America's Schools: 4 Big Questions
Much ink has been spilled in the last several decades over the issue of what to do about America's struggling schools. The nation has made only halting progress in public education, but a handful of key questions have come into focus.
Teach to the Test?
Most of the problems with testing have one surprising source: cheating by school administrators and teachers.
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Who should rule American schools?
The national drive for education reform has touched off many power struggles, but one has emerged as fundamental.
College for All?
The college-educated share of America’s population has barely increased in years. The key to reviving mass higher education may be to rethink the divide between high school and college.
Is $600 Billion Enough to Fund American Schools?
Today’s new austerity may have an upside if it prods schools to embrace new technologies that cut costs and improve learning.
The Paradox of PTSD
Thousands of soldiers are returning from Iraq and Afghanistan with deep psychological scars. PTSD is a common diagnosis, but is it the right one?
The World Trade Revolution
To see how the world will eventually right today’s massive trade imbalances, look to the Atlantic, not the Pacific.
In the Footsteps of Giants
The acclaimed biographer Michael Scammell discusses the peculiar challenges and delights of his craft.
What 9/11 Did Not Change
Looking back, it’s easy to think of September 11 and its immediate aftermath as a time when U.S. officials made strategic choices that fundamentally changed the nation’s course.
Afghanistan's Fateful Border
The Pashtun ties of clan, tribe, and faith were far denser than the British understood.
Energy From Algae?
Lots of problems must be resolved before algae-based biofuels become more than a novelty.
Even when everything seems to have been said, Beethoven’s music will speak to a listener anew.
Humans are not organisms simply acting out innate drives. Capabilities such as memory and intention make us an animal apart.
The Grim Dawn of the Republic
From 1774 to 1800, the U.S. experienced a decline almost as steep as the Great Depression.
The Budget's Next Battlefront
Unlike many fields, health care and education will enjoy solid demand and wage growth for the foreseeable future.
Study: Congresswomen are more effective than their male counterparts
It may be the result of the fact women have to work harder to get into Congress.
Getting a more accurate read of the male-female wage gap
It’s wrong simply to attribute this discrepancy to the straw man of gender discrimination, argues Kay S. Hymowitz.
The Demise of Don Juan
The early "Don Juan" offered commentators the opportunity to weigh in on society’s morals.
How did economists fail to predict the "Great Recession"?
While economists strove to perfect theoretical models of how markets function, they neglected the human, historical, and political forces that shape economies.
Calming the IED Storm
Having come to regard IEDs as a permanent threat in warfare, the Pentagon is no longer settling for stopgap measures.
The Mighty Spud
The population increase and urbanization in Europe during the 18th and 19th centuries owes much to the potato.
Inside the FBI's decades-long effort to court allies in the media
J. Edgar Hoover's hidden wordsmiths
Do political pundits' fiery words inspire their viewers to action?
Partisans of both parties who frequently watched like-minded shows become politically active earlier in the campaign cycle than others.
The Internet hasn't so much diminished our memory as tweaked it
When you know you have the Internet at hand, your memory relaxes.
India's Sensual Past — and Puritan Present
India has a rich tradition of eroticism, and an equally old tradition of what Doniger calls “Hindu Puritanism.”
The Islamist Bogeyman
By portraying Islamists as a greater threat to society than the status quo, authoritarian regimes dampened the ambitions of democratically oriented opposition groups.
Russia's widespread alcoholism is not a joke
The life expectancy of a Russian male born this year is just 60 years. Alcohol is a major reason why.
For books, the term "bestseller" has no consistent meaning
A book’s “popularity can be understood as both proof and negation of its value.”
When did the South China Sea become valuable? 1995.
For much of history, the South China Sea was an “obscure afterthought.” That changed in 1995.
Animals Are Us
For humans, driving other species out of our lives has had some unintended consequences.
To those on the outside, America’s evangelical community might look like an uneducated mass of people who subscribe to beliefs that defy common sense.
Where the Writers Live
Brooklyn not only has a literary tradition; its past is also consonant with the social currents coursing through American urban history.
China's Great Leader
More than any other individual, Deng Xiaoping made China’s modern rise possible.
Water Over the Bridge
“The Thousand-Year Flood” masterfully brings a turning point in American history back to life.
Twenty years ago, asking why Lionel Trilling mattered would not have seemed necessary.
A Singular Voice
For years, it has been easy to take Christopher Hitchens for granted, and now we are losing him.
The periodic urge to embrace bucolic self-sufficiency — or at least to dream of doing so — is upon us once more.
The Lunacy to Lead
Leaders who have mental illness or have experienced periods of mental abnormality are often better able to handle crises than their mentally healthy peers.