DILLON (11/20/06): The reports and their authors, in interviews, portrayed an educational landscape in which test-score gaps between black or Hispanic students and whites appear in kindergarten and worsen through 12 years of public education.Lets see if we have this right—black and Hispanic kids are doing worse than their white peers in reading and math? Yes, its true—and this finding comprises the Times number-one news story.
DILLON: The law requires states, districts and schools to report annual test results for all racial and ethnic groups, and to show annual improvements for each. It imposes sanctions on schools that do not meet the rising targets.The law requires the schools to do better! If you hadnt already noticed, this surely clinches it. Truly, we are a mad race.
THE GOOD, THE BAD AND THE PUZZLING: Sundays Post offered work in all three categories. The good? David Finkels painful but illustrative front-page report about a young mans search for work in Washington. The missing word from this report is despair; that said, we thought it personalized the problem of unemployment among young black males in a way few such reports do. Were sure some people were unhappy with this report. Yes, but its very important.
The bad? Astoundingly, a front-page report on the Democratic agenda was accompanied by the following statement. Yes, this did appear in the Post. No, we didnt imagine it:
GOLDSTEIN/LAYTON (11/19/06): With the Social Security system forecast to start losing money in a decade—and to run out by 2040—Democrats are united in how they do not want to fix the problem: They reject President Bush's idea to divert some of the system's payroll taxes so that working adults could invest that money in private retirement accounts.Its amazing to think that any Post writer could actually type the ludicrous claim that Social Security is forecast to run out of money by 2040. In this case, though, the articles by-line carried the names of two reporters—Amy Goldstein and Lyndsey Layton—and, presumably, the piece was reviewed by several massively talented editors. Wouldnt every one of these journalists know that, under current projections, Social Security will not run out of money by 2040? Wouldnt every one of them know that nothing even dimly like that is forecast to occur? It would be instructive if Deborah Howell asked the relevant editors to explain how this statement appeared in the Post. That statement makes the kind of claim which frauds like Sean Hannity like to feed voters. Question: How in the world did such a carefully-crafted script make its way into the Post?
SCULLY (11/19/06): On domestic issues, the Washington Post has a summary of what they call The Democrats To-Do List. I want to just highlight a few of them. First of all, on the issue of minimum wage which weve been hearing a lot about, the Democrats want to raise it from $5.15 an hour to $7.25 an hour. On Social Security, [quoting now] Democrats are far less certain how they want to fulfill their campaign promises to preserve Social Security, but pointing out that the system will run out of money, at its current rate, by the year 2040...Of course, the system will not run out of money, at its current rate, by the year 2040. Nothing dimly like that will happen. But neither Corn nor Foer noted this fact when asked to comment on this passage. Foer said the Dems would avoid this issue because it involves tough choices. Corn agreed, saying it would take some pain all around.