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What We’re Reading | October 19, 2012

February 1, 2013 by Jacqueline Lowe

Why Kids Should Grade Teachers
This article from The Atlantic by Amanda Ripley explores the practice of having students take surveys about their teachers and classroom cultures – after all, it is the students that know best what its like to be taught in a particular teacher’s classroom. “All of which raised an uncomfortable new question: Should teachers be paid, trained, or dismissed based in part on what children say about them?” At present, most are evaluated based largely on standardized test scores. Ripley looks at recent successes of student surveys used in schools across the nation.

First Lady of Zambia Dr. Christine Kaseba Sata Honored with “Global Leadership of Excellence Award”
First Lady Dr. Christine Kaseba Sata was recently honored for her contribution towards the fight against breast and cervical cancer in Zambia. “In July of this year, Dr. Christine Kaseba welcomed President Bush and Mrs. Bush to Zambia, where together, they inaugurated the African Center of Excellence for Women’s Cancer Control at the University Teaching Hospital in Lusaka. In December, 2011, less than 500 Zambian women had enrolled at the Center for Cervical Cancer services. By August 2012, that number had risen to an astounding 15,463 Zambian women, many among whom have received life-saving treatment and will, in the near future, receive education as well as services related to breast health. This dramatic progress, she went on, would not have been possible without the strong commitment of the Zambian government and especially the exemplary personal commitment and leadership of Dr. Kaseba Sata.” For more on Pink Ribbon Red Ribbon and the fight against cervical cancer in Zambia, click here.

Syria Will Rise Again
In this article for Foreign Policy, Radwan Ziadeh, who left Syria in 2007 in exile, describes what it was like to return to his native country: “The trees were just as I had left them. The streets were the same as well, the sidewalks covered in dust and debris. All this, and even the passers-by -- stone-faced from a year and a half of indiscriminate killing -- seemed to symbolize a battered but resolute Syria. My country has hardened, yes, but smiles can still be found within the crowds.” The Bush Center’s Freedom Collection highlights Ziadeh’s story, as well as the Collection’s interview with another Syrian dissident in exile, Ammar Abdulhamid.

Don’t Rely on Lame Ducks
The 4% Growth Project’s David Malpass discusses the possibilities of what could happen as we approach the “fiscal cliff” n the coming months, and what Washington is likely to do about it. “A speedy resolution of the year-end fiscal crisis is unlikely. Nevertheless, the hope of a December deal on taxes has been appealing to financial markets eager for Washington to reduce the tax uncertainty.” Read more from Malpass and about how to get our country on track to 4% economic growth at www.fourpercentgrowth.org

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