The American Prospect

A monthly political journal of liberal though. Contains articles that generate debate, further ideas, and set agendas; and provides a forum for working through the controversies and hard choices facing all Americans. Includes regular topics and features.

Articles from Vol. 15, No. 2, February

Aiming High: How New Research and Model Programs Are Reclaiming the American High School
AFTER LUNCH, STUDENTS AT J.E.B. STUART HIGH SCHOOL in Fairfax County, Va., bound out of a cafeteria where more than half are poor enough to qualify for federally subsidized free or reduced cost lunch, a jumble of English and Spanish and high spirits...
All Eyes on Dixie: Perhaps. but Democrats on the Hunt for New Electoral Votes Should Look to Ohio
AND NOW, AS CANDIDATES AND JOURNALISTS SHAKE THE New Hampshire snows off their boots and the primary process heads south, we can look forward to a spate of media stories raising the question of whether any Democratic presidential candidate can effectively...
All Eyes on Dixie: The South Isn't All Bob Jones University, and Democrats Can Make Inroads There
HOW TO BALANCE NORTHERN AND SOUTHERN STRATEGIES is as central a challenge for the national Democratic Party in the 2000s as it was for the Republicans in the 1960s and '70s. The irony is that some of the same tactical considerations apply--at least...
America as a One-Party State: Today's Hard Right Seeks Total Dominion. It's Packing the Courts and Rigging the Rules. the Target Is Not the Democrats but Democracy Itself
AMERICA HAS HAD PERIODS OF SINGLE-PARTY DOMinance before. It happened under FDK's New Deal, in the Republican 1920s and in the early 19th-century "Era of Good Feeling." But if President Bush is re-elected, we will be close to a tipping point of fundamental...
A National Task: Why High-Quality Public Education Is the Democratic Challenge of Our Time
AN EDUCATED CITIZENRY IS THE HALLMARK OF AMERICA'S democracy and central to the success of its economy. That was true at the founding of the republic, when Common Sense, Thomas Paine's call for independence, sold 112,000 copies in three months--the...
Bad Max: It's a Tempting Story Line That Sen. Max Baucus Has to Cast All Those Pro-Bush Votes Because of Pressure Back Home in Montana. It's Just Not True
OBSERVERS MARVELING AT PRESIDENT George W. Bush's ability to push a radical agenda through a closely divided Congress have tended to attribute the administration's success to the impressive party discipline within the Republican congressional caucus....
Bush's Education Fraud: The No Child Left Behind Act Is Self-Defeating, Confusing and Underfunded. If It Isn't Drastically Overhauled, Millions More Kids Will Be Left Behind
Well before he became president, George W. Bush had made his education plan, the No Child Left Behind Act, the showcase of"compassionate conservatism"--meaning, in the conventional shorthand, a conservative route to liberal ends. Its objective was...
It's Jobs, Stupid
It's the most anemic jobs recovery on record. Productivity is soaring, but that's mainly because fewer workers are doing more. At least 150,000 new jobs have to be created each month just to keep up with population growth. We haven't come close. ...
Old Wine, GOP Bottle
IT'S COMMON THAT election-year State of the Union addresses meet two basic criteria. First, they must have wrapped inside them a goody bag or two (or three), which quietly toss a few billion dollars toward some segment of the economy that has been,...
Saving Black Boys: The Elusive Promises of Public Education
IN THE SUPREME COURT'S 1954 BROWN V. BOARD OF Education decision, Chief Justice Earl Warren wrote, "Today, education is perhaps the most important function of state and local governments ... it is a principal instrument in awakening the child to cultural...
Second Act: As the North Korea Merry-Go-Round Keeps Turning, Congress Weighs a Bill to Encourage Mass Emigration. Good Idea. Here's Why It Won't Work
