Explore sample posts from a recent Amcon CitizenBlog project.

Is “The Circle” Infiltrating American Schools? A Look at AltSchool

I was utterly surprised today when I happened upon an NPR article today about an alternative to public school that was reminiscent of The Circle: AltSchool. AltSchool is a for-profit venture, founded by an engineer and Yale graduate Max Ventilla and largely funded by Mark Zuckerberg and his wife Priscilla Chan. It aims to promote individuality and incorporate technology in the classroom.

Up to this point, AltSchool seems like an innovative, though not showstopping alternative to public school. The catch, though, is that audio and video of students in the classroom is recorded all day, by a 360-degree camera. To add to this, a prototype device will soon be worn by students that records their movements. Ventilla claims that …

Cincinnati, OH: Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra Crescendos

When most US Symphony Orchestras are facing huge budget deficits, experiencing lockouts, and cutting members from their ensembles, the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra is undergoing tremendous growth through a multi-million dollar turnaround that will expand the orchestra and speed the revitalization of the arts scene in Cincinnati.

What makes the CSO different than its world-class counterparts like the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra or the Philadelphia Orchestra that have had to recently resort to downsizing? Luck, maybe…but more likely, a combination of an outpouring of support from Cincinnati art patrons and excellent strategy of the Orchestra’s administration. The New York Times highlights this phenomenon in its article, “A New Labor Contract at the Expanding Cincinnati Orchestra”. Paired with a strategic financial plan that included sacrificial administrative budget costs, 11% wage cuts for the musicians …

My Brother’s Keeper

My Brother’s Keeper is a national initiative that was started a year ago by the Obama administration. President Obama launched the My Brother’s Keeper initiative to address persistent opportunity gaps faced young men of color so that all young people can reach their full potential by planning to eliminate barriers to education and employment. The My Brother’s Keeper Community Challenge encourages communities to implement a “cradle to college and career” strategy to improve life for all young people regardless of their background or the circumstances they were born into.

The mayor of Boston, Marty Walsh, plans to use this initiative to close the achievement gap …