What Radio Shack taught me: Lessons from a rookie salesman – Fortune
A former Radio Shack employee, and current Fortune staffer, reflects on his first job as a sales associate at the electronics retail chain.

Is capitalism driving itself out of business? – Fortune
In his latest book, Jeremy Rifkin argues that the private market’s drive for productivity has brought us closer to a world in which the marginal cost to produce just about everything will inch closer and closer to zero.

Startups are about to blow up the textbook – Fortune
A raft of startups is using open-source materials in an attempt to transform learning – terrifying traditional publishers.

Wal-Mart’s D.C. wage battle: A shortsighted skirmish – Fortune
It’s worth taking a second look at the logic behind Wal-Mart’s fight against the living wage bill in D.C., as this battle will most certainly be part of a longer war between the retail giant and cities across the U.S. in the years to come.

Meet independent film’s go-to ‘fixer’ – Fortune
Film producer Cassian Elwes talks about how he got his start in the business, why he prefers to avoid big studio productions, and offers his take on temperamental attitudes in the industry.

The future of the classroom – Fortune
Better technology and more productive teachers are just around the corner.

Do psychopaths make good CEOs? – Fortune
Yes, according to The Wisdom of Psychopaths, a new book by Kevin Dutton. Ambitious executives, take note!

You are what you consume – Fortune
Companies need to recognize that dynamic and mold their customers accordingly, argues Michael Schrage in Who Do You Want Your Customers to Become?

Sal Khan: Building a better university – Fortune
The Khan Academy founder discusses the flaws of the U.S. university system, college affordability, and what he’s looking for in a job candidate.

The race for education tech heats up – Fortune
The education industry’s top firms are rushing to secure their future, even if it means partnering with a startup that it would have acquired outright in the past. The latest deal between Pearson and startup Knewton is a case in point.

Is the Google-fication of education underway? – Fortune
Among tablets and 3D TVs at CES, one-size-fits-all learning is facing a digital death knell.

Alabama schools turn to bank loans to operate – Fortune
Over 20% of Alabama schools districts are preparing to take out private loans to stay afloat. And with more state-wide funding cuts expected for the coming fiscal year, the Cotton State’s education system could be approaching a point of no return.

Summer school goes online – Fortune
With education budgets under fire, school districts are turning to e-learning to help little Johnny graduate on time.

Forget Superman, charter schools are waiting for Oprah – Fortune
A new movie is being used as a fundraising tool by charter schools, but it’s also raising troubling questions about “haves” and “have nots” in the charter system.

Next generation workforce: Outperformed in math and science – Fortune
Former Intel CEO Craig Barrett tells Fortune why U.S. students’ terrible test scores must rise for the country to remain an economic powerhouse, and how his organizations aim to help.

Rebuilding America’s inner cities – Fortune
Harvard’s Michael Porter discusses the shifts, both good and bad, American inner cities have endured over the years, and how to strengthen urban economies going forward.

Virtual credit recovery takes center stage – Huffington Post
The classroom computer has typically held backseat status to the blackboard and certainly the teacher. For many school districts nationwide, and now in New York City, the computer is poised to move to the head of the class, particularly as a tool to increase graduation rates.

TARP’s tiniest failures add up – Fortune
It might seem that the banking sector’s bailout saga is nearing its close, leaving room to focus on other catastrophes like the European debt crisis or the Gulf oil spill, but some small banks across the country that benefited from TARP are still struggling to stay afloat, and many more will likely fail.

An alternative path to graduation – School Stories
The International High School at LaGuardia Community College, a school for recent immigrant students, is a member of the New York Performance Standards Consortium, a network of approximately 30 schools that uses portfolio assessments in place of Regents exams in four subjects.

Schools of Babel – School Stories
New York City provides round-the-clock information and services to its residents in over 170 languages through its 311 service. The city’s immigrant public school students can even take some of their classes in Spanish, Chinese, and Haitian Creole. But when it comes to high school textbooks, it all gets lost in translation.

Orchestras across country downsizing shows, cutting budgets to stay afloat – Dallas Morning News (Columbia News Service)
Out of work residents of Rochester, N.Y., may have trouble making ends meet, but they won’t need to give up their season tickets to their hometown orchestra, even if they can’t cover the tab for the next season.

Twitters enters an age of brute-force marketing – Daily Comet
Facebook can find you a couple hundred friends you never knew you had. LinkedIn might snag you a couple of career connections here and there. But on Twitter, you can achieve the instant status of claiming tens of thousands, even a million, followers without the pesky task of starting your own religion.

Can juice provide an ‘antioxidant advantage’ Tropicana thinks so – Columbia News Service/New York Times Syndicate
Protection is paramount these days, whether it’s financial protection from a foreclosure or an investment gone sour, or security from threats like terrorism. But in these uncertain times, how protective do you need your juice drinks to be?

In Failing Economy, Foreign Service Attracts Many – St. Paul Pioneer Press
Late last month, the State Department announced the February administration of its Foreign Service officer test had reached the agency’s “worldwide scheduling limit,” reflecting a surge in applicants from previous years.

A Singular New York Horn
In a town filled with custom-made everything, from suits and dresses to violins and guitars, you would think that there would be a few trumpet makers.  But that’s not the case at all. Josh Landress is the only custom trumpet maker in New York City. He is one of the most respected brass repairmen in the business, and he is only 29 years old.