Carl Sagan Explains Why We Get Bamboozled

Originally posted on Diane Ravitch's blog:

This is one of the best quotes I have seen in a very long time:

“One of the saddest lessons of history is this: If we’ve been bamboozled long enough, we tend to reject any evidence of the bamboozle. We’re no longer interested in finding out the truth. The bamboozle has captured us. It’s simply too painful to acknowledge, even to ourselves, that we’ve been taken. Once you give a charlatan power over you, you almost never get it back.”


― Carl Sagan, The Demon-Haunted World: Science as a Candle in the Dark

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Paternity Leave: The Rewards and the Remaining Stigma – NYTimes.com

“There is still some stigma about men who say, ‘My kids are more important than my work,’ ” said Scott Coltrane, a sociologist studying fatherhood who is the interim president of the University of Oregon. “And basically that’s the message when men take it. But the fact that women are now much more likely to be at least a principal breadwinner, if not the main breadwinner, really changes the dynamic.”

via Paternity Leave: The Rewards and the Remaining Stigma – NYTimes.com.

This Nonprofit for Veterans Is Going From Renting to Owning, With Help from Two Funders – Housing – Inside Philanthropy

One irony that some housing groups face is that they’re renters, not owners, of their office spacesand are prey to the whims of the real estate market just like many of the people they’re trying to help. Among other things, outlays for rent can jack their overhead, diverting money from services and making them less appealing to donors.

This Nonprofit Is Going From Renting to Owning, With Help from Two Funders – Housing – Inside Philanthropy.

Steve Zimmer Calls on Billionaires to Help Kids Instead of Fighting for Control

Originally posted on Diane Ravitch's blog:

Millions on millions have been spent by billionaires to push through their agenda of privatization and to disrupt entire school districts, on the assumption that disruption is “creative.” No doubt, they are getting ready for the next elections, opening their wallets to anyone who promises to open more nonunion charters and to attack due process for teachers. In this statement, Steve Zimmer–who overcame a billionaire-funded candidate in his last election for the Los Angeles school board–calls for a truce. He asks the billionaires to work together with school leaders to make schools better for children, instead of squandering more millions to “win.” Win or lose, the problems for the kids remains the same. Why not collaborate and do what is best for them, which is not political but consists of meeting their needs for smaller class size, medical care, the arts, librarians, social workers, and the same kind of education…

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A Canadian Bank That Supports U.S. Housing Projects for Low-Income Families – Housing – Inside Philanthropy

The Canadian lender TD Bank was one of the good guys during the housing boom. It didn’t gorge itself on subprime loans and end up in the crosshairs of government investigators. The bank prides itself on being a responsible company, and puts out an impressive corporate responsibility report discussing its work. Among other things, its philanthropic arm, the TD Charitable Foundation, funds in the housing sector, giving away $2.5 million a year in a competitive grant award program called “Housing for Everyone.”

via A Canadian Bank That Supports U.S. Housing Projects for Low-Income Families – Housing – Inside Philanthropy.

NEXT Awards Are One Way Funders Move Capital To Underserved Communities – Assets | Financial Inclusion | Grants – Inside Philanthropy

If you are a nonprofit that focuses on housing, should you apply for CDFI money? It’s probably a good idea to look into it. Funding from CDFIs has increased since 2008, and appears to be a growing trend.

NEXT Awards Are One Way Funders Move Capital To Underserved Communities – Assets | Financial Inclusion | Grants – Inside Philanthropy.

The Onion: DOE Promotes Online Learning for Pre-Schoolers

Kiersten Marek:

The Onion: where reality and satire sometimes collide…

Originally posted on Diane Ravitch's blog:

It is getting harder and harder to separate parody from reality. In this post, The Onion tell us of a new report from the U.S. Department of Education urging online education for 3- and 4-year-olds. It is almost too close to the reality to be funny. You could read it in your local newspaper and believe it.

This is too uncomfortably close to reality:

WASHINGTON—Saying the option is revolutionizing the way the nation’s 3- and 4-year-olds prepare for the grade school years ahead, a Department of Education report released Thursday confirmed that an increasing number of U.S. toddlers are now attending online preschool. “We found that a growing number of American toddlers are eschewing the traditional brick-and-mortar preschools in favor of sitting down in front of a computer screen for four hours a day and furthering their early psychosocial development in a virtual environment,” said the report’s author, Dr. Stephen…

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