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Spring Cleaning: My Cell Contacts

A writer purges the lost, obsolete and forgotten members of her cell phone directory.


My cell phone contacts list is a cringe-inducing time portal.

I never delete anyone, mostly out of some deranged fear that someone whose number I have will become the next Lady Gaga and I’ll definitely want to call them.

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KIPP's Graduation Rate Stats Spark Charter School Debate

Data from the charter school network shows a higher college graduation rate than for students attending regular public schools.


The debate over charter school effectiveness roars on thanks to new data from national charter network, KIPP. On Thursday they released a report showing that of the 209 students who attended the first two KIPP schools in New York and Houston 10 years ago, only 33 percent have gone on to earn a college degree. The results are way below KIPP's ambitious goal of 75 percent of students graduating from college, but the national college graduation average for students from predominantly low-income black and Latino student schools is a mere 8.3 percent. And, in the general population, only 30.6 percent of Americans between the ages of 25 to 29 have earned a college degree. By comparison, KIPP's first class has done great. But, does this mean that all charter schools—or all 99 KIPP schools nationwide—are high performing, and regular public schools should be converted to charters? Not exactly.

Every charter is different, but there are some commonalities. Many have cohesive school cultures around student achievement and work to invest and motivate the entire student body around academic goals. They also usually have much longer school days—KIPP students attend from 7:30 a.m to 5:00 p.m. and have mandatory Saturday classes. Charters often require that teachers be available to kids after hours. KIPP teachers are required to carry a cell phone, give the number to students, and be available till late in the evening for student and parent questions. And, most charter school teachers aren't unionized. Principals have the power to hire who they want instead of just being assigned a teacher by the school district, and they can fire a teacher immediately for any reason.

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UCLA Student's Anti-Asian YouTube Rant: Do Colleges Need Mandatory Diversity Classes?

UCLA junior Alexandra Wallace's anti Asian rant raises the question—should colleges teach how to work with people from diverse backgrounds?


A UCLA student is in hot water after filming a disturbing anti-Asian rant and posting it online. Last Friday, political science major Alexandra Wallace taped an almost three-minute video called "Asians in the Library," and over the weekend, it went viral on YouTube. In the video she attacks Asian students for everything from talking on their cell phones to having elderly relatives come visit. Although the university has condemned her tirade, the incident raises the question, what should colleges do foster a truly inclusive learning environment and prepare students for a diverse world?

Wallace complains about "these hordes of Asian people that UCLA accepts into our school every single year," and then bashes them for their so-called bad manners. She demonstrates her "good" American manners by insensitively criticizing Asian students who used the phone after the tsunami hit Japan saying, "I swear they're going through their whole families just checking on everybody from the tsunami thing."

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