The College Rankings Racket –

More reflections on college culture from the NYTime’s wonderful Joe Nocera:

The rankings exacerbate the status anxiety that afflicts so many high school students. The single-minded goal of too many high school students — pushed by parents, guidance counselors and society itself — is to get into a “good” school.

via The College Rankings Racket –

Start Over…Again

As Outkast rapped, “Incarceration without rehabilitation really don’t mean shit.”

Less than two years ago, Torey Baker was an 18-year-old high-school dropout facing prison time for robbery. When a judge in the Bronx sentenced him instead to six months in an alternative program, plus probation, he considered himself lucky. But he didn’t know the half of it.

On his first day, the counselor who administered his drug test asked Mr. Baker if he had any interest in hip-hop. Because if he did, there was a recording studio right down the hall. (Miet)

Where a Career in Hip-Hop Starts With a Court Sentence –

UPDATE: And on the other side of the spectrum, Charles Blow writes of Louisiana’s local prisoners, most of them nonviolent,

These ex-convicts, with almost no rehabilitation and little prospect for supporting themselves, return to the already-struggling communities that were rendered that way in part because so many men are being extracted on such a massive scale. There the cycle of crime often begins again, with innocent people caught in the middle and impressionable young eyes looking on.

Plantations, Prisons and Profits –