Volume 3.20 (May 12-18)


Warning: The Literary Canon Could Make Students Squirm (Jennifer Medina, NYT)

The Big Picture

The Benefits of Mixing Rich and Poor (David L. Kirp, NYT)– “Students pick up language and get their cues about behavior from one another, and decades of research has shown that poor students benefit academically from being educated with middle-class youngsters. That’s especially true in prekindergarten, where — particularly in the best schools — the kids rather than the teacher decide what they do and with whom they do it for substantial chunks of the day.”


Medicine’s Top Earners are not the M.D.s (Elisabeth Rosenthal, NYT)– “The base pay of insurance executives, hospital executives and even hospital administrators often far outstrips doctors’ salaries, according to an analysis performed for The New York Times by Compdata Surveys: $584,000 on average for an insurance chief executive officer, $386,000 for a hospital C.E.O. and $237,000 for a hospital administrator, compared with $306,000 for a surgeon and $185,000 for a general doctor.”

Why Unbundling Cable Would Not Save You Money (Josh Barro, The Upshot)– Another reason I’m just glad to have cut the cable altogether.

How to Turn Renters into Savers (Josh Barro, The Upshot)

Why the Housing Bubble Tanked the Economy and the Tech Bubble Didn’t (Amir Sufi and Atif Mian, Five Thirty Eight)– “What explains these different outcomes? In our forthcoming book, “House of Debt,” we argue that it was the distribution of losses that made the housing crash so much more severe than the dot-com crash. The sharp decline in home prices starting in 2007 concentrated losses on people with the least capacity to bear them, disproportionately affecting poor homeowners who then stopped spending. What about the tech crash? In 2001, stocks were held almost exclusively by the rich. The tech crash concentrated losses on the rich, but the rich had almost no debt and didn’t need to cut back their spending.”


The Unbearable Whiteness of Liberal Media (Gabriel Arana, The American Prospect)– “So what happens if you stress diversity and still end up with an applicant pool that is almost exclusively white? “If you care about a diverse newsroom, you need to constantly be looking down the pipeline,” says Ann Friedman, former deputy editor at the Prospect. “It requires you to be actively looking for new staff members, not just perusing the résumés that roll in.” That means looking outside one’s existing social network and actively asking minorities to apply. When the pool of applicants for the Prospect‘s writing fellowship was male and nearly entirely white, Friedman says she turned to the blogosphere, which is where the magazine found talented writers like Adam Serwer and Jamelle Bouie. “There are all sorts of nonwhite, nonmale writers all over the Internet,” Friedman says.”

Sixty Years Later, We Need a New Brown (Lee Bolinger, New Yorker)

Who Gets to Graduate? (Paul Tough, NYT)– “Beyond the economic opportunities for the students themselves, there is the broader cost of letting so many promising students drop out, of losing so much valuable human capital. For almost all of the 20th century, the United States did a better job of producing college graduates than any other country. But over the past 20 years, we have fallen from the top of those international lists; the United States now ranks 12th in the world in the percentage of young people who have earned a college degree. During the same period, a second trend emerged: American higher education became more stratified; most well-off students now do very well in college, and most middle- and low-income students struggle to complete a degree. These two trends are clearly intertwined. And it is hard to imagine that the nation can regain its global competitiveness, or improve its level of economic mobility, without reversing them.”

Doctors can’t research the health of black men, because they keep getting sent to prison (Dara Lind, Vox)

Even well-integrated schools treat black students differently (Arit John, The New Republic)– “”Substantial scholarly evidence indicates that teachersespecially white teachersevaluate black students’ behavior and academic potential more negatively than those of white students.” The study analyzed the results from the Education Longitudinal Study, a national survey of 15,362 high school sophomores, as well as their parents and teachers. Again, the evidence showed a bias among white teachers that favored white students. ”


If America really valued mothers, we wouldn’t treat them like this (Ezra Klein, Vox)– “The United States, by contrast, is an example of what it look like when a country merely pays lip service to the importance of parents. While a handful of states, like California, offer modest paid maternal leave, there’s no federal guarantee of either paid maternal or paternal leave. We make mothers choose between spending a month with their newborn child or keeping a roof over their child’s head. That’s not how it looks in countries that value the work mothers do.”

Editing While Female (Susan B. Glasser, Politico)

Foreign Affairs

Why Did AIDS Ravage the US More Than Any Other Developed Country? (Michael Hobbes, New Republic)– “Which leads to the next factor explaining the larger scale of the HIV epidemic in the United States: the clustering of our high-risk populations. The United States has more people than any Western European country, as well as more mobility, giving rise to larger numbers of and more tightly grouped gay men and intravenous-drug users. ”

Benghazi is a prisoners’ dilemma, and Republicans are the prisoners (Zack Beauchamp, Vox)


Selling Your Bulk Online Data Really Means Selling Your Autonomy (Evgeny Morozov, The New Republic)


Disappearing Ink (Colby Frazier, SLC City Weekly)– It is absolutely necessary that the Salt Lake Tribune remain an intact media force in Utah.  Some will say that it is too adversarial with the LDS Church.  However, the continued existence of the SLTrib is in the Church’s best interest.  Powerful institutions without any effective watchdog invariably turn corrupt and abusive.

Why do so many Mormons get boob jobs? (Reese Dixon, Feminist Mormon Housewives)– “This isn’t about what we want, it’s about what men want. If it were about what we want than all body augmentation would be on the same level, but it’s not. Tattoos and piercing are unacceptable because the dominant male culture doesn’t find them desirable. Lipo and boob jobs are more invasive than either of those things, but it’s OK because it makes us sexier. It’s not really about degrading our bodily temple, it’s about making it less or more appealing to men.”

Mormon U. Forces Gays to Be Celibate (Emily Shire, The Daily Beast)– I quibble with the title, but much of the substance of the article is excellent.

What does a family-centered church look like? (Amy Cartwright, Young Mormon Feminists)



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