Readin', Writin', and Ninjutsu

Like the stealthy shinobi, Secretary of Education Margaret Spellings slipped in and out of Saint Paul yesterday, accomplishing her mission with a minimum of bloodshed and outcry from those who would oppose her in carrying out the quest laid upon her by her daimyo. Few recognized her shadowy presence, overshadowed as it was with news […]

Suffer the Children

The holiday spirit had barely dissipated last month when close to one-hundred-fifty people took to the streets to protest budget cuts for early childhood education. One protester was apparently so distressed by the lack of resources that she wailed and threw herself on her knees. Others tried to help her up, but she let her […]

Carpe Latinitatem

I was walking around the office the other day and overheard one of the Rake’s ad reps telling two more reps that he’d just sold an ad contract. I opined, in passing, that his customer must be a very perspicacious sort. That, of course, brought the conversation to an abrupt halt. "What the hell does […]

The Death and Life of American Imagination

In February 1953, a violent North Sea storm crashed through the Dutch levee system, killing 1,835 people and leaving a hundred thousand others homeless. In the aftermath, the country responded by building the Delta Works, the world’s most sophisticated system of flood defenses. According to John McQuaid, a reporter for Mother Jones on assignment in […]

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Taming the Lunch Line

Decreasing student enrollment in Minneapolis, and the subsequent shuttering of some nine of its public schools, has been big news in the last couple of years. Less known, perhaps, are the pressures that have resulted at remaining schools—especially in the cafeteria.  For example, Whittier International Elementary in South Minneapolis is a popular selection in the […]

The Mortarboard, the Sheepskin, and the Dixie Cup

Nothing was normal on the morning of Wednesday, November 5, at Stratford High School in Goose Creek, South Carolina. For one thing, there were no drugs in the school. If there were, the fourteen police officers plus one drug-sniffing dog should have found them when they swept into the school, guns drawn, and sent students […]

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