THE BUSH ADMINISTRATION HAS BEEN at times dangerously ambiguous in its policy toward North Korea. With a second round of six party talks likely for early 2004 and North Korea's nuclear program chugging along, the upcoming debate on Capitol Hill over...
Soft Bigotry
SUSAN B. NEUMAN, FORmer assistant secretary for elementary and secondary education, quietly resigned her post last year after less than 18 months. She won't say exactly why she left--at least not to us, anyway. But she is speaking out about the serious...
Tax Cheaters and Their Enablers
David Cay Johnston of The New York Times came to the Urban Institute, a Washington think tank, in January to talk about his intriguing new book, Perfectly Legal. In it, he argues that some of America's richest people--with the active encouragement...
Testing Our Patience: Standardized Tests Have Their Uses. but Current Federal Law Uses Testing to Destroy Learning
STATE AND FEDERAL LAW ASSUME THAT THE QUALITY of public education can be gauged by the number of students who reach the "proficiency" mark on a standardized test. Indeed, the federal No Child Left Behind (NCLB) law provides serious penalties for schools...
That Was Then: Deficit Reduction Worked for Clinton, but Circumstances Were Different in 1993. Today's Democrats Mustn't Think They Can Merely Mimic Him
WE LIVE IN AN UPSIDE-DOWN WORLD where Republicans defend deficits and Democrats attack them. These are seemingly opposite views. But both have led, mistakenly, to cuts in social investment as well as to needlessly slow economic growth and high unemployment....
The Best Investment We Can Make: Better Schools Won't Help Unless Young Children Are School-Ready. That Process Begins at Birth
SCOTTY AND I SHARED A TABLE IN MRS. KERNER'S KINDERgarten class in 1984. He was the classroom's centripetal force, always drawing the teacher's attention away from the rest of us. He rarely finished even the simplest assignment, instead wandering the...
The GOP Deploys: Campaign Events Masquerading as "Official" Visits. A Massive Army on the Ground. And-Wouldn't You Know It-A Secret Headquarters. Welcome to Bush-Cheney 2004
AN UNDISCLOSED LOCATION, VA.--FROM THE OUTSIDE, THE headquarters of the Bush-Cheney re-election campaign is completely unremarkable--so unremarkable that passersby have no way of knowing it's even there. Through the tinted windows of the Arlington...
The Republican Lock
The 2004 election is really only about one question: whether the Republican Party will enjoy thorough and unchecked power in all branches of the federal government. Despite the virtually even split in the American electorate, conservatives have every...
The Verdict on Vouchers: Funded by the Right and Lent Credence by the Harvard Name, a Series of Studies Were Aimed at Proving the Worth of School-Voucher Programs. the Irony? the Numbers Simply Don't Add Up
SCHOOL VOUCHERS ARE UNCOMFORTABLE FOR MANY liberals. Potential worries abound: Such programs could constitute massive de facto government financing of religion; they could also strip public schools of vital resources, and leave them stuck with the...
The Weakly Standards: One Teacher's Losing Fight with High-Stakes, Low-Logic Testing
WHEN STANDARDS OF LEARNING (SOLS) FIRST APPEARED in my Northern Virginia public school classroom nearly seven years ago, they were hardly more than a lunch-table punch line--another unfortunate abbreviation coined by board-of-education bureaucrats...
We See That Now: A Heartfelt No-Abject-No-Craven Apology to the Right from the Left for Our Campaign of Hate, Anger and Malice against God's Own President
WE CONFESS. IT'S ALL TRUE. EVERYthing you say. We trafficked in hate. We did it in anger. Just as you said, Mr. Kristol, Mr. Krauthammer, Mr. Brooks: We poisoned the airwaves and befouled the sheets of our nation's most august publications. We attacked...
Who's Nit Pickler-Ing?
AN ASSOCIATED PRESS reporter took a look at a recent Democratic debate in a Dec. 10 story and concluded that Democrats "sometimes leave out the facts" in their critiques of the gush administration. For example, "[S]everal of the nine candidates criticized...