History + Politics

The Strange Tale of Merriam-Webster’s Ghost Word

Merriam-Webster is redefining the role of the dictionary in the 21st century. If you don’t follow them on Twitter, I…

Coates: Some Words Don’t Belong to Everyone

Asked at a book talk by a white college student if she and her friends have the right to use…

Stop Teaching Computer Science. Start “Embedding” It.

I’ve said it before: if we are serious about teaching computer science in K-12 schools, we have to reimagine how…

Watch How President Reagan Introduced A Nation at Risk

You have probably heard of A Nation at Risk–the Reagan-era report from which today’s education reforms come–but have you ever…

How Women Took Over Education Administration

All I’m going to say is the Nation at Risk report was published in 1983, triggering decades of aggressive reforms…

What School Integration Felt Like for a 14-Year-Old in 1964

Watch this brief yet powerful story by William Weaver as he recounts what desegregating schools felt like as a teenager…

Love These Beautiful Retro Maps of Recent Education Data

Hats off to Nathan Yau at Flowing Data for this gorgeous collection of maps visualizing American educational statistics. Need to…

Why Tolkien Had a “Heartfelt Loathing” for All Things Disney

A fascinating read about what happened when Tolkien and his friend C.S. Lewis went to see Disney’s Snow White and…

NYC Mayor’s Remark Reveals How School Segregation Works Today

When the mayor recently said that school segregation was directly linked to housing segregation, commentators pointed to the city’s own…

So, THAT is Where Letters Come From!

Etymology is one thing, but to look at the historical roots of letters themselves is just pure alphabetic joy.

Malcolm Gladwell on His Creative Process

It is a unique talent to translate complex phenomena to others in a way that is insightful, engaging, and avoids…

What Underfunding Schools Looks Like

Kudos to the NYTimes for crowdsourcing examples of what underfunding schools looks like. When you hear fast comparisons between US…

Racism and the Limits of Data Visualizations

What a thoughtful discussion of the limits of empirical data and visualizations in public discourse. In this commentary, Andre Perry…

Teach Writing? This Podcast is a Must-Listen.

Pour a beverage of choice, plug in your headphones, and enjoy this fantastic podcast on the state of writing and…

Allow Our Elections System to Remind You Why We Should Teach Computer Science

Tip of the hat to this computer science professor for making a complex issue broadly understandable. Our election system is…

The President Reminds Us Why We Teach Poetry

It was 1963 and Robert Frost had died. President Kennedy offered a glorious eulogy for Frost, but it was also…
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