An Inclusive Litany
Nearly half of the schools participating in Milwaukee's private school choice program had to return money to the state last year—in two cases, more than $100,000 each—because, hard as they tried, they couldn't spend the $4,894 they were given to educate each of their choice students, records show.
As Milwaukee Public Schools officials prepare to approve a budget for 2000-'01 that comes to about $9,500 per student, audits of schools in the choice program show they are struggling to spend just half of what is spent by their public counterparts.
"We don't have to pay for a huge administration and a lot of red tape," said Lois Maczuzak, an administrator at St. John Kanty School, 2840 S. 10th St., which spent $3,096 to educate each student, making it the lowest-cost school in the choice program.
Under the program, which lets low-income students attend private and religious schools at taxpayer expense, students in 1998-'99 received vouchers worth either $4,894 or the choice school's cost to educate each pupil, whichever was less. This year, the vouchers are worth slightly more than $5,000.
The St. Louis Post-Dispatch said that efforts on the part of Cuban-Americans to keep Elián González in the United States represented "mob rule," and that demonstrators have a "blindingly obsessive hatred of Fidel Castro." The San Francisco Chronicle referred to the peaceful demonstrators near the home of Elián's Miami relatives as a "racket of rabble rousers" and "shouting street mobs." The Seattle Times editorialized that Elián should not be "a trophy to be paraded around by zealots." Syndicated columnist Mark Russell refers to "the crazy Cubans in Miami."
Criticizing Al Gore's decision to break with the Clinton administration's efforts to return the boy to Cuba, Pete Waldmeir of the Detroit News had this to say: "If he'd cave in to a bunch of wackos just because they hint at civil disobedience if they don't get their way, what would Gore do as president if some Third World nut case got in his face in a real crisis?" Sounding a distinctly nativist note, Indiana's Fort Wayne Journal Gazette criticized politicians of both parties for not having "the guts to tell the most obnoxious Cuban immigrants that if they don't like it, they can go back to where they came from."
Writing in the New York Times, Anthony Lewis asks "Are we going to be governed in this country by law or by mob?" Also in the Times, David Rieff, author of The Exile: Cuba in the Heart of Miami, said that the "most extreme and fanatical elements in the Cuban exile community" want "to defy both the United States and common-sense morality." Miami, says Rieff, is "an out-of-control banana republic within the American body politic."
Speaking on the "McLaughlin Group," Eleanor Clift offered up the following: "Frankly, for a community which fled a dictatorship under Batista, they have come over here, and now they are trying to set up their own dictatorship." After another guest pointed out that most Cubans fled Castro, not Batista, Clift continued: "Yes, they fled Castro, but they seem to enjoy living under a dictatorship. And my point is they are establishing their own dictatorship in this country!"
When asked what effect publication of the famous photo of Elián being removed by U.S. marshals at gunpoint might have, James Warren, Washington bureau chief of the Chicago Tribune, said: "It will ignite all the crazies...." Warren said he would argue against front-page coverage in his paper of "the crazy family running around here all day and bitching on television." Cuban-Americans, said Thomas Friedman of the New York Times, believed "they could get away with kidnapping Elián. America is a lot better off today because Janet Reno taught them otherwise." The New York Daily News expressed relief that the boy had been removed from "the Miami mob scene," safe from "anti-Castro fanatics" and relatives who "used him so shamelessly." According to the St. Petersburg Times, "If Elián's Miami relatives had cared more about the boy's welfare than in using him as a political trophy in the propaganda war against Fidel Castro, they would have sent him back to his father weeks ago." Elián, the Times continued, "was manipulated and brainwashed by his Miami relatives... [who had] abused this child long enough."
English professors are of two minds about plagiarism. They create regulations that punish students for borrowing language from another text, yet agree that no writing is fully original. Rebecca Moore Howard, an associate professor of writing and rhetoric at Syracuse University, discusses the implications of this conceptual blurring in two forthcoming scholarly books.
In a new piece, she suggests that scholars discard the term plagiarism altogether, in large part because efforts to regulate against it run counter to the political aims of their teaching. "To adjudicate plagiarism in these circumstances is to work against the liberatory, democratic, civic, and critical pedagogies that prevail in English studies," she writes. At heart, Ms. Howard's problem is that plagiarism depends on "gendered metaphors of authorship" that equate originality with masculinity and diminish the benefits of collaboration, a strategy often employed by women writers. These metaphors, which Ms. Howard locates in writing guides new and old, describe plagiarism as a kind of sexual disease that threatens the male writer and his work. Or they go further, and turn the stealing of language into a kind of rape, in which the author of the original text, and his readers, are violated. In all these cases, "'plagiarism represents authorship run amok... and thus incites gender hysteria in the community in which it occurs," she writes. As an antidote, Ms. Howard suggests replacing the term plagiarism with "more specific, less culturally burdened terms" like "fraud," "excessive repetition," or "insufficient citation." Students can and should find their grades lowered, or even be flunked, for these offenses. But Ms. Howard calls on fellow scholars to embark on the "revisionary/revolutionary" task of making room for less novelty. "Let's get out of the business of valorizing an elusive originality, criminalizing imitation, and reinforcing prejudices of gender and sexual preference," she concludes. "Let's leave sexual work out of textual work."
Attorneys for her doctors counter that she had the option to pursue an abortion after the pregnancy was discovered, but that she failed to pursue it. They add that Ms. Burns already knew a great deal about how to get an abortion in Phoenix, because she had done so three times from 1993 to 1995.
Responding to Tilove's findings, Harvard Admissions Director Marlyn McGrath Lewis said that it would be a "foolish notion" to filter college admissions by group representation. Stephen Steinberg of Queens College, a defender of affirmative action policies, added that were special attention paid to these groups' representation, "the whole thing begins to look like pork barrel."