links for 2010-06-29

  • "Chris Brown's actions, however, shattered his image and destroyed the main function of his music. It's hard to imagine how he can move back into his role as a teen dream, now that he's admitted doing something no young woman would want done to her. (Not to mention the parents of girls who might have crushes on this handsome and smooth, if eager to reform, criminal.) The BET performance was problematic precisely because it felt like a bid to be washed clean, and because the audience members shown seemed ready with the baptismal water. Whatever Brown does, however sincerely remorseful he is, he can't go back. He will forever be in recovery."
  • "But for students and professors at overstretched colleges, these are hardly the best of times. With state financing slashed almost everywhere, many institutions have cut so deeply into their course offerings and their faculty rosters that they cannot begin to handle the influx of students.

    "In some parts of the country, the budget stresses are so serious that the whole concept of community colleges as open-access institutions — where anyone, with any educational background, can enroll at any point in life — is becoming more an aspiration than a reality."

  • "Boston police are trying a new weapon in their war on gangs. They're hoping a little old-fashioned public humiliation might help curb inner-city violence. But many fear the new tactic will backfire."
  • "At the time, the media hammered home a positive association of the soccer players with the country's poor suburbs. But as soon as the team began to play badly and the public grumbled about the star-studded lifestyle of team members, that message started to backfire.

    "'Before, we said the suburbs won the World Cup. Now it's all the opposite, and we say these children of the ghettoes lost it, and as a result we stigmatize the suburbs,' Gastaut said."

  • "Farm workers are tired of being blamed by politicians and anti-immigrant activists for taking work that should go to Americans and dragging down the economy, said Arturo Rodriguez, the president of the United Farm Workers of America.

    "So the group is encouraging the unemployed — and any Washington pundits or anti-immigrant activists who want to join them — to apply for the some of thousands of agricultural jobs being posted with state agencies as harvest season begins."

  • "This is not exactly new news – it’s a confirmation of earlier research by Roy Freedle of the Educational Testing Service also published in the Harvard Educational Review. The College Board, which administers the SAT, faced similar claims in 2003. The administrative body that also administers Advanced Placement tests has previously dismissed these claims by saying that 'since black students are less likely than white students to attend well-financed, generously-staffed elementary and secondary schools, their scores lag… American society is unfair, but the SAT is fair.'

    "Yeah, because classism is the only real form of oppression, and it’s not tied to racism at all!"