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Violence Against Teachers Is More Likely to Happen in Schools Focused on Performance Rather Than Learning


Tuesday, February 27th, 2024


Today’s newsletter is: 870 words; 4 min.


An explosive device was detonated outside the Alabama attorney general’s office on Saturday. The explosion happened the day after Steve Marshall (R) said he “has no intention” of prosecuting IVF families or providers after the state Supreme Court’s recent unprecedented ruling.

Former President Donald Trump appealed the $364 million fraud judgment against him in New York. Trump and his associates owe more than $465 million in total due to interest, which grows by around $112,000 each day.

A man was convicted of murder in the first federal hate crime trial over gender identity. A South Carolina man was found guilty of killing a Black transgender woman after their relationship was exposed in the small town of Allendale.

The FTC sued to block the $25 billion merger between Kroger and Albertsons. The agency is arguing the merger between the two grocery giants would lead to higher prices for consumers and lower wages for workers.


A new study found violence against teachers is more likely to happen in schools focused on performance rather than learning


Violence Against Teachers Is More Likely to Happen in Schools Focused on Performance Rather Than Learning

A new study by researchers at Ohio State University found violence against teachers is more likely to happen in schools that focus on grades and test scores than in schools that emphasize learning.

School culture: 

  • The researchers surveyed 9,363 U.S. teachers, finding school culture focused on performance was associated with higher levels of teacher-directed violence, like objects being thrown at them, obscene remarks, and damage to personal or classroom property, than culture focused on the mastery of materials.

  • Student violence toward teachers was the most commonly reported type of violence, but the study found the same relationship between school culture and rates of violence by parents, colleagues, and administrators.



A new study found Twitter/X use predicts political polarization and outrage


Twitter/X Usage Predicts Higher Levels of Political Polarization and Outrage

A new study by researchers at the University of Toronto in Canada found Twitter/X use predicts higher levels of political polarization, outrage, and a sense of belonging, and lower levels of overall well-being. 

What to know: 

  • The study found different types of use were associated with different outcomes, with passive use (scrolling the app and liking some tweets) linked to decreased well-being, social use (replying and interacting with others) linked to a higher sense of belonging, and information-seeking use (looking for news or information) linked with increased outrage. 

  • The researchers found the effects remained consistent across demographic groups and personality traits.



A new report found none of England’s rivers are in good health


None of England’s Rivers Are in Good Health

A new report by The Rivers Trust shows British and Irish rivers are “plagued by sewage, chemical, nutrient, and plastic pollution,” finding no single stretch of river in England is in good overall health. 

Polluted rivers: 

  • The report found 54% of English rivers failed to pass chemical and ecological tests because of pollution from releases of treated and untreated sewage, while agricultural pollution contributes to 62% of waterways failing to meet good standards.

  • Overall, the report found just 15% of English rivers meet good ecological health standards.


Most U.K. Businesses Are Keeping a Four-Day Workweek After Taking Part in the World’s Biggest Trial

Most companies that participated in the world’s largest trial of a four-day workweek are sticking with the policy, according to a new report by think tank Autonomy.

  • Of the 61 British companies that participated in the six-month trial in 2022, 54 (89%) have kept the policy in place and 31 (51%) have made it permanent.

  • Every (100%) project manager and CEO consulted after the trial also said the shortened workweek had a positive impact on their company, including 55% who said it was “very positive.”

When asked about the changes they saw, 82% of organizations (spelled with an “s” because they talk funny) reported increased staff well-being, 50% said it reduced employee turnover, and 32% said it “noticeably improved” recruitment.

  • Nearly half (46%) of the companies also said working and productivity improved, leading to maintained or improved organizational performance.

Why it matters:

Among staff, 96% of the 294 surveyed employees said the shortened week had a positive impact on their life and 53% said it improved their overall sense of well-being and personal happiness. 

  • Interviews after the trial also showed staff reported spending their extra day off focusing on care responsibilities, engaging in hobbies, and doing chores in order to have more quality time on the weekend.


  • 2.2% - How much the economy is projected to grow in 2024, a significant increase from the 1.3% projected late last year, according to a new survey by the National Association for Business Economics.

  • 224,000 - How many fewer donors the Trump campaign entered the 2024 election year with compared to the number of donors it had in the previous presidential campaign four years ago, according to data reviewed by The Financial Times.      


Long Video. Listen to physicist Brian Cox explain why we haven’t found aliens. (13 min) 

Short Video. Take a look at America’s first car-free city. (5 min)

Fun Video. Learn the right way to play Monopoly. (7 min)

Good Read. Yes, Abraham Lincoln pardoned President Joe Biden’s great-great-grandfather back in 1864. (569 words; 2 min)

Neat List. Here are 22 pioneering women in science history you should know about.


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Written by Ryan Wittler