That paragraph opens a devastating eight-part series published this month by The Times-Picayune of New Orleans about how the state’s largely private prison system profits from high incarceration rates and tough sentencing, and how many with the power to curtail the system actually have a financial incentive to perpetuate it. The picture that emerges is one of convicts as chattel and a legal system essentially based on human commodification. First, some facts from the series: • One in 86 Louisiana adults is in the prison system, which is nearly double the national average. • More than 50 percent of Louisiana’s inmates are in local prisons, which is more than any other state. Plantations, Prisons and Profits
Integration Worked. Why Have We Rejected It? Natalie Fobes/Corbis Jimmy Dugar on his first day in 1978 at a mostly white elementary school in Cincinnati. A generation later, public schools that had been ordered to integrate in the 1960s and 1970s became segregated once again, this time with the blessing of a new generation of justices. And five years ago, a splintered court delivered the coup de grâce when it decreed that a school district couldn’t voluntarily opt for the most modest kind of integration — giving parents a choice of which school their children would attend and treating race as a tiebreaker in deciding which children would go to the most popular schools. In the perverse logic of Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr., this amounted to “discriminating among individual students based on race.”
Floriande Augustin, a first-year teacher at the school, invited students to share their choices. Hands waved for attention. One girl said it was when she got a cat, though she was unsure why. Another selected a car crash. At Explore Charter School, a Portrait of Segregated Education
Recess Helps African American, Latino Students Perform In Class, Study Says While the benefits of physical activity among children has given rise to little, if any, debate, the benefits of midday playtime has. On one end of the spectrum some say that recess poses safety hazards and cuts into much needed instructional time; on the other end of the spectrum, proponents say recess may actually help children perform better in the classroom. A new study lends evidence to the arguments of the latter camp. According to researchers from Mathematica Policy Research and the John W. Gardner Center for Youth and Their Communities at Stanford University, teachers reported less bullying, better recess behavior and more readiness for classes among students who engaged in recess .
Photo Credit: Gage Skidmore April 25, 2012 | Like this article? Join our email list: The Self-Made Myth: Debunking Conservatives' Favorite -- And Most Dangerous -- Fiction | Visions
Even in 2012, informal rules persist for the consumption of pop culture. Stories about women are marketed to women; stories about people of color are marketed to people of color. But stories about straight white guys are marketed to everyone. This norm becomes doubly problematic in visual mass media. Characters written as racially neutral (or even as nonwhite ) are virtually always cast as white even though movie-watchers and TV watchers of all backgrounds will search for a mirror, an entrance point, among the faces they see on screen. Behind the scenes, too, the problem persists: a recent study pointed out that women of color directed 1 percent of TV episodes in 2011. TV Audiences Can Be Color Blind - Room for Debate
Prozac: What's Race Got to Do With It? When Prozac first landed on pharmacy shelves in 1987, it immediately hit the jackpot. The new drug represented a novel class of antidepressants with fewer side effects and dramatically lower chances of overdose, and it was even successfully marketed for use as a diet pill . Now, the billion-dollar antidepressant industry funnels meds to roughly one out of every ten Americans—more than 33 million people a year. Yet given their prevalence, new research has public health experts scratching their heads about a worrisome trend: whether or not patients get prescribed these meds may stem from broader factors that have nothing to do with mental health at all—namely, race and health insurance status. Consider one study from February. Scientists at the University of Michigan analyzed prescribing patterns among physicians treating patients diagnosed with major depression.
Welfare queen A welfare queen is a pejorative phrase used in the United States to refer to people who are accused of collecting excessive welfare payments through fraud or manipulation. Reporting on welfare fraud began during the early 1960s, appearing in general interest magazines such as Readers Digest . The term entered the American lexicon during Ronald Reagan's 1976 presidential campaign when he described a "welfare queen" from Chicago's South Side . [ 1 ] Since then, it has become a stigmatizing label placed on recidivist poor mothers, with studies showing that it often carries gendered and racial connotations. [ 2 ] [ 3 ] Although American women can no longer stay on welfare indefinitely due to the Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Act , the term continues to shape American dialogue on poverty. [ 3 ] [ edit ] Origin
White People, You Will Never Look Suspicious Like Trayvon Martin by Michael Skolnik 17-year-old Trayvon Martin was shot and killed by a Neighborhood Watch captain inside his own gated Sanford, Florida community where he was living with his father, stepmother and little brother. I will never look suspicious to you. Even if I have a black hoodie, a pair of jeans and white sneakers on...in fact, that is what I wore yesterday...I still will never look suspicious. No matter how much the hoodie covers my face or how baggie my jeans are, I will never look out of place to you.
Randi Weingarten: Education by the Numbers Since some people think that everything in education can be reduced to a number, let's follow their lead. 76: The percentage of teachers who report that their school's budget decreased in the last year (after the recession officially ended). 63: The percentage of teachers who say that their class sizes increased in the last year. 16.4 million: The number of children in America living in poverty. 64: The percentage of teachers who report that in the last year, the number of students and families needing health and social support services increased. 28: The percentage of teachers who say that health or social services have been reduced or eliminated in their schools . 50: The approximate percent of teachers who leave the profession within the first five years. $7.3 billion: The cost to American school systems each year as a result of teacher turnover.
Young, Black and Male in America - Room for Debate The Opinion Pages Room for Debate <a href="http://www.nytimes.com/adx/bin/adx_click.html?type=cookie&pos=TopAd"><img src="http://www.nytimes.com/adx/bin/adx_remote.html?type=noscript&page=blog.nytimes.com/roomfordebate/post&posall=TopAd,Bar1,Position1,Position1B,Top5,SponLink,MiddleRight,Box1,Box3,Bottom3,Right5A,Right6A,Right7A,Right8A,Bottom7,Bottom8,Bottom9,Inv1,Inv2,Inv3,CcolumnSS,Middle4,Left1B,Frame6A,Left2,Left3,Left4,Left5,Left6,Left7,Left8,Left9,JMNow1,JMNow2,JMNow3,JMNow4,JMNow5,JMNow6,Feature1,Spon3,ADX_CLIENTSIDE,SponLink2&pos=TopAd&query=qstring&keywords=?"></a>
Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka, Kansas - "With an Even Hand": Brown v. Board at Fifty (Library of Congress Exhibition) Three lawyers confer at the Supreme Court, 1953. Gelatin silver print. New York World-Telegram & Sun Collection, Prints and Photographs Division , Library of Congress (98) The National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) and its legal offspring, the Legal Defense and Educational Fund, developed a systematic attack against the doctrine of “separate but equal.” The campaign started at the graduate and professional educational levels.
Black at Stuyvesant High — One Girl’s Experience Rudi-Ann Miller, center, in a Modern China class at Stuyvesant High. She is president of the school's Black Student League. Rudi skates with her classmates during rollerblading class. Rudi’s daily trek begins at 241 Street, at the end of the 2 train line. She travels an hour and a half each day to get to school. Rudi said she has been the only black person in most of her classes.