Posts by Paul Costello1

Multiple victims wounded, two killed, in shootings in Maryland, D.C.

By Dan MorsePeter Hermann and Salvador Rizzo Updated May 19, 2023 at 12:41 p.m. EDT|Published May 18, 2023 at 8:45 p.m. EDT

An 18-year-old was fatally shot on a rush-hour Metro platform in Montgomery County on Thursday evening as residents and leaders in the area wrestle with the latest spate of gun violence among teenagers and young adults.

“It goes, I think, to the lawlessness of these guys these days,” said Montgomery Police Chief Marcus Jones. “This case and what you see in D.C. and Prince George’s are sad. These guys have no regard for human life.”

Over an 1½-hour stretch, five shootings in the three jurisdictions wounded or killed six people. The victims included a 14-year-old girl who was shot outside an apartment complex in the Riverdale area of Prince George’s. Sheremained hospitalized in critical condition Friday. That county’s police chief, echoing Jones, lamented how quickly people are to resolve disputes with gunfire.

“We’re past the point of things getting out of hand,” Prince George’s County Police Chief Malik Aziz said.

Violent crime totals in Prince George’s are essentially unchanged this year compared with the same period a year ago, according the police department’s statistics. Homicides are down (27 compared with 35), while nonfatal shootings are up (104 compared with 98).

In the District, the fatal shooting of 47-year-old Leonard Carter in the Edgewood community brought the number of homicides in D.C. this year to 85, a 10 percent increase from this time last year.

“I said very plainly I’m not satisfied with it, and I want our whole system to be working urgently to drive those crimes down,” D.C. Mayor Muriel E. Bowser (D) said Friday during an appearance on “The Politics Hour” with Kojo Nnamdi.

The incidents began at 5:20 p.m., when assailants drove into a 7-Eleven parking lot along New Hampshire Avenue, about one mile south of the Capital Beltway, officials said. They fired at two men sitting in the parking lot and drove off. One of the victims was taken to a hospital in serious condition and the other received non-life-threatening injuries, according to a police spokesman.

Some 18 minutes later, gunfire that hit the 14-year-old girl erupted five miles away in Prince George’s County. Aziz said it appears that multiple guns were fired through vehicles parked outside a building.

Back in Montgomery County, at 5:53 p.m., an altercation broke out between two groups on an escalator at the Wheaton Metro station. It intensified, leading to the shooting of 18-year-old Tenneson Vaughn Leslie Jr. on the platform. He was taken to a hospital, where he was pronounced dead.

Responding police searched surrounding areas for assailants who got away.

“It’s jarring and understandably heightens everyone’s concerns over public safety,” Montgomery County Councilmember Gabe Albornoz (D-At Large) said of the Wheaton shooting. “It was in a very public place. It was during the day. It was so brazen.”

Twelve months ago, Albornoz said that youth violence in Montgomery was increasing to a volume he’d never seen before and called the issue “a massive problem with no easy solution.”

Albornoz said the numbers have since leveled off, citing efforts by the county’s Street Outreach Network, which tries to pull youths from gangs as well as the county’s post-covid restarting of recreation programs. “We continue to double-down on youth harm reduction programs,” he said. “I feel like we have a better handle on things than we did last year.”

Killings of children spark outrage, frustration over violence in D.C.

Thus far this year, Montgomery Police have recorded 79 shootings, an increase from the 66 for the same period last year, Jones said. In 20 of the incidents this year, police confirmed a victim had been hit, Jones added.

Investigators are studying Metro video, Jones said. They have spoken with witnesses, but have yet to hear detailed or solid information, including what the groups were arguing about, the chief added.

Five days ago, gunfire broke out about 10:30 p.m. along Fenwick Lane, leaving 20-year-old Jedidiah Kehiku Ogboi-Gibson dead in a parking lot. Investigators collected 17 shell casings. “It was a big crime scene,” Jones said. “Guys in cars were shooting at each other. Luckily no one else was hit. … To me, that was as alarming as having a shooting in the Metro platform.”

Detectives are working the case hard, he said, but are struggling to get information from witnesses.

“It’s going, but it’s not going very fast,” Jones said. “We haven’t had any cooperation.”

While plenty of attention has been paid to the lasting effects of the pandemic on young people — specifically the suspension of school and youth programs — Jones cited two factors he sees as bigger drivers in gun violence among teenagers and young adults: the growing availability of guns and the continued light penalties for being caught with illegally possessing them.

Jones said black-market gun sellers can purchase ghost guns at shows and sell them on the streets. “It’s a cash business, basically a prolific business,” Jones said. “That market is all around us. These kids know who to go to. And we as a community aren’t talking about it enough.”

Thursday evening’s shootings ended with two just eight minutes apart in the District.

Carter, the 47-year-old, was shot at 6:47 p.m. in the 300 block of Franklin Street NE near a recreation center and south of a college campus. Around 6:55 p.m., police said, a man was shot and critically injured at First and Q streets NW, in Truxton Circle. No other details have been released about either shooting, and no arrests were made.

So far this year, D.C. police have recorded 48 juveniles shot, compared with 24 over the same period a year ago.

The shootings Thursday added to a week thatclaimed six lives in D.C. since Sunday, including a 10-year-old girl riding in a vehicle and a student killed outside his school. The slayings on Mother’s Day of 10-year-old Arianna Davis, a fifth-grader, and of Jefferson Perez, a 17-year-old shot Wednesday afternoon in the parking lot of the school he attended, Roosevelt High in Petworth, shocked a city already contending with growing violence.

Police have said Arianna was in a vehicle with her parents and siblings when a stray bullet from a barrage of gunfire struck her in the Mayfair community. Police said Perez was shot during an altercation and that a firearm was recovered at the scene.

His grandmother, Sonia Ferrufino, said Friday that the family — owing to safety concerns — had migrated from El Salvador to the United States. On Friday, they were making funeral arrangements.

“We’re in a very rough shape,” Ferrufino said.

Ferrufino hoped those responsible will be arrested soon.

“The police have to find them, because they already have clues as to who they are,” she said.

Bowser was asked on the Kojo Nnamdi show Friday to respond to claims from some Republican members of Congress that there’s a state of “lawlessness” in the District. She that gun violence was a national problem that is not specific to D.C. — though she acknowledged a “troubling increase” in some crime categories, including shootings and homicides.

“Nobody can be satisfied with that,” the mayor said.

The mayor said conversations about public safety in the city often get bogged down by finger-pointing blaming certain officials or agencies for rising crime.

