I can’t believe it took as long as it did for me to first hear about Ray Kurziwell’s idea of the Singularity — the moment when humankind and machines merge, forevermore. Then I started to watch those creepy DARPA videos about their latest research, and then I went and saw Spike Jonze’s remarkable film, Her. […]
Category Archives: Learning
In the span of a few weeks, all of DC seems to be abuzz with the prospect that our elected officials may actually try to ensure greater racial and socioeconomic equity in the city’s public schools — apple carts be damned. First, there was the Op-Ed two colleagues and I published in the Washington Post, […]
There are a lot of smart people in Washington, D.C., and one of them is Evelyn Boyd Simmons.
A longtime D.C. resident, an effective parental advocate, and a firm believer in the unmatched promise of public education, Evelyn has a way of cutting to the quick on complicated, contentious issues. And so it was when in a recent conversation, she summarized the state of affairs in American public education with a clever turn of phrase.
“What people like to call school choice,” she said flatly, “is nothing more than clever marketing. What folks really have is school chance.”
From 2000 to 2010, the white share of the District of Columbia’s population grew from 30.8 percent to38 percent . And from 2000 to 2012, the median household income in the city rose 23.3 percent while the nation saw a 6.6?percent decline, adjusted for inflation. This rapid gentrification provides a once-in-a-generation opportunity to create racially and socioeconomically integrated public schools. The D.C. Advisory Committee on Student Assignment, which is redrawing school boundary lines and feeder patterns, should seize this opportunity.
We might be on to something here, people . . .
Is anyone out there watching the final season of Treme, David Simon’s underappreciated series about New Orleans and, by extension, us?
Since its debut in 2010, which followed perhaps too closely on the heels of Simon’s undisputed masterpiece, The Wire, most of the comments about Treme have focused on what it is not.
It’s not thrilling. It’s not suspenseful. It’s not exciting.
It’s true – Treme is not really any of those things. Then again, unlike just about every other drama on television, it’s also not about drugs, or counter-terrorism, or organized crime.
Could the behavior of shoppers in New Jersey and sugarcane farmers in India tell us something useful about the challenges our poorest students face? Educator Zac Chase, writing a guest post for my Of, By, For blog at EdWeek, thinks so . . .
Now that DC is taking up the delicate question of whether its boundary lines for neighborhood schools needs revisiting — the first time they’ve done so since 1968 — it’s worth thinking through the issue with them. This morning, I was part of a public radio conversation that featured DC Deputy Mayor Abigail Smith and […]
There’s a great book out by Harvard’s Michael Sandel on the moral limits of markets. But Sandel’s book also contains a lot of interesting information about incentives, and the ways our use of them has both grown and revised the traditional economic thinking that began with Adam Smith’s original 1776 notion of an “invisible hand.”