"I was very encouraged and surprised to see the number of countries that are now performing in the top tier that also have significant levels of child poverty. They are not the Nordic utopia of Finland that you hear about."
Amanda Ripley, journalist and author of “The Smartest Kids in the World and How They Got That Way,” on today’s announcement of results from the Programme for International Student Achievement (PISA). (via pritheworld)
Yes, let us celebrate that child poverty continues to be a devastating reality in so-called developed nations, including the United States. Imagine the performance of these same countries if they shared the same commitment to caring for people in poverty (or, gasp, reducing rates of poverty) that they do to high-stakes testing. Oy.
(Source: pri.org, via pol102)
It’s so tempting to imagine a drug or a hormone that would free me, grant me clarity from the foggy jumble that settles over me when I think about writing down what I believe is important in the form of a story. Although I spent much of my childhood as a fabulist, making up lies like it was my job (“No, really, my grandmother’s house has been struck by lightning seven times.” That one got traction during a third-grade unit on the phases of matter. Plasma!), I find it nearly impossible now—painful, even—to take the risk of imagining, as a writer, alternate realities from this one odd-around-the-edges but generally suburban middle class one. Are my truths really that self-evident? Or am I missing something fundamentally necessary in the mind of the writer?
Nothing like starting your day by writing a smackdown note to your child’s first grade teacher—in red pen.