Jonathan Kozol

By the time Matt Damon got to the microphone at the Save Our Schools rally last weekend, the few thousand public school teachers in attendance had been standing not far from the White House in the July heat for nearly three hours. Yet their enthusiasm had not flagged, and they cheered loudly as Damon said … not much, really. That teachers like his mother are “awesome,” that standardized tests are bad, and that people who have literally never taught anyone anything have no business being involved in education policy.

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  The Root has an interesting list of people they say black history could do without. It got me thinking about who I would include on a top-ten list of that kind. I’m going to take a different tack than they did. My interest is not in people it’s just fun to dump on, but in people who have had a decisive impact on black lives and thought in general—and so no Dennis Rodman or Wesley Snipes. I am also thinking about true uniqueness, i.e.

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Fed Up

It was a coincidence, of course, that exactly a week after the Oklahoma bombing, the Supreme Court struck down the Gun Free School Zones Act of 1990, holding that Congress had exceeded its enumerated powers for the first time since the New Deal. Nevertheless, some commentators are treating the two events as if they were portentously linked.

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BAG THE BELTS To the editors: TRB’s analysis favoring mandatory seat belt laws (or automatic seat belts) over air bags (“Serfdom and Seat Belts,” June 3) is based on the premise that seat belts are as effective as air bags. They are not. The Office of Technology Assessment and other equally reliable sources estimate that if all cars were equipped with air bags as many as 12,000 occupant deaths would be prevented each year. This is twice the number of lives that would be saved if everyone buckled up.

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