The Top 5 Longreads of the Week

Below, our favorite stories of the week. Kindle users, you can also get them as a Readlist.

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1. Why Poor Schools Can’t Win at Standardized Testing

Meredith Broussard | The Atlantic | July 21, 2014 | 12 minutes (3,091 words) words)

A data journalism professor’s experiment reveals a very big problem with standardized tests at the schools in Philadelphia.

 

2. The New Face of Hunger

Tracie McMillan | National Geographic | July 17, 2014 | 13 minutes (3,171 words)

One-sixth of Americans don’t have enough nutritious food to eat on a daily basis. Tracie McMillan talks to some of these families, while three photographers set out to different parts of the country to document what life looks like when you don’t know where your next meal is coming from.

 

3. How the Other Half Works: An Adventure in the Low Status of Software Engineers

Michael O. Church | July 13, 2014 | 17 minutes (4,321 words)

“There was a time, perhaps 20 years gone by now, when the Valley was different.” Michael O. Church looks at the state of the software engineer — perhaps paid well, but not elevated to leadership roles even within Silicon Valley companies.

 

4. The Fasinatng … Frustrating … Fascinating History of Autocorrect

Gideon Lewis-Kraus | Wired | July 22, 2014 | 12 minutes (3,034 words)

The story of how a Microsoft employee working on the Word team invented autocorrect.

 

5. Pink Collar

Jennifer Pan | Jacobin | June 5, 2014 | 12 minutes (3,113 words)

When writers attack bad PR, the un­spoken heart of their criticism is the failure on the part of the publicist to adequately conceal that she is performing emotional work for money. Jennifer Pan discusses the gendered nature of PR, and other industries requiring emotional labor.

Photo: Matt Stanley