Public education in Rhode Island

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K-12 Education in Rhode Island
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Education facts
State Superintendent: Deborah Gist
Number of students: 142,854[1]
Number of teachers: 11,414
Teacher/pupil ratio: 1:12.5
Number of school districts: 54
Number of schools: 308
Graduation rate: 77%[2]
Per-pupil spending: $13,815[3]
See also
Rhode Island Department of EducationList of school districts in Rhode IslandRhode IslandSchool boards portal
Policypedia
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Education policy project
Public education in the United States
Public education in Rhode Island
Glossary of education terms
Note: The statistics on this page are mainly from government sources, including the U.S. Census Bureau and the National Center for Education Statistics. Figures given are the most recent as of June 2014, with school years noted in the text or footnotes.
The Rhode Island public school system (prekindergarten-grade 12) operates within districts governed by locally elected school boards and superintendents. In 2012 Rhode Island had 142,854 students enrolled in a total of 308 schools in 54 school districts. There were 11,414 teachers in the public schools, or roughly one teacher for every 13 students, compared to the national average of 1:16. There is roughly one administrator for every 317 students, compared to the national average of one administrator for every 295 students.[4] On average Rhode Island spent $13,815 per pupil in 2011, which ranks it 10th highest in the nation. The state's graduation rate was 77 percent in 2012.[5]

State agencies

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State Education Departments

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See also
Rhode Island Commissioner of Education
List of school districts in Rhode Island
Public education in Rhode Island
School board elections portal
The Rhode Island Department of Education oversees K-12 education in the state. The chief administrative officer of the Rhode Island Department of Education is the Commissioner of Education. The Commissioner of Education is appointed by the Rhode Island Board of Education. The current officeholder is Deborah Gist.[6]

The Rhode Island Board of Education governs all public education in the state. The board is composed of 11 members appointed by the governor and confirmed by the state senate.[7]

Common Core

Common Core, or the Common Core State Standards Initiative, is an American education initiative that outlines quantifiable benchmarks in English and mathematics at each grade level from kindergarten through high school. The Rhode Island Department of Elementary and Secondary Education adopted the standards on July 1, 2010. Full implementation took place during the 2013-2014 academic year.[8][9]

Regional comparison

See also: General comparison table for education statistics in the 50 states
See also: Education spending per pupil in all 50 states

The following chart shows how Rhode Island compares to three neighboring states with respect to number of students, schools, the number of teachers per pupil, and the number of administrators per pupil. Further comparisons between these states with respect to performance and financial information are given in other sections of this page.

Regional comparison
State Schools Districts Students Teachers Teacher/pupil ratio Administrator/pupil ratio Per pupil spending
Rhode Island 308 54 142,854 11,414 1:12.5 1:316.8 $13,815
Connecticut 1,150 200 554,437 43,805 1:12.7 1:252.1 $15,600
Massachusetts 1,835 401 953,369 69,342 1:13.7 1:210.1 $13,941
New Hampshire 477 281 191,900 15,049 1:12.8 1:349.6 $13,224
United States 98,328 17,992 49,521,669 3,103,263 16 295.2 $10,994
Sources: U.S. Department of Education, National Center for Education Statistics, Common Core of Data (CCD), "State Nonfiscal Public Elementary/Secondary Education Survey", 2011-12 v.1a.

National Center for Education Statistics, Table 2. Number of operating public schools and districts, state enrollment, teacher and pupil/teacher ratio by state: School year 2011–12
U.S. Census Bureau, "Public Education Finances: 2011,Governments Division Reports," issued May 2013

Demographics

See also: Demographic information for all students in all 50 states

The following table displays the ethnic distribution of students in Rhode Island as reported in the National Center for Education Statistics Common Core of Data for 2011-2012.[10]

Demographic information for Rhode Island's K-12 public school system
Ethnicity Students State Percentage United States Percentage**
American Indian 913 0.64% 1.10%
Asian 4,123 2.89% 4.68%
African American 11,597 8.12% 15.68%
Hawaiian Nat./Pacific Isl. students 216 0.15% 0.42%
Hispanic 30,816 21.57% 24.37%
White 91,400 63.98% 51.21%
Two or more 3,789 2.65% 2.54%
**Note: This is the percentage of all students in the United States that are reported to be of this ethnicity.

