Jason Zengerle

Jason Zengerle is an assistant editor at the New Republic and a former assistant editor at The American Prospect.

Recent Articles

State of the Debate: Back to Boys' School

Tender anecdotes about elite all-boys' schools have ignited efforts to expand single-sex education to Americans from all backgrounds. But there's another side of the story.

WORKS DISCUSSED IN THIS ESSAY Damon F. Bradley, " On Not Letting Georgette Do It: The Case for Single-Sex Boys Education," Vincent/Curtis Educational Register (1995-1996). Richard A. Hawley, Papers from the Headmaster: Reflections on a World Fit for Children (Ericksson, 1996). Michael Ruhlman, Boys Themselves: A Return to Single-Sex Education (Henry Holt, 1996). T he waning years of the twentieth century have not been particularly kind to American boys' schools. While it has become axiomatic in some circles that single-sex schools are good for girls and "at-risk" boys, the traditional boys' school seems to have about as much place in today's coed society as a fountain pen in a room full of computer workstations. When the Supreme Court held last summer that the staunchly all-male Virginia Military Academy could not exclude women and still receive public funds, it seemed that the mantra of equal opportunity had finally dealt all-boys schools a deathblow. But it's not yet time for an...

Devil in the Details

IT ONLY LOOKS DEAD A fter playing a key role in the 1994 midterm revolt, winning 19 of the 24 races it targeted, the National Rifle Association had few victories this past election, fostering the impression that it had fallen on hard times. But don't try telling that to people at the National Center for Injury Prevention and Control (NCIPC), a division of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in Atlanta, who are all too aware of the NRA's power on Capitol Hill. The NCIPC is about as unthreatening and inoffensive a federal agency you're likely to find, devoted as it is to injury prevention. But, because firearms have been known to injure people—and because the NCIPC has understandably chosen to treat the 40,000 annual fatal firearms-related injuries as a public health problem—the NRA views the agency as a bunch of jack-booted scientists, hell-bent on restricting Americans' Second Amendment rights. This past fiscal year, the NCIPC devoted $2.6 million of its $49 million...

Devil in the Details

DRAW, DOMESTIC PARDNER Idaho Representative Helen Chenoweth has never been a fan of gun control. Nevertheless, her latest foray into the public debate over the issue seems a little bit odd. Chenoweth is the lead sponsor of a bill to repeal the Lautenberg amendment, a 1996 provision that effectively prohibits gun ownership by anyone convicted of a misdemeanor domestic violence offense. The amendment, she claims, violates the Second and Tenth Amendments, and is an ex post facto law (because it's retroactive) as well as an unfunded government mandate. What's more, she says, police sometimes charge both parties in a domestic violence dispute, so the Lautenberg amendment might prevent abused women from defending themselves. According to the Family Violence Prevention Fund, nearly four million women have been abused by their husbands or boyfriends over the past year, and 26 percent of all murdered women are killed by their partners. A mere 3 percent of murdered men, on the other hand, are...

Devil in the Details

MINIMUM-WAGE GOODIES Although the congressional opponents of an increased minimum wage eventually gave in, they did manage to deliver a few goodies to their friends in the small-business lobby. Chief among these provisions was a measure that allows employers to pay a lower training wage to young workers during their first 90 days of employment. Backers of the measure say they were merely preserving an existing feature from the 1989 minimum-wage law, the measure the new legislation supersedes. Yet while it's true the 1989 legislation had allowed for a similar training wage, it also came with a sunset provision that phased out the wage after three years, before this summer's deliberations. The new law has no such sunset provision. Of more interest, however, may be another subtle change. The 1989 legislation prohibited an employee from working for the training wage more than twice in a lifetime. Furthermore, if an employee was on his or her second stint receiving a training wage, the...

Devil in the Details

BLOOD ON THE HIGHWAY? Who could be against traffic safety? Well, according to the sublimely named American Highway Users Alliance (AHUA), environmentalists and urban planners, of all people. At issue is the 1991 Inter-modal Surface Transportation Efficiency Act (ISTEA, known affectionately as "ice tea"), which is up for renewal this year. ISTEA signaled a major change in federal transportation policy. The law shifted billions of dollars traditionally earmarked for funding roads, bridges, and transit to new programs designed to promote alternative modes of transportation and to help cities and suburbs comply with more stringent clean air requirements. But according to the highway lobby, the environmentalists and urban planners who supported this measure have put millions of American drivers at risk by denying highway builders the funds to repair potholes, fix bridges, and otherwise keep highways in safe driving condition. In an interview with Congressional Quarterly , AHUA President...

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