Sunday, August 28, 2011

Parking Lot

Paul Tough is really smart, and usually right.  (NYT)
“To point out the obvious: These are excuses. In fact, they are the very same excuses for failure that the education-reform movement was founded to oppose.”

This Dana Goldstein profile of Diane Ravitch is well worth a read. (Wash. City Paper)
“But a review of Ravitch’s career, which actually began on the left, suggests a more complex narrative. A lifelong political liberal who has always wrestled with a sort of innate personal conservatism, Ravitch—like Jane Jacobs, the urbanist whose book she referenced—has been constant in her deep attraction to institutions that have survived the test of time, and her aversion to intellectual fads. ‘It’s the fierce urgency of no,’ Ravitch says of her worldview. ‘I like institutions, in part because I like to rebel against them, but also because I think society needs them and needs to continually reshape them, not blow them up.’

Andrew Rotherham interviews Arne Duncan.  (TIME)
“But I always say that budgets reflect not just numbers but our values. And if our budgets don't reflect the value we put on education, how important we think children are, how important it is that we give every child a world-class education, then, yes, I will challenge that.”

Reality Television Industry, Know Thyself.  (NYT)
“He said he was disappointed that ‘most of America is immune to the bigger issue here,’ the issue being mental health. He recalled attending a television conference last year where both a producer and a network executive, in separate sessions, talked about recruiting people with bipolar disorders for reality shows.”

If this happens, who gets to sit on the panel that decides who does and does not qualify as ugly?  (NYT)
“The effects are not small: one study showed that an American worker who was among the bottom one-seventh in looks, as assessed by randomly chosen observers, earned 10 to 15 percent less per year than a similar worker whose looks were assessed in the top one-third — a lifetime difference, in a typical case, of about $230,000.”

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