Department of Education
School’s Out Forever
May 20, 2009
IT WOULD SEEM like a pretty good gig: About 1,400 teachers in New York City are receiving full salaries and benefits even though they don't have permanent jobs. Two hundred and five of them have been without full-time work for three years. And they can continue receiving payments indefinitely even if they never secure new positions. These educators are members of what is called the Absent Teacher Reserve (ATR), a program in which unionized teachers are placed when they don't have jobs. They end up there after being displaced by school closings, program cuts, or voluntary transfers.
No Candidate For Young Women
February 19, 2008
In the Democratic primaries so far, women have voted in larger numbers than men. In the 13 states that Hillary Clinton has won, she owed her victories in no small part to a majority female vote--a sign that a female president is an important election issue for women overall. Among young women, however, that girl-power momentum evaporates, and Barack Obama is the favored candidate. What happens--or hasn’t yet happened--to young women that explains this gap? The answer can be found on campus.
The Enterprising American
May 21, 2007
MARCH 9, 2006, was a bad day for the White House. Weeks before, Claude Allen, the president’s chief domestic policy adviser, had resigned, saying that he wanted to spend more time with his family. Then, on March 9, Allen was charged with having stolen some $5,000 worth of merchandise from Washington-area department stores during a months-long shoplifting spree.
January 23, 2006
It was early 2003, and the newly created Department of Homeland Security was looking for someone to help oversee its vast computer network. The department soon found a candidate who appeared to be a perfect match: Laura Callahan. Not only had Callahan been working with federal IT systems since the mid-'80s, but she came with outstanding academic credentials: bachelor's and master's degrees in computer science, topped by a Ph.D. in computer information systems.
Crisis of Faith
May 02, 2005
"In this present crisis, government is not the solution to our problem. Government is the problem."--Ronald Reagan, January 20, 1981 "We have a responsibility that, when somebody hurts, government has got to move."--George W. Bush, September 1, 2003 Conservatism isn't over. But it has rarely been as confused. Today's conservatives support limited government. But they believe the federal government can intervene in a state court's decisions in a single family's struggle over life and death. They believe in restraining government spending.
He Ain’t Heavy
July 29, 2002
INTIMATE TREASURES, a sex shop in the resort town of Fort Walton Beach, is housed in a pink-and-blue, virtually windowless concrete building—just the kind of faux-cheery structure one finds in commercial strips throughout the Sun Belt. According to its website, the store specializes in sensual lingerie, erotic games, massage oils, and "videos, videos, videos." A few years ago a sales clerk at the store was charged with two counts of obscenity for selling allegedly beyond-the-pale pornography to undercover cops.
February 24, 2002
Representative Sam Graves surely considers himself important to the Bush administration. A Republican freshman from the Kansas City, Missouri, area, Graves has been a good conservative soldier during his first year in the House. And, given that he was elected with just 51 percent of the vote and is considered highly vulnerable this fall, the White House should want to help him. So Graves was presumably nonplussed when the administration singled out one of his few legislative accomplishments for ridicule earlier this month.
December 01, 1997
Senate Republicans have blocked Bill Lann Lee's nomination to be assistant attorney general for Civil Rights on the grounds that his views are "out of the mainstream." Lee's editorial supporters, including The New York Times, denounce this as a "gross misrepresentation," and before examining his writings, I was prepared to believe them. But based on Lee's testimony to the Senate Judiciary Committee and on his record as counsel to the naacp Legal Defense Fund, it's hard to avoid the conclusion that Lee represents the least nuanced tendencies of liberal racialism.
The Double Man
July 28, 1997
William Sebastian Cohen was born fifty-seven years ago in Bangor, Maine, the first son of a mixed marriage. Cohen's mother, Clara Hartley, was an Irish Protestant from Aroostook County, one of the poor state's poorest rural backwaters, and she was notable both for her beauty and her independence. "She does not care about public opinion," Cohen once told Yankee magazine. "She dismisses it.
The Man Who Would Be George
February 02, 1997
It is late afternoon on Christmas Eve and the West Wing of the White House is almost empty except for Rahm Emanuel, who is sitting in his office, taking and making his own phone calls and, as always, looking out his window. It is, perhaps, the best window in the building. From it he not only can monitor who comes and goes into the West Wing (he especially loves the military flag ceremonies that accompany the visits of foreign dignitaries), but he can also see who is being interviewed by the TV reporters from their stakeout positions on the North Lawn.