“At the end of the day, people in neighborhoods across D.C. aren’t interested in squabbling over who should do what,” Bowser said. “Regardless of who’s directly responsible for prosecution or sentencing, I’m the mayor, and I work hard every day to make sure all the pieces of our system are working to make our city safer.”

Michael Brice-Saddler, Clarence Williams, Jasmine Hilton, Dana Hedgpeth, Magda Jean-Louis and Janay Kingsberry contributed to this report.


Parents Don’t Understand How Far Behind Their Kids Are in School

By Tom Kane and Sean Reardon

Dr. Kane is a professor of education and economics at Harvard. Dr. Reardon is a professor of education and sociology at Stanford.


Parents have become a lot more optimistic about how well their children are doing in school.

In 2020 and 2021, a majority of parents in the United States reported that the pandemic was hurting their children’s education. But by the fall of 2022, a Pew survey showed that only a quarter of parents thought their children were still behind; another study revealed that more than 90 percent thought their child had already or would soon catch up. To hear parents tell it, the pandemic’s effects on education were transitory.

Are they right to be so sanguine? The latest evidence suggests otherwise. Mathreading and history scores from the past three years show that students learned far less during the pandemic than was typical in previous years. By the spring of 2022, according to our calculations, the average student was half a year behind in math and a third of a year behind in reading.

As part of a team of researchers from Harvard, Stanford, Dartmouth, Johns Hopkins and the testing company NWEA — the Education Recovery Scorecard project — we have been sifting through data from 7,800 communities in 41 states, to understand where test scores declined the most, what caused these patterns and whether they are likely to endure. The school districts in these communities enroll 26 million elementary and middle school students in more than 53,000 public schools, roughly 80 percent of the public K-8 students in the country.

We’ve looked at test scores, the duration of school closures, broadband availability, Covid death rates, employment data, patterns of social activity, voting patterns, measures of how connected people are to others in their communities and Facebook survey data on both family activities and mental health during the pandemic.

And to get a sense of how probable it is that students will make up the ground they lost over the next few years, we looked at earlier test scores to see how students recovered from various disruptions in the decade before the pandemic.

Our detailed geographic data reveals what national tests do not: The pandemic exacerbated economic and racial educational inequality.

In 2019, the typical student in the poorest 10 percent of districts scored one and a half years behind the national average for his or her year – and almost four years behind students in the richest 10 percent of districts – in both math and reading.

By 2022, the typical student in the poorest districts had lost three-quarters of a year in math, more than double the decline of students in the richest districts. The declines in reading scores were half as large as in math and were similarly much larger in poor districts than rich districts. The pandemic left students in low-income and predominantly minority communities even further behind their peers in richer, whiter districts than they were.

But while the effects of the pandemic on learning were quite different across communities, they were, surprisingly, evenly distributed among different types of students within each community. You might expect that the more affluent children in a district would be better protected from the educational consequences of the pandemic than their lower-income classmates. But that’s not what we found.

Instead, within any school district, test scores declined by similar amounts in all groups of students – rich and poor, white, Black, and Hispanic (we didn’t have enough data on Asian and Native American students to measure their learning). And the extent to which schools were closed appears to have affected all students in a community equally, regardless of income or race.

Overall, it mattered a lot more which school district you lived in than how much money your parents earned.

Once we know that there was much more variation between districts than within them, the obvious question is: Which community factors determined how children were affected? One primary suspect is school closures. And indeed, our study — like other studies, one of which members of the team worked on — shows that test scores declined more in districts where schools were closed longer. In districts closed for 90 percent or more of the 2020-21 school year, math scores declined by two-thirds of a year, nearly double the decline in districts that were closed for less than 10 percent of the school year.

But school closures are only part of the story. Students fell behind even in places where schools closed very briefly, at the start of the pandemic in spring 2020, and then re-opened and stayed open for the next few years. Clearly, there were other factors at work.

What were they? We found that test scores declined more in places where the Covid death rate was high, in communities where adults reported feeling more depression and anxiety during the pandemic and where daily routines of children and families were most significantly restricted. In combination, these factors put enormous strain on parents, teachers and kids — making it unlikely that adults could help kids focus on school. Curtailed social activities were particularly harmful: On average, both math and reading scores declined by roughly a tenth of a year more in the 10 percent of districts where social activities were most curtailed than they did in the 10 percent least restricted.

We also found that the test score declines were smaller in communities with high voting rates and high census response rates — indicators of what sociologists call “institutional trust.” School closures were also less harmful in such places.

What all this means is that the educational impacts of the pandemic were not driven solely by what was happening (or not happening) in schools. The disruption in children’s lives outside of school also mattered: the constriction of their social lives, the stress their parents were feeling, the death of family members, the signals that the world was not safe and the very real fear that you or someone you love might get very sick and die. The pandemic was a public health and economic disaster that reshaped every area of children’s lives, but it did so to different degrees in different communities, and so its consequences for children depended on where they lived.

Regardless of how exactly the pandemic caused educational harm, the overall effect has been devastating.

So what do we do now?

Schools cannot just “hurry up.” Especially in math, teachers build students’ understanding sequentially — from arithmetic to fractions to exponents to algebra. Schools have curriculums, and teachers have their lesson plans for each topic. In theory, a school district could rethink its curriculum following a disruption — skimming and paring to move more quickly — but that would be difficult to coordinate across hundreds or thousands of teachers. And do we really want students to have an abbreviated understanding of fractions?

When students fall behind, they don’t just catch up naturally. Reviewing data from the decade preceding the pandemic, we identified numerous instances where a school district’s test scores suddenly declined or suddenly rose in a particular grade. Our data does not reveal the causes. But we can see what happened afterward: Students resumed learning at their prior pace, but they did not make up the ground they lost or lose the ground they gained. Years later, the affected cohorts remained behind or ahead.

Over the past two years, many school districts have used the $190 billion in federal pandemic relief money to add tutors and other school staff and to raise summer school enrollment — all in an attempt to accelerate learning. To a limited extent, they succeeded. In one widely used math and reading assessment, the average student in grades three through eight resumed learning at a slightly faster than normal rate — making up about 25 percent of their pandemic loss in math and reading during the 2021-22 school year and the summer of 2022. But even if schools are able to maintain that pace after the federal dollars to pay for tutors and summer school run out, it will take four years or more to return to pre-pandemic achievement levels.

