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Archive for January, 2007

Is there any point in apologizing for slavery?

A couple of years ago, Polimom and a distant cousin coordinated a genealogy trip to New York State. We spent two solid weeks together, poring over deed books, reading through personal memoirs or business account ledgers, searching for the elusive threads that tie us to our ancestors, and to one another. Thanks to this family [...]

Politicizing the end of the world

I confess; I jazzed the title up a bit — but only a little, because while the end of the world isn’t imminent, it appears that the effects of global warming are going to bring some massive changes: CANBERRA (Reuters) – Rising temperatures will leave millions more people hungry by 2080 and cause critical water [...]

What’s the goal of public education?

Every time I approach the question of education or reform, I find that people respond from many different directions, with radically diverse assumptions. Thus, it appears to me that we don’t have a consensus on what, exactly, we’re trying to accomplish with our public education system. Perhaps I missed the mission statement. Is the goal [...]

A dropout crisis in the Lone Star State

Almost exactly a year ago, I wrote about the problems in Los Angeles high schools, where they’re facing drop-out rates of around 50%. The LA Times ran an enormous education special about the crisis, and while they noted that there are problems for urban school districts all across the country, no-one seemed over-worried about Texas’ [...]

Thanks, but I’ll keep stuffing that mattress anyway

It’s probably too early in the morning to comment on this article from the NY Times (slightly truncated version available from the Houston Chronicle, here), but the cognitive dissonance is too great to ignore: Could it be possible that you are saving too much for your retirement? [snip] [... A] small band of economists from [...]