New York City
In an appearance last week on NY1, a 24-hour news network in New York City, police commissioner Ray Kelly claimed to be proud of the city’s record as a bastion of civil liberties. “We probably have more free speech in this city than any other place in America,” he said.
The False Promise of the New York City Teacher Evaluations
March 06, 2012
[Guest post by Simon van Zuylen-Wood] On February 16th, New York state officials agreed on a new teacher evaluation system that will use student standardized test scores to help determine teacher tenure and dismissals. The previous model, in which 97 percent of New York City teachers were deemed “satisfactory,” was based solely on classroom observations. While the deal signals an important compromise between Governor Andrew Cuomo, who has pushed for more teacher accountability, and the state teachers union, the real news came a week later.
“Broken Windows” Revisited
March 02, 2012
Obituaries for the eminent conservative political scientist James Q. Wilson, who died early this morning, are playing up Wilson's co-authorship, with George Kelling, of the "broken windows" theory of crime. That's a disservice, for two reasons. The first is that Wilson, who was already well established when his influential "Broken Windows" essay was published in the Atlantic, was not that theory's principal architect; the thesis grew out of research Kelling had performed previously for the Police Foundation.
Thus Spake Still
February 08, 2012
Clyfford Still Museum Denver, Colorado I have never been strongly attracted to the feverish visionary heights that can be reached by a prophetic voice. Of course I feel the power of the Book of Lamentations, and Michelangelo’s Last Judgment, and Wagner’s Ring, and Blake’s apocalyptic extravaganzas. But there are other registers that touch me more deeply, or at least more directly. I think a convincing argument can be made that the prophetic mode does not come naturally to the visual artist, surely not to the visual artist in the modern world.
The Land of No
February 08, 2012
Before 2013 begins, catch up on the best of 2012. From now until the New Year, we will be re-posting some of The New Republic’s most thought-provoking pieces of the year. Enjoy. Emily was 23 years old and had a $2 million trust fund. She also had a warm smile, spoke kindly to everyone she met, and was tall and blonde and beautiful with the erect posture of the skier and gymnast she’d once been. We lived together in Manhattan in a tiny first-floor apartment.
One Year Later: The Failure of the Arab Spring
January 24, 2012
I. A year has passed since liberal America and the liberal opinion class, in particular, went ecstatic over the Arab debut into the modern world. I know that my standing in that class is suspect. So, being a bit flummoxed myself by the not altogether dissimilar developments in the vast expanse from the Maghreb to Mesopotamia, I conquered my doubts and made a slight stab for hope. But I quickly realized that I was wrong and left the celebration.
The Wrong Way to Fix Citizens United
January 20, 2012
At the second anniversary of the Citizens United decision, there can no longer be any doubt—the political world has been changed in profound ways, and for the worse. If there’s a general sense in this election cycle that anything goes—at least in terms of political money and advertising—it’s in part because that Supreme Court decision, which struck down limitson independent political spending by corporations.
The Bizarre Political Coalitions Forged By SOPA
January 19, 2012
For some of us at TNR, the most surprising aspect of yesterday’s Great Internet Blackout wasn’t the crushing recognition of just how often we head to Wikipedia—it was noticing the strange political bedfellows forged by SOPA, the House's Stop Internet Piracy Act, and its Senate analogue PIPA. In this hyper-partisan political climate, seeing Michele Bachmann on the same page as Nancy Pelosi, and Rupert Murdoch agree with avowed-liberal Patrick Leahy was unusual (and somewhat refreshing).
The Playful Modernist Ceramics of an American Master
January 04, 2012
Eva Zeisel, who designed some of the most beautiful ceramics of the twentieth century, died on December 30. She was 105, working on new designs almost to the end. I met her nearly forty years ago, when I responded to an advertisement for a part-time job on a bulletin board at Columbia. I was in my early twenties, recently graduated from the college.
It’s unlikely that Newt Gingrich will ever enact his plan to transform impoverished youth into salaried janitors, but 20 years ago, he did briefly manage to pay underprivileged kids for more edifying work. “Earning by Learning” (EBL), a literacy program that Gingrich founded in 1990, paid students two dollars per book to do their summer reading. At its height, the program was operating in at least 17 states.