The truth is children are already paying the price. In the coming weeks, 3.5 million high school seniors are set to graduate — less prepared, on average, for college and a career. They will be joining the more than 10 million students who have already graduated since the pandemic began.

In the hardest-hit communities — where students fell behind by more than one and a half years in math — like Richmond, Va.; St. Louis; and New Haven, Conn. — schools would have had to teach 150 percent of a typical year’s worth of material for three years in a row just to catch up. It is magical thinking to expect they will make this happen without a major increase in instructional time.

For those districts that lost more than a year’s worth of learning, state leaders should require districts to resubmit their plans for spending the federal money and work with them and community leaders to add instructional time.

Parents are relieved to see their children learning again. But most parents remain ill informed about how far behind their children are. To help change that, we’ve made our data public and will continue doing so as new data become available.

Public officials could — and should — help get the word out as well. This summer, mayors and governors should be launching public service campaigns to promote summer learning. And school boards should begin negotiating to extend the next school year (and use the federal dollars to pay teachers for the extra time).

Especially given the mental toll of the pandemic, students need more than math and reading this summer. Rather than school districts trying to do it all themselves, they should link with other organizations — museums, summer camps, athletic programs — that already offer engaging summer programming, and add an academic component to those programs. For instance, Boston After School and Beyond provides an average of $1,500 per student in financial incentives and teaching support to add three hours of academic programming per day from a certified teacher at summer camps enrolling Boston students. The incentives are largely paid for by Boston Public Schools. The program is a potential model for other communities.

While summer learning can be part of a solution, it cannot be the sole solution. Research on programs like the one in Boston suggests that participants make up about one-quarter of a year’s worth of learning in math during a six-week summer program. That takes us part of the way, but nowhere near as far as we need to go.

Communities must find other ways to add learning opportunities outside the typical school calendar. Most educational software — like Zearn and Khan Academy — makes it possible to track students’ use and progress. Schools could incentivize organizations working with students after school, on weekends or during school vacation weeks to include time for students to learn online and then reimburse them based on students’ progress. Some districts are even paying tutoring providers based on student outcomes.

Especially in the hardest-hit communities, it is increasingly obvious that many students will not have caught up before the federal money runs out in 2024. School boards and state legislatures should start planning now for longer-term policy changes. One possibility would be to offer an optional fifth year of high school for students to fill holes in academic skills, get help with applying to college or to explore alternative career pathways. Students could split their time among high schools, community colleges and employers. Another option would be to make ninth grade a triage year during which students would receive intensive help in key academic subjects.

As enticing as it might be to get back to normal, doing so will just leave in place the devastating increase in inequality caused by the pandemic. In many communities, students lost months of learning time. Justice demands that we replace it. We must find creative ways to add new learning opportunities in the summer, after school, on weekends or during a 13th year of school.

If we fail to replace what our children lost, we — not the coronavirus — will be responsible for the most inequitable and longest-lasting legacy of the pandemic. But if we succeed, that broader and more responsive system of learning can be our gift to America’s schoolchildren.


What Our Toxic Culture Does to the Young

A photograph of young people’s legs wearing muddy sneakers. They sit in a circle on a grass field.

By David Brooks  Opinion Columnist NYT May 7th 2023

In the early 1960s typical Americans were eager to get on with adult life. As soon as they could, they married, launched careers and started popping out kids. In those days, half of all women married before their 20th birthday.

Then the boomers came of age. Typical members of that generation wanted to enjoy their freedom, so many put off marriage and parenting until their late 20s or their 30s. They adopted what some researchers call the “slow life strategy,” postponing the common milestones of adulthood until later in life.

As the psychologist Jean Twenge shows in her lavishly informative new book, “Generations,” the members of Gen Z are now practicing the slow life strategy with a vengeance.

They have already transformed adolescence. Members of Gen Z are, for example, content to get their driver’s licenses later than earlier generations. As high school seniors, they are less likely to do the things associated with adulthood and independence, like drinking alcohol, working for pay or having sex. When members of Gen X were in ninth grade, nearly 40 percent of them had had sex. By 2021, only 15 percent of the Gen Z ninth graders had.

As Twenge puts it: “In many ways, 18-year-olds now look like 14-year-olds in previous generations. For example, only about half of 12th graders date, about the same as eighth graders in the early 1990s.”

Twenge is not rendering a judgment here; she’s not saying that one generation is living the right way or the wrong way. Young people today are simply taking their time.

It makes perfect sense. People are living longer. If it’s now possible to run for president at age 80, then it’s prudent and wise to pace yourself through life, and not try to cram everything into those first unsteady decades.

But something else is going on here. Gen Z-ers grew up with hypercautious parenting that exaggerates the dangers in life. They grew up in a media culture that generates ratings and clicks by generating division and anger. They grew up in a political culture that magnifies a sense of menace — that presumes that other people are toxic — in order to tell simplistic us/them stories and mobilize people’s fears.

This culture of exaggerated distrust and presumed toxicity has influenced us all, but the younger generations most of all. On the one hand it’s made them hypervigilant to danger. Since 2011 the number of kids who have had to go to the emergency room for nonfatal injuries has plummeted. Members of Gen Z are less likely to do drugs or get into fights or car accidents than were teens in previous generations.

On the other hand this culture has induced — in all of us, but especially in the young — an aversion to risk.

In 1991, 48 percent of eighth and 10th graders said they liked to take risks sometimes. By 2021, that number had plunged to 32 percent.

People who grow up in this culture of distrust are bound to adopt self-protective codes of behavior. I’ve been teaching college students on and off for 25 years. Over the last few years, students have become much less willing to argue with one another in class. They don’t want to be viciously judged. It’s not even that they are consciously afraid of being canceled. It’s simply that the norm of non-argumentativeness in public has settled over many (but not all) parts of campus culture.

People who grow up in a culture of distrust are bound to be pessimistic about life. Since around 2012, the share of 12th graders who expect to earn a graduate or professional degree, get a professional job or own more than their parents has plummeted (even though, as Twenge shows, their brothers and sisters in the millennial generation are doing better and better).

People who grow up with this mentality are also less likely to believe they can control their own destinies. In her book, Twenge has a chart showing the share of 12th graders who believe that their lives are blown about by outside forces has been surging since 2006. That matters, she writes, because people who go through life with this defeatist attitude have worse life outcomes.

As a certified middle-aged guy, I’m glad that the members of Gen Z behave so much more responsibly than members of previous generations. Politically, they lean left, but dispositionally they are cautious and conservative.

