- Great article by Andreas Schleicher on the new PISA results – “Are the Chinese cheating in PISA, or are we cheating ourselves?”
- Haroon Bhorat at the DPRU weighs in on the impact of minimum wages in South Africa – see here.
- Sad day for LGBT rights as the Indian Supreme Court overturned a High Court ruling making gay sex punishable by up to life imprisonment. Absolutely bizarre. A quote is apt: “Prejudice, not being founded on reason, cannot be removed by argument” – Samuel Johnson.
- In stark contrast to the above, The Queen pardoned Alan Turing. The father of modern computing who cracked the Enigma code and helped end World War II was rewarded by the British government by being chemically castrated for “gross indecency” with a man. He committed suicide two years later. Expect similar stories emerging from Uganda in 60 years time after their anti-gay bill. We have the fundamentalist evangelicals to blame for this one. Another quote: “Prejudice can travel a long way when dressed as religion” – Calestous
- Fabulously well-written New Yorker article: “The Republican War on Competence“
- “The Man who Drove with Mandela” – the movie about Cecil Williams, the gay Communist theatre director who helped Mandela during the struggle. Mandela was disguised as his chauffeur and as a result Williams helped South Africa become one of the most progressive countries on the rights granted to gay people (Thanks Mary Metcalfe)
- “The longer walk to equality” – Economist chart on South African inequality over the lifetime of Mandela (chart above from here).
- Two PDF books by Lewis & Lockheed (2007) I would like to read at some stage: Inexcusable Absence: 1) Why 60 Million Girls Still Aren’t In School and What to do About It 2) Exclusion, Gender and Education: Case studies from the developing world (Marlaine Lockheed is one of the gurus of education in developing countries and she has also developed a great course ”Making Schools Effective in Developing Countries“ (Princeton 2011) which is really worth browsing.
- Quote of the week comes from Aaron Huey’s moving TEDtalk “America’s native prisoners of war” :
“The last chapter in any successful genocide is the one in which the oppressor can remove their hands and say, ‘My God, what are these people doing to themselves? They’re killing each other. They’re killing themselves while we watch them die.’ This is how we came to own these United States. This is the legacy of manifest destiny.”