An Opt Out Movement to Watch

New York State’s chosen Common Core testing company – PARCC, which is a partnership under the control of Pearson PLC has a problem. And by extension, New York State has a problem. Testing students in grades 3 through 8 under the aegis of Common Core Standards in New York State has now become voluntary. And…

Inequality is a Buzzword

Time and time again lately I open up a news site, a real newspaper, a magazine, turn on the TV or watch a news video feed. And what do I hear? The word ‘inequality’ teamed with things like economics, education, development, sociology, physicality, business, income. After enough iterations, it becomes, not something I listen to,…

On the Sidelines this Voting Day

For the last 17 years, since my good friend L”J” kicked me in the butt and said “you need to register to vote!” I voted in all the elections I was eligible for. In recent years I kicked myself into learning more about the candidates and measures on the ballots I cast. Learning more about…

Inner City Observations

I can’t help it. I observe things and people everywhere I go. These days I am mostly observing in NYC’s Harlem, simply because I go to college there. I listen to a lot of conversations at bus stops and on buses. And what I get to hear is interesting, at least I think so. Yesterday,…

The Last New Home

I’ve moved. Hopefully for the last time in my entire life. This move (if I have counted correctly) makes 26 times I have packed myself up and perambulated to a new location. In all my nearly 50 years that makes about 1 move every 2 years. Considering that for the first 17 years of my…

Incentives Matter

Way back in 2008 I took a basic economics class at CUNY Hunter College. The prof was the chair of the department, a long time economist and teacher who actually liked teaching the huge seminar course. There were over 200 in that class when it started. I think maybe 90 of us survived to the…

A-Flutter Over Shallowness

By now we’ve all seen the mug shot of Jeremy Meeks. He’s handsome, in a bad-boy way. His ice-blue eyes stare out at us from the photo, cold…or is it passion we see? Something dangerous lurks behind those eyes. And women everywhere shared this photo when they came across it on a Facebook page. They…

Bait and Switch in Academia

EDIT: Followed up with my friend, and it seems that she took matters into her own hands and made some phone calls. She will be able to take the Oxford Fantasists class after all, but it took a few hours worth of phone calls to get all the people needed on her end, and then…

Paying for Things, Necessities Wait

Spent time these past weeks reading news stories about people who have lots of things in their lives, but can’t necessarily pay their rent, buy food or pay needed bills. Depending on family, friends or public assistance to help pay for the necessities is hard when you work, and you think you should be able…