Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Coming Thursday on the editorial/op-ed pages

The Star's editorial board is opining Thursday on President Bush's speech Wednesday before a Veterans of Foreign Wars conference:
The president even went on to make a comparison to the war in Vietnam. It was not the one so many think of — the quagmire comparison — but an altogether different version. We left Vietnam and chaos and death descended in the form of the Khmer Rogue and re-education camps, the president reminded us.
He got that right. But he also failed to mention that Vietnam was essentially un-winnable, just as this war is essentially un-winnable. And for what it’s worth, mainstream historians immediately and widely disagreed with the president Wednesday about the comparison of the wars in Iraq and Vietnam.

We're also discussing the No Child Left Behind legislation, and one of the many effects it is having:
If you have not familiarized yourself with No Child Left Behind and the movement to establish a federal graduation standard, now is a good time to try. No Child Left Behind is moving this nation closer to a national system of testing and grading schools, with sanctions for those states and systems that do not meet goals set in Washington.
The act is up for renewal. And unless Congress makes significant changes, this is the direction education in America is going.

As a sidebar, we're also diving into how the act deals with Alabama students who aren't among their classes' top scholars:
While no one disagrees with NCLB’s goal of bringing up struggling students who are not reaching their full potential, the act does little or nothing to encourage excellence among students at or near the top. Or to put it as a recent study did, NCLB has “forced schools to deeply subsidize the education of the least gifted” and other programs, including those for the most gifted, have suffered.

And on the op-ed page, we're featuring New York Times columnist Thomas Friedman:
Have your eyes recently popped out of your head when you opened your electric bill? Do you, like me, live in one of those states where electricity has been deregulated and the state no longer oversees the generation price so your utility rates have skyrocketed since 2002?
If so, you need to listen to a proposal being aired by Jim Rogers, the chairman and chief executive of Duke Energy, and recently filed with the North Carolina Utilities Commission. (Duke Energy is headquartered in Charlotte.) It’s called “save-a-watt,” and it aims to turn the electricity/utility industry upside down by rewarding utilities for the kilowatts they save customers by improving their energy efficiency rather than rewarding them for the kilowatts they sell customers by building more power plants.
Rogers’ proposal is based on three simple principles. The first is that the cheapest way to generate clean, emissions-free power is by improving energy efficiency. Or, as he puts it, “The most environmentally sound, inexpensive and reliable power plant is the one we don’t have to build because we’ve helped our customers save energy.”

Oh, and don't miss a whole mess of letters to the editor about the on-going Bill Meehan-plagiarism story at Jacksonville State.