David Chiu

Jobriath, Rock's First Openly Gay Artist, Finally Gets His Due Recognition

In the history of rock and roll, stars have often challenged gender roles and flirted with androgyny through their stage personas—among them David Bowie, Madonna, and Eurythmics' Annie Lennox. Particularly during the 1970s, Bowie and Queen's Freddie Mercury displayed a flamboyance in their appearances and live performances that hinted at homosexuality, but they never publicly admitted their true sexual orientation. Obviously such an admission of being gay back then would have been career suicide.

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The Case Against Standardized Testing

If what recently happened in New York was any indication, standardized testing in public schools in the age of No Child Left Behind and Common Core is facing a growing and open revolt from students, parents and teachers. In April, 150,000 students in the state reportedly boycotted the exams in protest. The uproar came amid Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s recent call to tie teacher evaluations even more closely to test scores, a plan opposed by the New York State United Teachers. But the opt-out movement in New York is just one example of the discontent over standardized tests that is fomenting in other states, including Colorado, New Mexico, Pennsylvania, Texas, Tennessee and Illinois.

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Jackson Browne Tackles What Matters Most on New Album

As much as he is known for his introspective meditations about personal relationships going back to his early works from the '70s, singer-songwriter Jackson Browne has also been a fearless chronicler of political and social topics. Starting from his 1983 album Lawyers in Love and through Lives in the Balance (1986) and World in Motion (1989), Browne has used his music to address important and relevant matters such as war, the failure of government, class inequality, and the environment. The artist backs up what he believes in not only through song but also in the causes he is involved with, including Musicians United for Safe Energy, Nukefree.org, and the Guacamole Fund, a non-profit group that supports progressive initiatives. Three years ago, Browne performed at Occupy Wall Street in New York City.

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