But the sense of exaggerated menace has its downsides. Twenge describes a moment when she was telling some Gen Z women about a lady who had met her future husband when he hit on her in an elevator in their office building. That would almost never happen today, the young women told Twenge. His behavior would be considered creepy and stalkerish.

It’s always good to be on guard against a dangerous creep, but you may miss out on meeting the person who could be the love of your life.


Avoid Cliches like the plague

What Is a Cliché and How to Avoid It in Writing | Grammarly Blog

By Michael Massing

Mr. Massing is the author of “Fatal Discord: Erasmus, Luther, and the Fight for the Western Mind.”


Ramped up, amped up, ratchet up, gin up, up the ante, double down, jump-start, be behind the curve, swim against the tide, go south, go belly up, level the playing field, open the floodgates, think outside the box, push the edge of the envelope, pull out all the stops, take the foot off the pedal, pump the brakes, grease the wheel, circle the wagons, charge full steam ahead, pass with flying colors, move the goal posts, pour gasoline on, add fuel to the fire, fly under the radar, add insult to injury, grow by leaps and bounds, only time will tell, go to hell in a handbasket, put the genie back in the bottle, throw the baby out with the bathwater, rearrange the deck chairs on the Titanic, have your cake and eat it too, a taste of one’s own medicine, stick to one’s guns, above one’s pay grade, punch above one’s weight, lick one’s wounds, pack a punch, roll with the punches, come apart at the seams, throw a wrench into, caught in the cross hairs, cross the Rubicon, tempt fate, go ballistic, on tenterhooks, hit the nail on the head, a nail in the coffin, joined at the hip, welcome with open arms, rub shoulders with, shoot oneself in the foot, dip one’s toes into, have a leg up, dance to the tune of, the next shoe to drop, in the DNA of, the gold standard, a gold mine, land mines,

a run for the money, money to burn, penny-wise and pound-foolish, lap of luxury, off the charts, over a barrel, late to the party, it takes two to tango, behind the eight ball, pride of place, final straw, full throttle, no holds barred, red flag, silver lining, on a silver platter, in the rearview mirror, bargain basement, silos, morph, meme, trope, mind meld, warp speed, inner demons, have skin in the game, game changer, change agent, strong suit, ground game, ground zero, inflection point, tipping point, playbook, page turner, singing from the same hymnal, singing a new tune, straight out of central casting, the devil’s in the details, take the bull by the horns, the canary in the coal mine, chickens coming home to roost, beat a dead horse, pony up, the straw that broke the camel’s back, open a can of worms, buy a pig in a poke, cash cow, rabbit hole, dog days, dog whistle, bells and whistles, tool kit, third rail, the tip of the iceberg, the light at the end of the tunnel, the arc of history, speak truth to power, break the glass ceiling, the writing’s on the wall, between a rock and a hard place, beyond the pale, take the wind out of the sails of, that ship has sailed, sinking ship, tidal wave, roller-coaster ride, gravy train, tanked, cratered, Rubik’s Cube, Rosetta Stone, Rolodex, poster child, problem child,

rock star, pundit, national treasure, charter member, heavy hitter, heavy lifting, political football, throw a Hail Mary, full-court press, hit a home run, play with house money, laser-focused, secret sauce, red meat, piece of cake, bread and butter, cherry-pick, low-hanging fruit, sticker shock, kick-start, kick into overdrive, kick the tires, kick the can down the road, where the rubber meets the road, an albatross around the neck, a feather in the cap, long in the tooth, armed to the teeth, cut one’s teeth, rib tickler, spine tingling, pull the wool over the eyes of, pull the plug on, pull the trigger, loosen the reins, sweep under the carpet, throw under the bus, throw for a loop, read the riot act, lead the pack, the short end of the stick, at the drop of a hat,

the jury is still out, hung out to dry, as if that weren’t enough, it would be an understatement to say, it would be no exaggeration to say, despite or perhaps because of, what goes around comes around, for all intents and purposes, make a long story short, the fact of the matter, to be sure, truth be told, a who’s who, famously, arguably, literally, zeitgeist, mantra, optics, granular, narrative, interrogate, paradigm, venue, robust, compelling, fever pitch, pitch perfect, picture perfect, perfect storm, take by storm, eye of the storm, back burner, petri dish, echo chamber, hot button, hard wire, go viral, bingeable, blockbuster, on steroids, testosterone-laced, metastasize, contextualize, preternaturally, outsize, gobsmacked, turbocharged, weaponized, apocalyptic, existential …

Montgomery Co. schools revise history curriculum in 4th, 5th grades

By Nicole Asbury

Montgomery County Public Schools’ new social studies framework will expose fourth- and fifth-graders to more American history — particularly Black history — at a younger age.

The new curriculum will incorporate anti-bias and anti-racist content and local history about Montgomery County, according to Tracy Oliver-Gary, the district’s social studies supervisor. It was presented to the county school board this week andreceived unanimous approval.

“The goal is that students should be able to see themselves in the curriculum,” Oliver-Gary said.

Montgomery County’s revisions to its history curriculum follow changes made by the state education board. The state board regularly reviews the curriculums it distributes to school districts, like its sex education framework. But Montgomery — Maryland’s largest school district, with roughly 159,000 students — is also changing its curriculum as a part of an anti-racist audit launched earlier this year.

Civics legislation snared in national debate over talking about race in education

Students in upper grades in the school system have pushed for some of the revisions, arguing that students with underrepresented identities don’t see themselves in lessons they learn in the classroom.

“Ever since I can remember, I’ve always learned about White men,” Sia Badri, a rising senior at Wootton High School, told the board this week. “It always made me feel less than, like my life and my identity weren’t significant enough to be shown to my peers or the world.”

She also highlighted how much of the content she learned in the classroom about the civil rights movement has ignored the role Black women played.

“[Badri] raises an important issue of inclusiveness, which is an issue we are constantly striving to achieve,” Board President Brenda Wolff said. She added that she believed the board should look at its curriculums “in terms of inclusiveness in all areas.”

Nationally, education culture wars have led toparents, educators and school board members sparring over how schools teach history.

These are books school systems don’t want you to read, and why

Montgomery’s new fourth- and fifth-grade history framework was met with little dissent at the meeting this week. The school system is a part of a liberal and racially diverse county, and has traditionally sought to include more approaches to equity and inclusion in its school policies. Black alumnae from one of the school system’s high schools have also pushed for a curriculum revision that highlights the impact of racism.

