GOOD

This Week Hosts Education Roundtable


Three important characters in the education reform conversation met yesterday on This Week with Christiane Amanpour: Education Secretary Arne Duncan, American Federation of Teachers head Randi Weingarten, and D.C. Schools Chancellor Michelle Rhee. The discussion is a good primer of the biggest issues facing reformers today—the biggest one, in the wake of The L.A. Times' recent revelation of Los Angeles teacher data, was teacher evaluation. (Full video below.)

For the non-casual education wonk, the discussion isn't going to reveal anything too mind-blowing. There was, however, an interesting exchange between Amanpour and Rhee, regarding civil rights groups' objections to the Race to the Top because it's not need-based—but rather innovation-based. Whereas Duncan and Weingarten engaged in some sloganeering ("We have to educate our way to a better economy." and "No one—myself included—wants bad teachers.") throughout the proceedings, Rhee, as is her reputation, was more direct.


AMANPOUR: But, of course, many in the civil rights movement, amongst minorities and blacks here are saying that, in fact, we should be giving -- you should be giving the stimulus money not based on performance and innovative proposals, but based on need, because there's such a need. How do you deal with that in your schools, Michelle?
RHEE: Well, first of all, I mean, we totally disagree with the notion that the -- the right thing to do in terms of putting resources into the school districts is to continue the formula funding of the past that has completely failed children, and particularly poor and minority children in this country.
What the secretary and the president have done through Race to the Top has said we're going to incent innovation. We don't want the -- we don't want to maintain the status quo. We want people who are going to be aggressive about really reforming their districts and who are serious about that. And we're going to give the resources to those -- to those states and to those districts.
And I think that this idea that somehow by just continuing to give all of the districts that same amount of money over and over again is going to produce a different result is absolutely mad.
\n
[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mmQenUkaSU8
[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jPhIfPgrv0A
Articles

Childbirth is the number one reason American women visit the hospital, and it ain't cheap. In fact, it's getting more and more expensive. A new study published in Health Affairs found that the cost of having a baby with employer-sponsored health insurance increased by almost 50% in the past seven years.

The study evaluated "trends in cost-sharing for maternity care for women with employer-based health insurance plans, before and after the Affordable Care Act," which was signed into law in 2010. The study looked at over 657,061 women enrolled in large employer-sponsored health insurance plans who delivered babies between 2008 and 2015, as these plans tend to cover more than plans purchased by small businesses or individuals.

Keep Reading

Cancer is still the second leading cause of death after heart disease for both men and women. The American Cancer Society predicts that 2020 will bring almost 1.8 million new cancer cases and 600,000 cancer deaths, but there's also some good news. The American Cancer Society recently published a report in CA: A Cancer Journal for Clinicians stating the U.S. cancer death rates experienced the largest-single year decline ever reported.

Between 2016 and 2017, cancer death rates fell by 2.2%. While cancer death rates have been steadily falling over the past three decades, it's normally by 1.5% a year. Cancer death rates have dropped by 29% since 1991, which means that there have been 2.9 million fewer cancer deaths in the past three decades than there would have been if the mortality rate had remained constant.

Keep Reading
Health

In order to celebrate the New York Public Library's 125th anniversary, the library announced a list of the top 10 most checked out books in the library's history. The list, which took six months to compile, was determined by a team of experts who looked at the "historic checkout and circulation data" for all formats of the book. Ezra Jack Keats's "The Snow Day" tops the list, having been checked out 485,583 times through June 2019. While many children's books topped the top 10 list, the number one choice is significant because the main character of the story is black. "It's even more amazing that the top-ranked book is a book that has that element of diversity," New York Public Library President Anthony W. Marx said.

Keep Reading
Design