Why You Should Pay Zero Attention to the GreatSchools Rating System

I wrote yesterday about choosing a school in a segregated world. In response to some of the comments I received on that post, I want to take a moment to look more fully at school rating systems. While some states create their own school ratings (based on various factors), I've also seen many parents rely on the ratings available at the GreatSchools website, which bills itself as "the leading national nonprofit empowering parents to unlock educational opportunities for their child." While I will b … [Read more...]


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On Choosing a School in a Segregated World

School segregation did not disappear with the 1954 Brown v. Board of Education decision. In fact, by some measures American schools have become more segregated over the past few decades. As anyone who has looked at the problem knows, the root of this issue is residential segregation---as long as we have neighborhood schools, and as long as neighborhoods are highly segregated by race (and class, among other things), we will have segregated schools. Attempts to fix this problem via school busing … [Read more...]


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Trump’s Childcare Plan Helps the Wealthy, Not the Poor

By now, you're probably aware that Donald Trump gave a speech on economics yesterday. You may be less familiar with a particular piece of his speech---the bit where he addressed making childcare more affordable. As you may remember, affordable childcare played an important part in his daughter Ivanka's speech at the Republican National Convention. How does Trump propose to fix the high costs of childcare, which often price women out of the job market entirely? Like this: My plan will also help … [Read more...]


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More Young Adults Lived with Their Parents in 1940 than Live with Their Parents Today

A Pew Research headline popped up on my Facebook feed recently. For First Time in Modern Era, Living With Parents Edges Out Other Living Arrangements for 18- to 34-Year-Olds, it declared. The headline positions the article (and the data it highlights) squarely within the widespread and often-fraught media discussion of the "high" number of Millennials living with their parents, and the "low" number of Millennials marrying. And so I clicked through. I found this graph:Look at the data in t … [Read more...]


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Magical Wishful Thinking on the Family, 2016 Republican Party Platform Edition

A lot has been said about the Republican Party's 2016 platform. It is, for example, the most anti-LGBT rights platform in the history of the Republican Party. There's one thing I've seen less attention drawn to, though, and that is the platform's wishful thinking when it comes to the family---or to be specific, the platform's fairy tale contention that marriage magically fixes everything it touches. The Republican Party platform's section on marriage and the family rests on some really bad … [Read more...]


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Kids These Days . . . Are Actually Okay

I'm sure you're no stranger to people complaining about today's young people. They're addicted to technology, glued to their cell phones, unable to function in the real world. They're selfish and entitled, they want everything handed to them on a plate. They don't know what it is to work hard, they haven't been properly disciplined. Our nation is in serious trouble. Or at least, so the narrative goes.I recently noticed this narrative on display in a Facebook meme:Text is: R.I.P. A … [Read more...]


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What We Need to Hear: How to Talk to Abuse Victims

Can we talk about how people respond to adult abuse victims?*Let me start by noting that I sometimes have trouble naming what happened to me as abuse. We typically associate abuse with adults beating children in an angry or out of control or sadistic way. That didn't happen to me. Instead, I had what many would see as an ideal childhood, growing up in the country with parents who read to me, played board games with me, and made even maintenance projects around the house fun, interesting, bo … [Read more...]


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