GOOD

Why Can’t We Party in the Street?

It’s getting more and more difficult for Americans to gather on public streets, out of joy or anger, and that’s a problem.

The Distortion street party in Denmark. Photo by ekvidi via Flickr

Over the last few months, we’ve been inundated with images of peaceful crowds of people clashing with police forces decked out in riot gear. The majority of images came from the Ferguson protests and some of the demonstrations that followed.

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GOOD Ideas for Cities: Making Transit Social

How to get more people using public transit? Turn riding the bus into a social experience by connecting you with nearby friends and fellow riders.

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jrDNDOHENKM

For many people in Cincinnati, taking public transit is not a choice. But for those who do have a choice, elective riders are faced with an overly confusing transportation experience—four separate transit agencies, each with different name and identity. Could a unified, region-wide transit line that serves the entire city help get more riders on board? As part of GOOD Ideas for Cities Cincinnati, Mission Possible presents their idea for a new bus rapid transit system, The HUB, that makes transit more social. The team quickly realized that poor user experience was turning potential riders off from using the system. By employing touchscreen kiosks at stations and smartphone apps, The HUB would allow users to create profiles where they could save routes, track buses in real time, mark favorite locations, and "friend" other riders. This allows riders to plan their trips more efficiently, or meet up with riders who are nearby, thus removing much of the the uncertainty of transit and making for a more enjoyable experience.

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Your Favorite Public Education Reformer Probably Went to Private School

Many of today's prominent education reformers attended private school. Their policies for public schools are a far cry from that experience.

What do some of the nation's most prominent public education reform advocates—Michelle Rhee, Jeb Bush, Bill Gates, President Obama, and Davis Guggenheim—all have in common? They received their K-12 education at private schools. "In Public School Efforts, a Common Background: Private Education" from this Sunday's New York Times spotlights this phenomenon and raises important questions about the discrepancy between the well rounded education these reformers received at elite private schools like Exeter and Sidwell Friends, and what they recommend for other people's children.

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Mock Slave Auctions: How Not to Teach Kids About America's History

When it come to educating kids about slavery, teachers should think twice about the appropriateness of their hands on learning activities.


When it comes to educating kids about the Civil War and slavery, teachers might want to think twice about the appropriateness of their experiential learning activities. According to the Washington Post, Jessica Boyle, a fourth grade teacher at Sewells Point Elementary School in Norfolk chose to teach a lesson on the Civil War by turning her classroom into a slave auction. Boyle segregated her students—black and mixed race students on one side of the room, and white students on the other. The teacher then had the white students, all around ten years old, play the role of slave master and take turns purchasing their black and biracial peers.

The incident came to light after parents, understandably, complained. The school's principal, Mary B. Wrushen, sent a letter home stating that although Boyle's "actions were well intended to meet the instructional objectives, the activity presented was inappropriate for the students." Wrushen said the lesson was not supported by the school or district and acknowledged that it "could have been thought through more carefully, as to not offend her students or put them in an uncomfortable situation."

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A Month Later, "Homeless Man with a Golden Voice" Is Abandoned by His Corporate Friends

Less than two months after being initially discovered, the homeless man with the radio voice has been abandoned by his benefactors.


In early January, a journalist in Ohio came across a homeless man possessed of a "golden radio voice." That man, as you probably know, was Ted Williams, and the journalist's video footage of him quickly became a hit on the internet and television. Williams got a makeover seemingly overnight, and soon he was doing voiceovers for Kraft products, appearing in TV ads, and fielding an announcing job offer from the Cleveland Cavaliers. But then reality struck.

After getting into an altercation with his daughter, an altercation for which he was not arrested, Williams was pressured into going into rehab for alcohol addiction by TV psychologist Dr. Phil McGraw. He then left almost immediately, saying he felt rushed and that the process (i.e. being broadcast on Dr. Phil live from rehab) felt "scripted." Williams then checked himself into a sober living house for voiceover actors in Los Angeles, where he could come and go as he pleased, but where he still needed to submit to drug tests and promise to remain clean.

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