When Russian president Vladimir Putin wrote his infamous op-ed for the New York Times earlier this year, he concluded by rejecting the idea of American exceptionalism. His thoughts sparked outrage among many. Sadly, however, a majority of young Americans found themselves agreeing with Putin's charge.
Could you imagine teachers in California or Illinois donating to a cause that was hurting students in Philadelphia? That would come as a shock, given most public school teachers’ passion for education and fairness.
Unfortunately, it’s true, with one caveat: Teachers don’t have a say in the matter.
One generally doesn’t address tax reform and education reform in the same breath. But now is the time to do so. As Congress assesses federal tax credits as part of a possible tax rewrite package, they should be acutely aware of the significant value of the New Markets TaxCredit (NMTC) program to charter schools nationwide. NMTCs incentivize private lenders to provide critical funding for charter school facilities.
As the recent headlines declaring Chicago the murder capital of America make clear, our nation’s youth, especially those living in some of our most underserved communities, are facing an epidemic of violence.
Suffice it to say that October 2013 tested the resiliency of Head Start children, families and advocates nationwide. Head Start Awareness Month is normally devoted to the celebration of our 50-year national commitment to providing quality early learning to America’s most vulnerable children. Unfortunately, on the very first day of Head Start Awareness Month, 19,000 of those children faced the risk of shuttered doors when the federal government shut down because Congress could not agree on a budget.
National headlines all too frequently tell tragic tales of violence inflicted upon the most vulnerable. We all abhor the loss of life and gaping holes left in families. Fearing it could happen to a loved one, or us, we demand the right to protect ourselves from the very act about which we are so very afraid.
We are conflicted internally and we are conflicted as a nation. We’ve never really come to grips with our ultimate value. Is it human life or human freedom?