School Closures Hit Disproportionately

The Color of School Closures

Spread the [rather obvious] word:

“Mass school closings have become a hallmark of today’s dominant education policy agenda. But rather than helping students, these closures disrupt whole communities. And as U.S. Department of Education data suggests, the most recent rounds of mass closings in Chicago, New York City and Philadelphia disproportionately hurt Black and low-income students.”

From the National Opportunity to Learn Campaign.

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The Bones are Richard’s

It’s Richard

Researchers in England confirmed this morning that the skeleton found underneath a Leicester car park is indeed that of Richard III, last Plantagenet king and the last king of the country to fall in battle.

There were cheers when Richard Buckley, lead archaeologist on the hunt for the king’s body, finally announced that the university team was convinced “beyond reasonable doubt” that it had found the last Plantagenet king, bent by scoliosis of the spine, and twisted further to fit into a hastily dug hole in Grey Friars church, which was slightly too small to hold his body.

—The Guardian UK

I’ve long been fascinated by Richard and the War of the Roses; Shakespeare’s smear job/propaganda piece Richard III is my favorite of all the Bard’s work. I also loved the Ian McKellen cinema version of the play from 1995, which set the play in a 1930s fascist setting.

But it was Sharon Kay Penman’s fictional alternative, The Sunne In Splendour: A Novel of Richard III that captured my attention when it came out. It’s a portrait of the events, including the princes in the tower, done from Richard’s perspective, showing the perfidy of Henry Tudor and the Stanleys.

But now we have the real skeleton of the Last Plantagenet, curved spine and all and it’s a starting point towards separating reality from myth and truth from Tudor propaganda. Fascinating stuff.

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Barack Obama

“Our journey is not complete until our gay brothers and sisters are treated like anyone else under the law – for if we are truly created equal, then surely the love we commit to one another must be equal as well.”

[Meanwhile, his gay brothers and sisters tap their feet, waiting impatiently. Well, then, hurry it up already!]

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Academic Paywall Monetization Kills

The political consequences of academic paywalls

The suicide of Aaron Swartz, the activist committed to making scholarly research accessible to everyone, has renewed debate about the ethics of academic publishing. Under the current system, academic research is housed in scholarly databases, which charge as much as $50 per article to those without a university affiliation. The only people who profit from this system are academic publishers. Scholars receive no money from the sale of their articles, and are marginalized by a public who cannot afford to read their work. Ordinary people are denied access to information and prohibited from engaging in scholarly debate.

Excellent reporting from Dr. Sarah Kendzior on

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