BLOG

Schoolyard tree cover predicts math performance in high-poverty urban schools

By Lauren Quinn ~ Illinois College of Agricultural, Consumer & Environmental Sciences ~ What if improving academic performance in some of the nation’s most disadvantaged and lowest-achieving schools was as easy as planting trees in the schoolyard? It’s not that simple, of course, but a new study from the University of Illinois suggests school greening could be part of the solution. The study, published in Frontiers in Psychology and led…

Read more Leave a comment

New data paint an unpleasant picture of poverty in the US

By Steven Pressman ~ The Conversation ~ On Sept. 12, the U.S. Census Bureau released national poverty data for 2017. The headline was that 39.7 million people were poor in 2017. This works out to 12.3 percent of the population or one in eight Americans. The good news is that the U.S. poverty rate has fallen since 2010, when it hit 15.1 percent, and is now where it was before…

Read more Leave a comment

Featured Video Play Icon

To transform child welfare, take race out of the equation

By Jessica Pryce ~ TED In this eye-opening talk about the impact of race and neighborhood on foster-care decisions, social worker Jessica Pryce shares a promising solution to help child welfare agencies make bias-free assessments about when to remove children from their families. “Let’s work together to build a system that wants to make families stronger instead of pulling them apart,” Pryce says. Watch Video

Read more Leave a comment

Black Land Matters

By Brian Barth ~ Modern Farmer Leah Penniman is an American anomaly: black, female, and a farmer. In 2016, Penniman hit the streets of Albany, New York, to protest the police brutality that killed Donald “Dontay” Ivy, 39, an unarmed local man. But her primary focus involves fighting what she considers a far more common, yet more subtly brutal, form of oppression. “Corporations, and white folks, in particular, control the…

Read more Leave a comment

Indianapolis’ new idea to get kids through college: Stop small stumbles from becoming big barriers

By Stephanie Wang ~ Chalkbeat ~ To reach the city of Indianapolis’ lofty goal of giving every resident access to college, it’s going to take more than money. It’s going to take a lot of nudging. Educators know that many students are capable of college coursework and could qualify for financial aid — but too many of them are failing at the logistics of getting into college and sticking with…

Read more Leave a comment

Rich teeth, poor teeth – addressing the clearest indicator of economic class in America

By Kellen Squire ~ Daily Kos ~ We can do so much better. While the struggle for Medicare For All is ongoing at the federal level, here in Virginia, we should expand Medicaid to cover dental services. We should be giving state income tax breaks to dental professionals, from hygienists to DDSes, of up to 100% if they operate and practice in “dental care deserts”. We should lower bureaucratic red tape to open…

Read more Leave a comment

After 40-year fight, California becomes the first state to abolish cash bail for arrested suspects

By Jessica Sutherland ~ Daily Kos ~ In a little over a year, getting arrested in California is going to look very, very different than it does today. Thanks to the California Money Bail Reform Act, also known as SB10, the cash bail system is going to be eradicated from the Golden State. The move comes after years of reform attempts, and just months after California courts deemed the cash…

Read more Leave a comment

How solar projects can transform low-income communities

By Sarah Kennedy ~ Yale Climate Connections In North Philadelphia, one organization is bringing the transformative power of solar energy to low-income neighborhoods. This past spring, Serenity Soular helped raise more than $37,000 from more than 300 donors to finance a solar installation at a community arts center. The group has also completed projects at a Baptist church and a community outreach center. Frank Ortiz of Serenity Soular says that…

Read more Leave a comment

Ending the Secrecy of the Student Debt Crisis

By Daniela Senderowicz ~ YES! ~ Gamblers and reality TV stars can claim bankruptcy protections when in financial trouble, but 44 million student loan borrowers can’t. Unemployed, underpaid, destitute, sick, or struggling borrowers simply aren’t able to start anew. With a default rate approaching 40 percent, one would expect armies of distressed borrowers marching in the streets demanding relief from a system that has singled out their financial anguish. Distressed…

Read more Leave a comment

Featured Video Play Icon

How women in rural India turned courage into capital

By Chetna Gala Sinha ~ TED ~ When bankers refused to serve her neighbors in rural India, Chetna Gala Sinha did the next best thing: she opened a bank of her own, the first ever for and by women in the country. In this inspiring talk, she shares stories of the women who encouraged her and continue to push her to come up with solutions for those denied traditional financial…

Read more Leave a comment