Commentary

When the New York City Department of Education announced last week that fourth graders achieved the highest one-year gains ever on the state's English Language Arts exam, there was cause for celebration. The buzz around fourth graders' results implies that we have some answers about what helps kids improve. Yet a close look at what happened to eighth graders raises worrisome questions.

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Newsday

Not quite as far as "The Apprentice" would lead you to believe.

One ritual I'll surely miss is sitting next to my twin sister, Sara Jo, squawking at the screen, as we heckle some hapless schmuck getting the ax on NBC's "The Apprentice." Tonight we'll be among the tens of millions watching Tana Goertz (a high-school graduate) face off against Kendra Todd (a college-educated yuppie) on the season finale.

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As Congress moves to permanently repeal the estate tax, Distinguished Senior Fellow Robert Frank explains that public support for this tax cut is largely an illusion.

Many opponents of the estate tax argue that the revenue shortfall caused by its repeal will reduce bloated government. But in our current political system, spending cuts are more likely to take aim at basic public services than wasteful pork barrel projects.

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There's no denying it any longer. I've turned 65. I've enrolled in Medicare. I'll apply shortly for Social Security.

I'm a senior.

Like many, I suppose, I began the journey to senior status gradually. One milestone was the time a kid asked me to throw him a ball that had gotten away from him, and called me "sir."

At 50, I got an invitation to join the American Association of Retired Persons. Then I twice became a grandfather. At 62, I received reduced prices at movie theaters, which I gladly accepted.

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Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

Michael Lipsky and Dianne Stewart, of Public Works Program, describe the challenges state governments are confronting as a result of the erosion of support for the role of government, and the efforts that are emerging to restore the public sector.

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Like clockwork after school shootings such as the one at Red Lake, Minn., the national media sensationalize the perpetrators' lives and recycle trivial theories about the causes.

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Senior Fellow Jennifer Wheary writes encouraging news about education in New York City. We are making progress in figuring out how to help students from immigrant families achieve more.

With a focus on immigrants, these institutions raise the bar

Here's some encouraging news about education in New York City. We are making progress in figuring out how to help students from immigrant families achieve more.

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For all the talk about saving Social Security for today's young workers, there has been surprisingly little attention paid to a major discrepancy in the apparent youth consensus for privatization.

Why is our generation the only one to simultaneously support President George W. Bush's most radical domestic policy agenda -- 55 percent to 42 percent according to a recent USA Today poll -- and back John Kerry for president? A closer look at our values may help make sense of the puzzle.

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Senior Fellow Jennifer Wheary addresses the reasons why failing city schools require dramatic action and urgent attention. That's the message from this past week's New York State Supreme Court ruling upholding the findings of a court -appointed panel that New York City schools require an additional $14.8 billion to meet students' basic educational needs.

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As economists and politicians debate strength of the nation's economic recovery, a dark reality has failed to penetrate the national debate: Much of our economy, including the recent spurt in gross domestic product, is driven by American families going deeper into debt.

Almost two-thirds of our economy is driven by consumer spending and the fuel American families are using to meet their everyday needs is high-cost credit cards. At the end of 2002, families owed more than $750 billion in credit card debt -- an average of $12,000 per indebted household.

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