Happy Thursday and welcome to The Highlighter #122. I’d like to welcome our 14 new subscribers and the entire community. Thank you for your readership! This week, I’ve chosen articles about education, school segregation, xenophobia, and face blindness. All of the pieces are worth reading, of course, but if you have time for just two, check out the first and last ones. Let’s just say that I feel lucky that I do not suffer from prosopagnosia. Enjoy!
The New Subscriber Contest has concluded! To great fanfare, a total of 85 new subscribers have joined. (Hello, new subscribers, and welcome!) This week’s winner is Abby B. Thank you for your word of mouth! The overall winner of this month’s contest, and recipient of the grand prize, is Abby P! Congratulations! Be on the lookout for a photograph soon with the lucky winners, and please keep getting the word out about the newsletter. Thank you!
What’s the best way to educate our children? For Eva Moskowitz, the controversial founder and leader of Success Academy Charter Schools in New York, the recipe is one part rigid discipline, one part progressive curriculum. Ms. Moskowitz’s combative style has rankled many educators and politicians, including Mayor Bill de Blasio, for its punitive teaching techniques in the quest for order and excellence. But parts of Success Academy’s model — rigorous reading, academic conversation, in-depth project-based learning — are considered best practice across the country. (Too bad its teachers stay only three years, on average.) ⏳⏳
Should we spend time and energy trying to desegregate schools, or is that goal impossible at this point? Does the average American even want their kids to attend integrated schools? This article argues that we should not abandon hope, that the dream of Brown v. Board is still attainable. Instead of making the excuse that housing segregation forces school segregation, it’s time to be creative and learn from case studies in Louisville and Hartford. One strategy is to blame charter schools for resegregation, as Myron Orfield (yes, the brother of UCLA’s Gary Orfield) is doing in a current lawsuit in Minnesota. ⏳
Fremont, Nebraska is a little rural town of 26,000 people. Costco wants to build a $300 million chicken plant, which would create 1,000 jobs and promote partnerships with local farmers. But most Fremonters are leery about the proposition, even though they understand that their town desperately needs economic development. The problem is that the Costco project would attract more Latinos to Fremont. Things used to be better, they say, back in the 1950s, when meatpacking earned a solid salary, before unions were busted, and before Latinos came. ⏳⏳
Are you good with faces but not with names? For people with prosopagnosia, the opposite is true. The inability to recognize faces leads to embarrassment and debilitation. Read writer Sarah Lyall’s experience with face blindness, including her ways to cope, and if you’re not too nervous, take the Cambridge Face Memory Test, which is creepy even if you score well. (I scored below average.) ⏳⏳
This Week’s Podcast: Barbara Shreve is on this week’s show! An outstanding Math educator and my close friend, Barbara also has a background in journalism, which prompted her to select the Washington Post-Project Veritas article from last week’s issue. Barbara and I also trade stories about working on our high school newspaper together. If you like the podcast, encourage your friends to subscribe, or leave a review on iTunes!
Great work! You all did a fine job reading this week’s issue of The Highlighter. Share your thoughts below by giving this issue a thumbs-up or -down. Also, please welcome our new subscribers: Ana, Dana, Rebecca, Suzanne, Sunny, Namkyu, N, Jennifer, Christine, Carina, Woo, Nora, Arianna, and Cindy! Tell your friends and family about The Highlighter by forwarding them this issue, sending them a link to subscribe, or encouraging them to check out the website! Have a wonderful week, and I’ll see you again next Thursday at 9:10 am.