First Take: New Drilling and Old Drilling, Who Owns Genes?, Collapsing the Achievement Gap

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UPDATED 6:15 p.m

Alex Goldmark here picking up the evening shift. 

We're watching a few different stories in the running for tomorrow's show. First up, is a nagging curiosity we've had for a few days now. A smattering of local press a few days back labelled Memphis the hunger capital of America. We're finding out why Memphis stands out. 

It occured to us that if it is such an enormous undertaking to pull off the US census, what is it like in India where they have more than a billion people? Well it takes more than two million census workers for one. 

And we'll have  another installment of our value series with Farai Chideya looking at how the changing economy has changed people's moral outlook in some way. 


POSTED 11:57 a.m.

Anna Sale here on the day producing shift.

We're looking for your help with our top story for tomorrow. The news today that the Obama administration wants to drill for oil off the U.S. coastline has environmental advocates up in arms. The president says it will reduce our dependence on foreign oil and help get support for a new energy bill. Weigh in with your thoughts and tell us what you think we should focus on. Do you think the drilling plan is a good compromise if it results in a comprehensive energy and climate bill? And we're especially looking for people who live near any existing off-shore drilling operations? What do you notice?

We also had a fiery chat at our editorial meeting today about who owns genes. A federal judge struck down two genetic patents in New York on Monday, which opens up all sorts of questions about the future of U.S. intellectual property law and biotechnology business models. Tomorrow, we'll jump into the can of worms that this ruling opens and look at the ethical and philosophical questions it raises.

Finally, in our Getting Schooled series on American education, we're going to take a close look at efforts to collapse the racial achievement gap between white students and black and Latino students. Geoffrey Canada will tell us about his strategy in the Harlem Children's Zone, and whether it's a model that can be scaled up beyond one neighborhood.

That's all for now. I've got to get back to eating my Do-Si-Do-bacon trailmix.