Letters and Comments

It really makes me happy to see that the school that I attended after Hurricane Katrina (Paxon School for Advanced Studies in Florida) and the school I was going to attend pre-Katrina, Benjamin Franklin in New Orleans, both made the list ["Best High Schools: Gold Medal List," usnews.com]

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Chatter: Readers weigh in on Best High Schools, the auto industry, and the economy.

High School Hoopla

It really makes me happy to see that the school that I attended after Hurricane Katrina (Paxon School for Advanced Studies in Florida) and the school I was going to attend pre-Katrina, Benjamin Franklin in New Orleans, both made the list ["Best High Schools: Gold Medal List," usnews.com]! As a Howard University student, I can truly say Paxon did its part in preparing me! Go Eagles!

Comment by Ronesha of LA

Ranking high schools on the number of students who take AP classes is not the most important thing to measure. This is pressuring school administrators to push students into AP classes when there is virtually no benefit to completing AP classes. Certainly the curriculum more closely mimics a college course, so they do help prepare a student for college studies. However, this could be accomplished in an honors class as well, which parents don't have to pay for. The percentage of students who score well enough to opt out of college courses remains relatively low. In addition, many colleges discourage students from opting out of their courses. Let's measure meaningful things like teacher tenure (do they like where they teach), attendance (do students like to show up), and the percentage of entering freshman students who both finish high school and meet graduation requirements. That's a ranking I would pay attention to.

Comment by Ron Johnson of WA

To judge a school as better than others, independent of the students, you have to look at a number of immeasurable factors. However, this list of the top 100 is not a list of the best schools but a list of the most college-ready schools. I am about average at Thomas Jefferson High, and one of the things that my guidance counselor has said was, "Of all the schools that you are applying to, they are all easier than TJ." I feel like I am as prepared as a high school can prepare me for college, and as a result, TJ has graced the top of the charts.

Comment by Jim of VA

Many of these are specialized schools (charter, magnets, preps, math & science, etc.). Kids of any socio-economic status can attend if they are either on a waitlist or tested in. They aren't just for the rich. Not many are just your neighborhood high schools, but not every kid either tests high enough, has parents that can get their kids across town, or has that on a top-priority list. Also, some kids do well in whatever school they attend; some don't do well in traditional institutional learning scenarios. There are so many factors [that] can narrow it down to "just the rich."

Comment by Tracy Whipple of CA

Auto Industry Blame Game

I completely agree, [Rick] Wagoner is not a goat, yet he may not be the person to revive GM ["In Defense of Rick Wagoner," usnews.com]. I hope that history and even contemporaries can be sufficiently fair-minded (as you have been) that Rick Wagoner has done a lot under the circumstances. Yet he is not a revolutionary. That is perhaps what GM needs to get out of the mess it's in. Good luck, but not good riddance to Rick Wagoner. He did a lot to prepare the ground for his successor. May that person be a bankruptcy judge who will start by tearing up the United Auto Workers contract.

Comment by Michael LeBauer of MD

Don't you think the government should take this opportunity to make sweeping changes bringing the auto industry into the future? Put the corresponding infrastructure (battery replacement stations?) in place to make all cars run on something not oil-based. Spend the money on something positive and don't throw it down the auto industry drain.

Comment by Dan Johnson of VA

What I see is an engineering and marketing company that is being driven by a bunch of accountants and M.B.A.'s. And frankly, adding a column of figures up really doesn't generate much excitement in customers to buy your products. To compete with the rest of the world, the U.S. auto manufacturers are going to have to start to build exciting, efficient, and competitively priced cars. Not SUVs, or Hummers, or Dodge Vipers (that had limited marketability).

Comment by Tom Mehrens of CA

Let's remember the documentary, Who Killed the Electric C ar ? Of all the culprits named in the film, in the end, Wagoner was the guy with the "knife" that killed the EV1. A decision that now in part, has GM on the ropes. Let him pay for that bad decision with his resignation.

Comment by Gerald Shields of WA

The electric car was killed because it had to be. Except for a few celebrities and green zealots, no one wanted to buy one. Notably absent in the "documentary" was an accurate portrayal of Toyota's similar actions with its own electric vehicles. When the producer was questioned about the disparity, he admitted that it was much more fashionable to bash GM and give Toyota a pass.

Comment by Tony of IN

Economic Improvements?

Jim Pethokoukis nailed it ["Obama's Depressing Economic Delusion," usnews.com]. It's not about fixing the economy as much as using the crisis to advance the Obamacrat agenda on healthcare, green special interests, and tax and spend generally. As Rahm Emmanuel said, you never want a serious crisis to go to waste.

Comment by P ete of PA

Obama is lowering expectations about how quickly "hope and change" will fix the economy. Perhaps, too, he understands that handing folks checks for $500 didn't produce any stimulus in 2008, or any time it's been tried. What the United States needs is lower corporate tax rates, lower capital gains rates, and lower individual rates. The solution that works every time.

Comment by Linda K. of NY

Blaming [George] W. [Bush] for all of the problems is deluded at best. And relying on those supposed failures (I never voted for W., or O. for that matter) will backfire. No matter how many cheerleaders Obama has in the media, there is no way to spin increased unemployment, six months or not.

Comment by Rachel of VA

Here's an idea. Make huge cuts in H1-B visas. Technology, science, and medical fields are suffering from an oversupply of staff because these fields have been flooded with people from India, China, and Russia brought in under the H1-B visa program. Send them all home and put Americans to work instead.

Comment by Paul A'Barge of TX

Washington has either no understanding of how to encourage economic growth or no idea of which of their depressive, antigrowth barriers to reduce or remove. Or perhaps it's just they have no interest in things improving anytime soon.

Comment by Greg Toombs of NJ

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