- The Washington Times - Friday, March 10, 2000

The center doesn't hold

"[Mrs. C.] is a public school teacher in a typical first-grade classroom. An earnest Christian, she's been at it for 20 years … and in just a few months, she'll also be unemployed. Mrs. C hasn't been fired; she's just worn down, worn out and quitting …
"[She] symbolizes a growing crisis for public education these days. Thousands of teachers just like her, seasoned veterans in their 50s, are hanging it up and saying, 'Enough!' In a tight labor market, where the number of young men and women entering the field of teaching gets smaller year by year, the departure of people like Mrs. C would be serious enough …
"Those who are leaving take with them those years of experience so essential to keeping order and providing direction in a classroom … . Many of those who now step forward to take their places have no memory of anything other than behavioral chaos in their schoolrooms, in the dining areas and on the playgrounds …
"The late Roy Lowrie, dean of the Christian school movement through the 1970s and 1980s, told some of us in 1985 that the demise of public schools in America was at least a decade away. Public schools, he said, were being held together by that large cadre of loyal, competent and mature Christians people who themselves were educated in another generation. But, he said, they were retiring, and like Mrs. C they were wearing down.
" 'What's happening,' he told us, 'is that their removal is like chiseling out all the mortar in a brick building. When the mortar's gone, the building will fall."
Joel Belz, writing on "Mrs. C is quitting" in the March 4 issue of World

Teen idol's rival

"You'd think that by now, 'N Sync heartthrob Justin Timberlake would be a master at promoting himself. But when the singer was trying to land his first TV movie, he didn't exactly give producers of ABC's latest 'Wonderful World of Disney' entry, 'Model Behavior,' the hard sell. 'I told them from the get-go, "Look, I've done sketch comedy. I haven't done a lot of serious acting,' " says the former 'Mickey Mouse Club' member. After all, he says, 'It's a TV movie, it's not Shakespeare.' …
"Timberlake … costars with Kathie Lee Gifford and her 9-year-old son, Cody… .
"He'll face tight competition in the acting department, what with future pinups like young Gifford in the wings. 'Cody takes me hands down,' says Timberlake. 'All the young girls of America are now going to be into Cody.' "
Dave Karger, writing on "And Justin For All," in the March 10 issue of Entertainment Weekly

Aliens among us

"The story line [the media] want is heroic, courageous John McCain goes into the back yard of these 'religious right bigots' and calls them to the carpet …
"Frankly, the comparison also of [Pat] Robertson and [Jerry] Falwell with Al Sharpton is completely outrageous. I mean, Al Sharpton has incited mob riots. Robertson and Falwell have done nothing remotely similar to that …
"I think [media bias] goes deeper … In the New York Post, a news story said great news for George Bush, you know, he won the Virginia primary. But there's also really bad news for George Bush yesterday. He won religious conservatives eight to one.
"And this is because the media consider these voters inherently problematic and somehow illegitimate. I defy anyone to show me a story saying Gore had a great victory in Washington state, but guess what, he won union households eight to one and that's a real bad thing for him …
"The media just assume these people are some sort of freaks because … most members of the media tend to be secular, liberal, live in New York and Washington and these people are just totally alien to them."
National Review editor Rich Lowry speaking on the March 4 broadcast of CNN's "Reliable Sources."

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