What happens in the classroom when a state begins to evaluate all teachers, at every grade level, based on how well they "grow" their students' test scores? Colorado is about to find out. Ramon Gonzalez’s middle school is a model for how an empowered principal can transform a troubled school, but the forces of reform are now working against him. Sixty-five years ago, the federal school lunch program was created to make American schoolchildren healthier; today, it’s helping to make them fatter — will a new law change the diets of millions of kids raised on French fries and chicken nuggets? Tests for pupils, but the grades go to teachers: New York City officials are developing tests whose main purpose is to grade teachers, not students who take them. Do American students study too hard? A new documentary argues that kids these days memorize too many facts — go figure. The platinum standard: Academy take note — the International Baccalaureate offers the best preparation for higher study. Death to high school English: College students don't understand commas, far less how to write an essay — is it time to rethink how we teach? The Tea Party wants to teach your kids about the Constitution: Stephanie Mencimer on the controversial curriculum conservative activists are trying to foist on public schools. The service of democratic education: With the nation's public education system under siege, the need for qualified teachers who are committed to creating exciting and empowering schools is more urgent than ever. Why we should make it easier for high school grads to take a "gap year". Steven Pearlstein on the Khan Academy and educational technology. A report confirms a trend that anecdotal evidence has suggested for some time: private schools for children from pre-K through high school are declining in popularity.


Robert Pallitto (Seton Hall): Torture and Historical Memory. A look at how Vienna in 1900 gave birth to modern style and identity. A review of In Praise of Copying by Marcus Boon. A review of A Planet of Viruses by Carl Zimmer. What Rotten Tomatoes data tell us about the best, worst, and most bizarre Hollywood trajectories. Will androids one day dream of electric sheep? Kathleen Richardson examines the history and development of the robot and evaluates the possibilities. Mark Jacobson on why Paul Bergrin was the baddest lawyer in the history of New Jersey. More and more and more on Peter Toohey's Boredom: A Lively History. From Edge.com, what is social psychology, anyway? An interview with Timothy D. Wilson. When the truth hurts: How to have an honest conversation about the future without losing hope. An interview with Tim Harford, author of Adapt: Why Success Always Starts With Failure (and more and more). Getting Pumped: At $2, $3, of $4 a gallon, gas prices are always going to seem too high. A review of The Blind Spot: Science and the Crisis of Uncertainty by William Byers.


Rise of the Ethnoburbs: Asians are now California's fastest-growing ethnic group, a cultural makeover that is being repeated around the country. Moving While Black: African Americans are migrating to the South — and that’s supposed to be a bad thing? Race and Border: Neon Trotsky on the two-headed ogre of white supremacy. Saying no to $1 billion: Why the impoverished Sioux Nation won’t take federal money. How do the German contributions to American life have far deeper roots than most people in either country realize? Ryan William Nohea Garcia on who is Hawaiian, what begets federal recognition, and how much blood matters. Grace Elizabeth Hale on her book A Nation of Outsiders: How the White Middle Class Fell in Love with Rebellion in Postwar America (and more). The resegregation of the United States of America: Gordon Haber returns to his childhood L.A. to see how it has changed. The entire federal task force effort concerning Puerto Rico’s status is nothing more than another wordy, though worthwhile, exercise in futility — the powers that be in Washington have zero real interest in a fifty-first state. Explaining and eliminating racial profiling: The emancipation of slaves is a century-and-a-half in America’s past — many would consider it ancient history. Fade to White: A filmmaker maps Austin’s shifting ethnic landscape. What themes preoccupy these five Arab-American writers? Body image, war, sex, and pizza — Arab-American literature is American literature. Despite the problems facing the U.S. these days, one group is surprisingly upbeat: African Americans. The Mexican Border: Reed Karaim on crossing a cultural divide. The hidden Americans: Many Roma have made the US their home, and their cultural identity continues to thrive despite discrimination.

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