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January 2012

January 30, 2012

"School kids catch a break"

Kinda. According to a new study by the nonprofit research group MDRC: "When the city [New York City] shutters large, bad schools and puts kids in smaller, specialized ones, graduation and college-readiness rates climb, and much of the racial-achievement gap vanishes."

The catch? 

With this success so evident, you’d expect to see the teachers unions lining up to support the model. Not exactly.

Instead, the unions file suit every time the Department of Education tries to close or restructure a failing school.

What unions? You know, the "we're all about the kids" unions.

More evidence for Newmark's Second-Best Solution for Improving K-12 Schools: smaller classes, smaller schools, smaller school districts.

(Wait: isn't this MDRC a rabid, right-wing nut organization? No, not even close. It is affiliated with the Ford Foundation. The Board of Directors is chaired by Robert Solow. Among the other members of the board are John Reed, former chair of Citigroup, and noted scholars Lawrence Katz, Richard Murnane, and Cecilia Rouse. The study is here.)

January 29, 2012

"Coffee and the Age of Reason"

2.5 minute video by economist Simon [Steven--thanks, Alex] Johnson on how the switch from booze to caffeine helped revolutionize the world.

Two on careers

"Six Quick-Start Careers: See how you could get into a hot career with just 1-2 years of education."

"What's the Hottest Career Field? Health Care."

January 28, 2012

Most popular dog names

The Twihards are everywhere: Bella is #2 for females.

"Listen To 10 Seconds Of Every Hit Song Of The ’70s"

If you lived through the 70s, this is pretty cool.

January 27, 2012

"Inequality and Skills"

Agree or disagree: "One of the leading reasons for rising U.S. income inequality over the past three decades is that technological change has affected workers with some skill sets differently than others."

According to a panel of the cream of the U.S. economics profession--Harvard, MIT, Chicago, Stanford, Yale, Princeton, Berkeley--81% either "Agree" or "Strongly Agree".

Two on fumbles

"Forcing fumbles an art, not luck".

"Did Giants Strategically Concuss Kyle Williams?" (Two years in the NFL and he's already had four concussions?)

"Worldwide Feast: 55 Great Global Food Blogs"

Sigh. So much good food, so little time.

January 26, 2012

"Pizza Topping Markup Calculator"

From Centives, an interesting blog written by Lehigh University undergraduates.

See also the Monopoly Property Value Calculator.

Cancer vaccine?

If it wasn't for all the false hopes before, this would be exciting.

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