Hana O’Looney, the student member of the board and a Japanese American student, pointed to her experience learning about internment camps in Advanced Placement U.S. History — a curriculum developed by the College Board. She said the most that internment camps were discussed were as a bullet point in a slide show, though an entire generation of Japanese Americans were affected.

“That’s a concern, and that has a real effect on how students view their own identity, and then move forward and progress in the world,” O’Looney said.

The school system has also made efforts to train educators who want to teach more about Black history. It has produced a voluntary four-part module for educators to improve their understanding of enslavement in the United States, Oliver-Gary said. Over the summer, the school system is partnering with Montgomery Heritage to create field trips to historically Black sites in the county.

“My goal is to have multiple opportunities for teachers to be able to develop their learning, because this is going to be a big lift,” Oliver-Gary said.

Education Department tries to tamp down controversy over U.S. history/civics grant program

Under the previous framework, students began learning about early American history in the fifth grade. When the new curriculum is implemented in the 2023-2024 school year, it will advance those lessons: Fourth-graders will begin learning about early American history, and fifth-graders will begin learning about the U.S. Constitution, ending the year learning about contemporary times.

Other elementarygrade levels will also see revisions, based on the state board’s changes. Second- and third-graders will see the changes in 2024-2025 school year; kindergartners and first-graders, the year after.


Incidents of hate, bias, racism lead to Montgomery school action plan

By Nicole Asbury

The number of incidents of hate have increased exponentially in Montgomery County Public Schools, leading Superintendent Monifa B. McKnight to roll out several initiatives, from more teacher training to a community advisory group, to combat the problems.r

McKnight highlighted the action plan in front of a crowd of students, parents, teachers and county council members during a wide-ranging speech denouncing the hateful acts, drawing on her mother’s lessons of serving others and requesting help from the community.

The initiatives include training for all staff, beginning next year, on responding to incidents of hate and bias. There will also be better coordination from school staff in responding to incidents, along with equity experts to scrutinize the responses.The school system’s fourth- and fifth-grade curriculum is being revised to include more lessons on social justice, and students will learn more about equity issues during assemblies and other school events.

“We have inherited a system that was designed for White students who lived in Whiteneighborhoods and were taught by White teachers, only later to be open for all other students,” McKnight said, explaining theschool system’s transition from segregated schools to its current diverse enrollment. “History matters, and how we treat students for whom the system was not originally built.”

Montgomery County and its school system — which is Maryland’s largest — have reported a rise in hate-based incidents this school year, officials have said. Data from the Montgomery County Police Department showed that 157 incidents with a bias indicator were reported in 2022, and 29 of those incidents were at a school. That was a roughly 383 percent increase of incidents that targeted a school compared with 2021, when six incidents were reported. Fifty-two percent of the incidents in 2022 were antisemitic.

“We’re called together today because of the unfortunate reality that these sorts of actions have become more and more common,” McKnight said. She added that in this year alone, the county’s schools have reported one hateful incident each day on average, which is triple the rate reported the previous year.

In March, roughly two dozen incidents were reported that involved the county’s schools. The reports included sticky notes that were assembled in a swastika formation in the boys’ bathroom of an unidentified middle school and students directing racial slurs at other students. Northwood High School closed its outdoor facilities to the public last month after fliers containing antisemitic language were posted four times on its athletic fields.

Several of the county’s schools have been vandalized with antisemitic remarks and symbols, including several swastikas drawn on desks, in drawers and on tables at schools. An entrance sign at Walt Whitman High School’s entrance sign was defaced with the words, “Jews Not Welcome” in December, and staff at the school reported receiving antisemitic emails a day later.

Students have walked out of classes to protest the hateful acts and lobbiedfor the school system to teach more about the Holocaust and antisemitism.

Hannah Zuck, a junior at Magruder High School, said when the school system first addressed the Holocaust in the seventh grade, several of her peers made jokes and comments that were “misunderstandings sometimes directed at me as a Jewish person.” Many of the comments increased this school year, especially after Ye, the rapper formerly known as Kanye West, made several antisemitic comments that included praising Adolf Hitler and Nazis. Some of her peers implied that West “has a point,” she said.

Earlier this school year, her school reported antisemitic graffiti on a student’s desk. The principal sent a sharp email denouncing hate, Zuck said, but there weren’t any follow-upconversations with students after that.

“I don’t think most of the Magruder community had realized that there had been this shift within the Jewish students at schools in feeling … unsafe, maybe feeling unwelcome,” Zuck, 17, said. “I don’t think they realized it because there wasn’t that broad of a response.”

The county’s schools have also seen hateful incidents aimed at the LGBTQ community. In February, a middle school teacher found plans on a student’s schoollaptop for a “homophobic club.” School board members have reported receivinganti-LGBTQ rhetoric in emails since the system in January added books as a supplemental curriculum that includeLGBTQ characters.

McKnight stood by the district’s curriculum Thursday. Some have asked “Why does MCPS include texts by LGBTQ+ authors and with LGBTQ+ characters in our curriculum?” she asked. “Yet the question should be, ‘Why are we just now including these texts in our curriculum? Why has it taken so long?’”

McKnight — who is the school system’s first Black woman to serve as superintendent — has pledged to do more to combat antisemitic attitudes emerging among the county’s youths. In February, she announced that students who commit hateful acts will have them documented in their student file and theirparents will be brought in for mandatory follow-up conversations. The school system has also partnered with the Jewish Community Relations Council of Greater Washington and the Anti-Defamation League to improve its teachingabout antisemitism and its impact throughout history. Those more robust lessons will begin next school year.

McKnight also referenced the school system’s “anti-racist audit,” a report released last year, that found students of color have a less satisfactory experience with the school system compared with their White peers. She announced that a follow-up “anti-racist action plan” in response to the audit would be presented at a May 11 school board meeting.

Schools in the Whitman High cluster are partnering with the JCRC and Anti-Defamation League to train all school staff during the summer on addressing hateful incidents, said Guila Franklin Siegel, the JCRC’s associate director. Siegel recommended McKnight’s action plan — including staff training — be rolled out consistently across all of the county’s 210 schools.


This element is critical to human flourishing — yet missing from the news

Hope: The 3 Things needed to Grow and Thrive | Springs Christian Academy |  Christian School | Pre-K | Elementary | High School | Winnipeg

By Amanda Ripley Contributing columnist

At a cocktail party in a crowded Washington living room some years ago, I met a magazine editor who was working on a high-profile new book. It would transport the reader into the future, he told me, describing in vivid, terrifying prose all the catastrophes that might happen because of climate change: unbreathable air, dying oceans, hunger, drowning.

