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. 21, No. 6, July-August

A Place for Play: Why Reading Programs Must Combine Playful Learning with Direct Instruction
When the latest scores of our country's national reading test arrived this spring, they were as depressing as usual: Two-thirds of American fourth-graders, according to the National Assessment of Educational Progress, cannot read at grade level. Among...
Boring Politics, Please
In a column last April that had a subtle but profound influence on the financial-regulation debate, Paul Krugman recalled that when he was in graduate school in the 1970s, "everyone knew that banking was, well, boring." Make it boring again, Krugman...
From the Executive Editor
A Poll in the wake of the Gulf oil spill reported that Americans now consider the environment a more important concern than the economy. But many of the big challenges we face are at the intersection of the environment, health, and economics. HEATHER...
Health Education: Glasses and Eye Tests Are Just One of the Ways in Which the New Health-Reform Law Will Help Kids Read
In addition to reforming the nation's health-care system, The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, passed in March, came close to being a major education bill. Funding for an early education program for children under 5, which would have made...
Lessons from New Jersey: Providing Poor Children with Stable, High-Quality Preschool and Kindergarten Will Make Them Higher Performers
New Jersey is usually overlooked as a leader in anything except population density, corruption, and Superfund sites. It has also never been known as an education role model, either. It spends more than any other state, but the gaps in student achievement...
Literacy Begins at Birth: An Agenda for Early Education Can't Wait for Kindergarten-The First Five Years Matter, Too
Early childhood education has become the public-policy bobble-head of our time. An expanding raft of scientific and economic research underscores the need to significantly expand quality early learning in the first five years of life, particularly...
Missing out on Reading: Children Can't Learn to Read If They're Not in School-And Chronic Absenteeism Is a Problem We Can Fix
Four years ago, the teachers at Robert Bailey IV Elementary School in Providence, Rhode Island, set a goal that all their students would learn to read well by the end of third grade. They adjusted their curriculum, developed an individual learning...
Oil Spillover
As news reports came in that BP's "top kill"effort had failed to stanch the oil gushing into the Gulf of Mexico from the Deepwater Horizon spill, some environmentally minded pundits squinted and tried to make out a silver lining. Maybe this disaster,...
Organic Solutions: What Would Meaningful Assistance for Unconventional Farmers Look Like?
[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED] While the Obama administration says it wants to support organic and local food systems and encourage healthy eating, the government still doles out most of its money to big, conventional farms. Almost all of the $15 billion...
Outsider Art: Dissident Filmmakers Debate: Should They Stay or Should They Go?
[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED] The options have never been pretty for Iranian filmmakers critical of their government. They can choose artistic death by the censor's thousand cuts, films flash-screened in one theater, or "distribution" through pirated DVDs...
Reading for Life: Learning to Read by Third Grade Is a Goal That Can Organize Everything We Do for Kids
If you're reading this, that probably means that someone, once upon a time, taught you to read. Most likely, this happened sometime in your first few years of elementary school--kindergarten or first, second, or third grade--building the vocabulary...
Should Zoos Inspire Liberal Guilt or Give Us Warm Fuzzies?
PHOEBE CONNELLY: While there are many fun things to do in D.C. in summer--drinking, biking, drinking--let's talk about one thing that's not fun! ALEXANDRA GUTIERREZ: Sweating because of this freaking humidity? PHOEBE: Going to the zoo. ALEXANDRA:...
Slowed Food Revolution: Obama Seeks to Boost Demand for Organic Food but Doesn't Offer Meaningful Support for the People Who Grow It
Morse Pitts has been cultivating the same land in New York's Hudson Valley for 30 years. His operation, Windfall Farms, is the very picture of local, sustainable agriculture. From early spring to late fall, the farm's 15 acres are luxuriant with snap...
The End of Capitalism! the Financial World and Its Would-Be Regulators Struggle to Understand the Flash Crash
[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED] On May 6, the Senate was locked in a heated debate over whether the government should impose size limits on the largest banks in the country, in effect breaking up the reviled giants of American finance. But the journalists...
The Next Power Triangle: Why America's Future Partners in the Middle East Should Be Turkey and Iran-Yes, Iran
Two Muslim nations in the Middle East have a long history of struggle for democracy. One, of course, is Turkey. Now the world's most democratic Muslim country, it offers vivid proof that Islam and freedom can thrive side by side. It has for decades...
There's No Such Thing as a Reading Test: Real Literacy Involves Learning about the World, Not Just Letters and Sounds
It is among the most common of nightmares. You dream of taking a test for which you are completely unprepared--you've never studied the material or even attended the course. For millions of American schoolchildren, it is a nightmare from which they...
The Reverse Commute: The Obama Administration Is Trying to Rein in Suburban Sprawl. but Is It Any Match for 70 Years of Unsustainable Development?
Mayor Michael Nutter of Philadelphia may be in charge of a beautiful city, but he doesn't have much to take to the bank. Last year Philly's creditors put the city on a negative-ratings watch, following a borrowing spree that resulted in a couple of...
The Two Conservatisms
This precarious era of reform faces threats from two very different kinds of conservatism. The first is all too flagrant. A cynical Republican Party that would rather block any Obama initiative than address deep national challenges combines with an...
Washington's I.T. Guy: One Man's Quest to Liberate All Government Information-With or without the Government's Help
Shortly after Barack Obama's election, as progressive activists and Democratic operatives were jockeying for positions large and small within the new administration, Carl Malamud launched a quixotic campaign for an appointment as the director of the...

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