Health care costs, school re-segregation, soldiers failing fitness tests, Susan Rice, and more… There's been a lot of big news this week that I just haven't had the time to blog about. So let me share some links of things we've been reading at the cathouse this week.
The Atlantic Cities wrote about the “New Rise of Segregated Schools.” Lots of interesting stuff here!
The study is the first to take a comprehensive look at whether court-ordered busing successfully ended the legacy of Jim Crow in public education, and it suggests a mission that is far from accomplished. On average, those districts that stopped forcing schools to mix students by race have seen a gradual but steady–and significant–return of racial isolation, especially at the elementary level.
It's unclear what effect school “re-segregation” will have on minority achievement, though a large body of research suggests it certainly won't help efforts to improve test scores, graduation rates, and college entry levels for blacks and Hispanics, a growing share of the American population. But the retreat from desegregation also suggests the policy had significant flaws, problems current education reformers should pay attention to.
UAB health care economists report that Robert Bentley's stubborn refusal to expand Medicaid will cost the state $1 billion in new tax revenue.
In short, their analysis points to a win-win scenario for the state and Medicaid-eligible patients.
“Across the first seven years of Medicaid expansion, the net budgetary effect is positive throughout,” Becker said. “In a very real sense, the state makes money while expanding coverage to nearly 300,000 Alabamians.”
Makes money for the state and provides health care coverage to low income Alabamians. So of course, we won't do it. Nice work, Governor.
Remember when Rush Limbaugh & company made fun of Michelle Obama when she said that obesity is a “national security issue?” Sounds like she knew what she was talking about. No surprise there, eh? From the Washington Post:
Between 1998 and 2010, the number of active-duty military personnel deemed overweight or obese more than tripled. In 2010, 86,186 troops, or 5.3 percent of the force, received at least one clinical diagnosis as overweight or obese, according to the Armed Forces Health Surveillance Center.
The trend has prompted the military to reexamine its training programs and is driving commanders to weed out soldiers deemed unfit to fight. “A healthy and fit force is essential to national security,” said Cmdr. Leslie Hull-Ryde, a Pentagon spokeswoman. “Our service members must be physically prepared to deploy on a moment’s notice anywhere on the globe to extremely austere and demanding conditions.”
UN ambassador Susan Rice gave the GOP a scalp to hang in their clubhouse.
In a letter to President Barack Obama, she said “the confirmation process would be lengthy, disruptive, and costly — to you and to our most pressing national and international priorities. That trade-off is simply not worth it to our country.”
So what's going on in your corner of Alabama? Use this as an open thread to discuss these stories or share other interesting tidbits you ran across this week!