Christie Plans New Ways to Block Vulnerable NJ Students From Quality Education

Political conservatives, lead by arrogant politicians who clearly want to deprive the poor and vulnerable of any chance of escaping roles as menial laborers or fodder for a privatized prison system eager to house an expanding prison population: societal roles that coincidentally, provide creature comforts, and even riches, to too many – have a new plan for making quality education even less attainable for New Jersey’s most vulnerable students. They’ve appropriately named this tool of destruction the “Urban Hope Act”, as it hopes to make possible the future exploitation of young urban poor for many, many years to come. Sad to say that although Christie is spearheading this initiative, which makes sense given his politics, seriously misguided South Jersey Democrats have apparently gotten on board the bandwagon to help him destroy these kids’ futures, and that’s Just Not Right. read more

Low-income Community College Students Still Without Health Insurance

Added on 20 Feb 2010: I’ve reworded the title of this post to reflect that (in New Jersey) this issue is principally a concern of community college students. Rutgers, New Jersey’s state college, offers two very low-cost options for students: for under $200 they can use clinics on site at the school and for about $500 enroll in a traditional HMO is offered. But the insurance offered by Bergen Community College covers students only in case of hospitalization for a catastrophic incident – which yes, is as serious and rare as it sounds. I supposed other state community colleges have similar policies. read more

Free University Education Programs

MITx: Online Teaching Model Beta Launching in 2012

The Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) takes its online teaching program to the next level with the new MITx initiative, which will be introduced this spring as a beta-testing model. Forbes magazine says, “MITx . . . will offer the online teaching of MIT courses free of charge to anyone in the world. The program will not allow students to earn an MIT degree. Instead, those who are able to exhibit a mastery of the subjects taught on the platform will receive an official certificate of completion.” read more

Only one sentence space in digital documents!

People, we should be using only a single space between sentences in electronic documents. Many of us still use two!

On the topic of this practice, Slate says,

Can I let you in on a secret? Typing two spaces after a period is totally, completely, utterly, and inarguably wrong.

And the Chicago Manual of Style agrees:

But introducing two spaces after the period causes problems: (1) it is inefficient, requiring an extra keystroke for every sentence; (2) even if a program is set to automatically put an extra space after a period, such automation is never foolproof; (3) there is no proof that an extra space actually improves readability—as your comment suggests, it’s probably just a matter of familiarity (Who knows? perhaps it’s actually more efficient to read with less regard for sentences as individual units of thought—many centuries ago, for example in ancient Greece, there were no spaces even between words, and no punctuation); (4) two spaces are harder to control for than one in electronic documents (I find that the earmark of a document that imposes a two-space rule is a smattering of instances of both three spaces and one space after a period, and two spaces in the middle of sentences); and (5) two spaces can cause problems with line breaks in certain programs. read more