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America's Problem With Black Men and Boys

Employers must see themselves as part of the educational system and hire, train, and develop men of color.

President Barack Obama recently announced his administration's response to America's engagement problem with young men of color. Partnering foundations have pledged to raise $200 million for the "My Brother's Keeper" initiative. The funds will be used over the next five years to seek and seed programs and practices that improve outcomes for boys and young men of color. I, like many advocates, welcome this commitment.

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What Parents Aren’t Asked in School Surveys—and Why

Making data-driven education reform decisions is great — unless the results come from flawed questions.


The results of an opinion poll will vary, and not by a little, as a function of how the questions are phrased. “Do you favor special preferences for minorities in the form of affirmative action?” will attract many fewer favorable responses than “Do you favor efforts to help minorities get ahead in order to make up for past discrimination?” And then, of course, there are “push polls,” which only pretend to sample people’s views while attempting to influence them: “Would you be more or less likely to vote for Congressman McDoodle if you knew he was a practicing Satanist?”

I find myself thinking about how much more—and less—there is to polling than meets the eye whenever I come across one of those surveys that school administrators like to distribute to parents. I have to assume these are not intended as the equivalent of push polls, that there’s a sincere desire to be responsive to the community and an honest pride in being able to cite “data” to judge the effectiveness, or at least the popularity, of school policies. (Data good.)

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The New Role of Money in Admissions: Is This the End of the Meritocratic Ideal?

Under a disturbing new proposal, students would be able to buy a guaranteed spot at Oxford and other top English universities.

Affluent students in the U.K. are about to get a big leg up in the college admissions game. Under a new proposal, students will be able to buy a guaranteed spot at some of the top universities—like Oxford—that turn away thousands of candidates every year. It's a money making proposition for the schools since students admitted in this way will pay the same higher tuition rates that foreign students pay, $20,000 to $45,000 per year, depending on the student's course of study. The plan also sounds like a total death knell for the idea of a meritocracy.

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Three Families, Three Stories of Life-altering Sustainability

Convenience, work requirements, and an urban lifestyle are just some of elements at play that can inhibit our ability to maintain an...

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