Enrollments by region type

See also: Student distribution by region type in the U.S.

A majority of students in Rhode Island attend suburban schools. Approximately 86 percent of the state's students attend city or suburbban schools, compared to approximately 14 percent who attend rural or town schools.

Student distribution by region type, 2011 - 2012 (as percents)
State City schools Suburban schools Town schools Rural schools
Rhode Island 31.4% 54.4% 2.4% 11.9%
Connecticut 28.1% 53.7% 4% 14.2%
Massachusetts 20.8% 66.1% 2.2% 11%
New Hampshire 14.4% 31.8% 16.3% 37.5%
U.S. average 28.9% 34% 11.6% 25.4%
Source: U.S. Department of Education, National Center for Education Statistics, Common Core of Data (CCD) (timed out)

Academic performance

Policypedia
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Education policy terms
Academic bankruptcyAcademic EarthAcademic performanceAdaptive softwareBlended learningCarnegie unitCharter schoolsCommon CoreDropout rateDual enrollmentEnglish Language LearnersFree or reduced-price lunchGlobal competence learningHomeschoolingImmersion learningKhan AcademyLocal education agencyMagnet schoolsNAEPOnline learningParent trigger lawsProgressive educationRegulatory Adjusted Cohort Graduation RateSchool choiceSchool vouchersTeacher merit payVirtual charter schools
See also

NAEP scores

See also: NAEP scores by state

The National Center for Education Statistics provides state-by-state data on student achievement levels in mathematics and reading in the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP). Compared to three neighboring states (Connecticut, Massachusetts, and New Hampshire), Rhode Island has the smallest share of fourth and eighth grade students who scored at or above proficient in both math and reading.[11]

Percent of students scoring at or above proficient, 2012-2013
Math - Grade 4 Math - Grade 8 Reading - Grade 4 Reading - Grade 8
Rhode Island 42 36 38 36
Connecticut 45 37 43 45
Massachusetts 58 55 47 48
New Hampshire 59 47 45 44
U.S. average 41 34 34 34
Source: United States Department of Education, ED Data Express, "State Tables," accessed May 13, 2014
NAEP assessment data for all students 2012-2013

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Graduation, ACT and SAT scores

See also: Graduation rates by groups in state
See also: ACT and SAT scores in the U.S.

The following table shows the graduation rates and average composite ACT and SAT scores for Rhode Island and surrounding states.[11][12][13]

Comparison table for graduation rates and test scores*
State Graduation rate, 2012 Average ACT Composite, 2012 Average SAT Composite, 2013
Percent Quintile ranking** Score Participation rate Score Participation rate
Rhode Island 77% Fourth 22.9 13% 1,468 72%
Connecticut 85% First 23.8 27% 1,532 85%
Massachusetts 85% Second 24.1 23% 1,553 83%
New Hampshire 86% First 23.8 19% 1,567 70%
U.S. average 80% 21.1 1,498
*Regulatory Adjusted Cohort Rate (except for Idaho, Kentucky, Oklahoma, which did not report “Regulatory Adjusted Cohort Graduation Rate,” but instead used their own method of calculation).
**Graduation rates for states in the first quintile ranked in the top 20 percent nationally. Similarly, graduation rates for states in the fifth quintile ranked in the bottom 20 percent nationally.
Source: United States Department of Education, ED Data Express

Dropout rate

See also: Public high school dropout rates by state for a full comparison of dropout rates by group in all states

The high school event dropout rate indicates the proportion of students who were enrolled at some time during the school year and were expected to be enrolled in grades 9–12 in the following school year but were not enrolled by October 1 of the following school year. Students who have graduated, transferred to another school, died, moved to another country, or who are out of school due to illness are not considered dropouts. The average public high school event dropout rate for the United States remained constant at 3.3 percent for both SY 2010–11 and SY 2011–12. The event dropout rate for Rhode Island was higher than the national average at 5.2 percent in the 2010-2011 school year, and 4.2 percent in the 2011-2012 school year.[14]

Educational choice options

See also: School choice in Rhode Island

School choice options in Rhode Island include: charter schools, a school choice tax incentive program and an inter-district open enrollment policy. In addition, about 16.27 percent of school age children in the state attended private schools in the 2011-12 academic year, and an estimated 2.67 percent were homeschooled in 2012-13.

