Today’s News & Commentary — September 11, 2018
The New York Times reports that children fare better when their teachers are diverse. The majority of U.S. teachers are white women—77% of teachers are women, and 80% are white—but research shows that students, especially boys, benefit when at least one teacher shares their race or gender. For example, when black children had a single black teacher between third and fifth grades, boys were significantly less likely to later drop out of high school, and both boys and girls were more likely to attend college. Although the teacher workforce has grown more racially diverse in the past three decades, it has also become more female. Beyond training and hiring more diverse teachers in the long term, researchers say that schools can improve outcomes by educating teachers about biases and stereotypes.
CNBC reports that in a survey of workers from the Transamerica Center for Retirement Studies, 56% said they have not fully recovered from the Great Recession. Although by many measures today’s economy is strong, 7 in 10 Americans said they believe that there will be more financial crises in the future.
Some observers speculate that should Brett Kavanaugh be confirmed to the Supreme Court, his open seat on the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals might be filled by Secretary of Labor Alex Acosta. Sources say that Acosta is interested in a judgeship and has the support of various Republican groups, including the Federalist Society led by Leonard Leo, who is widely credited with championing President Trump’s most influential judicial picks.
Amazon responded to the criticism it faced after two researchers revealed that it filed a patent for a system that would put its warehouse workers in cages. Amazon defended itself by arguing that the system has never been implemented and that it was designed for worker safety to allow humans to safely enter robot-only zones.