The Week in Review

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It certainly has been a busy one, both nationally and here at Pioneer. We are set to release a short policy brief on the inequities in Unemployment Insurance in Massachusetts and are gearing up for an education event Tuesday to discuss issues around student test data, including MCAS, TIMSS, the state’s data warehouse and the need to use data to guide professional development and inform classroom practice. For that reason, I saved up my thoughts this week for one weekend post. Here goes; from lightest to most serious.

1) This week’s sign of the apocalypse – According to The Week (a periodical I’ve trumped here before) a Colorado inmate is suing the prison where he is incarcerated because he was badly hurt when trying to escape from it. I’m sorry; that one was just too good not to pass on.

2) The other election – Yes, there was another heartbreaking election this week and my boyhood hero Jim Ed Rice fell just 16 votes shy of election to baseball’s Hall of Fame. To make matters worse, the only player who achieved election this year was hated Yankee reliever Goose Gossage, who, if you remember correctly, during an era when some sort of curse seemed to plague the Red Sox, enticed Jim Ed to fly out with two on and one out in the bottom of the ninth in 1978’s historic one-game play-off.

3) Tackling the important issues – University of Georgia President Michael Adams stepped up to address the most pressing issue in higher ed today: the lack of a playoff system for college football’s Bowl Championship Series. It seems he felt his school’s team had been unfairly excluded from competing for a national title. Never mind that, according to statistics provided by the Boston Globe’s Derrick Jackson, only 29% of the African-American players on that team are graduating from school, a school whose president seems to think winning games is more important than closing the persistent achievement gap between black and white students. I wonder that other educators don’t try a similar sleight-of-hand: focus the public’s attention on ephemera so that they don’t notice their children aren’t learning.