Bill Bigelow – The Koch Brothers Sneak Into School  November 2014. This month in Boston, thousands of teachers will gather for the annual National Council for the Social Studies (NCSS) conference.
Two non-teachers will be there, too: Charles and David Koch, the notorious right-wing billionaires.
Well, the Kochs won’t be there in person, but they will be represented by a Koch-funded and controlled organization: the Arlington, Virginia-based Bill of Rights Institute. For years, the Bill of Rights Institute has shown up at NCSS conferences to offer curriculum workshops, distribute teaching materials, and collect the names of interested educators. What the Bill of Rights Institute representatives fail to mention when they speak with teachers is that they have been the conduit for millions of dollars from Charles and David Koch, as the brothers seek to influence the country’s social studies curriculum. (When I attended a Bill of Rights Institute workshop at an NCSS conference, I asked the presenter who funds their organization. “Donations,” she replied.)

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© 2014 The Zinn Education Project –

Emily Badger – What Happens When Housing For The Poor Is Remodeled As Luxury Studios November 2014. CHICAGO — For years, this brown-brick building near Wrigley Field housed people who had nowhere else to go. It had peeling walls and broken smoke detectors. But its tiny one-room apartments offered homes to residents too poor for a one-bedroom, too risky to pass a credit check, too vulnerable — on the perpetual edge of homelessness — to sign a one-year lease.

Today, from the outside, the building looks the same: six stories, with tall windows and an elaborately carved entryway that still announces the property by its pre-World War II name, the “Hotel Carlos.” But it now contains studios remodeled with stainless steel appliances, granite countertops and hardwood floors. Rent reaches $1,125 a month. The ad in the window promises “vintage charm.”

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Books Cannot Be Killed By Fire


Polly Toynbee – No Exit: Britain’s Social Housing Trap


Ills.: November 2014. To estate agents, England’s Lane, tucked away in a corner of Hampstead, is one of London’s most sought-after villages. Along its tree-lined length stretches a charming row of small shops, with a tearoom serving gentlemen’s relish on toast, a toy shop full of hand-crafted wooden toys, and a butcher that sells pheasant and grouse. In the window of the DesRes estate agency, flats are offered for rent at £1,500 a week, and just opposite, down a private side road, a seven-bedroom arts-and-crafts style mansion, set in a garden the size of a small park, is on sale for £6.7m.

Walking along England’s Lane, passersby might not notice a mildly forbidding building behind railings, an old nurses’ home that in 2004 was turned into a hostel for Camden’s homeless families, despite protests from local homeowners that it was “not suitable” for the location. The 160 families squeezed into this large red brick block do not visit the shops and cafes here, nor do they get facials at the naturopathic beauty salon, or gaze at the estate agent’s window. Each family has a very small room, originally designed for a single student nurse.

The England’s Lane hostel was intended to provide temporary accommodation for homeless families; however, once they move in here, “temporary” can mean years. The hostel is a modern day version of Dickens’s Marshalsea prison from Little Dorrit, a reluctant community with its own hierarchy of suffering, where years are ticked off by unlucky people who have run aground for one reason or another.

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Raymond Snijders – Over Big Deals, Open Access en de onderhandelingen tussen Elsevier en de universiteiten

Ils. blog Raymond Snijders

Ils. blog Raymond Snijders

Als er één bedrijfstak is die nauwelijks of geen last heeft gehad van de economische crisis, dan zijn het wel de wetenschappelijke uitgevers. Tenminste, dat is mijn conclusie bij elke ronde gesprekken en onderhandelingen voor nieuwe licenties voor onderwijs- en onderzoeksinstellingen zodat ze toegang krijgen (of behouden) tot (wetenschappelijke) artikelen. Elk jaar stijgen de kosten met een stevig percentage terwijl het budget van de gemiddelde instelling in de praktijk al vele jaren geen gelijke tred kan houden.

Big Deals
Dit beperkt zich niet tot wetenschappelijke uitgevers – het is ook van toepassing op bijna alle digitale content van uitgevers die door de onderwijs- en onderzoeksinstellingen afgenomen wordt – maar nergens wordt het beter geïllustreerd dan bij de zogenaamde Big Deals. Dit zijn overeenkomsten die door de grote wetenschappelijke uitgevers met universiteiten (per regio) over de hele wereld afgesloten worden en waar elke drie jaar zware onderhandelingen aan vooraf gaan.

Bron: Vakblog –

McKinsey Global Institute ~ Four Steps To Fix the Global Affordable Housing Shortage



According to global consultancy firm McKinsey & Company, the projected cost of providing affordable housing to 330 million households around the world currently living in substandard accommodation is $16 trillion USD. The firm’s latest report, A Blueprint for Addressing the Global Affordable Housing Challenge, assesses critical pathways for providing housing to families across a range of socio-economic backgrounds and nationalities. According to the report, adequate and affordable housing could be out of reach for more than 1.6 billion people within a decade. The comprehensive report examines everything from income to cost of heating, boiling down the data into four key mandates aimed at solving the global housing crisis.

The proposed solution is one of ascending goals, similar to Maslow’s hierarchy of needs, with a four-tiered plan targeted towards households earning 80% or less of the median income for any given region. The program is designed to meet McKinsey’s 2025 Housing Challenge which aims to provide housing to a projected 440 million households worldwide within ten years through community engagement,  gathering funding, appropriate delivery of housing models, and creation of governmental infrastructure to sustain housing.

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Download and read the report in its entirety or listen to the abridged version in a podcast published by the McKinsey Global Institute in October 2014 here.

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