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Updated by Mark Isero on Feb 19, 2017
Mark Isero Mark Isero
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The Highlighter

Look at what I've been reading! Great articles about race, education, and culture. Published every Thursday at 9:10 am.

4chan: The Skeleton Key to the Rise of Trump

This is a great history of 4chan, and Anonymous, and Gamergate, and memes, and the Internet, and how a group of young men living in their mothers' basements took a liking to Donald Trump, as a loser who won.

Teenagers Who Vandalized Historic Black Schoolhouse Are Ordered to Read Books

After defacing the school with racist and anti-Semitic graffiti, five teenagers will report on tales addressing some of history’s most divisive and tragic periods.

Raising the American Weakling

Another science article! This one is about grip strength, and how we’re losing it, and how that means really bad things for our health and lifespan. It turns out that humans are meant to brachiate (swing through trees) and to make tools (thank you, opposable thumb), except we do neither anymore. Should this concern us?

The Data That Turned the World Upside Down - Motherboard

This article about how big data may have influenced the presidential election is a page-scroller. It may not be the most elegantly written piece out there, and it does rely a bit on conspiratorial thinking, but it did get me thinking that I should probably like fewer things on Facebook. In short, Cambridge Analytica, a company that uses psychometrics and focuses on personality types, used the data we volunteer on Facebook in order to win Donald Trump the presidency.

The Making of an American Terrorist

Robert Dear shot up a Planned Parenthood clinic and killed three people. Dear is white, poor, middle-aged, Christian, and mentally ill. He lived in an RV in a rural part of Colorado. And he watched a lot of right-wing TV and read a lot of right-wing websites. There are a lot of Robert Dears in America. That’s what makes this article so scary.

Spotlight: The new asylums

Prisons do not rehabilitate. This means that incarcerated people with addiction or mental health issues never heal. As a result, if they ever get out of prison, they most likely return. This article, by the Spotlight team at the Boston Globe, is nothing new, but it is disheartening nonetheless, particularly in how prisons tend not to serve those with the greatest needs. Maybe that’s because we don’t really care very much about the least fortunate.

The Need to Read

Books remain one of the strongest bulwarks we have against tyranny—but only as long as people are free to read all different kinds of books, and only as long as they actually do so. The right to read whatever you want whenever you want is one of the fundamental rights that helps preserve all the other rights. It’s a right we need to guard with unwavering diligence. But it’s also a right we can guard with pleasure. Reading isn’t just a strike against narrowness, mind control and domination: It’s one of the world’s great joys.

With Child

Whole Woman’s Health v. Hellerstedt, which struck down anti-abortion statutes in Texas, has had little effect in other states, including South Dakota, where there is just one abortion clinic. This is the story of a young woman named Ashley, the undue burden she faces, and her lonely decision.

My Son, The Prince Of Fashion

13-year-old Abe Chabon went to Paris Fashion Week and dragged along his dad, writer Michael Chabon.

K.C. Boyd: A Leader for Readers

A librarian brings lessons from a Chicago high school to a new library leadership post at the East St. Louis (IL) School District.

This is the 900th book in the KCP Library!

Oakland 9th grader Steven requested Hyperbole and a Half, the 900th book in the Kindle Classroom Project Library. Thank you, Steven!

Trump’s Inconvenient Racial Truth

For all he gets wrong on race, the Republican nominee got one thing right: The Democratic Party does take black Americans for granted, and that’s a problem.

The Desegregation and Resegregation of Charlotte’s Schools - The New Yorker

What underlay all the unrest in Charlotte? The segregation of once integrated public schools is a good place to start.

A Family Matter

It was any parent’s nightmare: a police officer at the front door with a social worker trailing behind.

The Despair of Poor White Americans

Waste people. Rubbish. Clay-eaters. Hillbillies. Reckoning with the long, bleak history of the country’s original underclass.

Head in the cloud

As we download ever more of our lives on to electronic devices, are we destroying our own internal memory?

The New Activism of Campus Life

On trigger warnings, allyship, intersectionality, and what’s really eating Oberlin.

There’s No Such Thing as Free Will

But we all may be better off believing in it anyway.

How Kids Learn Resilience

In recent years, the idea that educators should be teaching kids qualities like grit and self-control has caught on. Successful strategies, though, are hard to come by.

Hooked: One Family’s Ordeal With Fentanyl

The synthetic painkiller fentanyl, up to 50 times as powerful as heroin, presents a new level of peril in America’s opioid crisis.

America Has Never Been So Ripe for Tyranny

That’s what’s scariest about Donald Trump.

The Cure For Fear

Scientists have discovered a radical new way to treat our most traumatic memories.

How Our Country Fails Black Women and Girls

And why we need to talk about it.​

After ‘The Biggest Loser,’ Their Bodies Fought to Regain Weight

Contestants lost hundreds of pounds during Season 8, but gained them back. A study of their struggles helps explain why so many people fail to keep off the weight they lose.

Fraying at the Edges: Her Fight to Live With Alzheimer’s

A withered person with a scrambled mind, memories sealed away: That is the familiar face of Alzheimer’s. But there is also the waiting period, which Geri Taylor has been navigating with prudence, grace and hope.

  • My lists are about reading, teaching, and technology. I'm the founder of the Kindle Classroom Project and an instructional coach in the SF Bay Area. @iserotope |

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