Abby Rapoport

Abby Rapoport is a staff writer at The American Prospect. She was previously a political reporter for the Texas Observer. Her email is

Recent Articles

To Infinity—and Alabama

(Flickr/NASA Goddard)

I have one word I want to say to you: Spaceports.

The space shuttle program may be over, but for some states, now's the time to get excited about the great beyond, thanks to the idea of launch sites for cargo, satellites, and—of course—commercial flights

The Federal Aviation Authority has already licensed eight such sites in six states across the country. Now Alabama is shooting to get one of its own.

Will Connecticut Abolish the Death Penalty?

(Flickr/League of Women Voters)

Connecticut may become the fifth state in the last five years to end the death penalty. The state Senate will likely vote today on a measure that would end capital punishment in all future cases. However, it would not have a direct impact on any of the 11 people currently on death row. If the Senate approves the measure, it will probably have an easy path forward; both the House and the governor support the repeal. But the vote will almost certainly be very close.

In New York, a Bipartisan Call for Reproductive Rights

(Flickr/M. Markus)

A few weeks ago, Teresa Sayward did the unthinkable. The New York state Republican assembly woman told a state news program that she'd consider voting for Obama. "I really, truly think that the candidates that are out there today for the Republican side would take women back decades," she said on Capitol Tonight. 

Tennessee Lawmakers Tackle Sagging Pants

(Flickr/ Tobyotter)

Tennessee's lawmakers have been on a roll with vital pieces of legislation, necessary to the well-being of their residents. There's the bill to protect teachers who tell students that scientific ideas like evolution and climate change aren't necessarily true. There's the bill to ensure public buildings can display the Ten Commandments (and other "historically significant documents") if they choose. But now, they've really hit the meat of important issues with a bill to outlaw saggy pants.

Is There An Actual Crisis in U.S. Education?


Over at the American Journalism Review, The Washington Post's Paul Farhi has a much-needed critique on how the "education in crisis" narrative cropped up in journalism across the country. Farhi, a veteran education reporter, notes how widespread the idea of school failure has become, pointing out that in January alone, there were at least 544 stories about "failing schools" (He doesn't even mention the report from the Council on Foreign Relations arguing education has gotten so bad it constitutes a national security risk).