It’s Black Monday — the day after the NFL’s regular season concludes — when 20 to 25 percent of teams (usually of the non-playoff-bound variety) have historically begun their offseason by firing (or otherwise parting ways with) their head coaches. This year, the New York Jets have fired Rex Ryan, Mike Smith is out in Atlanta and Jim Harbaugh left the San Francisco 49ers in a mutual split. Further changes may be coming.Teams don’t take these coaching changes lightly, but for all the focus on the coaching carousel, it’s been difficult for researchers to figure out how much who’s wearing the headset matters.Teams that change coaches have a strong tendency to improve the following season, which could be taken as prima facie evidence that swapping in a new coach makes a profound difference. But it also could simply be the residue of regression to the mean. A poor record is generally required for a team to consider dismissing its coach, but much of the differences in NFL team records is due to luck and not the comparative skill levels of the teams themselves. When that luck evens out, the team appears to improve, even if its underlying skill didn’t change all that much.And this phenomena is essentially what the research on NFL coaching changes has found. Although the average team to change coaches since 1994 has seen its winning percentage improve from .383 to .428 the next season, that’s mostly regression to the mean at work. In fact, once we account for the teams’ previous Elo ratings and the inexorable pull that a .500 record exerts on NFL teams from year to year, there’s little evidence that changing coaches helps teams at all.The aforementioned sample of teams had an average Elo rating of 1437 at the end of the regular season with their old coach, which tends to translate to a .463 winning percentage the following year whether a team changes coaches or not. But the season after making the change, those teams averaged a .428 winning percentage — about 35 points lower than we’d have expected based on their previous Elo ratings. This may speak to broader institutional issues that are correlated with coaching changes but beyond the influence of the coach himself, such as dysfunctional ownership, a poor general manager or players who consistently win less than point-differential-based metrics would predict.These types of findings lend credence to the theory that NFL coaching changes offer franchises little more than the illusion of control over their future. While it may feel satisfying to fans and owners to fire a coach after a disappointing season, it’s tough to quantify the real benefits of such a move — if any even exist.
Coast Guard Air Station Elizabeth City, N.C., is turning to a nearby historically black college to boost recruiting, Military.com reported. “We need pilots,” Rear Admiral Keith Smith, commander of the 5th Coast Guard District, said. “This is a perfect match.” The base and university, which has the only four-year aviation program in the state, have a history of working closely….A three-person contracting team at Vandenberg Air Force Base, Calif., has saved the Air Force $1 billion over the past seven years simply by repurposing equipment, according to an Air Force press release. “When one contract is ending, another contract on base may be beginning and able to use those parts and equipment,” contract specialist Darlene Thompson said.Vandenberg Air Force Base photo by Airman 1st Class Hanah Abercrombie ADC AUTHOR
The event will provide an opportunity for policymakers, employers, civic leaders, and funders to hear about the findings for the 100 most-populous metropolitan regions and dive into the striking findings for the Chicago region. The study identifies significant costs as “lost lives, lost income, and lost potential.” Policy topics to be addressed include housing, land use, transportation, violence reduction, and economic mobility. Some of the speakers that will be at this event include Marisa Novara, vice president, Metropolitan Planning Council; Rolf Pendall, co-director, Metropolitan Housing and Communities Policy Center, Urban Institute; Erika Poethig, director of urban policy initiatives, Urban Institute; Joanna Trotter, senior program officer, The Chicago Community Trust; and Gustavo Velasquez, director, Washington-Area Research Initiative, Urban Institute. The event is scheduled to be held on July 14 at 9:30 a.m. at the Urban Institute, 2100 M Street, NW. Admission is free. Breakfast will be available at 9 a.m., and the program will begin promptly at 9:30 a.m. For inquiries regarding this event, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
