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July online

Three cheers for Max Sawicky’s recent return to blogging. Try this post about inequality for a taste of the punchy, smart writing that goes up on his site, or this one on Obama. Don’t settle for inferior blog posts. You need Max in your daily read.

With the money the U.S. blew on a canceled fighter plane it could have “worked wonders, including providing every homeless person in the U.S. a $600,000 home.” Oh well!

Cathy O’Neill points to two interesting pieces on standardized tests that are worth reading together: Meredith Broussard’s Why Poor Schools Can’t Win At Standardized Testing at the Atlantic Monthly and and Rachel Aviv’s Wrong Answer in the New Yorker. These pieces make a nice follow-up to Dale Russakoff’s Schooled in a recent New Yorker.

If you enjoy writing about Jazz, my friend and former roommate, the jazz drummer Vinnie Sperrazza has started a blog. It’s like sitting around the kitchen table and listening to him hold forth all over again! Here, for example, is a piece on the traditional grip. Love it.

William Deresiewicz implores you not to send your kid to the Ivy League:

The changes must go deeper, though, than reforming the admissions process. That might address the problem of mediocrity, but it won’t address the greater one of inequality. The problem is the Ivy League itself. We have contracted the training of our leadership class to a set of private institutions. However much they claim to act for the common good, they will always place their interests first. The arrangement is great for the schools, but is Harvard’s desire for alumni donations a sufficient reason to perpetuate the class system?

Finally, Ben Wolfson literally hits it out of the park with this one.