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Peter Hales
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A cultural historian, writer, photographer and musician, Peter Bacon Hales teaches and is a University Scholar in the Art History Department of the University of Illinois, Chicago.
A cultural historian, writer, photographer and musician, Peter Bacon Hales teaches and is a University Scholar in the Art History Department of the University of Illinois, Chicago.

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American Futures
I was riding a borrowed bike on the Berkeley Greenway with Molly ahead of me when we turned under the elevated tracks of the BART spur and saw the path blocked by a stream of kids emerging from a pair of schools, one an elementary school, the other a junior...
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Late Summer: Netting
We were supposed to start in the late morning, but I didn't see any activity till just after noon, when Emmett went by in the white pickup with the broken intake manifold. Coming up the hill from the Feather Farm, the truck emits a particular signature, som...
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Late Summer: Netting
We were supposed to start in the late morning, but I didn't see any activity till just after noon, when Emmett went by in the white pickup with the broken intake manifold. Coming up the hill from the Feather Farm, the truck emits a particular signature, som...
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Outdoor Church I-10 Near Vidor, Texas
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The last essay, probably, of the next book, which traces two years of settling in to a place both strange and familiar.
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This will be part of the last segment of the next book, which traces two years here, and the observations and commemorations that have come with settling in a place that is both history-- our history-- and new to us.
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Death's-head wasp nest, north end of the hayfield.
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2014-04-16
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Yesterday I truly lost my temper when I read that the President of the SUNY system had devoted her annual state-of-the-university blab to touting a new initiative for online teaching and learning. This just a month or so after the first fully vetted scientific studies of the efficacy of online programs concluded that they took money under false pretenses, had astoundingly high dropout rates, particularly among the most vulnerable students, and failed to teach any of the fundamental skills necessary for lifetime success-- critical thinking, sociability, the capacity to restrain opinion until facts emerged, the method of searching out and understanding evidence. Then yesterday the White House Higher Education Summit on underserved populations reiterated the criterion of "time to graduation," thereby once again punishing schools that offer nontraditional paths or support working students.  Then today, Arizona's education politocracy announced that it was putting a hefty new sum into charter schools, even as the evidence-based results-- Arizona pays twice as much to private charter schools as it does to the public school next door, but the public school next door consistently outperforms the charters-- indicate that Arizona's charter school system is a sham, and deliberately starving publics (read teachers' union-powered, capable of talking truth to power). As a consequence, I started a new twitterfeed, under the name "@educrit" and will be looking for pithy, convincing examples of the topheavy, inefficient, failing vectors of public higher education. To all  who have a stake in this: I'm soliciting ideas!
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