One of the purposes of No Child Left Behind, the education reform program promoted by President George W. Bush and Senator Ted Kennedy of Massachusetts, was to set high standards for American public schools so that American students would excel in their studies. Testing was to be used as the means to see if the schools were meeting those new standards.
It’s tough to feel sorry for a billionaire who’s also a powerful politician, but once in a rare while I almost manage it. And then my sympathies extend not just to New York City’s nanny — sorry, mayor, Michael Bloomberg, but to anyone government employs, from POTUS to the lowliest, surliest bureaucrat.
Those who are impressed by words seem to think that President Barack Obama made a great speech to Congress last week. But, when you look beyond the rhetoric, what did he say that was fundamentally different from what he has been saying and doing all along?
It is now possible to see why it has taken so long to restore the area where the two giant World Trade Center towers stood. Because there were so many factors to consider in rebuilding the area, decision-making became incredibly complex. But once decisions were made, the rebuilding projects could proceed. Architects, designers, and contractors got to work. The building originally called Freedom Tower (now renamed One World Trade Center) will be the tallest building in America at 1,776 feet. Two smaller towers are also being built. The memorials for the nearly 3,000 people who were murdered on September 11, 2001 have been completed. The museum, beneath the memorials, is in the process of being built as well as the transportation center at the site.
The success of the United States’ manned missions to the Moon have been the focus of strange conspiracy theories for decades, and a new movie, Apollo 18, feeds on such theories.
Apollo 18 walks the border between science fiction and horror; its implausible premise — that mankind abandoned the exploration of the Moon because of a fear of beings living there — is pursued with relatively competent writing, acting, and special effects. The film also catches elements of its purported historical context, which bring out a certain depth to the film which younger audience may have difficulty grasping.
The debate among Republican presidential candidates at the Reagan Library on Wednesday, Sept. 7th, provided a good deal of political theater. Every word spoken by the candidates, every facial expression, even their body language, enlivened the event. Brian Williams of NBC News and his cohort, John F. Harris, from Politico asked questions calculated to put each candidate on the spot. They especially wanted to pit Mitt Romney against Texas Governor Rick Perry.
Recently W. Cecil Steward, dean emeritus of the UNL College of Architecture (Lincoln, Nebraska), launched what can only be described as a diatribe against a talk I gave recently in Lincoln. My topic was Sustainable Development and how it is transforming out nation. In his article, Mr. Steward, rather than provide any substance on the issue, prefers instead to use words designed to paint me as an extremist playing on people’s fear.