The Following aired on KQED-FM.
By. Joshua Clayton
In elementary school and junior high, I was a bad little boy. You could find me in the principal’s office almost every day.
I remember my fourth grade teacher telling me, “Joshua if you don't do your work, I will flunk you.” I didn't even know the meaning of the word flunk, until the next year when I showed up at a 5th grade class and they told me I was still in the 4th grade. I think that was the moment I stopped caring.
After that, no matter how hard I worked, it felt like I would never catch up. By the time I got to middle school, I flunked two more grades.
People told me to step my game up, that high school was when it really mattered. So, in the 10th grade I started to get serious about school. For the next three years I did all my work and I got better grades. I had dreams of being an artist for Pixar, creating animated movies. But at the end of my senior year, my family started falling apart. I was just four credits away from a diploma when my mom sent me out of state to live with my grandma. I never graduated.Read more...
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The U.S. Supreme court heard arguments today for and against California’s ban on same-sex marriage.
According to the LA Times, the justices are questioning whether the issue should even be decided by the Supreme Court. This may lead to an opinion that supports the California court rulings and strikes down the disputed Proposition 8, but leaves the issue open for other states. The New York Times says the challenge for the justices is to decide whether gay couples should have the right to marry in all 50 states, or whether individual states can still have individual policies.
Will Portman, son of Rob Portman (R-Ohio) and a student at Yale University, made headlines this week by writing an op-ed for the Yale Daily News about how his father embraced his son’s sexuality and reversed his opposition to same-sex marriage.
Will Portman wrote:
“I’m proud of my dad, not necessarily because of where he is now on marriage equality (although I’m pretty psyched about that), but because he’s been thoughtful and open-minded in how he’s approached the issue, and because he’s shown that he’s willing to take a political risk in order to take a principled stand. He was a good man before he changed his position, and he’s a good man now, just as there are good people on either side of this issue today.”
The article spread fast -- and prompted many responses on the Yale Daily News website. One student recalled in a comment how he had also come out to his peers and the student community in the Yale paper in the early 1990’s. He wrote, "Apparently, my article caused some of the teachers I had known to reconsider their thinking on gay people. An unintended consequence, that in retrospect, I probably could have foreseen. Unintended or not I welcomed the chance to make a small difference. Imagine the effect you are having!"Read more...
Kate Anderson, a graduate student at the University of Arizona, recently conducted a study that showed people who experience racial discrimination have poorer health outcomes. African Americans are especially vulnerable to these symptoms. Anderson's results show 18.2 percent of black participants experienced emotional stress due to racial discrimination and 9.8 percent experienced physical stress.
Anderson’s study was brought up in the context of New York’s controversial Stop and Frisk policy, that allows police officers to stop anyone who looks suspicious. The policy is being challenged in court for targeting black and Latino people. Anderson’s results imply that the targeted population might be suffering from physical manifestations of racial profiling.
“Sometimes there are these unintended consequences of policy,” said Anderson, who recently submitted a paper for publication about the SB 1070 law in Arizona, that allows police to stop people they suspect to be undocumented, and ask for proof of legal documentation. “I don’t think anyone in Arizona was thinking, ‘Oh this is going to affect the health of this population’ -- but I think sometimes... the full manifestations of a law aren’t always thought through,” she said.Read more...
Well-intentioned, the tech world’s obsession with efficiency is more likely to hurt than help when it comes to incarceration, author Evgeny Morozov says in a recent New York Times editorial. The op-ed is a response to a report, “Beyond the Bars,” released by Deloitte, in which the company’s management consultants imagined a world where prisoners no longer spend time behind bars but instead, with the help of smartphone technology, are incarcerated at home under constant surveillance.
In this imagined world, incarceration is “gamified.” That’s a Silicon Valley idea in which real life actions are rewarded with points and prizes. (Think “CineMode”, in which app-users are rewarded with discounts for not checking their phones during movies.) In this case, those incarcerated are awarded points for things like keeping curfew or staying within confined zones. When they accrue enough points, they earn prizes that come in the form of extra freedoms.
Morozov argues that keeping prisoners at home while incentivizing good behavior probably sounds enticing to those looking to lower the cost of growing prisons but, “that smartphones allow us to imprison twice the number of people at half the cost is the kind of cutting-edge innovation that only management consultants and tech entrepreneurs would be excited about.”
The Valley’s drive for efficiency becomes a dilemma, says Morozov.
In the quest to make prison more cost-efficient, Deloitte’s plan distracts from the real problem, which is not that prisons are financially hard to maintain, but that mass incarceration is making them more expensive.
Read the full article at New York Times.Read more...
By: Joy White
Today, non-degree certificates are the fastest growing postsecondary credential in the country, and despite their proven trackrecord preparing students for jobs, there is a derth of financial aid. For example, people enrolled in child development certification programs have a much harder time finding financial aid than students enrolled traditional degree programs.
