Tag Archives: Kevin Schofield

Weekend Reads | Rebuilding the CDC

by Kevin Schofield


This weekend’s read is a new report titled “Building the CDC the Country Needs.” It’s been a rough three years for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, better known as the CDC, and its reputation has suffered greatly as a result of the enormous demands and intense scrutiny it has worked under since the beginning of the pandemic. 

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Weekend Reads | How ‘Diversity Washing’ Paints an Inaccurate Picture of DEI in Some Companies

by Kevin Schofield


This weekend’s read is a “working paper” from a group of researchers looking at “diversity washing” by corporations. Much like “greenwashing,” which is attempting to present an environmentally friendly public image by disseminating disinformation about an institution’s environmental practices, the researchers define “diversity washing” as overstating a company’s diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) commitments compared with their actual practices.

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Weekend Reads | Gas Cooktops and Childhood Asthma

by Kevin Schofield


This week, a new front opened up in America’s culture wars: gas cooktops in homes. An official with the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) called the pollutants emitted by gas stoves a “hidden hazard,” and claimed that all options were on the table for addressing it — including banning gas stoves. This led critics of the Biden administration (and lobbyists for the appliance and natural gas industries) to create an uproar with complaints of government overreach. The CPSC and White House quickly backed off any notion that gas stoves would be banned.

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Weekend Reads | Do Environmental Education Programs Work?

by Kevin Schofield


This weekend’s read is a look at the effectiveness of environmental education programs for children and adolescents. Here in Washington, State law requires teaching students “the worth of kindness to all living creatures and the land,” and the State Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction has interpreted that to require “instruction about conservation, natural resources, and the environment” at all grade levels. Many other governments have similar requirements. But do environmental education programs actually work?

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Weekend Reads | What ‘Heat Maps’ Can Tell Us About Gun Violence

by Kevin Schofield


Content Note: This article discusses both homicide and suicide by firearm.

This weekend’s read is a newly published deep dive into the statistics on firearm-related fatalities in the United States, by a group of pediatric medical researchers led by Emory University. The researchers used data on firearm death incidents collected by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) from 1990 to 2021, to look at “trends and disparities.” What makes their report interesting is how they chose to visualize the data — and what that visualization brings to the forefront.

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Weekend Reads | A Model for Prosecuting Trump

by Kevin Schofield


Many of us have spent the past several weeks wondering what is going on behind the scenes at the Department of Justice as it tries to move forward with its investigation of former President Donald Trump and his removal of government documents to Mar-a-Lago. The tight-lipped DOJ has given us only a few clues as to the status of its case: a handful of court filings to a federal judge and the “special master” appointed to review the evidence it seized in its search, and, more recently, the appointment of a special prosecutor to handle the case now that Trump has declared his candidacy for the 2024 presidential election. We, of course, want to know if Trump will ultimately be charged — and if so, when.

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Weekend Reads | Outdoor Walking — or Rolling — to Boost Creativity

by Kevin Schofield


It’s well known that there are plenty of health benefits to walking. People who walk regularly tend to live longer, and walking as exercise has been shown to improve several health indicators. Recently, it was also discovered that walking decreases the risk of dementia in one’s golden years.

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Weekend Reads | Is Playing Video Games Good for Kids’ Brains?

by Kevin Schofield


Last weekend, I talked about the benefits for Black students of having a Black teacher, benefits that were proven in a long-term study of students in Tennessee. This weekend’s read is a result from another valuable long-term study, this time on children’s brain development. Called the Adolescent Brain Cognitive Development (ABCD) study, it recruited 11,880 children ages 9–10 from 21 sites across the United States and will look at how those kids’ experiences and their bodies’ changing biology affects their brain development over the following several years. Like the study on students, this one is likely to produce dozens, if not hundreds, of research papers with new discoveries.

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Weekend Reads | The Impact of Black Teachers on Black Students

by Kevin Schofield


Back in the 1990s, the state of Tennessee began a field experiment looking at the impact of class size in its elementary schools. Called Project STAR (Student-Teacher Achievement Ratio), it randomly assigned students to a certain teacher and classroom. It found, not surprisingly, that class size mattered a lot: Students in smaller classes did better (as measured by end-of-year test scores).

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Weekend Reads | Your Windshield May Have Important Data Splattered on It

by Kevin Schofield


Growing up in a rural area, as I did, one learns that a regular rite of summer is bugs getting smashed on your car windshield. There’s the odd one here and there, and then occasionally when driving by a field a swarm will cross the road and … well, it’s pretty disgusting. But over the past couple of decades, many people have started to notice that there don’t seem to be nearly as many flying insects as there used to be. At the same time, scientists have been gathering data that seems to confirm the phenomenon: Insect populations are in decline in many parts of the world.

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