Education funding and expenditures

See also: Rhode Island state budget and finances
Breakdown of expenditures by function in FY 2012
Source: National Association of State Budget Officers

According to the National Association of State Budget Officers (NASBO), the state spent approximately 14.2 percent of its fiscal year 2012 budget on elementary and secondary education. As a share of the budget, this is down 1.30 percentage points, or 8.4 percent, from fiscal year 2008, when the state spent 15.5 percent of its budget on elementary and secondary education.[15][16][17][18][19]

Comparison of financial figures for school systems
State Percent of budget (2012) Per pupil spending (2011) Revenue sources (2011)
Percent federal funds Percent state funds Percent local funds
Rhode Island 14.2% $13,815 10.76% 36.53% 52.72%
Connecticut 13.9% $15,600 8.27% 33.65% 58.09%
Massachusetts 10.7% $13,941 7.85% 37.91% 54.24%
New Hampshire 19.7% $13,224 6.49% 37.29% 56.21%
Sources: NASBO, "State Expenditure Report," Table 8: Elementary and Secondary Education Expenditures As a Percent of Total Expenditures
U.S. Census Bureau, "Public Education Finances: 2011,Governments Division Reports," issued May 2013

Revenue breakdowns

See also: Public school system revenues in the U.S.

According to the National Center for Education Statistics, public school system revenues in Rhode Island totaled approximately $2.3 billion in fiscal year 2011. The table and chart below present further detail, including revenue sources, for Rhode Island and surrounding states.[20]

Revenues by source, FY 2011 (amounts in thousands)
Federal revenue State revenue Local revenue Total revenue
Rhode Island $244,530 $830,220 $1,198,254 $2,273,004
Connecticut $799,526 $3,254,757 $5,618,933 $9,673,216
Massachusetts $1,197,383 $5,783,240 $8,275,257 $15,255,880
New Hampshire $184,768 $1,061,011 $1,599,416 $2,845,195
U.S. total $74,943,767 $267,762,416 $264,550,594 $607,256,777
Source: National Center for Education Statistics
Public school revenues by source, FY 2011 (as percents)

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Expenditure breakdowns

See also: Public school system expenditures in the U.S.

According to the National Center for Education Statistics, public school system expenditures in Rhode Island totaled approximately $2.3 billion in fiscal year 2011. The table and chart below present further detail, including expenditure types, for Rhode Island and surrounding states.[20]

Expenditures by type, FY 2011 (amounts in thousands)
Current expenditures** Capital outlay Other*** Total expenditures
Rhode Island $2,059,636 $47,973 $198,338 $2,305,947
Connecticut $8,367,518 $533,188 $404,820 $9,305,526
Massachusetts $12,894,969 $817,228 $767,052 $14,479,249
New Hampshire $2,502,899 $206,241 $129,038 $2,838,178
U.S. total $520,577,893 $52,984,139 $29,581,293 $603,143,325
**Funds spent operating local public schools and local education agencies, including such expenses as salaries for school personnel, student transportation, school books and materials, and energy costs, but excluding capital outlay, interest on school debt, payments to private schools, and payments to public charter schools.
***Includes payments to state and local governments, payments to private schools, interest on school system indebtedness, and nonelementary-secondary expenditures, such as adult education and community services expenditures.
Source: National Center for Education Statistics
Public school expenditures, FY 2011 (as percents)

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Personnel salaries

See also: Public school teacher salaries in the U.S.
Note: Salaries given are averages for the state. Within states there can be great variation in salaries between urban, suburban and rural districts. When comparing nominal teachers' salaries, it is important to remember that for a true comparison, salaries must be adjusted for the cost of living in each area. For example, when adjusted for cost of living, Los Angeles drops from second highest to 17th highest; New York City drops even further, from third highest to 59th out of 60.[21]

