Sunday’s papers: Sep. 25, 2005

The adoption of the automotive hybrid technology, the price of gasoline and where it actually comes from, and economic integration of schools.

By the way my mom finished her chemo with a trip to the hospital for fluids.  Thanks to everyone for their notes of concern.  She starts her approximately 15 or so remaining radiation treatments this coming week, so the worst is still in front of us.

By the way, I do not like the new funny section of the NYT magazine.  It’s not funny.

As test scores jump, Raleigh credits integration by income (NYT)
In the discussions of what divides us in America, people usually cite race, but I think the wealth disparity is just as pernicious, especially now that members of most races find themselves at every economic strata.  Raleigh’s school district shows us how such disparity affects the quality of education, and one technique for eliminating ‘bad schools’.

The high performance hybrids (NYT)
It seems like news to the NYT, but to any student of the lifecycle of innovation, it’s obvious.  The hybrid was an innovation designed to save gas.  Instead, it’s being used to create souped up cars that simply get better gas mileage than conventional engines.  There’s an old rule that the first person to come upw the innovation is certain to fail in the marketplace.  It’s the second company to market, that can see beyond the myopia of the first, that capitalizes on it.

Hybrids, as cool as they are, aren’t practical for many because of their small size.  Instead of transforming the american family car into a small, lightweight 60 mpg car, they’re going to create a fleet of cars that get 30 mpg instead of 15, as many SUVs do today.  And soon, the entire concept of a hybrid engine is going to be absorbed into the design of a car, such that it’s invisible, much like many of the inventions we have absorbed today.  Think of the mouse, the keyboard, the CD player, etc.

Gas profit guzzlers: refiners captured the biggest part of the price increase (WP)
Apropos to my comment yesterday about price goughing, the Washington Post has done an excellent job of showing exactly where and who the profit is made when the price of gas at the pump rises.   


  1. Ellen on September 28, 2005 at 8:38 pm

    RALEIGH SCHOOLS – I can’t believe parents complain that they don’t have a “choice” in the Wake Co. school system. We have more “choice” than any other school district in the country! For elementary schools (my only firsthand knowledge so far), I have ~20 choices to pick from. We have everything from foreign language emersion, arts concentration, science concentration to year-round, just to name a few! It isn’t perfect, not that anything is, but for something run by government, it surely is impressive.

    Schools are NOT equal. Their operating budget and teachers salaries are so incredibly low it is amazing how well our kids actually do. My school’s PTA (supporting ~900 students) has an annual budget of 80,000$ (all provided by the parents who can afford to donate) that provides all the classroom computers, science experiments, and other classroom necessities. Don’t tell me that a school with mostly lower income families can provide the same type of education–it can’t when their budget can’t even provide the same learning materials. Wake Co. is trying. They have made the schools in lower income areas magnet schools. It attracts higher income families who can help fill this gap financially. Washington Elementary, which is right next to projects in Raleigh, is the most difficult magnet school to get into–It has been nationally recognized as the best magnet in the country. It attracts the best teachers, it is economically and racially diverse, and the children get a great education. What more could a parent want? Of course, I have 19 other schools to “apply” to if I am looking for something else, not to mention my base schools… 🙂 Oh, I forgot. If I want my kids to only go to school with certain kids – Isn’t that what private school/homeschool is for?