Would it offer people any hope? I asked.

“It’s not my job to give people hope,” he said, sounding vaguely disgusted. I got the sense that hope was for the weak. And that by asking my question, I was weak, too.

A year later, his book ended up being a bestseller. So, I figured, maybe he was right. Maybe hope is not our job. But then, I couldn’t help but wonder, whose job was it?

Last summer, I wrote a piece in this newspaper admitting that I have been selectively avoiding contact with the news, even though I’m a journalist myself. Traditional news coverage, I had slowly come to realize, was missing half the story, distorting my view of reality. It frequently overlooked and underplayed storylines and dimensions that humans need to thrive in the modern world — with the three most notable elements being hope, agency and dignity.

Amanda Ripley: I stopped reading the news. Is the problem me — or the product?

That column sparked an unexpected response. I heard from thousands of readers caught in the same struggle — wanting to be informed about the world but not bludgeoned into fatalism. Many of you reported that you had taken matters into your own hands. One man, after listening to devastating stories on the radio, does his own Google searches to find examples of people trying to solve the very same problems. Then he shares the links he has found with his friends and family on Facebook, basically doing a job reporters don’t want to do.

Others urged me to check out alternative sources they had found, including the Progress Network newsletter, which curates stories of human cooperation and ingenuity, and the 1440 daily briefing, which attempts to strip bias from the news. Still others said they have sought refuge in sports, hyperlocal news, Wordle and, for one reader, medieval history.

This year, with your help, I’d like to revisit each of the missing elements, starting with the most controversial of the three.

Follow Amanda Ripley’s opinionsFollow

The word hope sounds gauzy and fey, like rainbows and sunsets. It feels like a gateway drug to delusion and denial. “I don’t want your hope,” climate activist Greta Thunberg said at the World Economic Forum in 2019. “I want you to panic.”

But rainbows and sunsets are explicable phenomena, the scattering of sunlight in the distance, and it turns out that hope is, too. For more than 30 years, scientists have been researching hope and deconstructing its building blocks. And it’s surprisingly tangible. “It’s important to say what hope is not,” Rebecca Solnit wrote in her book “Hope in the Dark.” “It is not the belief that everything was, is, or will be fine.”

So what is it? Hope is more like a muscle than an emotion. It’s a cognitive skill, one that helps people reject the status quo and visualize a better way. If it were an equation, it would look something like: hope = goals + road map + willpower. “Hope is the belief that your future can be brighter and better than your past and that you actually have a role to play in making it better,” according to Casey Gwinn and Chan Hellman in their book, “Hope Rising.”

Decades of research have now proved that hope, defined this way, can be reliably measured and taught. Using 12 questions, called the Hope Scale — a version of which you can take yourself here — more than 2,000 studies have demonstrated that people with stronger hope skills perform better in school, sports and work. They manage illness, pain and injury better and score higher on assessments of happiness, purpose and self-esteem. Among victims of domestic violence, child abuse and other forms of trauma, hope appears to be one of the most effective antidotes yet studied.

Still, there is resistance to hope, even among those who know it best. For a long time, Hellman, a psychologist by training, did not think giving people hope was his job, either. At conferences, he would wave people off when they asked him how to build their capacity for hope. “I don’t do hope. I study it,” he’d tell them.

I recognize myself in this story. As a journalist, trying to look smart in story meetings, it always felt safer to remain skeptical. It was easier to pitch stories about buffoonery than about progress. It’s a strange trick of the mind, especially because it’s the news media’s relentless negativity that has led so many people to give up on institutions — or on journalism. Cynicism feels protective, even when it’s not.

Martin Baron: We want objective judges and doctors. Why not journalists too?

About a decade ago, Hellman decided to stop sitting on the sidelines — partly because of his own life story. All through high school, he had been homeless, always on the precipice of catastrophe. And specific people had helped him imagine another life and feel as if he was capable of getting there (remember: goals + road map + willpower). So he decided he had an obligation not just to study hope but to teach it.

So far, he and his colleagues at the Hope Research Center at the University of Oklahoma at Tulsa have trained more than 22,000 government employees in Oklahoma, California and Washington to cultivate hope on purpose — not just among individuals but across entire systems, in welfare programs, school districts and prisons, among other places. They have found that it reduces burnout and improves outcomes for workers and those they serve. “It literally is strategic planning,” Hellman says. “Hope is the process. Well-being is the outcome.”

As it is, when journalists try to do hopeful stories, they often end up insulting our intelligence — with stories about small acts of kindness, often involving animals. There is no goal or road map.

But if this other, more muscular kind of hope is critical to human flourishing, then why can’t journalists make it part of their job? It would mean asking totally different questions, just as doggedly as ever: What are realistic goals, in the face of a wicked problem? What are some of the ways other communities have tried to get there? And how did they manage to press on, even when things didn’t go as planned?

What would it look like if careers were made (and prizes won) based on this kind of inquiry and storytelling? We might see fewer column inches just describing (over and over again) the alarming rise in depression among teens — and more stories such as this one by Anya Kamenetz, investigating a surprising remedy that has been shown to reduce psychological distress. When it comes to crime coverage, we might become as obsessed with declines as we are with spikes. Why are homicides down 31 percent in East St. Louis over the past four years, when they remain high in so many other places?

When it comes to climate change, there is hope, defined this way, at least, and there always was. Humans still have enormous control over what happens to our planet. In the past five years, we have cut expected warming almost in half. The world is on track to add as much renewable energy generation in the next five years as it did in the past 20, according to the International Energy Agency. There’s much more to be done, of course, but getting there requires rigorously reported stories that help us visualize a road map. Why not report out hope, the same way we report out dread?

I know it is difficult for some in my field to make this shift. The more hopeless news you consume, the harder it is to see hope in the wild — and no one consumes more news than journalists. But the research also shows that it is possible. “Hope is malleable,” says Matthew Gallagher, a clinical psychologist who studies hope at the University of Houston. “It’s not a static thing, like how tall you are. It can change.”

For journalists, hope is a defiant way of being in the world: ever on the lookout for what is but always alert to what might be.


The kids are not okay, and D.C. schools stand to lose crucial therapists

Students and advocates have expressed concern while pleading with lawmakers to invest more, despite budget cuts, toward mental health services in schools

Perspective by Theresa Vargas
Metro columnist April 19, 2023 at 3:43 p.m. EDT

Last spring, Briana D’Accurzio was one of two mental health therapists at one D.C. school. This year, she is the only one. That’s not because fewer students at the school are experiencing anxiety and depression. That’s not because fewer students at the school are facing struggles at home or with their peers. And that’s not because fewer students at the school are harming themselves or contemplating suicide.

