The Scrapbook notes, with some amusement, that George Lucas, creator of the Star Wars franchise, sold his lucrative Lucasfilm enterprise last week to the Disney Company, which announced in turn that it intends to revive and extend the Star Wars saga. We leave it to the experts to judge whether this cinematic/economic event is a cultural landmark, or a sign that the Disney empire (like Lucasfilm) has finally run out of fresh ideas.
The strike by Chicago teachers continues. It is a hardship for parents and one more tough break for the students in Chicago's public schools, some 40 percent of whom drop out before graduating high school. Equally unfortunate are the 20 percent who do graduate but are still functionally illiterate. But the strike is also an opportunity for some, including Mayor Rahm Emmanuel who famously said that, in politics, you never want to let a good crisis go to waste.
The public school teachers are going on strike in Chicago and the first worry of the people who run the city is for the safety of the children—where violence is already sky-high. The political class in Chicago has already failed in its duty to provide for the public safety. Failing to keep the schools open and the teachers happy, is a lesser offense. The strike will be settled and the teachers' union will get more than it deserves but less than it wants while insisting that this is all about the children.
In response to a statement about the high unemployment rate for those with college degrees, Robert Gibbs, a surrogate for President Obama's reelection campaign, admitted that things are particularly bad for those without college degrees:
“But boy that unemployment rate when you get out of college is tough," MSNBC host Chuck Todd said. "It's higher than the national average."
The Republican presidential candidates have spent the past year saying little about education. When they have addressed the issue, it has often been in terse calls to “turn off the lights” at the U.S. Department of Education.