Magazine November 14, 2011, Issue

Closing the Achievement Gap

It will require more than reining in teachers’ unions

During the recent struggle over collective-bargaining rights in Wisconsin, a number of left-of-center observers, including New York Times columnist Paul Krugman, pointed out that students in unionized Wisconsin do better on average than students in non-unionized Texas. The obvious conclusion, or so we were led to believe, is that teachers’ unions lead to better education.

There is, however, a problem with this argument. Drawing on data from the 2009 National Assessment of Educational Progress, the political commentator David Burge pointed out that white students in Texas outperform white students in Wisconsin, black students in Texas outperform black students in Wisconsin, and

In This Issue

Articles

Features

Politics & Policy

Mobility Impaired

What’s the most important issue in American politics? In a narrow sense, the sputtering economy and ballooning deficits are likely to dominate the 2012 election season. But while every election ...
Politics & Policy

Up from Leftism

Atlanta, Ga. — ‘The first time my name appeared in the New York Times, I was described as ‘an obscure associate professor,’” says Eugene D. Genovese. “I’ve always thought of ...

Books, Arts & Manners

Politics & Policy

Unfriendly Skies

There were two events in the first year of Ronald Reagan’s presidency that justify the use of the overworked phrase “defining moment”: the assassination attempt after only the tenth week ...
Politics & Policy

Wrong Track

For all the glory of the transcontinental railroads, it’s not hard to find bad things to say about them. As the first truly national American big businesses, they made quite ...
Politics & Policy

A Real Camino

This has been an unusually good run for religion at the movies. Dramatizing spiritual experience is notoriously difficult, and filmmakers tend to look for easier paths — the anthropologist’s condescension, ...
City Desk

Volume Discount

Books were like print-outs, with text on both sides of the paper, fastened together along one side with stitching (in older books) or glue. The pages, or papers, were numbered ...

Sections

Politics & Policy

The Week

‐ Invading Congo? He really is turning us into Belgium after all. ‐ The Cain mutiny against establishment politics rolls on. Cain is a charmer, and he is right to buck ...
The Long View

C O N F I D E N T I A L

CLIENT: Senior Romney Campaign TEAM: Bain & Company Campaign Consulting Practice IN RE: Report from our initial consulting efforts EXECUTIVE SUMMARY Many thanks for allowing BAIN CONSULTING to serve your campaign, and for giving ...
Athwart

Frigid Pink

Occupy Wall Street gets all the press, but the world-changing assemblies are happening all over, you know. Here in Minnesota the locals formed OccupyMN and took over Government Plaza. It’s ...
Politics & Policy

Poetry

KING DAVID LEAVES OFF MOURNING FOR HIS SON I’m dressed. The sky is stone, my path a sea. I’m going to him, he won’t return to me. I eat. The shattered waves have ...
Happy Warrior

Saint Who?

When it’s not explicitly hostile, Western liberals’ attitude to Ayaan Hirsi Ali is deeply condescending. One thinks of Nicholas Kristof in the New York Times, pondering the author’s estrangement from ...
Politics & Policy

Letters

The Brush-off Kevin D. Williamson’s piece on presidential aspirant Ron Paul (“Ron Paul’s Last Crusade,” September 19), coupled with Jack Hunter’s subsequent retort (October 3), brought to mind my own encounter ...

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