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March 2020

"Measure What Matters: On family structure and student outcomes"

A New York City charter school official is surprised:

On that hot July afternoon, my team took a walking tour of the neighborhood. Along the way, we encountered a 27-­foot-­long, baby-­blue Winnebago truck, that—judging by the cheery reaction of the people standing nearby—was a welcome fixture in the neighborhood. This was my turning point.

On the side of the truck, vividly inscribed in graffiti lettering, was the phrase “Who’s Your Daddy?” The truck turned out to be a mobile DNA testing center that charges $350 to $500 to answer questions such as: “Is she my sister?” or “Are you my father?” Demand had been so robust that the owner added a second truck so that he could offer Who’s Your Daddy? services in other boroughs and neighboring cities.

I was surprised that such a truck and its on-­demand services even existed. But what astonished me more was the normalcy of its existence.


"We’ll never see anything else like Tom Brady"

Boston columnist Chad Finn pays a fine tribute to Tom Terriifc.

The casual cool, including the power-dribble of the football, after guiding the drive to set up Adam Vinatieri’s winning field goal in Super Bowl XXXVI. The comeback from down 10 points with less than 8 minutes left against a hellacious Seahawks defense in Super Bowl XLIV, the one that birthed phase two of the dynasty. The like-hell-this-is-over poise against the Falcons in the comeback from down 25 points in Super Bowl LI, the one that made you believe that momentum in sports is real and palpable. The dart to a triple-covered Rob Gronkowski late in Super Bowl LIII against the Rams, the perfect exclamation point on the nonpareil tight end’s career. And those are just the most obvious ones. Good heavens we were lucky to watch this guy for so long, weren’t we?