The New York Times forecasts that 18 out of 20 of the fastest-growing occupations in the nation will not require bachelor’s degrees. Economists note that certificates are often better options for students because they translate more quickly to jobs than traditional degrees. They also say certificates are better for the country because they would make the US more competitive in the global economy. According to a study from Georgetown’s Public Policy Institute, students with non-degree certificates in computer and information services earn more money than the majority of men and women with associate and bachelor degrees.Read more...
This story was published on Richmond Pulse.
By Asani Shakur
The “b-word” is so commonly used today, that it’s not really perceived as a bad word anymore. Young boys and girls hear it often in the music they listen to and other aspects of pop culture and they start using it themselves, without really understanding what it means.
Many of us, however, have made a conscious effort to omit the b-word from our vocabularies, along with other degrading words. The key word here is conscious. People who use the B-word are simply going off what they picked up as a child growing up, whether from people in their community, the mass media, entertainment, family members, or all of the above. The victims of the new colonization — or robots, as I call them — are just that. Robots do not have a mind of their own. A robot doesn’t think about why it’s operating the way it is. It just does what it has been programmed to do.
Here’s a scenario to illustrate the point: A woman in a store is getting off the phone with her girlfriend and says, “B—h, you crazy, I will holla at you later,” in an amusing tone. Another person at the store within earshot tells her, “B—h, don’t no one want to hear your conversation.” She flips and goes off. Then she gets in her car and calls her girlfriend up and says, “B—h, you won’t believe what this person just had the nerve to call and say to me after I hung up with you!” The irony of that…Read more...
This segment aired on Marketplace Money.
Do young people even think about retirement? That's what we asked Youth Radio's Asha Richardson, 21, Sayre Quevedo, 20, and Ashley Williams, 18.
The unanimous answer: Are you kidding?!
They're not alone -- apparently only about half of Americans have even done the math on their retirement, according to the Employee Benefit Research Institute.
Millennials might dream about the good life... but what these three young people want is a road map for how to get there.
Listen above to what Richardson, Quevedo and Williams had to say on savings and their plans for the future.Read more...
Q&A with Sue Burrell, Staff Attorney at the Youth Law Center
Just like DNA testing changed the face of the justice system in the United States in the late 80s, social media technology is becoming standard evidence in courts, especially where young people, its most avid users, are involved.
The Steubenville rape case is a perfect example. Two teenage football players were accused of raping an unconscious 16-year-old girl at a party while several witnesses stood by taking pictures. Leading up to the trial, however, prosecutors had trouble convincing the witnesses, mostly teenagers, to come forward. So instead, lawyers confiscated the party-goers’ cell phones, and used text messages, tweets, instagram photos, and facebook posts to recreate the night.
The photos posted to instagram showed 16-year-old football players, Ma’lik Richmond and Trent Mays, interacting with the intoxicated girl. One photo, on instagram, shows the young men carrying the limp girl by her hands and feet. Another depicts the girl lying naked and apparently unconscious on the floor. A witness also stated in court that in the car ride between parties, the players digitally penetrated the victim, an act that under Ohio state law is considered rape.
Tweets from young people that night include the hashtags #rape and #drunkgirl. One attendee, a former Steubenville high football player, tweeted out,“The song of the night is definitely Rape Me by Nirvana.”
These online interactions proved to be the crux of the prosecution’s case against the two young men, ultimately leading to their guilty verdict.
Youth Radio’s Sayre Quevedo spoke to Sue Burrell, a Staff Attorney at the Youth Law Center in San Francisco, about the role of social media in juvenile cases, and what Steubenville means for the way online interactions are utilized when teens are tried in court.Read more...
The following aired on KCBS.
By: Nick Miller
My dad thought that putting me in a small charter school would reduce my distractions and help me concentrate. And it did. But by the time I leave school each day, my energy level is low and my morale is even lower.
Everyday when I enter my first period class, I see the policies and rules sign plastered on my teacher's door.
"No excuses when you're late, and profanity results in a an automatic suspension."
I do agree that these rules serve a purpose. And they've helped me become more focused and more attentive in class.
But I miss the choices that my traditional public school offered like physical education and electives. At my charter school everyone takes the same courses. You have no choice. Because charter schools have more flexibility when designing their programs, they can be completely focused on academics, like my school.
For me, sports are an outlet that take my mind off of the things that stress me out, and give me energy to stay alert.
So while my small charter school aims to keep everyone on the same page and support my education, it can sometimes feel like a prison.Read more...
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By Brandon McFarland
This week, we take a critical look at the Steubenville, Ohio rape trial through the lens of social media, the juvenile court system, and sex education. A program organizer with 20 years of experience in sex education for teens discusses the connection between the lack of education about sex-ed and boundaries training for high-schoolers.
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