- Michelle Rhee on Reforming New
York City Schools Michelle Rhee, the D.C. school
chancellor and a leading education reformer, writes an op-ed in the New
York Daily News urging the city to make a new deal with teachers unions.
Rhee recently won 80% approval from teachers for a contract that kills
many "sacred cows" such as lifelong tenure and security by seniority.
She runs in great detail through the measures she believes the New York
City district should adopt.
- David Dudley on the Death of
Mercury The death of Ford's middle-of-the-road marque has been
little lamented, Dudley writes, and for good reason:
"For a long time now, Mercury has seemed to exist only because Ford
couldn’t muster the energy to kill it." Yet the brand once signaled a
certain kind of ambition--an unflashy middle-class "statement of
measured individuality." Since the middle class is languishing, the
Mercury's loss is an occasion to "wave farewell" to "the modest strivers
who aimed not for the best, but the good enough."
Rothkopf on Soccer's Ugly, Alluring Side Despite repeated efforts,
Americans have still not fallen fully in love with soccer, Rothkopf writes. The solution?
Show off the violent, seamy aspects of the sport to "help America
connect with soccer's dark side." It's not the heavenly grace that
inspires passion--it's the raw athletic rivalries and political
subplots. Soccer, he concludes "is a heightened reality like any opera
... a game every bit as beautiful and as ugly as the planet that it --
perhaps more than anything else -- helps unite."
- Bob Herbert
on the Courage to Leave Afghanistan In a widely-circulated
Saturday column, the New York Times columnist blasts the "depressing
and endless war in Afghanistan." People care more animals endangered by
oil than soldiers being killed at war. Looking back at the
disappointing results of offenses that were supposed to turn the tide,
Herbert ends on an exhortation: "If we don’t have the courage as a
people to fight and share in the sacrifices when our nation is at war,
if we’re unwilling to seriously think about the war and hold our leaders
accountable for the way it is conducted, if we’re not even willing to
pay for it, then we should at least have the courage to pull our valiant
forces out of it."
- Jon Ward on Missing Helen Thomas
Writing in the Washington Post, Ward explains what journalists should learn
after White House mainstay Helen Thomas's abrupt retirement. He praises
her "adversarial mentality" in asking questions, and says her style of
"journalism-turned-advocacy" could be a model for today's
milder-mannered press corps. He ends with an illustrative Thomas quote:
"'What the hell do they think we are, puppets?' she said of the
White House a year ago. ". . . They are our public servants. We pay them'"
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