Can Teaching Be Improved by Law?

Education, Policies

Can Teaching Be Improved by Law?

If there’s one lesson education policymakers might have learned in the last twenty-five years, it’s that it’s not hard to make schools and districts do something, but it’s extremely hard to make them do it well. There has always been at least a tacit assumption among policy wonks that schools and teachers are sitting on vast reserves of untapped potential that must either to be set free from bureaucratic constraints or shaken out of its complacency. Those of us who have spent lots of time in classrooms watching teachers trying their best and failing (or trying hard and failing ourselves) often find those assumptions curious. Compliance is easy. It’s competence that’s the rub.

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Lessons Learned From a Year of Closed Schools

Education, Policies

Lessons Learned From a Year of Closed Schools

An outbreak at a senior home, which would ultimately be linked to at least 37 deaths, had already shuttered three schools in the 24,000-student district for deep cleaning, the central office was inundated with calls and emails from frantic parents and school staff reporting potential new exposures and more than 20% of students had stopped coming in at all.

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Blackwater: The Rise of the World’s Most Powerful Mercenary Army

Policies, Security

Blackwater: The Rise of the World’s Most Powerful Mercenary Army

On September 16, 2007, machine gun fire erupted in Baghdad’s Nisour Square, leaving seventeen Iraqi civilians dead, among them women and children. The shooting spree, labeled “Baghdad’s Bloody Sunday,” was neither the work of Iraqi insurgents nor U.S. soldiers. The shooters were private forces working for the secretive mercenary company, Blackwater Worldwide.

This is the explosive story of a company that rose a decade ago from Moyock, North Carolina, to become one of the most powerful players in the “War on Terror.” In his gripping bestseller, award-winning journalist Jeremy Scahill takes us from the bloodied streets of Iraq to hurricane-ravaged New Orleans to the chambers of power in Washington, to expose Blackwater as the frightening new face of the U.S. war machine.

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