Friday, December 16, 2022

Tempest: Darwin Correspondence Project

Albury influence of the radical Waterstreet’s  Rake: Richard Roxburgh as Prospero and Guy Simon as Caliban are outstanding in Kip Williams’ latest production, which takes a revolutionary approach to the script

The Tempest review – Shakespeare gets a radical edit from Sydney Theatre Company

Russian security teams are scrambling to hunt down Ukrainian spies as locals in captured towns direct fire and gather critical intel

Darwin Correspondence Project

University of Cambridge: “For nearly fifty years successive teams of researchers on both sides of the Atlantic have been working to track down all surviving letters written by or to Charles Darwin, research their content, and publish the complete texts. The thirtieth and final print volume, covering the last four months of Darwin’s life, will be published in early 2023 and all the letter texts – more than 15000 between 1822 and 1882 – are now published online. 

Like a 15000 piece jigsaw puzzle, the letters build up a more detailed picture than we have ever had before of the course of Darwin’s life and development of his thought. Like any jigsaw, adding a new piece can alter what we see: the final volume and this online release also contains 400 letters which have come to light, or been reinterpreted in just the last 6 years. 

Those 400 letters flesh out the whole of Darwin’s life from his time on board HMS Beagle, through the research and writing – and re-writing – of On the Origin of Species, to the years immediately before his death. And the process of discovery has not stopped – this website will already contain letters that arrived too late for the last print volume.  Discover more about the final months of Darwin’s life in our Life and Letters series, 1882: Nothing too great or too small. See a full list of letters from 1882.”

A Fifth of American Adults Struggle to Read. Why Are We Failing to Teach Them?

Pro Publica: The nation’s approach to adult education has so far neglected to connect the millions of people struggling to read with the programs set up to help them. In a nation whose education system is among the most unequal in the industrialized world,.. where race and geography play an outsize role in determining one’s path to success, many Americans are being failed twice: first, by public schools that lack qualified teachers, resources for students with disabilities and adequate reading instruction; and next, by the backup system intended to catch those failed by the first.

 Nearly 60 years ago, the federal government established funding to provide free education for adults who could not read to help them improve their literacy and obtain employment. Presidents John F. Kennedy and Lyndon B. Johnson recognized how low literacy intertwined with poverty and all the ills that came with it.

 The adult education system they built was supposed to give people everywhere a second chance at success. But, ProPublica found, access to this instruction is limited, increasingly insufficient and — much like the nation’s school systems — highly dependent on geography and the political will of elected officials. The federal government provided roughly $675 million to states for adult education last year, an amount that’s been relatively unchanged for more than two decades when adjusted for inflation. It’s not enough, and states that oversee these programs are required to commit their own share of funding. 

A review of adult education spending found glaring disparities among states, with some investing more than four times as much as others for each eligible student. “The magnitude of the need for adult education services has long eclipsed Congressional appropriations,” a U.S. Department of Education spokesperson said in an emailed statement. “Funding levels have not kept pace with the rising cost of service delivery, nor are funding levels commensurate with the millions of people who could benefit from adult education services.” 

ProPublica reporters interviewed dozens of students and adult education workers in states that historically have contributed some of the least funding. We found that in some states, programs keep adults on waitlists, unable to meet demand. Some students succeed in these programs, but many drop out within weeks or months, before they are able to make progress. Students often find themselves in overstuffed classes led by uncertified part-time or volunteer teachers…”