AddThis Share1David Ruth713email@example.comJade Boyd713firstname.lastname@example.orgMore than 1.5 million students have used OpenStax’s free textbooks Rice-based publisher expects to save students $70 million this academic year HOUSTON — (Sept. 27, 2016) — More than 1.5 million college students have used a free textbook from OpenStax, the Rice University-based publisher announced today. The number of students using OpenStax textbooks has more than doubled since January, and OpenStax estimates it will save students $70 million in the 2016-17 academic year.Richard Baraniuk“More than 811,000 students are using our books this fall, which is a 106 percent increase over spring 2016, and the books are being used in over 4,500 courses at 2,688 universities, colleges and high schools,” said Richard Baraniuk, founder and director of OpenStax and Rice’s Victor E. Cameron Professor of Engineering. “Our books are making it possible for more students to afford college at a time when a college education has never been more important.”OpenStax’s 25 textbooks offer the best of both worlds for students: They feature full-color, peer-reviewed, high-quality content like expensive textbooks, but they are free online and low-cost in print like traditionally produced open educational resources (OER).“We specifically design our books to be easily adopted into almost any introductory college course,” Baraniuk said. “That strategy, coupled with the demand among both instructors and students for low-cost, high-quality alternatives to traditional textbooks and traditional OER are what’s helping us get ever nearer to our goal of saving students $500 million by 2020.”Based on the number of instructors who have notified OpenStax that they are adopting the books in their courses, OpenStax knows that 1.5 million students have used its books since 2012. Based on the date of adoptions, the one millionth student is among the students in instructor Shawna Brandle’s American Government course this fall at Kingsborough Community College in Brooklyn, N.Y.“I’m so happy to be using the OpenStax American Government textbook,” said Brandle, an assistant professor of political science at Kingsborough. “I taught for years using expensive textbooks I didn’t like before trying a different free digital book that wasn’t great. I even tried making my own book, but nothing at any price is as good as the OpenStax book. I’m doubly happy knowing that my students are not paying for a book and are still getting the best resource available, regardless of price.”OpenStax launched in 2012 with two titles and a unique OER business model: Use philanthropic grants to produce high-quality, peer-reviewed textbooks that are free online and low-cost in print.Current titles include College Physics; Biology; Concepts of Biology; Anatomy and Physiology; Chemistry; University Physics, volume 1; Microbiology; Sociology 2e; Principles of Economics; Principles of Macroeconomics; Principles of Microeconomics; Psychology; American Government; U.S. History; Introductory Statistics; Precalculus; Calculus, volumes 1-3; Algebra and Trigonometry; College Algebra; and Prealgebra.OpenStax plans to publish Astronomy and University Physics, volumes 2 and 3, in time for spring 2017 adoptions.OpenStax is made possible by the support of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation, the Laura and John Arnold Foundation, the 20 Million Minds Foundation, the Maxfield Foundation, the Calvin K. Kanzanjian Foundation, the Bill and Stephanie Sick Fund and the Leon Lowenstein Foundation.-30-A high-resolution IMAGE and INFOGRAPHICS are available for download at:http://news.rice.edu/files/2016/09/0927_OSX-NUMBERS-InfoComp-lg-1dp4quz.jpg(Courtesy of OpenStax/Rice University)http://news.rice.edu/files/2016/09/0927_OSX-NUMBERS-InfoMany-lg-122fd1w.jpg(Courtesy of OpenStax/Rice University)http://news.rice.edu/files/2016/09/0927_OSX-NUMBERS-InfoSave-lg-2jh3gd7.jpg(Courtesy of OpenStax/Rice University)http://news.rice.edu/files/2016/09/0927_OSX-NUMBERS-InfoWhere-lg-prap02.jpg(Courtesy of OpenStax/Rice University)http://news.rice.edu/files/2016/09/0927_OSX-NUMBERS-InfoBooks-lg-u7nen1.jpg(Courtesy of OpenStax/Rice University)http://news.rice.edu/wp-content/uploads/2014/07/0805_OSX-K12-rich-lg.jpgCAPTION: Richard Baraniuk (Photo by Jeff Fitlow/Rice University)More information is available at http://openstax.org.Related OpenStax news from Rice:Top 10: Which colleges save the most with free textbooks? — Aug. 1, 2016http://news.rice.edu/2016/08/01/top-10-which-colleges-save-the-most-with-free-textbooks/Eleven schools selected for national OpenStax partnership program — July 6, 2016http://news.rice.edu/2016/07/06/11-schools-selected-for-national-openstax-partnership-program-2/OpenStax, NACSCORP to offer low-cost textbook customization — March 3, 2016http://news.rice.edu/2016/03/03/openstax-nacscorp-to-offer-low-cost-textbook-customization/OpenStax already saved students $39 million this academic year — Jan. 20, 2016http://news.rice.edu/2016/01/20/openstax-already-saved-students-39-million-this-academic-year/This release can be found online at news.rice.edu.Follow Rice News and Media Relations via Twitter @RiceUNewsLocated on a 300-acre forested campus in Houston, Rice University is consistently ranked among the nation’s top 20 universities by U.S. News & World Report. Rice has highly respected schools of Architecture, Business, Continuing Studies, Engineering, Humanities, Music, Natural Sciences and Social Sciences and is home to the Baker Institute for Public Policy. With 3,910 undergraduates and 2,809 graduate students, Rice’s undergraduate student-to-faculty ratio is 6-to-1. Its residential college system builds close-knit communities and lifelong friendships, just one reason why Rice is ranked No. 1 for happiest students and for lots of race/class interaction by the Princeton Review. Rice is also rated as a best value among private universities by Kiplinger’s Personal Finance. To read “What they’re saying about Rice,” go to http://tinyurl.com/RiceUniversityoverview.