Small miracles in education, Palin dodges scribes, and the Phils owe somebody a lot

    What makes struggling schools better? It’s a big subject, but it seems a common denominator of high-achieving schools in poor neighborhoods is a strong and committed principal. Leadership matters in education as in most everything else.

    On that point, you should read the lovely essay by Newsworks web producer Lindsay Lazarski on her experience teaching in the South Bronx. Find it here.

    On other subjects….

    You’d assume the Phillies would be in great financial shape after 160 straight home sellouts. On the other hand, they’ve paid a lot for all those quality arms. The Los Angeles Times reports the Fightin’s are among nine teams whose debt load exceeds Major League Baseball guidelines.

    Maybe you want to buy an extra souvenir T-shirt or Tasty Kake next time you get to the ballpark.

    And I wrote a few days ago I wish reporters would just leave Sarah Palin and her bus tour alone. But they aren’t, and Politico reports that Palin’s vehicles have been speeding, running red lights and making sudden lane changes to ditch the pesky media.

    Kasie Hunt reports:

    “As they left the clambake she attended Thursday in New Hampshire, Palin’s two-SUV caravan traveled at 52 miles per hour in a 35 mph zone as it peeled away from the hosts’ neighborhood. Both cars blew through a stop sign about a mile later. They did 70 mph in a 55 mph zone on I-95 — and then, after they got off, without signaling, flew right past a flashing sign informing them they were going 45 mph in a 35 mph zone.”

    Guys, if you weren’t chasing this non-story, the streets would be safer and I wouldn’t be reading stories like this one. But I did, and you can find it here.

    Also, former local reporter Dan Hirschhorn reports in Politico that Mississippi Governor Haley Barbour warns Republicans that an insistence on ideological purity will threaten their chances to re-take the White House.

    “Barack Obama has worn out two sets of knee pads, down on his knees praying that conservatives are going to split themselves,” Barbour said. More here.

    And Brad Bumstead of the Pittsburgh has an interesting piece about how businesses getting $181 million in state tax credits in Pennsylvania are shielded from public view.

    Enjoy your weekend. Should be a nice one, most places.

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