph.D. program, state law deems that records of your “performance and evaluation” are off-limits to the public that pays your salary. I was given a stark reminder of that today, just as transparency advocates are wrapping up “Sunshine Week,” a national campaign highlighting the importance of open government.

Today happened to be the day I was provided with a large number of documents I had requested from the University of Connecticut, which included the draft of a review of Robert Miller, the former UConn music professor now under the microscope for allegations of sexual misconduct that spanned decades.

The evaluation runs 28 pages – 19 of which have been blacked out completely, and the rest of which have no more than a sentence or two visible. There is a list of “Dr. Miller’s Strengths” and another of “Dr. Miller’s Weaknesses” – but they have been almost entirely blacked out. There is a section marked “Comments from the Faculty” – immediately followed by a page and a half of black boxes. Under “PERSONALITY ISSUES,” the report notes that neither the review committee members nor those interviewed are trained psychologists, but the rest of section, taking up nearly two pages, is completely redacted.

This isn’t the university getting overly exuberant with a magic marker; it’s just following the law.

As I’ve written before, a move to keep teacher evaluations secret began 30 years, resulting in the passage of a law titled “Nondisclosure of records of teacher performance and evaluation,” which made teacher evaluations in local public schools exempt from the state’s Freedom of Information Act. Legislators were persuaded that parents would use evaluations to shop for the best teachers and pressure schools to place their children accordingly – though every parent I’ve ever talked to already knows who the great teachers are in their schools.

And even while the bill was pitched as a way to prevent teacher-shopping, the final language covered all professional staff in a public K-12 school except the superintendent. Assistant superintendents, principals, librarians – all covered by the law putting their performance evaluations off limits.

Before long, that sort of secrecy started looking good to those in higher education. And in 1989, a similar statute was put on the books blocking public access to performance records for the faculty and professional staff at UConn, the state university system and the state’s technical colleges.

And that’s why the document below is mostly black boxes.

Transparency advocates would like to change that. I’ll start with my eval. If and when CCSU gauges my performance, I’ll be happy to send a copy to anyone interested in reading it.

UConn-St. Joseph’s, Minute-by-Minute

by Categorized: Data, UConn Date:

For the first 40 minutes of UConn’s first match of the NCAA tournament Thursday night, the Huskies led St. Joseph’s barely 10 percent of time.

But they came back when it mattered, tying the game with 39 seconds left in regulation play, and dominating an overtime period in which they never trailed the Hawks, and pulled away for good in less than two minutes’ time. Below is a minute-by chart of the game, and a bubble chart showing points scored by players on each team.

UConn_StJosephs

Affidavits Tell Sad Tale of Collapse of Hurley Scholarship Foundation

by Categorized: Education, Government, Legal Affairs, Non-profits, Uncategorized Date:

The inevitable dissolution of the battered Doc Hurley Scholarship Foundation came a step closer Thursday with Judge Carl Schuman’s order barring the foundation from engaging in any official acts while he considers the fate of the once-revered scholarship fund.

On April 7, barring objection – and no objection has been registered so far – Schuman may formally eliminate the organization Walter “Doc” Hurley dreamed up four decades ago to help needy high school students reach their college dreams. The foundation – which held more than $1 million in assets seven years ago – is now penniless, and Hurley’s daughter, Muriel, is facing a civil suit brought by the attorney general accusing her of looting the charity.

The collapse of the Hurley foundation is on stark display in a series of affidavits filed by nine Hurley scholarship winners who didn’t receive the money they were promised. As part of the Courant’s investigation of the foundation, we tracked down more than a dozen winners who were shortchanged, and lawyers for the state then soon followed up.

Utsarga Bhattarai was awarded a $2,000 scholarship when he graduated from West Hartford’s Hall High School in 2008. But he said the money never came. “On multiple occasions, up and through my junior year of college, I contacted the Foundation through multiple telephone calls and e-mails, but never was contacted by the Foundation,” he wrote.

That sentiment is repeated over and over. “I sent multiple e-mails and made multiple telephone calls to the Foundation and left messages, but never received e-mails back or any return telephone calls,” wrote Alyssa Cusano, who received $500 of the $2,000 she was promised.

Brittany Cavaliere left phone and e-mail messages after her aid stopped. So did Jermaine Thomas and Amanda Trothier. And several other students. But they said they either received no response, or were assured that the scholarship money was on its way. But it never arrived.

The affidavits are included in the dissolution lawsuit merely to bolster the state’s case that the Hurley Foundation was no longer operating as a charitable organization and should be shut down. There is no means through that process to make the students whole.

State officials aren’t foreclosing the possibility of recovering assets that could be distributed to past scholarship winners. But the foundation’s bank accounts are empty, and finding any seizable assets is proving to be a difficult feat.

The students’ affidavits are below:

Malloy Opening Up the Data Mines

by Categorized: Data, Government, Transparency/FOI, Uncategorized Date:

Gov. Dannel P. Malloy signed an executive order today designed to take some of the massive piles of data held by the state and move them onto an easily accessible website where researchers can dive in.

“This data belongs to the people of Connecticut, and this initiative will help make that data more easily and conveniently accessible to them,” Malloy said, expressing a sentiment not always championed by government officials.

The executive order instructs the state’s executive agencies to identify a first round of datasets that will be made available on what is being dubbed the Connecticut Open Data Portal, at data.ct.gov. Agencies have been told to look for data that is reliable, already in electronic form, frequently requested by the public and free of confidential information.Malloy told the departments to also consider whether disclosure of the information would “improve agency accountability and efficiency, enhance public knowledge of the agency’s operations, or create economic innovation and opportunity.”

Agencies have 90 days to come up with that first list.

Tyler Kleykamp, who works for the Office of Policy and Management, will l lead the enterprise as Chief Data Officer (not to be confused with the television character “Data,” who was a chief officer of the U.S.S. Enterprise).

The initiative builds on the state’s transparency website, which already provides data in searchable and downloadable form on the state’s payroll, pension, contracts, grants and payments. And it’s part of a larger trend of freeing “big data” for analysis by researchers, journalists and business interests. States maintain enormous amounts of data on everything from health care spending to educational performance to highway safety. And more and more of it is seeping into the public domain.

“Timely and consistent publication of public information and data is an essential component of an open and effective government,” the executive order proclaims.

But as it moves to place that information online, the governor’s office also said it would safeguard private information, and said the initiative “does not apply to any protected data that, if disclosed, would violate state or federal law, would endanger the public health, safety or welfare, hinder the operation of government or impose an undue financial, operational or administrative burden on a state agency.”

The way officials interpret those parameters may determine just how public all that public information really will be.