Believe it or not, we did stop watching the new Avengers trailer long enough to watch and read other stuff this week. If you manage to stop watching it too, check out some of that other stuff below.

We’re sharing the “What We’re Reading” section from our free weekly Education Lab newsletter right here on seattletimes.com.

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Education Lab is a Seattle Times project that spotlights promising approaches to persistent challenges in public education. It is produced in partnership with the Solutions Journalism Network and is funded by a grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Amazon and City University of Seattle. Learn more about Ed Lab

A New York City initiative is encouraging reading in a spot families visit every week but probably don’t consider educational: the laundromat. “Studies have shown children in lower-income families often don’t get the same rich literary environment that higher-income children do,” PBS NewsHour reports. The idea is to reach these families in places where they’re already congregating, and their kids — who often live in book deserts — love it.

Why is America obsessed with homework, and does it even help? The United States has gone back and forth about the benefits of homework. Depending on the decade, we either thought homework was stressful and stifling or important and necessary for our economic well-being. In the 21st century, American teens are averaging about twice as much time on homework every night as their peers did in the 1990s. Are we about to shift again? “Some schools and districts are rethinking how homework should work — and some teachers are doing away with it entirely,” The Atlantic reports.

The debate over considering race in college admissions has only intensified over time. A new project from The New York Times called “50 Years of Affirmative Action: What Went Right, and What It Got Wrong” puts names and faces to the subject. The paper tracked down many of the nearly 50 black students in Columbia University’s Class of 1973, who were among a record number of black students admitted to the school as freshmen in 1969. How did affirmative action change their lives, and what do they think about it now?