From The Washington Monthly, a special report on the dropout crisis. A Tale of Two Students: In middle school, Ivan and Laura shared a brief romance and a knack for trouble, then they parted ways; now he is college-bound and she isn't — how different schools shaped their paths. A review of Saving Schools: From Horace Mann to Virtual Learning by Paul Peterson (and more). Stanley Fish reviews Leigh Bortins’ The Core: Teaching Your Child the Foundations of Classical Education and Diane Ravitch’s The Death and Life of the Great American School System. From The Nation, a special issue on education reform, including Diane Ravitch on why she changed her mind. A review of Revolutionizing Pedagogy: Education for Social Justice Within and Beyond Global Neoliberalism. Ta-Nehisi Coates on helping wayward students by personalizing curricula. The layoff epidemic: When teachers get pink slips, who suffers most? A review of Bad Students, Not Bad Schools by Robert Weissberg. A review of The Latest Illiteracy by Christopher Ricks, Jim McCue, and Bryan Garner. A look at the 10 most important things they didn't teach you in school. A review of Measuring Up: What Educational Testing Really Tells Us by Daniel Koretz. Why are liberals so impressed by China and Singapore’s school systems? Martha Nussbaum wants to know. Charles Leadbeater went looking for radical new forms of education — and found them in the slums of Rio and Kibera. Chester Finn on the case for Saturday school: When it comes to instruction time, longer is better. No Teacher Left Behind: When did it get to be so hard to fire a teacher? The alphabet soup of college admissions is getting more complicated as the International Baccalaureate, or I.B., grows in popularity as an alternative to the better-known Advanced Placement program.

The inaugural issue of Studies in Literature and Language is out. From ETHOS: Dialogues in Philosophy and Social Sciences, Cecil Celebi (Ankara): Walter Benjamin and Political Potential of Cinema; and Dilek Kantar (Mersin): Forms of Medieval Myth in Contemporary Cinema ("This paper is a structural analysis of the use of dream vision in a popular medieval poem, Sir Orfeo, and the first released trilogy of Star Wars films (Episodes IV, V, and VI).") What should the US do about the 26 million people who are currently unemployed, underemployed or marginally attached in the labor force? Juliet Schor thinks we all need to work less. An interview with Amy Gutmann, chair of the US presidential bioethics commission, on the challenges of bringing synthetic biology to the public arena. Potty in the USA: Why we're slow to the toilet. Pissing Match: Is the world ready for the waterless urinal? A look at how people use the stigma tag of eugenics to destroy the credibility of a particular area of research or groups of researchers. Is social networking making us dumber? Nicole Rudick reviews Alix’s Journal by Alix Cleo Roubaud. Kabuki Democracy: Eric Alterman on why a progressive presidency is impossible, for now. The Middle Awash area of Ethiopia is the most persistently occupied place on Earth; members of our lineage have lived, died, and been buried there for almost six million years — where better to learn how we became human? The introduction to The Wind from the East: French Intellectuals, the Cultural Revolution, and the Legacy of the 1960s by Richard Wolin. Going Postal: Higher postal rates are good for the economy, businesses and consumers, and the environment. An interview with Peter Ward, author of The Flooded Earth: Our Future in a World Without Ice Caps.

