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The Testing Bubble Getting Artistic with Standardized-Test Answer Sheets

Increasingly, multiple-choice tests are how schools measure what students have learned. But where does that leave creativity? We sent answer sheets to five artists to find out.

The seventh-century Chinese emperor Yangdi is usually remembered as a megalomaniac who led his newly united nation into a series of debilitating wars. But Yangdi’s real legacy is his development of the world’s first standardized testing system. The idea was to locate China’s most talented rural scholars and bring them into the nascent empire’s civil service.

The history of education is filled with such earnest, progressive hopes for stan- dardized testing; Napoleon built the French bureaucracy in much the same way, and the SAT, for all its flaws, played an important role in opening up the Ivy League to Jews, Catholics, and public-school students.

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Five Ideas: Jennifer Daniel

Jennifer Daniel divides her time between biking, twittering, and working in her studio in the Pencil Factory, where she specializes in multi-tasking designs and illustrations for fancy publications.

Five Ideas is a collection of work from GOOD's favorite artists, illustrators, and designers. Some of the of the work you've probably seen, some of it has never been published. Each week, we'll showcase five pieces of work that tell a short story about our most creative friends.

Jennifer Daniel divides her time between biking, twittering, and working in her studio in the Pencil Factory, where she specializes in multi-tasking designs and illustrations for fancy publications. Occasionally she art directs for a small independent publication called The New York Times—maybe you've heard of it? She is from Kansas.

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We asked Alex Steffen of WorldChanging to imagine what victory in fight against climate change might look like. While there are global doubts about whatever the outcome of the upcoming climate conference in Copenhagen will be—especially because the countries involved have already committed to not making any binding agreements until later in the year.it is not the last word in our collective struggle to cure our ailing planet. In this series, we will bring you up to speed on your climate change ABCs, run you through an outline of what success might look like, and then provide the questions that you.and more importantly, your city.need to answer in order to play your part in the solution.

Dreaming Constructively about Life after Climate Change

Life on a warming planet can make even optimists feel beaten. The climate news is so bad, the challenges so daunting, and the time to act growing so short that we can all be forgiven if from time to time we assume defeat is a given, that we're going to melt the poles and torch the rainforests and circle the planet in deserts, and there's just nothing we can realistically do about it. But the tougher things get, the more important it becomes to practice a radical act.

Imagine victory.

We are so deluged with climate problems that most of us tend to forget that we also have climate solutions. We face a difficult transformation, to be sure, but we also know that it is entirely within our power to rapidly reduce climate emissions, and to eventually even reduce the concentration of greenhouse gasses in the atmosphere, while building a bright green, sustainably prosperous global society as we go. Indeed, we can do it in a number of different ways. If the climate crisis is a war for the future, it's a war we can win.

In fact, the single toughest fight in this war is taking place in our minds. Polluting industries and planet-hostile business interests have dumped billions of dollars into bombarding us with propaganda.designed to convince us that climate change isn't real, to confuse us about its causes, to mislead us about the magnitude of the problem, to reassure us that nonexistent technologies will solve the problem without any substantial changes, and finally to spread fear, uncertainty, and doubt about the costs of climate action.that almost all of us see building a climate-safe society as some near-impossible task. This is absolutely intentional.

We can't build what we can't imagine.

Stifling our ability to imagine a future in which we've successfully confronted the climate crisis is an excellent way to set low political expectations, to excuse delay, to disenchant the idealistic, to spread apathy and cynicism. The poet Diane Di Prima was right when she wrote "The only war that matters is the war on the imagination!"

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Building a Better Future: Critical Questions on Waste

This is one of eight sets of questions to consider when envisioning a city that can win the climate fight. Read the introduction, and take a...

This is one of eight sets of questions to consider when envisioning a city that can win the climate fight. Read the introduction, and take a look at an overview of all eight.

How wasteful are you? How much stuff do people in your city consume? How many of the items that they buy are disposable? How easy is it to join a library, rent a tool, find a car-sharing service? How easy is it to recycle and compost? Do the things they throw away wind up in a landfill, an incinerator, or a recycling plant? How much trash winds up in their garbage cans each year on average, and how does this compare with very recycling-conscious cities like the Netherlands's Amsterdam; Copenhagen; Oslo, Norway; or Seattle?

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Building a Better Future: Critical Questions on Transportation

This is one of eight sets of questions to consider when envisioning a city that can win the climate fight. Read the introduction, and take a...

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Building a Better Future: Imagining Zero-carbon Solutions

This is the second part of a series about the ways we can redesign our cities to solve the climate crisis. Read the previous entry, "Building...





This is the second part of a series about the ways we can redesign our cities to solve the climate crisis. Read the previous entry, "Building a Better Future: A Crash Course on Climate Change."



How to Make Your City Better



Here's the rub: those cities (read the previous entry), by and large, don't exist yet, except in bits and pieces, best practices, and good examples. If we're going to live those awesome lives in those carbon-neutral cities, we're going to have to build them first.



The bad news is that there isn't a template. We can't make a cookie-cutter set of solutions that will work everywhere-each city is too different in its history, climate, people, and politics.



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