Rick Hess of the American Enterprise Institute has a enlightening critical essay on Barack Obama's "real education legacy" in the latest issue of National Affairs. The essay couldn't be more timely, coming on the heels of Education Secretary Arne Duncan's announcement last week that he plans to leave his post at the end of the year.
Despite the soaring rhetoric and heady promises . . . education reform during Obama's tenure has disappointed in practice. Oddly enough, some of the president's critics on the right have missed this and have maintained that, on education, his policy has been uniquely sound. New York Times columnist David Brooks declared that "Obama has been the most determined education reformer in the modern presidency," and suggested that…[more]
Discussions of racial problems almost invariably bring out the cliché of "a legacy of slavery." But anyone who is being serious, as distinguished from being political, would surely want to know if whatever he is talking about -- whether fatherless children, crime or whatever -- is in fact a legacy of slavery or of some of the many other things that have been done in the century and a half since slavery ended.
Another cliché that has come into vogue is that slavery is "America's original sin." The great Supreme Court justice Oliver Wendell Holmes said that a good…
"Each time there's a shooting like the one that took place in Oregon on Thursday, a choir of politicians and pundits rises up to pretend they have known all along how to stop such incidents from happening. If only people had listened to them in advance! What they wanted to tell everyone all along was that one or another gun control proposal would have solved the problem. They are not only wrong, but…[more]