11/05/2014

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    Here's five social innovation links we are clicking on today:
  1. Big Think: How Higher Education Can Improve Economic Mobility in the United States "Imagine if a century ago free access to a high school education in the United States had been available only to the wealthiest families. Imagine, further, that anybody else who had chosen to enter high school could have made this choice only if they had been willing to take on crushing debt and risk not finding a job when high school was finished. If these had been the conditions restricting access to what was then a fundamental education, what would the US economy and our democracy be like today, 100 years later? More than mere historical speculation, this question is now one about our future."
  2. The Washington Post: The Stark Difference Between What Poor Babies and Rich Babies Eat "The difference between what the rich and poor eat in America begins long before a baby can walk, or even crawl. A team of researchers at the University at Buffalo School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences found considerable differences in the solid foods babies from different socioeconomic classes were being fed. Specifically, diets high in sugar and fat were found to be associated with less educated mothers and poorer households, while diets that more closely followed infant feeding guidelines were linked to higher education and bigger bank accounts."
  3. The Huffington Post: Moving Student Photos Document School-To-Prison Pipeline "In Washington, D.C.'s public schools, African-American students are almost six times as likely to be suspended or expelled as their white classmates. Students with disabilities are also disciplined at higher rates than their peers. But a group of local students is hoping to use their artwork to change that. Students participating in a program with the nonprofit group Critical Exposure contend that disciplinary practices in the District's public schools contribute to the school-to-prison pipeline, which pushes minority and vulnerable students out of school and into the penal system. For the past two years, Critical Exposure has brought students together to document the problems in their school district through more than just data and numbers. The students use photography and multimedia projects to depict the difficulty their peers face in finishing school as a result of tough disciplinary policies."
  4. Mind Shift: How Standing Desks Can Help Students Focus in the Classroom "The rise of the standing desk may appear to be a response to the modern, eat-at-your-desk, hunched-over worker chained to her computer, but history paints a different picture: Hemingway, Benjamin Franklin, and Thomas Jefferson all stood while they worked. Donald Rumsfeld had a standing desk, and so did Charles Dickens. Workplaces are moving toward more standing desks, but schools have been slower to catch on for a variety of reasons, including cost, convenience, and perhaps the assumption that 'sit down and pay attention' is the best way to learn."
  5. Education Week: Education and the 2014 Election: A Guide to Key Races "Education is front and center in dozens of federal, state, and local contests in this pivotal midterm election year, with issues such as K-12 funding, teacher collective bargaining rights, and the growing role of the charter sector roiling the campaign landscape. In all, 36 governorships are up for grabs, along with control of 46 state legislatures, seven state schools chiefs’ spots, and nine state school boards. And with control of the U.S. Senate hinging on the outcome in a few key showdowns—including North Carolina’s expensive battle, where education is a marquee topic—the Nov. 4 results could set the policy template for years to come." This helpful guide shows how each race may impact education policy.