Once again, affirmative action is on trial in the Supreme Court. The pending case, Fisher v. University of Texas at Austin, challenges U.T. Austin’s admissions policy, which aims to bring in more students of color by considering race among other factors. The case is driven by the misplaced racial anxieties provoked by affirmative action, but it might offer a platform for truly grappling with the nature of institutional racism and the oft-politicized, seldom-understood concept of “equal opportunity” in schools and workplaces.
|By: Michelle Chen Friday October 26, 2012 5:00 pm|
|By: Remy Maisel Saturday October 20, 2012 1:59 pm|
It’s 11:30 on a Wednesday night, and it’s been a long day. The debates last night were god-awful to watch, no matter which candidate you support. The media are already working to spin the performances, but you can’t help but feel that if either candidate is said to have won, based on his words or on a scientific — well, scientif-ish – analysis of his facial expressions and body language, it isn’t Obama or Romney who lost. America lost. So, you sit heavily in your armchair and turn on the TV. “Tonight!” yells an exuberant Stephen Colbert before giving the audience a rundown of the day’s stories, he descends through a cloud of words and plants Old Glory into a dais, before a bald eagle – the freest of all the birds – screeches a greeting. “Nation,” he begins, happily tossing a pen into the air and waiting for the audience to stop cheering.
|By: TobyWollin Saturday October 6, 2012 5:00 am|
Being someone who has more grey hairs than Clairol™ can cover these days, along with a grandson to match, I look at my kids and ask myself on numerous occasions, “Did we do the right thing by our kids?”
|By: SouthernDragon Wednesday October 3, 2012 4:45 am|
A variety of links to articles/interviews/speeches/videos on current issues that may be of interest.
|By: Lisa Derrick Monday October 1, 2012 5:00 pm|
Muhammad Yunus is visionary economist and Noble Peace Prize winner who believes in the essential goodness of humanity. Stepping down from the ivory tower of academia, Yunus visited the poorest villages of Bangladesh in 1976 and made a personal loan of $27 to 42 women in the village so they could build and sell bamboo furniture. The loan was paid back with interest, and the women took out a larger loan. Thus microfinance was born. In the past 30 years, microcredit has spread to every continent and has benefited over 100 million people. Yunus’ Grameen Bank (literally “village bank”) has loaned money to 1 out of 1,000 people on earth, at 98% repayment rate.
In Bonsai People, The Vision of Muhammad Yunus, Holly Mosher follows the founding of a Grameen Bank branch and several of the women aided by loans.
|By: David Dayen Thursday September 20, 2012 4:15 pm|
The head start on success by virtue of being born in America doesn’t reach a large section of the public anymore. The poverty rate has stubbornly stayed over 15% in recent years, and far more stumble into poverty at least at one part of their lives. That’s been particularly true during the Great Recession. What’s worse, social mobility has stunted in America to almost the lowest rate among industrialized nations in the world. It’s not really true anymore that 95% of your life is set for you just by being an American.
|By: RH Reality Check Wednesday September 19, 2012 7:00 pm|
Along with many others children, teens, and adults, this week I went back to school, too. I started teaching Introduction to Human Sexuality at a local college, something I haven’t done in about six years. In an effort to gauge what my students had already learned and what they wanted to know, I gave them an anonymous questionnaire which, in part, asked them to describe their sexuality education up until this point. At least five of them said that they’d had the “standard” or “usual” high school sex education. Unfortunately, this wasn’t particularly enlightening to me because as a new report from the New York Civil Liberties Union (NYCLU) highlights: when it comes to sex ed there is no such thing as standard; every district or even every classroom is different.
|By: David Dayen Wednesday September 19, 2012 1:00 pm|
Dylan Matthews intends to wrap up the Chicago teachers strike with an assessment of what both sides got out of the contract “in one post.” Here’s a list, in one post, of some of the things he left out, culled mostly from what the CTU informed its members was in the contract.
|By: David Dayen Wednesday September 19, 2012 6:30 am|
Apparently the above anti-union ad played non-stop on television in Chicago throughout the strike. It’s the product of Education Reform Now, a group that also sometimes goes by Democrats for Education Reform, depending on what pot of money they want to use. Formed in 2005, Education Reform Now has spent millions of dollars over the past few years, whether massaging public opinion or lobbying state legislatures or intervening in school board races.
|By: David Dayen Tuesday September 18, 2012 5:00 pm|
The Chicago Teachers Union has agreed to suspend its seven-day strike and return to work. Classes will resume for more than 350,000 students on Wednesday. This does not mean they have agreed to the contract submitted by the Chicago Public Schools, only that they will complete the strike action while reserving the right to walk out again if the final resolution doesn’t meet with their satisfaction.