Author Archive

Pollution is bad for your health and the environment. It’s also bad for schools, two recent studies show.

By Matt Barnum ~ Chalkbeat ~  Late last year, the Trump administration moved to roll back Obama-era regulations designed to improve air quality and limit pollution. No one thought of it as an education story. But new research suggests it is, at least in part. While the health risks of air pollution have long been documented, two recent studies are among the first to directly connect two different forms of pollution to…

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How Economic Inequality Inflicts Real Biological Harm

By Robert M. Sapolsky ~ Scientific American ~ The growing gulf between rich and poor inflicts biological damage on bodies and brains Western cultures have long cherished the notion that all people are created equal. But in the real world, our lives are not balanced with equal opportunities and resources. This distinction was noted mordantly in 1894 by author Anatole France, who wrote that “the law, in its majestic equality,…

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What if all US health care costs were transparent?

By Jeanne Pinder ~ TED ~  In the US, the very same blood test can cost $19 at one clinic and $522 at another clinic just blocks away — and nobody knows the difference until they get a bill weeks later. Journalist Jeanne Pinder says it doesn’t have to be this way. She’s built a platform that crowdsources the true costs of medical procedures and makes the data public, revealing…

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Environmental laws only look good on paper, UN says

By Emiliano Rodríguez Mega ~ Sci Dev Net ~ A dramatic spike in the global adoption of environmental laws has failed to translate into better conservation efforts, according to a United Nations report, the first global evaluation of such laws. The document — which assessed national laws, regulations, and policies around the world — found that a lack of political will, underfunded agencies, unfair judicial systems and a poor implementation of the law has in fact…

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Inequity is THE Problem in Education

By The Hewlett Foundation ~ Deeper Learning. Linked Learning. Blended Learning. Personalized Learning. Student-centered Learning. Project-based learning. Social and emotional learning. And the list goes on (and on). There are literally hundreds of education initiatives—and an equal number of philanthropic strategies—designed to improve our education system. In my time as fellow at the Hewlett Foundation, I have come to realize the importance of putting equity first, ahead of any other…

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A ‘Fundamentally Inhuman’ Economy: 26 Billionaires Own as Much as World’s 3.8 Billion Poorest People

By Jake Johnson ~ Common Dreams ~ While the wealth of billionaires increased by $900 billion last year, or $2.5 billion a day, latest Oxfam report on inequality shows “this bonanza has not been felt by the poorest half of the world, which saw its wealth decline by 11 percent.” With Wall Street titans, tech moguls, and other members of the global financial and political elite set to gather in Davos, Switzerland…

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America’s widening inequality of place

By Robert Reich ~ Nation of Change ~  This inequality is unsustainable. It’s literally tearing America apart. You’ve heard me talk about inequalities of income and wealth and political power. But another kind of inequality needs to be addressed as well: widening inequalities of place. On the one hand, booming mega-cities. On the other hand, an American heartland that’s becoming emptier, older, whiter, less educated, and poorer. Trump country. To…

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‘Green inequity’ plagues U.S. cities, study finds

By Matt Hickman ~ MNN ~  A lot of green in the bank means greater access to parks and trees. In America, financial wealth can get you a lot of things: power, prestige, influence and even greater access to woody vegetation. A newly released study conducted by forestry experts at the University of British Columbia (UBC) and published in the journal Landscape and Urban Planning uses census data and aerial imagery to…

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Later school starts linked to better teen grades

By Silke Schmidt ~ ScienceNews for Students ~ Low-income students also may find it easier to get to school, the new data show If you think school starts too early in the day, you’re not alone. Experts have long argued for later start times in middle and high school. A new study used activity trackers worn on the wrist to see how such a delay affected kids in a real school.…

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A call for a kinder capitalism

By Brett Milano ~ The Harvard Gazette ~  Rep. Kennedy advocates a new economic agenda that addresses the needs of embattled workers Speaking at Harvard Law School, U.S. Rep. Joe Kennedy III (D., Mass.) called Monday for a new national economic agenda based on “moral capitalism” that addresses the needs of embattled workers. In recent months, Kennedy has been pushing for a fresh economic sensibility. Speaking at the John T.…

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