5 Best Wednesday Columns

Dick Morris on No Child Left Behind, Thomas Cahill on the Roman alphabet, and more

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  • Dick Morris on Obama's Education Reforms  The Townhall columnist hammers the president's proposed changes to No Child Left Behind as "a mealy-mouthed compromise designed to placate school administrators, teachers unions and their political acolytes at the expense of educational standards." He contends the changes will undermine No Child Left Behind's policy of judging schools by "objective indices of student performance" and claims Obama's plan is geared toward telling parents what they want to hear.
  • Steven Pearlstein on the Financial Reform Bill  A staunch advocate for financial reform, the Washington Post columnist nonetheless calls on the Senate to scrap Chris Dodd's revised bill and start from scratch. "Dodd 2.0... reads like the chairman and his Senate colleagues couldn't make up their minds about who or what caused the financial crisis or who could be trusted to fix the system," he declares. "They've come up with a set of jury-rigged patches designed to placate as many interest groups as possible while preserving the existing regulatory apparatus and prerogatives."
  • Thomas Cahill on Saint Patrick's Day and Literacy  The New York Times op-ed contributor urges readers to use the holiday to recognize and celebrate one of the major Irish contributions to the modern world: "they saved the books of the Western world and left them as gifts for all humanity." With the Roman empire in ruins and most of Europe illiterate by the sixth century A.D., Cahill argues that it was Saint Patrick's dual fascination with the gospel and the Roman alphabet that eventually led him to encourage his Irish disciples to travel across Europe, "salvaging books wherever they could, making copies, reassembling libraries and teaching the newly settled barbarians of the continent to read and write."
  • Holman Jenkins on High-Tech Cars  Writing in The Wall Street Journal, Jenkins mulls over the American automobile, which grows ever more digitally sophisticated. Navigation, safety features, in-vehicle social networking--all are regulated by computers, and all are more advanced than they've ever been. But Jenkins isn't sure drivers are better off as a result. "Loading on car makers more and more responsibility to protect us from ourselves is a solution with diminishing returns," he writes. "Just maybe it's time to consider higher standards of driver training and licensing."
  • Kathleen Parker on Health-Care Haste  The Washington Post columnist questions whether it makes sense for congressional Democrats to jump through procedural hoops in order to pass health care legislation that will hamstring them politically. "Nancy Pelosi is considering ways to allow House members to pass the Senate bill without actually voting for it so that vulnerable Democrats can deny responsibility for a bill they don't like and don't support," Parker explains. "Is this sane? More to the point, is it constitutional?"
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.