Education

  • Life Without Summer Camp

    The economic downturn could be the best thing that ever happened to kids. The return of free play.
  • Breakfast Buffet, Monday, June 15

    Laid Off? Start a Business: Over half of this year's Fortune 500 firms were started in a recession or bear market.An Interview with Paul Krugman: "The risk of long stagnation is really high." Krugman has become very Cassandra-like lately but he has a Nobel Prize so we more or less have to listen to him.Checkmate at the Yellowstone Club: The tale of the Montana ski resort for the ultra-wealthy is a familiar one -- reckless borrowing, the over-reaching of the rich, overpaying for property -- but the details are fascinating and well-told.The Fed Calls the Shots: Should people who buy boats and snowmobiles be eligible for cheaper financing from the Federal Reserve?
  • Author Michael Pollan on "Food Inc." and How to Eat Well

    By Nicki GostinThe last few years have been interesting times for food and eating habits, as "slow food," locavores and farmer's markets have entered mainstream conversations about how we eat. This spring saw Michelle Obama planting the first garden on White House grounds since the era of President Roosevelt. One of the Pied Pipers leading the movement to eat more fresh, local fruits, vegetables and meats has been author Michael Pollan. In books such as In Defense of Food: An Eater's Manifesto and The Omnivore's Dilemma, Pollan explains why junk food really is junky and why it's so important not to eat food that has ingredients that you can't even pronounce. Now Pollan appears in the new documentary Food Inc., a disturbing look at giant food companies in the United States, with a focus on the beef industry. NEWSWEEK's Nicki Gostin spoke with Pollan about whether the cost of food at farmer's markets is worth it, why Europeans eat better than Americans and the steps we can all take to...
  • Kids and War

    Since 9/11, more than a million kids have had a parent deployed. Their childhoods often go with them.
  • Breakfast Buffet, Monday, May 26

    As Goes California So Goes the Nation?: Paul Krugman, optimistic as always, worries that it might be so. He points to the shrinking and increasingly extreme ranks of the Republican party to explain why it will be especially difficult for the state to climb out of the fiscal hole--a scenario he can easily foresee playing out at the national level....
  • Liberty University Bans Democrat Club

    Liberty University's Democrat students club received notice last week that it would no longer be able to associate the University's name with any of its activities. According to a Lynchburg VA paper, the club's leadership was told "“There is absolutely no animosity at all toward any of these kids," Falwell said. “They are good, Christian kids who sit with me at ball games. I just hope they find a pro-life family organization to affiliate with so they can be endorsed by Liberty again." DNC Chair and Virginia Governor Tim Kaine has weighed in on the issue, along with gubernatorial candidate Terry McAuliffe. "
  • St. Paul School Renamed After Obama

    As of last night, the school formerly known as Webster Magnet Elementary will be named Barack and Michelle Obama Service Learning Elementary. Staff and students had voted on the name change earlier this month, and last night the School Board ratified their decision in a 5-1 vote. The school is in it's first year of a service learning program and the community wanted a name change to reflect the change in direction. But it sparked a heated debate among parents about whether it was premature to name the school after a President who has been in office nary four months. The Minneapolis Star Tribune reports:Tom Conlon, the board's lone Republican, opposed the change. The...
  • No-Stress Tests

      The resurrection of Wall Street is at hand. That isn’t quite the intended message of the results of today’s stress tests, but it’s pretty likely to be the bottom line. Led by Citigroup and Bank of America, the 19 big banks that got us into much of this trouble will, by government-orchestrated means, receive the tens of billions of dollars in additional capital they need. But that’s mainly for another rainy day (as opposed to another perfect storm). “All the banks are solvent,” Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke said today, declaring he was “very pleased with the results.”   All of which means that whatever opportunity once might have existed for fundamental change in the financial system – with its giant institutions privately trading derivatives with each other globally --is probably slipping away. Oh, the reigning authorities won’t quite say that. There is going to be all sorts of new regulatory oversight, new capital requirements, reduced leverage rules, and such. But basi...
  • Brain Scan Update: 'Our Aim Was to Educate, Not Accuse'

    In a post earlier this week on a study raising doubts about some high-profile studies in neuroscience, I was remiss in implying that the problem existed only in fMRI studies. As the paper’s lead author, Niko Kriegeskorte, reminds me, “this is not only about brain imaging (as your title suggests), but equally affects other fields of systems neuroscience,” including EEGs....
  • Is Summers Staying Up Past His Bedtime?

     For the second time in his tenure as Director of the National Economic Council, Larry Summers has nodded off in public. According to the pool report, during a meeting with credit card industry officials, "Summers appeared to be nodding off near the beginning of Obama's remarks. And then he DID nod off, doing the head on the hand and then head falling off the hand thing." Last time Summers dozed off was at the White House's Fiscal Responsibility Summit. Admittedly Summers is probably working crazy hours, and fiscal responsibility can be a dry topic, but c'mon! Maybe someone should remind him of that Seinfeld episode where George naps under his desk - that might be a more discreet solution.   Noam Scheiber of The New Republic remarked on Larry Summers' sleeping habits in his profile: "As at Harvard, Summers functions on exceedingly little sleep. (A former...
  • The Financial Crisis Hits Education

    I wonder what effect this will have on student diversity in coming years. It's certainly going to put pressure on those much lauded Ivy league programs to offer free tuition to lower and even middle income students -- Harvard had announced a free ride to students who come from families earning $60,000 or less annually a few years back. It will certainly also increase the temptation to take full fee paying students -- including more foreign students. Of course, that trend might itself be counter-balanced by the economic downturn. There's anecdotal evidence that some foreign students that once would have come to the U.S. to study are staying home because of plunging local currencies, and a lack of job opportunities in the U.S., since so many companies have hiring freezes on. Then, of course, there's the fact that the U.S. isn't the only place to get a great education these days -- the U.K., Europe, and even the Middle East and Asia are becoming more attractive hub...
  • The New GI Bill

    Hey, soldier, wanna go to Harvard? Elite universities throughout the country—including that one in Cambridge, Mass.—will decide in the coming weeks whether to help veterans of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan study for free, using their own funds to supplement the new GI Bill, which goes into effect in August. But for many universities, faced with shrinking endowments and a rising pool of financial-aid applicants, this is no easy decision. Kevin Galvin, Harvard's director of news and media relations, says the school hasn't yet reached a verdict—but he noted that much of its aid dollars have already been committed elsewhere.According to the GI Bill passed into law last year, veterans can study at the most expensive public university in their state, with the government covering full tuition and many fees, or they can apply the money to tuition at a private or out-of-state university. But veterans who choose an Ivy League school, for instance, will be left with a hefty bill. To close...
  • Undercover at Falwell's Liberty University

    While most of his buddies studied abroad last year, Kevin Roose, a 21-year-old English major at Brown University, tried a different kind of cultural immersion: he spent a semester undercover at Liberty University, the college founded by Jerry Falwell. Roose joined the student newspaper, the school choir and even spent his spring break proselytizing drunk kids in Daytona Beach, Fla. Now a senior back at Brown, Roose wrote a book about his experience, called "The Unlikely Disciple." He spoke with NEWSWEEK's Jessica Bennett. ...

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