Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Banking on Education | college students borrow money at 800% higher interest than banks...

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Democracy for America Infographic

Banking on Education infographic via Democracy for America

Sunday, July 28, 2013

in the wind | tweets from the week ending 07.27.13

TEDX Teen Talks | don't let what's not there make you miss what is there in abundance...

"My son lost 40 pounds..." | prescription fruits + vegetables

13 classic TV shows to stream with your kids (and where to find them cheap or free) 

Did Snapchat blow up because of sexting or by serving kids without mobile data plans (some of whom sext)? 

killing pain | a small idea from Raising Adults 

Saturday, July 27, 2013

killing pain | a small idea from Raising Adults

It’s hard to find anyone who would argue that the world is not a potentially toxic place for children and other living things. But I’m shocked—shocked I tell you!—when religious folk who (I think) should know better promote the notion that the toxicity is all out there in society. You know who you are. You wanna quote the Bible at me? Bring it! I’ll quote right back.
The toxicity is not out there. I don’t believe our problems stem from exposure to drugs, pornography, and violence. That’s way too easy. I think the flow goes the other direction. Drugs, pornography, violence—the whole shootin’ match—move from the inside out. They are symptoms of deeper issues. 
Exactly which issues is the subject of much debate. 
There’s plenty of evidence that kids listen to adults—especially their parents—before they listen to peers. You think this isn’t true because of the mythology around peer pressure. The truth is, kids gravitate first toward older people who give them a sense of being and belonging. If no one like that is around, then they look to peers for relationship, affirmation and support. The upside of this is that caring adults value kids and cultivate the kind of safety and assistance that helps them grow as whole persons. The downside is that lots of adults care about things that aren’t good for kids (or adults for that matter).
It’s from adults that kids learn that winning is everything; that outcomes are more important than processes. Whatever happened to, “It’s not whether you win or lose, it’s how you play the game”? Adults decided it was childish and naive; that’s what happened.

Saturday, July 20, 2013

in the wind | tweets from the week ending 07.20.13

Death Toll | Media reported gun violence since Newtown 

"It's not enough to know you aren't Trayvon..." 

nothing new here | State of Florida v. George Zimmerman

Would you send your adolescent child a social media friend request?

Attention Generation Y writer: Stop it. Things millennials only do in media stories  

all we want is health care that works for everyone | another reason I like the Affordable Care Act 

"I'm sorry you guys have to deal with this..." | Kids . Cheerios . Race

Barbie v. Monster High | the waxing and waning of child's play cultural icons

will health care reform really work for everyone? | an update

what the president actually said about Trayvon Martin | read the transcript for yourself  

what the president actually said about Trayvon Martin | read the transcript for yourself

[You can watch the entire video uninterrupted by pundits here, or read the official transcript below]

The White House
Office of the Press Secretary

Remarks by the President on Trayvon Martin

James S. Brady Press Briefing Room
1:33 P.M. EDT
THE PRESIDENT:  I wanted to come out here, first of all, to tell you that Jay is prepared for all your questions and is very much looking forward to the session.  The second thing is I want to let you know that over the next couple of weeks, there’s going to obviously be a whole range of issues -- immigration, economics, et cetera -- we'll try to arrange a fuller press conference to address your questions.
The reason I actually wanted to come out today is not to take questions, but to speak to an issue that obviously has gotten a lot of attention over the course of the last week -- the issue of the Trayvon Martin ruling.  I gave a preliminary statement right after the ruling on Sunday.  But watching the debate over the course of the last week, I thought it might be useful for me to expand on my thoughts a little bit.
First of all, I want to make sure that, once again, I send my thoughts and prayers, as well as Michelle’s, to the family of Trayvon Martin, and to remark on the incredible grace and dignity with which they’ve dealt with the entire situation.  I can only imagine what they’re going through, and it’s remarkable how they’ve handled it.

will health care reform really work for everyone? | an update

Following the post, all we want is health care that works for everyone | yet another reason I like the Affordable Care Act, a friend responded on Facebook asking, "Will it really work for everyone??" To which I responded:
It certainly is being designed to work for everyone. Off the top of my head, so far:
- We're seeing increased transparency in the wide range that health care providers have been charging us for the same services, which levels the playing field for everyone 
- We can choose to keep our adult children on our insurance till they're 26 
- We can get annual check ups, including women's reproductive health exams and screening at no charge 
- No one can be denied insurance or dropped from coverage because of a preexisting medical condition - Insurers are required to spend at least 80 percent of our premiums on actual health care services or rebate the difference — last year [2012] those rebates amounted to about half a billion dollars back in people's pockets 
And starting in January, insurance exchanges will enable us to get quality healthy coverage at reasonable prices even if we don't have employers who contribute as part of a benefits package. The first-stage introduction of the California insurance exchange looks really good (I wrote about that here, with links to the state exchange information). I'm eager to see the details as they roll out a few weeks from now. 
All that to say, based on what we've already seen in the early phases of the plan, I don't see any reason to think it won't work for everyone.

