Pro Publica has published a database that makes it easy for you to compare your access to quality education and at what cost in an effort to provide insight into the opportunity gap demonstrated by economic difference in the classroom.
The data for L.A.-area school districts indicates that the higher the percentage of students who get free or reduced-price lunches the lower the percentage of students who take at least one AP course. For example, 76 percent of LAUSD students receive free or discounted lunches and 16 percent take at least one AP course. The data flips, however, for Palos Verdes Peninsula Unified: 1 percent get free/reduced priced lunch, and 41 percent take at least one AP course.
My first thought upon seeing this was: who pays the other $10? The [not-so] small print below today’s Groupon says that it’s paid for by Groupon (and sponsors). Up to $500,000 of the $800 million to $2 billion in revenues the Chicago-based startup will reportedly take in this year.
That’s a hefty write-off donation for most, and possibly a perk for some Groupon sponsors, and a nice, lucky penny pitched into the pond by a company that allegedly turned down a $6 billion or so buyout offer from Google earlier this month.
Billions in revenue. Huge numbers. It’s important to note how individuals and corporations choose to spend their philanthropic capital and I really like the way Groupon does it here: Empowering regular people to give by subsidizing our donations. I’m sure Groupon wishes it could boast about the kind of repeat transactions that a Kiva.org — where the average user has made 6.5 loans — and what better way to grow it’s community during the holiday giving season by encouraging the habit of giving (or lending) while otherwise luring subscribers to habitually consume on first site of bargain.
Last month, a Kiva.org Grouponraised lead to $100,000 in microloans and Oprah Winfrey promoted Kiva to her audience (for her part, Winfrey was the most charitable celebrity of 2009 with $40 million in donations to various charities, according to The Giving Back Fund. Today’s Kiva Groupon was trumped by a DonorsChoose coupon, which was 60 percent subsidized by the Pershing Square Foundation ($10 for $25). Last May, Groupon and Pershing Square teamedup with DonorsChoose to raise $1 million in funds for public school classrooms in need.
Last week, 17 billionaires, including Steve Case, Mark Zuckerberg, Bill and Melinda Gates, Warren Buffet, Michael Bloomberg and Carl Icahn, announced their intention to give the majority of their wealth to charity — the Giving Pledge.
In an age where it’s so easy to set examples — for better and worse — it’s comforting to see more and more bold acts of goodwill.
The Get Schooled 2010 Challenge dropped in on L.A. on Friday, surprising the students at Ulysses S. Grant High School in Valley Village with a one-hour assembly hosted by MTV’s Sway and featuring Common.
“…I know y’all fresher than North Hollywood,” Common freestyled from a stage set up in the Grant High Lancers’ gym.
Los Angeles was the ninth stop on Get Schooled’s National Challenge and Tour, a program funded in part by MTV and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. In each city, a top school is chosen by the district but the details and location of the school are kept under wraps to maximize the surprise. In L.A. Get Schooled is encouraging students to not just stay in school but to be proactive and take advantage of LAUSD programs such as City of Angels, to help those who are still a few credits shy of a diploma and the Green Dot Public Schools. The comprehensive website is loaded with resources and tips for students of all ages as well as volunteer opportunities, such as City Year. Everyone is encouraged to step up!
We caught up with Common and Sway to discuss the importance of programs such as Get Schooled. Watch the videos below!
I was lucky to get a couple minutes with Common following the filming of Get Schooled for MTV at Ulysses S. Grant High School in Valley Village. We spoke briefly about the event, education, and the ability of social media to empower him and his peers to create change.