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Good Afternoon

Up on the Board: Tsarnaev cover photo, UFT and charter schools, TWA Flight 800

The editorial board debated whether Rolling Stone magazine should have run a cover photo of suspected Boston Marathon bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev. Rolling Stone usually reserves that spot for celebrities. Some board members said the cover glamorizes Tsarnaev. But board editor Rita Ciolli argued that the photo does exactly what it should: It raises questions about a young man with seemingly everything he could want for a bright future – including good looks – and how he would instead choose terrorism.

The New York City teachers union is rallying today to block start-up charter schools from locating within public school buildings. The editorial board thinks this is more blind obstructionism from the United Federation of Teachers. More than 50,000 NYC families are on a waiting list for a charter school slot, there are good educational reasons for expanding them, and the city should do all it can to make that happen.

Board member Alvin Bessent watched the new documentary, which aired last night, about the 1996 crash of TWA Flight 800. The midair explosion killed all 230 people on board, and the film, titled simply “TWA Flight 800,” raises provocative questions about whether the cause was a missile strike; the official government conclusion was that a short circuit ignited fuel vapors. Bessent said the documentary is one-sided but intriguing.

The U.S. Senate seems to have reached a bipartisan deal on student loans that will prevent the rate from doubling and tie future increases to the financial markets. We think the rate has to rise somewhat to deter so much indebtedness.

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Up on the Board is the editorial board's blog about what we just discussed at our weekday morning meeting. These meetings are where we talk about the news of the day and hash out our positions for the opinion sections of Newsday and amNew York.