Monthly Archives: February 2013

This American Life: Where Guns and Gangs Come From

Part II of This American Life‘s look at Harper High School.

This story has six acts.

  • Act One: “The Eyewitnesses” (discusses the psychological toll of witnesses gun violence first hand, 10 mins)
  • Act Two: “Your Name Written On Me” (explores the origin of a Chicago gang, 15 mins)
  • Act Three: “Get Your Gun” (teenagers explain where the get their guns, 6 mins)
  • Act Four: “Devonte, Part Two” (aftermath of 14 year old who accidentally shoots his brother, 8 mins)
  • Act Five: “Reverse Turnaround Backflip” (principal discusses balancing budget cuts in inner-city school, 7 mins)
  • Act Six: “We Are Harper High School” (chronicles how schools in other cities struggle with gun violence, 3 mins) (63 mins total) (Part I)


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February 27, 2013 · 9:52 pm

Syracuse Truce: Focused Deterrence & Gun Violence Reduction

“Syracuse Truce” is an evidence-based strategy designed to significantly reduce gang and group related homicides and non-fatal shootings in Syracuse. Syracuse Truce is a collaboration between law enforcement and community service agencies that will infuse the area with a new standard of zero-tolerance regarding gun violence. The project is an outgrowth of the federal Project Safe Neighborhoods initiative in the Northern District of New York. Through collaboration with the United States Attorney’s Office, the Gifford Foundation is the recipient of a $300,000 federal grant that will fund this initiative. This project is one of nine awarded nationally from the U.S. Department of Justice’s Violent Gang and Gun Crime Reduction Program.

This gang violence reduction initiative is based on focused deterrence. It is implemented through focusing increased enforcement activities on the small number of offenders who are responsible for a disproportionate share of gun violence, particularly the members of local violent groups/gangs. This increased enforcement is coupled with the provision of services needed to change lives, such as vocational training, employment assistance, substance abuse treatment and counseling.

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February 27, 2013 · 8:48 pm

Fareed Zakaria: In Defense of Head Start

Fareed Zakaria argues for expanded access to early childhood education for low-income Americans.  Fareed contends that preschool can not only held improve test scores but also increase social mobility.  He also takes on the criticisms of programs like Head Start, explaining that the conventional wisdom is empirically unfounded. (3.5 mins)

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February 27, 2013 · 10:02 am

“This American Life”: Everything You Know About Gangs Is Wrong PART I

After spending five months at Chicago’s Harper High School, the “This American Life” staff takes a fresh and engaging look at gangs, guns, and inner cities schools. 

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February 25, 2013 · 8:35 pm

“Shields and Brooks”: Sequestration and Immigration

Syndicated columnist Mark Shields and NYT columnist David Brooks discuss sequestration and immigration reform.

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February 25, 2013 · 1:41 am

Preschool Panacea?

NPR’s Planet Money explores the economic ramifications of expanding access to preschool. The Planet Money  team talks with University of Chicago economist James Heckman, who makes “The Case for Preschool“.

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February 24, 2013 · 11:49 pm

Brian Williams Sheds Light on Lost Rape Kits

Detroit Prosecutor finds a former police storage warehouse filled with thousands of untested rape kits.

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February 24, 2013 · 11:28 pm