The Challenger disaster—and middle school reading lists

This week we’ve been remembering the Challenger tragedy—a tragedy remembered keenly by nearly everyone over the age of 35. There are many memorable moments from that day—the astronauts waving goodbye as they boarded the shuttle, the Y-shaped cloud left after the explosion, the stricken expressions on the faces of teacher Christa McAuliffe’s parents.… MORE >>

Left and right both agree on reasonable philanthropic practice

Last week I went to the memorial service for Rick Cohen, the long-time reporter for the Nonprofit Quarterly and an excellent reporter. Cohen and I came from opposite ends of the political spectrum.… MORE >>

Who gets admitted to public school enrichment programs?

Three essays by the prospective student. Transcripts and test scores. Three letters of recommendation. A three-hour admissions exam. A college application? Nope. That’s what was required of our ten-year old son to be an applicant to a middle-school magnet program in our county’s public schools.… MORE >>

AEI revisits question on how to escape poverty, issues weak report

In 1987 the American Enterprise Institute (AEI) published The New Consensus on Family and Welfare. The institute gathered the nation’s leading experts in welfare, both liberal and conservative, and asked them to come up with a consensus about what people needed to do to escape poverty.… MORE >>

A national museum of philanthropists: there’s an idea for the Smithsonian

Let me praise the History of Philanthropy blog. Curated by Benjamin Soskis of George Mason University and Maribel Morey of Clemson, the blog has been in existence for just over six months.… MORE >>

Social capital and community resilience

Cataclysmic natural disasters seem to be the sort of events that demands a government response. Even classical liberals who favor tight limits on government’s role concede that responding to such disasters is a legitimate government purpose.… MORE >>

On nonprofits that introduce people to classical music

Back in the 20th century, it was one of the duties of public schools to introduce people to classical music. In fourth grade, we dutifully trekked to Constitution Hall in downtown Washington to hear Howard Mitchell conduct the National Symphony Orchestra in a program that I dimly recall included some Tchaikovsky.… MORE >>

The virtue of gratitude

Oliver Sacks—the neurologist and science writer best known and who died this year at age 82—left a last legacy in the four short, autobiographical essays reflecting on the final stage of his life.… MORE >>

In the end, Scrooge’s charity gave to the poor what they really wanted: food, time, wealth

Well, it’s the holidays, so it’s time to think about Charles Dickens’s A Christmas Carol. I saw and heard three versions of A Christmas Carol this year.… MORE >>

On the evolution of education and population control

Matt Ridley is a British author who is best known for being one of the foremost critics of environmental dogma. (He calls himself a “lukewarmer,” in that he believes the world is getting warmer, but more slowly than most doomsaying environmentalists claim.) But he has an Oxford doctorate and has worked for The Economist for nearly a decade.… MORE >>
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