“The need is just as great as it was last year,” D’Accurzio told me on a recent morning.

The crisis in American girlhood

She explained that limited resources meant difficult decisions had to be made, and one of those decisions involved moving the other therapist to another D.C. school. That has left D’Accurzio alone to cover a school with nearly 1,600 students.

“If I was able to take all the referrals I get, I would have a caseload that is double, triple, quadruple what I have now,” she said. But she can’t take on every case, so she often has to refer students to clinicians outside of the school, and that process can mean scrambling and waiting, she said.

The kids are not okay. They are not okay in many places across the country, and they are not okay in the District. That should come as no surprise to anyone who has been paying attention to what students have been forced to face in recent years on top of normal childhood challenges: a pandemic that snatched from them loved ones and stability, gun violence that is taking from them classmates and a sense of safety, and an opioid epidemic that has left them contemplating carrying Narcan in hopes of keeping their peers from overdosing.

Children keep seeing grown-ups killed in the nation’s capital. They’re victims, too.

School-based therapists, educators and child advocates have seen up close how D.C. students are struggling, and they are worried. In recent weeks, I have spoken to some and listened to the testimony of others, and they have expressed a shared fear: that the city’s proposed budget could cause schools to lose crucial clinicians at a time when vacancies are already going unfilled.

“I can’t picture having less,” D’Accurzio said. “We need so much more, so thinking of having less is really scary.”

In recent weeks, advocates, educators and students have testified in front of city lawmakers, pleading with them to add $3.45 million to the proposed budget to sufficiently fund the community-based organizations that place mental health clinicians in schools across the city. The ask is small compared with the cost of failing those children, but it comes at a time when the city is looking to slash spending.

Schools brace for challenges as once-in-a-lifetime cash runs out

“In a year of tough choices, we urge you to continue to prioritize addressing the youth mental health crisis,” Judith Sandalow, the executive director of Children’s Law Center, said in testimony delivered at a budget hearing on Friday. “Unless there is sufficient funding to allow [community-based organizations] to continue to offer competitive pay, incentives and professional support to clinicians, the entire program is at risk.”

As proof of the need, Sandalow cited the findings of a 2021 DC Youth Risk Behavior Survey. Some of the data she noted: 28 percent of middle school students have seriously thought about killing themselves, about 12 percent of middle and high school students have taken prescription pain medicine without a doctor’s prescription, and more than 19 percent of middle school students and more than 25 percent of high school students reported that their mental health was “not good” most of the time or always.

Several students also testified on Friday, sharing their own experiences and calling on the city to add the funding to the proposed $19.7 billion budget.

One student described struggling to find a clinician in Southeast Washington. He said he goes to school every day but doesn’t have access to a therapist in the building. He said when he asked for places to get help outside of school, he was given locations nowhere near where he lives. “To me, this is unacceptable,” he said.

Another student spoke from inside a moving car. The high school sophomore said she had started cutting herself in middle school, and at 16 she still cuts herself and struggles to control her anger. She described meeting with clinicians over the years but never getting enough time to spend with any of them to open up. “Us youth are mentally struggling. Us youth are screaming for help,” she said. And there aren’t enough mental health professionals, she said, “to hear our cries.”

On a school day, a student sat inside D’Accurzio’s office. The 18-year-old didn’t want to share her name, but she wanted to talk about why it’s important for students to have access to therapists in schools.

Students face so much pressure to succeed and the world places so many problems in front of them that they need a space where they can talk to someone without judgment, the teenager said. She described getting that when she walks into D’Accurzio’s office. The teenager said she often advises friends and relatives to take care of their mental health needs.

“It shouldn’t be something you should be ashamed of,” she said. “It shouldn’t be something we put aside for later. It should be a number one priority.”

She’s right — the mental health needs of the city’s children deserve to be prioritized. D.C. lawmakers will have to make some difficult decisions before finalizing the budget, but providing enough funding to make sure schools don’t lose clinicians should be a no-brainer.

D’Accurzio works for Mary’s Center, a community organization that has placed clinicians in more than two dozen D.C. schools. On the hard days, D’Accurzio said, she thinks about the students who have stepped into her office with complex needs and have successfully graduated out of therapy. Some have told her, she said, “I didn’t see myself alive at this time.”

“If we didn’t have mental health professionals in the schools to attend to their needs, I worry what their future would look like,” she said. If schools lose clinicians, she added, that “would be detrimental to the entire community. It would be detrimental to the students we’re servicing. It would be detrimental to their families.”


How to defend against the rise of ChatGPT? Think like a poet.

Jaswinder Bolina’s “English as Second Language and Other Poems” is forthcoming from Copper Canyon Press.

And so we’ve come to the end of the world again, and this time, it will be death by a thousand chattering bots. But apocalypse aside, most striking to me about ChatGPT and other large-language-model artificial intelligence systems is what their chatter reveals about us — specifically, our language, education, work and the grimly redundant human condition.

I happen to be a poet and teacher of poetry, so language, education and the grim human condition take up most of my Outlook calendar. In thinking about AI, I’ve become preoccupied with — and weirdly heartened by — its utter banality.

AI bots aren’t so much artificially “intelligent” as they are opportunistically efficient at learning from the bland patterns in our language. Entire industries have been built around cliched and predictable writing and thinking, from adspeak to clickbait media to the formulaic pop songs, movies and television that suck up our free time. There is so much blasé filler for AI to mine, and every sentence, paragraph and document on ChatGPT’s kill list is another example of human expression so devoid of personality that the person is rendered superfluous.

As AI proliferates, this lack of originality in our daily language is what will render so many of our jobs irrelevant. But this is where I become optimistic. Because to me, it’s clear that one of our best defenses against the rise of the writing machines might be to learn how to think like a poet.

Sure, I’m biased, but consider what the making of a poem — that small (or large) artifact William Carlos Williams famously called a “machine made of words” — can teach us.P

Diametrically opposed to cliche, poets are trained to invent and reinvent language to arrive at fresh expressions of our angst, joy, anguish and wonder.

Tracy K. Smith: “The universe is expanding. Look: postcards / And panties, bottles with lipstick on the rim, / Orphan socks and napkins dried into knots.”