According to the National Center for Education Statistics, the average national salary for classroom teachers in public elementary and secondary schools has declined by 1.3 percent from the 1999-2000 school year to the 2012-2013 school year. During the same period in Rhode Island, the average salary decreased by 1.3 percent.[22]

Estimated average salaries for teachers (in constant dollars**)
1999-2000 2009-2010 2011-2012 2012-2013 Percent difference
Rhode Island $64,286 $63,711 $63,221 $63,474 -1.3%
Connecticut $70,762 $68,690 $70,621 $69,766 -1.4%
Massachusetts $63,656 $73,945 $72,915 $73,129 14.9%
New Hampshire $51,567 $54,912 $55,079 $55,599 7.8%
U.S. average $57,133 $58,925 $56,340 $56,383 -1.3%
**"Constant dollars based on the Consumer Price Index (CPI), prepared by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, adjusted to a school-year basis. The CPI does not account for differences in inflation rates from state to state."

Organizations

Unions

In 2012 the Fordham Institute and Education Reform Now assessed the power and influence of state teacher unions in all 50 states and the District of Columbia. Their rankings were based on 37 different variables in five broad areas, including: resources and membership, involvement in politics, scope of bargaining, state policies and perceived influence. Rhode Island ranked fifth overall, or "strongest," which was in the first of five tiers.[23]

The main unions related to the Rhode Island school system are the Rhode Island Federation of Teachers (RIFT) and NEA Rhode Island (NEARI), an affliate of the National Education Association (NEA). NEARI is the largest education association in the state. For the 2003 tax period NEARI had: $3.49 million in total revenue, $3.22 million in total expenses and $4.45 million in total assets.[24] For the same period, RIFT had: $1.96 million in total revenue, $1.81 million in total expenses and $727,960 in total assets.[25]

List of local Rhode Island school unions:[26]

Taxpayer-funded lobbying

See also: Rhode Island government sector lobbying

The main education government sector lobbying organization is the Rhode Island Association of School Committees.

Transparency

Rhode Island maintains a Transparency Portal, which includes financial records and personnel statements for at least 15 government departments. The Department of Education provides information pertaining projects, teacher pensions, scholarships, loans and grants.

Studies and reports

Quality Counts 2014

See also: Quality Counts 2014 Report

Education Week, a publication that reports on many education issues throughout the country, began using an evaluation system in 1997 to grade each state on various elements of education performance. This system, called Quality Counts, uses official data on performance from each state to generate a report card for all 50 states and the District of Columbia. The report card in 2014 uses six different categories:

  1. Chance for success
  2. K-12 achievement
  3. Standards, assessments and accountability
  4. The teaching profession
  5. School finance
  6. Transitions and Alignment

Each of these six categories had a number of other elements that received individual scores. Those scores were then averaged and used to determine the final score in each category. Every state received two types of scores for each of the six major categories: A numerical score out of 100 and a letter grade based on that score. Education Week used the score for the first category, "chance for success," as the value for ranking each state and the District of Columbia. The average grade received in the entire country was 77.3, or a C+ average. The country's highest average score was in the category of "standards, assessments and accountability" at 85.3, or a B average. The lowest average score was in "K-12 achievement", at 70.2, or a C- average.

Rhode Island received a score of 79.7, or a B- average in the "chance for success" category. This was above the national average. The state's highest score was in "school finance" at 86.5, or a B average. The lowest score was in "K-12 achievement" at 69.3, or a D+ average. Rhode Island had the lowest score in "K-12 achievement" when compared to neighboring states. The chart below displays the scores of Rhode Island and its surrounding states.[27]

Note: Click on a column heading to sort the data.

