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You can now give California a grade with the CITRIS report card

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JANUARY 31, 2014

Have you ever wanted to give California a grade? Well now, you can. Working in tandem with the Center for Information Technology Research in the Interest of Society, or CITRIS — a research unit from UC Berkeley and Davis — Lieutenant Governor Gavin Newsom is creating and perfecting a survey that will allow users to assess California’s hot-button issues with a grade – basically, a progress report. Here are some things you need to know about the new California Report Card:

So, what is it?

CRC enhances “communication between the public and government leaders” and helps leaders “stay informed about the changing opinions and priorities of their constituents.” If only our academic transcripts served a similar purpose and nothing more.

Can I participate?

Participation is “self-selective” and accessible only to “English speakers with access to a smart phone or web browser.” Thousands of people who have taken stats are slowly being killed right now by the deadly amount of biases present in this project.

Why are they doing it now?

According to CITRIS, Californians “rarely follow the norm.” We really don’t. Everything from saying “carpool lane” instead of the “HOV” to the people you find on BART to our widespread hippie culture.

I mean, why wasn’t this thought of/implemented earlier?

Actually, it was. Its predecessor, Opinion Space, was also developed at UC Berkeley and is currently being used by the U.S. State Department. Check out its graphical “map” that displays the opinions of others and highlights the most insightful ones. It’s cool!

What issues will I be grading?

Currently there are six issues. Topics include everything from Obamacare to same-sex marriage. Our personal favorite is the third issue, “Affordability of state colleges and universities.” Can we please bring down the cost of tuition to just $25? Please?

Will there be more things we can grade?

This will most likely be an ongoing thing. Report Card 2.0 will be introduced as early as March 20 and will append to version 1.0’s list of timely issues. The data collected and lessons learned from CRC 1.0 will be reviewed during a public forum March 20.

Contact Raymond Yang at [email protected]

JANUARY 31, 2014

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