Focal Points

In this issue, TIME's reporters look at two of the major challenges facing America: the economy and the state of our public schools

Rebecca Greenfield for TIME

Ripley talks with Anacostia High senior Allante Rhodes, whose e-mail to Michelle Rhee led her to take an interest in his school. Conditions there have since improved.

We hear over and over about the federal bailout of the financial industry. But what tends not to be said is that it is our tax dollars--yours and mine--that will be doing the work. A friend of mine mentioned a novel proposal: the executives of these financial companies who are getting federal dollars should not make any more than the $400,000 that we pay the President of the United States. After all, the President works for the American citizen, and now the American citizen is bailing out the high-flying executives of these financial-service companies that squandered billions of dollars. It makes...

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