If you need something to read on your next flight, while you’re waiting in line for your Starbucks order, or want a break from beach reading…here’s a look at what Team Grosso is reading (and watching) this week.
Why Poor Schools Can’t Win at Standardized Testing | Meredith Broussard, July 15, 2014
How can standardized test be gamed? “Not by using a beat-the-test strategy, but by a shockingly low-tech strategy: reading the textbook that contains the answers.” A good look at the economics of testing and the impacts on urban school districts.
Prison | Last Week Tonight with John Oliver, July 20, 2014
On Sunday’s episode of Last Week Tonight, John Oliver’s main story took a look at the racism and brokenness of America’s prison system. Watch the full clip above and make sure to stay to the end for Oliver's adorable "Broken Prison System" sing-along. "It's a fact that needs to be spoken," Oliver and the Muppets sang. "America's prisons are broken."
Gray Administration Launches New FOIA Website | Will Sommer, July 21, 2014
FOIA requests can now be submitted via this website. The Gray Administration in turn will post almost every FOIA response that the executive branch produces. Yay, transparency!
D.C. police use high-risk stings in battle against armed robberies | Ann Marimow, July 22, 2014
Undercover MPD officers are recruiting people they think are likely to commit armed robberies in high-risk sting operations. In the past two years, these operations have resulted in the convictions of more than a dozen men in federal court. “Critics ask how law enforcement officials can distinguish between someone who is just “puffing” and someone who intends to carry out a crime.” Good question.
Principals in U.S. Are More Likely to Consider Their Students Poor | David Leonhardt, July 22, 2014
We always hear that one cost-free way to help improve public education is improve expectations. Well, this recent study adds more evidence to that claim. The researcher finds that principals’ perceptions of disadvantage correlated more strongly with student performance than actual disadvantage. Perhaps expectations do play a role?
Man exonerated in 1982 D.C. killing; DNA reveals FBI error in conviction | Keith Alexander & Spencer Hsu, July 21, 2014
DNA evidence exonerates a man who spent 26 years in prison in the 1982 killing of a Washington woman. The decision came after a 2 ½ year review of all local convictions involving FBI hair matches that was launched after demands by the D.C. Public Defender Service. “I am free at last. I am humbled. I never gave up,” Martin said, hugging and high-fiving his attorneys. “I just want to live.”
Beyond Subprime Learning | Laura Bornfreund, July 16, 2014
The New America Foundation’s new report, Beyond Subprime Learning: Accelerating Progress in Early Education, provides recommendation for improving the quality of interactions between teachers and children at early ages. Their policy recommendations focus on increased and sustainable public funding and streamlining programs, standards, and eligibility requirements.