A debate on standards in public education, with Deboarah Meier and responses by Abigail Thernstrom, Gary Nash, Theodore Sizer, and others. Marjorie Perloff on poetry and cultural studies. Dmitri Tymoczko on Beethoven and Kant. Edward McCaffery on the case for a progressive consumption tax. Michael Greenberg on Robert Stone. Plus, W.S. Merwin translates Dante’s Purgatorio, fiction by Pauls Toutonghi, Scott Saul on the American teenager, and more.