Public education report cards, 2014
State Chance for success K-12 achievement Standards, assessments and accountability The teaching profession School finance Transitions and Alignment
Rhode Island 79.7 (B-) 69.3 (D+) 85.1 (B) 71.1 (C-) 86.5 (B) 78.6 (C+)
Connecticut 87.5 (B+) 72.4 (C-) 78.6 (C+) 70.8 (C-) 86.8 (B+) 78.6 (C+)
Massachusetts 91.4 (A-) 83.7 (B) 88.4 (B+) 78.7 (C+) 83.5 (B) 75.0 (C)
New Hampshire 88.0 (B+) 78.8 (C+) 76.0 (C) 63.9 (D) 81.4 (B-) 78.6 (C+)
United States Average 77.3 (C+) 70.2 (C-) 85.3 (B) 72.5 (C) 75.5 (C) 81.1 (B-)
Source: Education Week, "Quality Counts 2014 report cards," accessed February 18, 2015

A full discussion of how these numbers were generated can be found here.

State Budget Solutions education study

See also: State spending on education v. academic performance (2012)

State Budget Solutions examined national trends in education from 2009 to 2011, including state-by-state analysis of education spending, graduation rates and average ACT scores. The study showed that the states that spent the most did not have the highest average ACT test scores, nor did they have the highest average graduation rates. A summary of the study is available here. The full report can be accessed here.

School districts

See also: School board elections portal

District types

Rhode Island contains several types of school districts. The most prevalent are regular school districts, which provide K-12 courses in a single municipality. Regional school districts operate K-12 schools across multiple municipalities. Rhode Island also contains state-operated schools, which operate branches throughout the state.[28]

District statistics

See also: List of school districts in Rhode Island

The following table displays the state's top 10 school districts by total student enrollment and per-pupil spending during the 2011-2012 school year:[29][30]

Enrollment, 2011-2012 Per-pupil spending, 2011-2012
1.) Providence Public Schools 1.) New Shoreham School District
2.) Cranston Public Schools 2.) Jamestown School District
3.) Warwick Public Schools 3.) Little Compton School District
4.) Pawtucket School District 4.) Newport School District
5.) Woonsocket School District 5.) Exeter-West Greenwich Regional School District
6.) East Providence School District 6.) Narragansett School District
7.) Coventry School District 7.) Central Falls School District
8.) Cumberland School District 8.) Westerly School District
9.) North Kingstown School District 9.) South Kingstown School District
10.) Bristol Warren Regional School District 10.) Johnston School District

School board composition

Rhode Island school board members are generally elected by residents of the school district, although some school board members are appointed to school committees by mayors and city councils. School board elections typically select board members on an at-large basis, allowing all residents living in the school district to vote for any board candidates on the ballot.[31]

School boards can consists of five, seven or nine members. Board members serve four-year terms, which are often staggered every two years.

Term limits

Rhode Island does not impose statewide term limits on school board members. However, terms limits on school board members can still be imposed on the local level.[31]

Elections

See also: Rhode Island school board elections, 2014 and Rhode Island school board elections, 2015

No top enrollment districts in Rhode Island are scheduled to hold elections in 2015.

Path to the ballot

To qualify for the ballot as a school board candidate in Rhode Island, a person must be:[32]

  • 18 years of age or older
  • A resident of the school district at the time of the election

Candidates file their Declarations of Candidacy with the local board of canvassers. Each candidate must also file nomination papers with a minimum number of valid signatures as determined by the local board.[32]

Campaign finance

State law requires school board candidates to file campaign finance reports with the Rhode Island State Board of Elections. Two reports are required prior to primary elections and general elections and candidates also file one post-election report per election.[32]

Education ballot measures

See also: Education on the ballot and List of Rhode Island ballot measures

Ballotpedia has tracked the following statewide ballot measures relating to education.

  1. Rhode Island Capital Bonds for Higher Education Question, Question 2 (2010)
  2. Rhode Island Higher Education Bonds, Question 4 (2000)
  3. Rhode Island Higher Education Bonds Question, Question 3 (2012)
  4. Rhode Island Higher Education Facilities Bonds, Question 4 (2014)
  5. Rhode Island Question 2, Higher Education Facilities Bonds (1998)
  6. Rhode Island Question 4, Higher Education Bonds Act (2006)
  7. Rhode Island Question 4, School Bonds (2004)
  8. Rhode Island Question 5, Higher Education Residence Hall Bonds (2004)

Recent news

This section displays the most recent stories in a Google news search for the term "Rhode Island + Education "

All stories may not be relevant to this page due to the nature of the search engine.

