Education

Failed leadership harms children

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.

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Let’s have a smart conversation about gun policy

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?

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Recipe for improving civic education

How should we teach civics when Congress doesn’t seem capable of following the principles in an eighth-grade civics textbook? The budget impasse is just the latest example of the bitter partisan struggle that our children observe as they form their impressions of politics and public life.

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Uncle Sam shouldn’t try to manage school staffing

Secretary of Education Arne Duncan has been charged by critics, spanning from Sen. Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.) to anti-school reform icon Diane Ravitch, with trying to turn the U.S. Department of Education into a “national school board.”  The charge has much merit.

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Accreditation and higher education

Many believe oversight of America's colleges and universities is one of the least expensive elements of higher education. By the same token, critics of the current system maintain that students are getting exactly what they pay for - very little.

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College students deserve the right to hire counsel in expulsion hearings

College students in the Tar Heel State are returning to school this fall with a new, much-needed right. For the first time, students and student organizations in North Carolina will have the right to hire an attorney for representation during campus disciplinary hearings, except when those hearings are academic in nature or when the hearings are entirely student-run.

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Learning to teach to read

774 million. You might be familiar with this statistic as the world celebrates International Literacy Day (Sept. 8) but if you are not, I hope you will be after today. There are 774 million adults lacking basic reading and writing skills in the world—three-quarters of whom live in South and West Asia and sub-Saharan Africa.

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Importance of sports as a tool for developing our youth

In the wake of the George Zimmerman/Trayvon Martin case President Obama stated, “We need to have an honest dialogue about what this country can do to bolster the lives of our young African American boys. There are a lot of kids out there who need help, who are getting a lot of negative reinforcement. And is there more that we can do to give them the sense that their country cares about them and values them and is willing to invest in them?”

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Life, liberty and college loans

The American dream is alive and well. With students taking an average of over 15 years to completely pay back their college loans, the only question is when can they start it.

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A Nelson Mandela statue for Washington, DC

This summer the media has paid close attention to the health of Nelson Mandela, global icon of freedom and post-Apartheid South Africa’s first president, who was hospitalized and reported in serious condition and recuperating.  This coincides with the season in which we commemorate the March on Washington and Martin Luther King's "I have a Dream" speech fifty years ago. Fortunately we can use the linkage and look ahead because in late September of 2013 the South African Embassy in Washington, D.C. will unveil a statue of  Mandela.

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