American's aren't great at standardized tests, but our education system is relatively equal, compared to other nations.
Data-gathering has helped kids learn more, Oregon's schools chief says.
TANF was envisioned as a runway for the poor to launch themselves out of poverty, but a troubling fraction still skid along the rock bottom of the economy.
For America's poor, the security of public benefits can outweigh the risks of a low-paying, uncertain job.
Online merchants are running into a particularly troubling quirk of international postal law.
Maybe demography - and not geography - is the key to understanding high costs of care.
A new report finds employers are requiring BAs more than ever -- and not always because it's necessary to do the job.
National gas development is big for Youngstown, but less so for workers
A case for pessimism about the divide between companies and workers.
The mystery of why people who live near fracking report more health problems.
Employers like to dodge taxes by pretending its workers are just "contractors."
The house cleaning startup Homejoy can offer better pay -- at the cost of zero protection for workers.
An anecdotal - and personal - measure of the economy's health.
- and and and
- Sep 9, 2014
The Affordable Care Act has been controversial -- but it's changing the many small health decisions that make up everyday life.
A selection of indie music from Minneapolis, Athens, Chapel Hill, and Portland.
Music geographer Michael Seman on how music can transform cities.
What research from 17th century classical musicians tells us about creative clusters.
Omaha's lesson in music as economic stimulus, as told through one up-and-coming Nebraska band.
Many would-be borrowers are 'boxed out' from loans. Lenders blame muddled regulations.
In Richmond, bad luck and bad choices collide with bad policy.
This owner of a sports grill chain thinks so.
A guide to separating the data from the generational cliche.
A sour economy is locking America's most dynamic generation of workers into less-than-ideal jobs.
What low today's job churn tells us about the economy.
What U.S. policymakers got right on the job front.
The head of the CDC says the 'window of opportunity' to contain Ebola is closing.
In Sierra Leone, authorities are scrambling to contain the Ebola outbreak, and using some surprisingly simple tools.
Not every city supports the unemployed in the same way. What's working in your town?
Can the city of Richmond fix problems hundreds of years in the making?
The evidence is in: worker training programs lead to higher wages.
Health-care sharing gives some Americans a faith-based support system -- as long they pledge to refrain from sin.
A look at the culture of guns in Nucla, Colorado, where the nearest stop light is two hours away.
Photos from a small town that passed a law requiring a gun in every household.
Hours after the merger announcement, Twitter rose up to say: Don't mess with my coffee.
The coal economy in Central Appalachia is in an unprecedented freefall. Which isn't making it easier for workers to move on.
Is coal country suffering from what economists call the 'resource curse'?
A photo gallery of one West Virginia family's struggle to find work as the coal industry shrinks.
How kids' livestock shows have become a cutthroat - and competitive - business.
Inside the world of competitive pig shows.
A look back at how the WashPost covered the county fair.
As young people flee the Heartland, it's getting harder and harder to find a lawyer in rural America.
The younger your neighbors, the healthier your town
What it's like to work as a lawyer in sparsely-populated towns.
It's not clear that just adding minorities makes a police force more empathetic.
Economists forgot that government response to a disaster can be a stimulus.
Workers in one California town have become collateral damage in the push for globalization.
Where jobs could be at risk because of increased global competition.
Workers in the town of Fremont, California are slowly picking up the pieces.
The city's police chief on policing Latinos, the “swagger years,” and why he loves his MRAP.
'I didn't want to be another statistic': Stories from readers on teen pregnancy
What you need to know about the $17 billion hospice industry.
'I am an example of how you can turn an unplanned pregnancy into a wonderful part of your life.'
The hospice industry is booming, but concerns are rising about treatments for patients who aren't near death.
Wonkblog has a rundown of the uneven drop in teen births.
The lessons and stories from Colorado's surprisingly effective approach.
Why we should treat teen pregnancy as more than just a medical event.
It's hard to put a number on it, but over the long run they justify the cost.
Because supply and demand aren't that simple.
'We have far too many reminders that race still matters'
What a fake ‘viral’ story tells us about how we view young African American men
On their wedding day, Amy and Ian Hicks and their wedding party take photos with rap group 7262 who were filming a video in Detroit, Mich. (Courtesy of Adam Sparkes)
Editor’s note: This is a guest post from economist Olugbenga Ajilore.
Nearly 25 years ago, rap group Public Enemy came out with their third album, “Fear of a Black Planet.” The cover had a dramatic image of a black planet, with the band’s logo eclipsing the Earth. The image played off the long-standing concept of “stereotype threat,” where individuals hold stereotypes of ethnic minorities.
Fast forward to today: a recent wedding photo that went viral had a seemingly incongruous image of a predominantly white wedding party with a bunch of young black men. The explanation for the photo went as follows: Thanks to what media reports described as an errant text message, the bride accidentally invited strangers to the party. The bride apologized for the mistake and texted the stranger that the party was private. But the unintended recipient replied by simply saying “we still coming.” When the story went viral, it spawned the hashtag #westillcoming.
As fascinating as the story sounds, it was completely made up – and it played to our racial misconceptions and discomfort. Here’s the real story: the wedding party was going around Detroit taking photos and happened upon the rap group 7262 making a video. Not only did the wedding party chat with the rappers, but the wedding party ended up take pictures with the group and appeared in their video. I doubt if this story would have gone viral.
The question is (besides who created the erroneous text message exchange) why did this go viral and what does it say about our culture? The answer may be found in our preconceptions about race, and in the stories of unarmed African American men killed by cops. We all know the story of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Mo., and the protests that continue in its aftermath. But arguably a more disturbing story occurred just a few days earlier in Cleveland, where John Crawford, father of three, was shot by cops as he held a toy gun at a Wal-Mart store. In a country where 86 percent of the states have an “open carry” law, how is it possible that a black man with a toy gun is not safe in a store that allows people to carry real guns?
With all the discussion of racial progress and how raced-based policies are no longer needed, we have far too many reminders that race still matters. Whether it’s stories about how African American preschoolers get suspended at a higher rate than their white counterparts or how African Americans are more likely to be fined more for legal marijuana use. There are apps for people to avoid predominately African American neighborhoods (these apps use crowdsourcing to determine “ghettoes” or “sketchy” areas). If young African Americans are viewed as criminals, should it really surprise us that they are no better off now in 2014 than they were in 1965?
So, instead of a funny story about a wedding party crashing a video shoot, we get #westillcoming.
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