From The Washington Monthly, a look at how medical supply behemoths stick it to the little guy, making America’s health care system more dangerous and expensive; and Tom Donohue scares millions of dollars out of corporations and Republicans — but is his U.S. Chamber of Commerce good for business? The New York Times profiles Tony Podesta, Superlobbyist. Government for Sale: A look at how lobbyists shaped the financial reform bill. Masters of Main Street: Why the financial-reform bill should have taken on auto dealerships. A look at how the hard work of governing falls to the regulators. From Hoover Digest, Hoover scholars examine the health care reform law; should we try to tax away obesity and its supposed costs by targeting sodas, fast food, and video games? Gary Becker says no; an article on herbal supplements, the new snake oil: They don’t have to prove they’re pure, effective, or even safe; since Khalid Sheik Muhammad, the accused terrorist mastermind, is already in prison, why bother putting him on trial at all?; and in refusing to punish the authors of the so-called torture memos, the DOJ did the right thing — public servants deserve immunity. War on Public Workers: Scapegoating public employees is an insidious way of dividing public and private sector workers who share common interests. Tracking the junkets: A new Web site will keep a close watch on government travel. Washington's I.T. Guy: One man's quest to liberate all government information — with or without the government's help. Abandoned agencies: The number of news organizations covering federal agencies has fallen since 2003. Watchdog reporting is at an alarming low at many federal agencies and departments whose actions have a huge impact on the lives of American citizens.

Nico P. Swartz (UFS): The Censor in the Late Republican Empire and His Meaning for Modern Democracy. From Modern Dog, an article on Dog People vs Cat People: Are there really personality differences? A review of The Enemy in Our Hands: America's Treatment of Prisoners of War from the Revolution to the War on Terror by Robert C. Doyle. An excerpt from Advancing Democracy Abroad: Why We Should and How We Can by Michael McFaul. The Postmodern Hester Prynne: Oh, these naughty alpha males and their uncontrollable libidos! A review of Twilight of Impunity: The War Crimes Trial of Slobodan Milosevic by Judith Armatta. More on The Most Powerful Idea in the World by William Rosen. More on Why Statues Weep: The Best of The Skeptic. The Second Second Sex: A long-awaited new translation of Simone de Beauvoir's classic causes a ruckus. Nelson Lichtenstein on labor’s role in the Obama Era: A troublesome and unreliable ally? Snakes are evil, but save your venom for the self-appointed language police. From TED, Benoit Mandelbrot on fractals and the art of roughness. The Shipping News: Start moving freight by water again, and we’ll use less oil, emit less carbon, cut highway traffic — and perhaps even save St. Louis. Ben Franklin is a big fat idiot: Even a titan occasionally has an off day. More and more and more and more and more on Not For Profit: Why Democracy Needs the Humanities by Martha Nussbaum. A review of What Is This Thing Called Happiness? by Fred Feldman. Did you descend from a Thai ape? Tracing humanity’s ancestors back to Asia, not Africa. The government has an online identity plan for you: A draft strategy would help users manage their identities online. In its heterodox media star, an identity crisis for Libertarian Party.

From The Wrap, a look at how "content farms" such as Associated Content, Demand Media or AOL’s Seed are killing journalism — while making a killing. From AJR, Abby Brownback on a Web-centric approach to traditional journalism. Not dead yet: Newspapers have cut their way out of crisis — more radical surgery will be needed. Clowns to the left of me, jokers to the right: Jay Rosen on the actual ideology of the American press. From Zenit, heroism is being a Christian journalist. Journalism monopoly was also a market failure: Eroding newspaper business models represent markets that are working, not just failing. Government can (help) save the news, but maybe not newspapers. And that’s not the way it is: W. Joseph Campbell busts some persistent media myths. The odd case of the Newseum: One of Washington, DC's most popular attractions is also its most unwittingly moribund. The Journalism of Opinion: Video from Columbia’s recent conference on opinion journalism in American intellectual history. If you love newspapers, let them go: A handy guide to kicking your dead tree habit. A review of News Talk: Investigating the Language of Journalism by Colleen Cotter. Even as competitors are busy bricking paywalls around their newspaper Web sites, desperately trying to keep the old business models running, the U.K.'s Guardian is taking a wholly different path — the paper has just introduced a free story syndication tool. Murdoch is right: If we value good journalism, why don’t we pay for it online? Philip Bump on the unsettling new era of the individual journalist. Can this headline save the news? Lauren Kirchner on the perils of the bait-and-switch headline. Beyond the dross: John Pilger and Steve Platt on their shared craft of journalism.