Friday, July 19, 2013

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

nothing new here | State of Florida v. George Zimmerman

From Bernard E. Harcourt, Racial Profiling: What's the Problem? page 37

As far as I can tell, the process and outcome the George Zimmerman trial haven't yet lent themselves to crisp, clear, universal findings, except to underscore this conclusion: Dark-skinned young men are disadvantaged prima facie in the design and application of U.S. legal codes, law enforcement and criminal justice.

If we wish to be anything like who we say we are, we have to address and change prejudicial dynamics in law and policy as well as human interactions.

Monday, July 15, 2013

Death Toll | Media reported gun violence since Newtown

In the seven months since the slaughter at Newtown, Connecticut, the gun deaths of about 6,170 Americans have been reported in the media.

This does not for the most part reflect suicides which account for around 60% of US gun fatalities.

Federal legislation to restore and extend previously effective firearm regulations is stalled in Congress.

If this stalling doesn't bother you, no action is required unless the death toll reaches a number—or includes a name—that gets your attention.

If the stalling does bother you, you can tell your members of the US Senate and House of Representatives you want them to #makegunviolenceharder.

in the wind | tweets from the week ending 07.13.13

Are retailers flogging Back-to-School early? Some are/some aren't. What's it to you?

Scientist finally get around to measuring teenage sleep + the causes + effects of sleepiness

what if straight was gay + gay was straight 

one more thought about class diagnosis | a small idea from Raising Adults

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

a semi-final thought about class diagnosis | a small idea from Raising Adults

The attractive thing about Class Diagnosis is this: It’s simple. Neither the official nor unofficial sort of diagnosis requires much contact, dialogue, or individual analysis. Everything is on the surface, so it’s easy. 
And so wrong. We resented it when they did it to us back in the day and our children resent it now. Class Diagnosis isn’t scientific; it isn’t even rational. It certainly isn’t fair.
Class Diagnosis has a still uglier outcome: Self-fulfilling prophecy.
When we kept hearing how self-centered our generation was, a lot of Boomers reached a point where we seemed to give in. Why wouldn’t we? American business worked from the hypothesis that self-centered people could be bought. So they tried to buy us and eventually it worked. They succeeded at least partly because we bought into the stereotypes about our out-of-control appetites. If I have but one life to live...
When our older children heard how lazy, unmotivated, antisocial and disaffected they were, some of them reached a point where they seemed to give in. Why wouldn’t they? We didn’t ask, we just assumed. And you know what happens when we assume...
Those who graduate from high school or college this spring are not Generation X or Y, as envious middle-aged baby boomers have been pleased to tag them. They are as much Generation A as Adam and Eve were, as the middle-aged baby boomers, their parents, used to be. 
—Kurt Vonnegut in Rolling Stone, 5.28.98
What assumptions are we pouring on our younger children? How long before they say screw it and just give in?
The last thing I want to do to someone I care about is frustrate her by assuming I know her thoughts and motives without bothering to ask. I know that’s ugly because I felt like adults did it to me when I was young. I also know I’ve done it to my daughter and if I could take back just one thing, I think maybe that’s what I would choose. So...sorry Kate.

— from Raising Adults

Tuesday, July 09, 2013

what if straight was gay + gay was straight | a thoughtful video

Do you think you could get a conversation started with this video?

[h/t Rachel Held Evans | thanks to WingSpan Pictures]

Sunday, July 07, 2013

in the wind | tweets from the week ending 07.06.13

Class Diagnosis | a small idea from Raising Adults

Do we believe the “children are our future.” From preschool to higher ed, "we are proving the opposite is true" 

New: Know what info Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA) allows websites to collect from kids?

T.I. + Snoop Lion on gun violence: "We're trying to rid the world of violence one day at a time."

Prescription painkiller deaths up over 400% among women + 265% among men. 

staying alive | LeVar Burton, Wynton Marsalis + Don Lemon on how black men respond in a traffic stop

Nat'l Retail Federation finds muted optimism in #parents going into Fall 2013. How's this affect #youthwork budgets?

'Normal' Barbie By Nickolay Lamm 

Style or Substance? GoldieBlox is a story-based construction toy designed for young girls

class diagnosis in a nutshell | a small idea from Raising Adults 

Friday, July 05, 2013

class diagnosis in a nutshell | a small idea from Raising Adults

I’ve long been dismayed at lists of danger signs parents should watch out for in their children—lists that include things like:
  • New, different friends  
  • Changes in eating or sleeping patterns
  • Fatigue
  • Weight gain or loss
  • Lower achievement in school
  • Changes in dress style
  • Changes in musical taste
  • Belligerence
  • Spending large amounts of time alone behind closed doors

Sorry, but with the exception of radical weight gains and losses, or precipitous drops in achievement, these changes are so common among adolescents as to be normal. Can such things signal the first step down a slippery slope to drug abuse or dropping out? Perhaps. But they can also indicate the sudden discovery of snow boarding or basketball or country music.
Look, I’m as concerned about the country music problem as the next guy, but I’m not gonna panic if my kid comes home wearing a retro Hank Williams T-shirt. There could be a perfectly innocent explanation. Like, “The dog ate my Flaming Lips shirt.” I’ll be danged if I’m gonna start World War III over a stupid T-shirt, no matter how stupid the shirt is. And for the record, some of my best friends are dedicated country music fans. [i]