Rhode Island Education News Feed

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See also

External links

References

  1. National Center for Education Statistics, "Table 2. Number of operating public schools and districts, state enrollment, teacher and pupil/teacher ratio by state: School year 2011–12," accessed March 18, 2014
  2. ED Data Express, "State Tables Report," accessed March 17, 2014 The site includes this disclaimer: "States converted to an adjusted cohort graduation rate [starting in the 2010-2011 school year], which may or may not be the same as the calculation they used in prior years. Due to the potential differences, caution should be used when comparing graduation rates across states."
  3. United States Census Bureau, "Public Education Finances: 2011," accessed March 18, 2014
  4. United States Department of Education, National Center for Education Statistics, "Common Core of Data (CCD); Table 2.—Number of operating public schools and districts, state enrollment, teacher and pupil/teacher ratio by state: School year 2011-12," accessed May 12, 2014
  5. United States Department of Education, "ED Data Express," accessed May 12, 2014
  6. Rhode Island Department of Education, "Inside RIDE," accessed June 4, 2014
  7. Rhode Island Department of Education, "Board of Education," accessed June 4, 2014
  8. Common Core State Standards Initiative, "Core Standards in your State," accessed June 12, 2014
  9. Rhode Island Department of Education, "Instruction and Assessment," accessed June 17, 2014
  10. United States Department of Education, National Center for Education Statistics, "Common Core of Data (CCD), State Nonfiscal Public Elementary/Secondary Education Survey, 2011-2012," accessed May 7, 2014
  11. 11.0 11.1 United States Department of Education, ED Data Express, "State Tables," accessed May 13, 2014
  12. ACT, "2012 ACT National and State Scores," accessed May 13, 2014
  13. Commonwealth Foundation, "SAT Scores by State 2013," October 10, 2013
  14. United States Department of Education, National Center for Education Statistics, "Common Core of Data (CCD), State Dropout and Graduation Rate Data File, School Year 2010-11, Provision Version 1a and School Year 2011-12, Preliminary Version 1a," accessed May 13, 2014
  15. National Association of State Budget Officers, "State Expenditure Report, 2011-2013," accessed February 21, 2014
  16. National Association of State Budget Officers, "State Expenditure Report, 2009-2011," accessed February 24, 2014
  17. National Association of State Budget Officers, "State Expenditures Report, 2010-2012," accessed February 24, 2014
  18. National Association of State Budget Officers, "State Expenditure Report, 2009," accessed February 24, 2014
  19. National Association of State Budget Officers, "State Expenditure Report, 2008," accessed February 24, 2014
  20. 20.0 20.1 United States Department of Education, National Center for Education Statistics, "Revenues and Expenditures for Public Elementary and Secondary School Districts: School Year 2010–11," accessed May 13, 2014 (timed out) (timed out)
  21. Maciver Institute, "REPORT: How much are teachers really paid?," accessed October 29, 2014
  22. United States Department of Education, National Center for Education Statistics, "Table 211.60. Estimated average annual salary of teachers in public elementary and secondary schools, by state: Selected years, 1969-70 through 2012-13," accessed May 13, 2014
  23. Thomas E Fordham Institute, " How Strong Are U.S. Teacher Unions? A State-By-State Comparison," October 29, 2012
  24. Center for Union Facts, "NEA Rhode Island," accessed September 16, 2009
  25. Center for Union Facts, "Rhode Island Federation of Teachers," accessed September 16, 2009
  26. Center for Union Facts, "State of Rhode Island," accessed September 16, 2009 (dead link) (dead link)
  27. Education Week "Quality Counts 2014 report cards," accessed February 19, 2015
  28. Rhode Island Department of Education, "School Districts," accessed July 10, 2014
  29. National Center for Education Statistics, "ELSI Table Generator," accessed July 11, 2014
  30. Rhode Island Department of Education, "Infoworks," accessed July 11, 2014
  31. 31.0 31.1 Rhode Island Association of School Committees, "Guidelines for School Committee Members," accessed July 10, 2014
  32. 32.0 32.1 32.2 Rhode Island Secretary of State, "Rhode Island How to Run for Office 2014," accessed July 9, 2014