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The original vision of charter schools in 1988, when the idea was popularized, was that they would be created by venturesome public school teachers who would seek out the most alienated students, those who had dropped out or those who were likely to do so. The teachers in these experimental schools would find better ways to reach these students and bring what they’d learned back to the regular public school. The fundamental idea at the beginning of the movement was that charter schools would help public schools and enroll students who needed extra attention and new strategies.
From Ravitch, Diane. “Why I Changed My Mind.”The Nation 14 June 2010: 20-24. Print. The passage appears on page 22 of the article.
Paul Revere’s ride is perhaps the most famous historical example of a word-of-mouth epidemic. A piece of extraordinary news traveled a long distance in a very short time, mobilizing an entire region to arms. Not all word-of-mouth epidemics are this sensational, of course. But it is safe to say that word of mouth is—even in this age of mass communications and multimillion-dollar advertising campaigns—still the most important form of human communication.
From Gladwell, Malcolm. The Tipping Point. New York: Little, Brown, 2002. Print. The passage appears on page 32.
Scientists say juggling e-mail, phone calls and other incoming information can change how people think and behave. They say our ability to focus is being undermined by bursts of information. These play to a primitive impulse to respond to immediate opportunities and threats. The stimulation provokes excitement — a dopamine squirt — that researchers say can be addictive. In its absence, people feel bored.
From Richtel, Matt. “Hooked on Gadgets, and Paying a Mental Price.” New York Times. New York Times,7 June 2010. Web. The article was accessed online, in a version that appeared without page numbers.
Assange also wanted to insure that, once the video was posted online, it would be impossible to remove. He told me that WikiLeaks maintains its content on more than twenty servers around the world and on hundreds of domain names. (Expenses are paid by donations, and a few independent well-wishers also run “mirror sites” in support.) Assange calls the site “an uncensorable system for untraceable mass document leaking and public analysis,” and a government or company that wanted to remove content from WikiLeaks would have to practically dismantle the Internet itself.
From Khatchadourian, Raffi. “No Secrets: Julian Assange’s Mission for Total Transparency.” New Yorker. TheNew Yorker,7 June 2010. Web. The article was reprinted without page numbers online.
Bear Stearns and Lehman Brothers in 2008 more closely resembled normal corporations with solid, Middle American values than did any Wall Street firm circa 1985. The changes were camouflage. They helped to distract outsiders from the truly profane event: the growing misalignment of interests between the people who trafficked in financial risk and the wider culture. The surface rippled, but down below, in the depths, the bonus pool remained undisturbed.
From Lewis, Michael. The Big Short: Inside the Doomsday Machine. New York: Norton, 2010. Print. The passage appears on page 254.
Unlike the staggered luncheon sessions I observed at Walton High, lunch was served in a single sitting to the students in this school. “It’s physically impossible to feed 3,300 kids at once,” the teacher said. “The line for kids to get their food is very long and the entire period lasts only 30 minutes. It takes them 15 minutes just to walk there from their classes and get through the line. They get 10 minutes probably to eat their meals. A lot of them don’t try. You’ve been a teacher, so you can imagine what it does to students when they have no food to eat for an entire day. The schoolday here at Fremont is eight hours long.”
From Kozol, Jonathan. The Shame of the Nation: The Restoration of Apartheid Schooling in America. New York: Crown, 2005. Print. The passage appears on page 176.
Because of physiological and behavioral differences, exposures among children are expected to be different from exposures among adults. Children may be more exposed to some environmental contaminants, because they consume more of certain foods and water per unit of body weight and have a higher ratio of body surface area to volume than adults. Equally important, rapid changes in behavior and physiology may lead to differences in exposure as a child grows up.
From United States. Environmental Protection Agency. Child-Specific Exposure Factors Handbook (Final Report). Sept. 2008. Web. 5 November 2009. The passage appears on page 1-1.
Thomas Jefferson had made it unmistakably clear to Lewis and Clark that their foremost objective was to find “the direct water communication from sea to sea formed by the bed of the Missouri & perhaps the Oregon.” But in his detailed letter of instructions to Lewis, Jefferson devoted more words to the Indian nations than to any other topic. Not only was Jefferson intensely curious about the tribes, he wanted Lewis and Clark to wean their loyalties away from the despised British traders and enfold them into the orbit of American trade and commerce.
From Jones, Landon Y. William Clark and the Shaping of the West. New York: Hill-Farrar, 2004. The passage appears on pages 130-31.
Yoko became the epitome of Fluxus multimedia antiart. Her works tended to be sculpture, or rather three-dimensional collage, assembled from quotidian objects and usually inviting physical contact with the observer. Sometimes the creation would be a piece of theatre, with the role of the artwork played by the artist and the audience’s reactions serving to illuminate some truth about the nature of art or the human condition in general.
From Norman, Phillip. John Lennon: The Life. New York: Random, 2009. Print. The excerpt is from page 474.
Some recent studies have explored the existence of behavior in toddlers that is “altruistic” in an even stronger sense — like when they give up their time and energy to help a stranger accomplish a difficult task. The psychologists Felix Warneken and Michael Tomasello have put toddlers in situations in which an adult is struggling to get something done, like opening a cabinet door with his hands full or trying to get to an object out of reach. The toddlers tend to spontaneously help, even without any prompting, encouragement or reward.
From Bloom, Paul. “The Moral Life of Babies.” New York Times Magazine. New York Times,9 May 2010. Web. The passage appears on page 47.
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