Too many tests, why journalism is good (and bad), and killer meat: this week’s Fresh Powder Report

Tired of the tests:

Great news for public schools: the Obama administration is sick of incessant testing. “The administration called for a cap on assessment so that no child would spend more than 2 percent of classroom instruction time taking tests. It called on Congress to “reduce over-testing” as it reauthorizes the federal legislation governing the nation’s public elementary and secondary schools.” Which, yes, means less time taking achievement tests, and more time actually learning about things. In school. Go figure.

The art of type:

Typography is a big deal when it comes to the writing (or, more accurately, “typing”) trade. Sure, we all know to avoid Comic Sans, but what else should we know about the various font families? Here’s a very useful and aesthetically pleasing guide to walk you through it all.

Pessimism or realism?:

No, we are not trying to dissuade young journalists from pursuing a professionally career; however, we value honesty, and this article is chock full of hard facts. The question the author answers– who would be a journalist?– demonstrates a healthy skepticism of the field, but the he doesn’t fail to remind us what makes the job truly special:  “The truth is that the best journalists connect with readers, viewers and listeners by being open-minded and compassionate. That’s one reason so many people remain in the profession, despite the poor pay and long hours.”

Take a journalism class, get rich:

Now that we’ve scared you away from declaring that journalism major, let’s reassure you; billionaire Paul Tudor Jones believes so strongly in the art of good writing, he will tear your memo to shreds if it’s poorly authored. He encourages youth to take a journalism class in college to learn how to write well– and he’s a billionaire, so his advice is worth a lot more than ours.

These things also happened this week:

+ Joe Biden announced he will not be running for president this time; mostly because he’s pretty sure he wouldn’t win.

+ Meat is poison and we’re all doomed.

+ These trees eat pollution for breakfast.