Though poets do focus on our gnarly existential predicaments, the poet’s first job is to keep language from stagnating or, worse, from boring us to death.Advertisement

Ross Gay: “… and thank you, too, this knuckleheaded heart, this pelican heart, / this gap-toothed heart flinging open its gaudy maw.”

Sometimes manic, sometimes depressive, poetry might indulge in bouts of narcissism and embellishment, but most of all, it must be earnest, singular and unpredictable.

David Berman: “… and if the apocalypse turns out / to be a world-wide nervous breakdown, / if our five billion minds collapse at once, / well I’d call that a surprise ending / and this hill would still be beautiful, / a place I wouldn’t mind dying / alone or with you.”

In a word, it must be human.

Despite the laudable achievements of our science, technology and engineering, it’s funny how language, not mathematics, could be the hill humanity dies on.

So, here we stand even as our algorithms whiff on their AP English exams, as they crank out bad jokes, lousy fiction and crappy poems:

“I am but a vessel, / floating on the sea of time, / Drifting on the winds of change, / A soul in search of rhyme.”

This, ChatGPT3’s response when prompted to write a poem in the style of Jaswinder Bolina, goes on for eight unremarkable stanzas before culminating in its hackneyed conclusion:

“Let us embrace the journey, / And all its twists and turns, / For in the end, we shall find, / That every step we take, in life, we learn.”

While I appreciate its optimism, this jejune algorithm might be using the word “we” a little too loosely. This is because, even if it could convincingly mimic the highly selective diction and syntax in my or anyone else’s poetry, it has no access to our idiosyncratic interiority.

It can’t remember the faces of the people I’ve loved or pained, the names of those who have hurt or needed me. It never felt the humidity breezing in through a summer window, the taut urgency of awaiting a call from the oncologist, grill smoke in the bleachers, or the melody of my mother calling me down to roti.

Here is ChatGPT’s ultimate weakness laid bare. It knows nothing of life except what it learns from us, and to learn, it needs our language. But where that language model is small, unusual and unpatterned, the machines can’t ape us.

There is a lesson in this, especially if you’re worried about your or your kids’ employment prospects. I’m not going to suggest that you tear down the walls of your cubicle and join me in the local hipster cafe. But I am going to suggest that the workers of the world, like poets, become more attentive to sensations and ideas no disembodied algorithm can experience or invent.

This means expressing experience in words and sentences that are tactile, empathetic and original. It means learning to do some of this by taking classes in creative writing, music, theater, painting and dance; by studying and making literature and art, those allegedly pointless pursuits that our culture and our universities have increasingly neglected. It means applying the lessons learned in creative enterprise to other industries, to invent new and more humane ways of using technology to answer human concerns and solve human crises.

Now, when the ability to distinguish between rote and original thinking will matter more than ever, focusing on so-called STEM and other professional fields alone — the clarion call of career counselors and university administrators — will not be enough.

After all, AI is coming for our doctors, coders, engineers and lawyers, too. Even in these fields, the career paths that wind into the yellow wood of our AI-enhanced future will belong to those inventive enough to use technology in ways no algorithm can emulate or predict.

So, let the bots inherit our dead language, dull thinking and workplace drudgery. Let the rest belong to us. Whatever we make in that real and surreal future will have to be inimitable, human and true — which is to say, it will have to be something like a poem.


What Is Future-Mindedness?

What Is Future-Mindedness?

By Nate Barksdale

Future-mindedness, or prospection, is the ability to envision and think about the future.

It’s something that so many organisms do that it’s been described as a core organizing principle of animal and human behavior. Countless animals use prospection to adapt their behavior to their environments, allowing them to improve their chances of finding food or a mate, and to avoid danger. It’s also something humans seem to be especially good at: thinking about the future helps us make decisions, set and achieve goals, and cultivate cooperation and generosity.

How Does Prospection Work?

Thinking about the future is closely tied to memory. Knowledge of the past is a critical ingredient for predicting what might happen next. Studies show that people asked to envision specific future events occurring in a familiar setting like their home describe the events with more sensory details like sounds, smell or visuals then they do when prompted to imagine the same events happening in an unfamiliar place. In terms of brain function, prospection is thought to deeply involve the brain’s “default mode network,” which is active when people are not engaged in particular tasks. This suggests that prospection is a way of keeping our minds active and attentive during downtime by engaging in “mental time travel” to simulate and prepare for possible future scenarios.

How Is Envisioning the Future Helpful?

A fundamental use of prospection is in evaluating which actions to take or to avoid. Studies in rats and humans have examined the parts of the brain used in navigation, highlighting the close connection between remembering locations and simulating expected actions. Beyond simpler tasks like planning routes, multiple studies have shown that how we think about the future (and about our future selves) can influence all kinds of decisions. 

For instance, many of us underestimate the value of future benefits—it’s easy to feel the present opportunity cost of saving for retirement but harder to internalize the future benefits of increased savings. But by actively thinking about and identifying with our future selves, we can counteract that tendency and and properly evaluate tradeoffs. When we feel more connected to our future selves, we become more willing to delay gratification for a greater reward. 

Does Future-Mindedness Change as We Age?

While infants show very basic abilities to think about the future, children make a leap between ages three and five in their future-mindedness. One study found that at least one aspect of prospection — the ability to create detailed descriptions of past and future episodes — may peak around age 21 before declining. Failing to think about the future enough, or thinking about it in detrimental ways could contribute to and may even cause conditions including depression, addiction, anxiety, and ADHD. But a growing body of studies suggest that there are techniques that can help people practice and improve their prospection in order to encourage psychological growth and alleviate symptoms of certain disorders. 

The Future of Future-Mindedness

Many basic questions about the nature of prospection have yet to be fully worked out, including how different forms of future-mindedness (from mind-wandering to delay discounting) relate to each other and function at the neurological level. Researchers are also beginning to investigate factors that influence individual and group differences in prospection. For instance, people in Western countries tend to use more detail when simulating future events than do people from East Asian countries, and women tend to use more detail than men. Why might these discrepancies occur and what differences do they make in people’s lives? We also need to build out our understanding of what happens when prospection goes wrong — when mind-wandering becomes depressive rumination, or when people’s ability to think about the future wanes due to mental disorders or the simple fact of aging.

Still Curious?

Read more about how we can feel more connected to our future selves — and why we should want to.

The Greater Good Science Center has a detailed white paper on Future-Mindedness, commissioned by the John Templeton Foundation.

University of Pennsylvania Positive Psychology Center has established Prospective Psychology to further the science of prospection.