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State of the Debate
George Pyle
George Pyle has been a newspaper writer in Kansas, Utah, Upstate New York, and now Utah again, for more than 30 years - most of it as an editorial writer and columnist. Now on his second tour of duty on The Salt Lake Tribune Editorial Board, he has also done a stretch as a talk radio host, published a book on the ongoing flaws of U.S.agricultural policy and, in 1998, was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize for Editorial Writing. His most active bookmarks are Andrew Sullivan, Christopher Hitchens and Tina Brown. And he still thinks the Internet can be used for intelligent conversation and uplifting ideas.

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Seeping through the cracks: High school students and White House secrets ...

Above: A really nice high school commencement address.

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- Counting graduates: Rate affected by Latino dropouts - Salt Lake Tribune Editorial

Utah education officials finally entered the realm of reality by revising how they figure the state’s high school graduation rate. They are no longer insisting, despite evidence to the contrary, that Utah public schools are sending 90 percent of their students out into the world with diplomas.

Furthermore, for 2009, using the more realistic formula mandated by the federal government, Utah educators can cite an undeniably improving graduation rate. No one can argue that is anything but good news. ...

... Still, while the percentage of students who graduate appears to be moving in the right direction, at least for the time period reported, it would be wrong to be complacent. The other side of the 2009 graduation coin is that 21.6 percent of Utah students are dropping out or not tallying enough credits in their four years of high school to earn a diploma.

Making up a good share of those who will face a highly technical world without a basic education are Latino students. The dropout rate for this group is about 50 percent, and that is inexcusable.

So-called minority students will soon outnumber whites, who are still considered the benchmark for achievement in Utah schools. Politicians who want to starve and then privatize public schools are doing these students a disservice, and that will come back to bite all of us eventually.

- Raising the graduation rate in Huntsville - Huntsville Times Editorial

The states have begun reporting high school graduation rates under a new uniform method that allows comparisons to be made among them. For once, Alabama isn't bouncing along the bottom. That's a relief. But neither should Alabamians be satisfied with the state's 72 percent showing. ...

- No Excuses: We Need 100 Percent High School Graduation - Gloria Bonilla-Santiago, for U.S. News and World Report

- Colorado getting serious about remedial education - Denver Post Editorial

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- Seeking leaks: Looking for hay in a haystack - Salt Lake Tribune Editorial

John McCain called his presidential campaign bus The Straight Talk Express. So it isn’t that surprising that the Arizona senator has been blunt enough to say that he’s not upset about alleged leaks about the Obama administration’s pursuit of terrorists and rogue states because secrets are being revealed. It’s because the resulting news stories make the administration look good.

How dare they? ...

... If Congress wants to be relevant in this process, its members should stop looking for leaks, and start providing oversight of the programs the leaks are about.

- Pssst...here's a secret: Obama really is strong on national security - St. Louis Post-Dispatch Editorial

- Congress' war on leaks - Los Angeles Times Editorial

... We would urge Congress — and the administration — not to criminalize the reporting of information that may have come into the possession of the media because a government official was indiscreet. ...

- John Wayne Obama - Washington Times Editorial

White House is responsible for ‘the most shameful cascade of leaks’

- Investigate federal leaks — but don't stop there - Capital Times (Madison, Wis) Editorial

... The leaks reveal the extent to which the Obama administration has carried forward with the Bush administration's "make things up as you go along" approach to the war on terror. There is even evidence that the administration is involved in reclassifying members of the families of legitimate targets as "enemy combatants" — when that designation, frankly, seems dubious. ...

- War in cyberspace - Baltimore Sun Editorial

Computer viruses may have slowed Iran's drive for a bomb, but the U.S. is vulnerable to similar attacks



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