#TCFBest is back after a one-week hiatus — and there is much news to discuss. The education crisis in America’s schools gets a rebranding campaign, one focusing on systemic poverty rather than blaming individuals. The Fed may have rescued us from another recession, and the near future might just contain all surveillance, all the time.

Getting Serious About Education

AlterNet is putting a moratorium on the phrase “education crisis”..sort of. Writer David Sirota suggests this incendiary phrase is used most often against teacher’s unions, rather than to enable solutions to the real problem facing low-performing schools: poverty. The dominant storyline about education suggests an either/or solution, either public schools or private, which overshadows the need to look at multiple out-of-school issues like health and income, followed by things like school funding. (TCF might suggest this tactic be accompanied by socioeconomic integration in classrooms.) Get schooled on education at AlterNet.

Slow Clap for the Fed

As it turns out, there are some people who believe the Federal Reserve managed to save the United States from another recession this year. ThinkProgress looked into it — the output resulted in an interesting proposition, thought not quite a causal statement: “the drag on the economy from austerity can be offset by more aggressive action from the Fed…” A little thing called “quantitative easing,” which essentially expands the Fed’s balance sheet, ensures inflation is not falling below target. This unconventional practice is reportedly the key to staving off recession in light of “tax increases from the fiscal cliff deal and spending cuts from sequestration.” Get the goods while you can at ThinkProgress.


What could be worse than pervasive government spying on citizens, you ask? As MIT Technology Review reports, an entire economy based on intrusive surveillance. A “global boom” of authoritarianism may be the next logical escalation stemming from Edward Snowden’s NSA leaks. Perhaps a bit hyperbolic, depending on who you ask, NSA surveillance could prove inspirational for those global leaders who aren’t outraged, asserts a new report. Expect to see emerging data markets from countries already curbing Internet usage, like China or Saudi Arabia, who “may now seek to boost those efforts with NSA-style bulk collection programs that trample on civil liberties.” Read the full article before going off the grid at Technology Review.