November 18, 2010, 07:00 pm
By Rep. Mike Honda (D-Calif.)
One of the challenges confronting education policy makers is staying connected to the grassroots. This is not only important for political purposes, but, most importantly, for policy implementation. What sounds great in the cloakrooms on Capitol Hill, or the conference rooms of D.C. policy shops, sometimes does not work on the ground. As a former high school teacher and principal, I am particularly sensitive to this dynamic, which is why I got back into the community again last week, visited schools across the nation and spoke with some of the folks who are making it happen.
American populism is back, evidenced by the midterm tour-de-force of voters concerned with unemployment and government spending. While these voters mostly backed extremely conservative candidates, both Democrats and Republicans tried winning them over by claiming to be the party of ‘the people.’ True stewards of the economic justice, however, would do well to take a serious look at the plight of young people and how substantial investments in opportunities for youth success can save our nation’s prosperity both now and for decades to come. There are several pieces of the youth agenda that Congress can pass in the next few weeks and in the 112th Congress that uplift the underrepresented communities that saved Democrats’ seats and maintain the fiscal responsibility championed by Republicans.
November 06, 2010, 03:26 pm
By My Secret Chef exécutive sous chef Carolyn Maison
Now a successful chef and business owner, I would not be where I am today if it wasn’t for my career college education. I am deeply concerned that Washington policy makers currently attacking career colleges fail to understand that limiting the educational options available to those who oftentimes come from modest backgrounds will only serve to punish those they claim to want to assist.
Education is the foundation required to achieve success in today’s world. But no one specific system of post-secondary education will ever have the wherewithal to accommodate everyone’s educational needs, which means there must be a wide choice of systems.
October 26, 2010, 08:06 pm
By Rep. Michael Honda (D-Calif.) and Dana Ditmore
The United States is increasingly losing its competitive edge when it comes to preparing our K-16 students in critical subjects like science, technology, engineering and math. In these subject areas, our students consistently rank near the bottom in educational achievement among the world's 30 richest nations. While we know that teacher quality is the most important factor in improving students' academic performance, many teachers are not adequately schooled in the subjects they are teaching. In our Santa Clara County, for example, one-third of our high-school math and science teachers are under-prepared, out-of-subject, or novice teachers. We must turn this tide if we are to keep Silicon Valley as the center of technological advancement and keep America as a leader in science and engineering innovation.
Low-income students graduate at very low rates, and with few or no viable employment options. The current policy debate over federal regulation of for-profit higher-education institutions has generated a lot of heat, but very little light.
October 22, 2010, 04:07 pm
By Dario A. Cortes, Ph.D.
To meet his ambitious goal of sending five million more Americans to college over the next 10 years, President Obama has perhaps unrealistically pinned his hopes on the nation’s community colleges. That’s why next week you will see community colleges gathering for a first-ever summit at the White House, where they will collect $2 billion in commitments from the administration and Congress.
Fueled by major magazines, filmmakers and network specials, playing the blame game has become the new sport among education reformers. When did teachers become the boogeyman for the myriad challenges facing public schools? Regrettably, this approach falls short of the constructive dialogue we need in public education today.
We applaud Dr. Jill Biden’s decision to convene the nation’s first Community College Summit last week in Washington, D.C. Her deep commitment to higher education is clear and her leadership gives those of us who work in higher education confidence that our future workforce is in caring hands.
In light of today’s White House’s Community College Summit, let’s take a closer look at how community colleges are really doing, particularly in comparison to much-maligned career colleges:
October 01, 2010, 10:38 pm
By Secretary of Education Arne Duncan
This week, we sadly lost two young men who took their
own lives for one unacceptable reason: they were being bullied and harassed
because they were openly gay or believed to be gay. These unnecessary tragedies
come on the heels of at least three other young people taking their own lives
because the trauma of being bullied and harassed for their actual or perceived
sexual orientation was too much to bear.