Legislation rewriting the No Child Left Behind education law finally gained traction this week, and the Senate Democrat whose committee passed the bill said on Friday that progress became possible because lawmakers were irritated by the Obama administration s offering states waivers to the law s key provisions
This month, The Houston Chronicle published an opinion piece by the former first lady titled We Can t Afford to Cut Education, in which Mrs. Bush pointed out that students in Texas currently rank 47th in the nation in literacy, 49th in verbal SAT scores and 46th in math scores.
Here are few data points that the secretary of education, Arne Duncan, offered in a Nov. 4 speech: One-quarter of U.S. high school students drop out or fail to graduate on time. Almost one million students leave our schools for the streets each year. ... One of the more unusual and sobering press conferences I participated in last year was the release of a report by a group of top retired generals and admirals. Here was the stunning conclusion of their report: 75 percent of young Americans, between the ages of 17 to 24, are unable to enlist in the military today because they have failed to graduate from high school, have a criminal record, or are physically unfit. America s youth are now tied for ninth in the world in college attainment.
You have to look at America from the bottom up, not from the top (Washington) down. And what you ll see from down there is that there is a movement stirring in this country around education. From the explosion of new charter schools to the new teachers union contract in D.C., which will richly reward public school teachers who get their students to improve faster and weed out those who don t, Americans are finally taking their education crisis seriously. If you don t want to stand on your head, then just go to a theater near you after Sept. 24 and watch the new documentary Waiting for Superman. You ll see just what I m talking about.
When college presidents and academic administrators pay their usual obeisance to "diversity" you know they are talking first and foremost about race. More specifically, they are talking about blacks. A diverse college campus is understood as one that has a student body that -- at a minimum -- is 5 to 7 percent black (i.e., equivalent to roughly half the proportion of blacks in the general population). A college or university that is only one, two, or three percent black would not be considered "diverse" by college administrators regardless of how demographically diverse its student body might be in other ways. The blacks in question need not be African Americans -- indeed at many of the most competitive colleges today, including many Ivy League schools, an estimated 40-50 percent of those categorized as black are Afro-Caribbean or African immigrants, or the children of such immigrants
Against the backdrop of today's increasingly multicultural society, are America's elite colleges admitting and successfully educating a diverse student body? No Longer Separate, Not Yet Equal pulls back the curtain on the selective college experience and takes a rigorous and comprehensive look at how race and social class impact each stage--from application and admission, to enrollment and student life on campus. Arguing that elite higher education contributes to both social mobility and inequality, the authors investigate such areas as admission advantages for minorities, academic achievement gaps tied to race and class, unequal burdens in paying for tuition, and satisfaction with college experiences.
In March of 2000, Pat Buchanan came to speak at Harvard University s Institute of Politics. Harvard being Harvard, the audience hissed and sneered and made wisecracks. Buchanan being Buchanan, he gave as good as he got. While the assembled Ivy Leaguers accused him of homophobia and racism and anti-Semitism, he accused Harvard ' and by extension, the entire American elite ' of discriminating against white Christians.
Remember the recipe for a policy disaster? Start with a handful of policy intellectuals confronting a stubborn problem, in love with a Big Idea. Fold in a bunch of ambitious Ivy League kids who don t speak the local language. Churn up enthusiasm for the program in the gullible national press and get ready for a decade of really bad news. Take a look at David Halberstam s Vietnam classic The Best and the Brightest, if you need to refresh your memory. Or just think back on the run-up to the war in Iraq.
Thousands of students, teachers and parents in California and across the country are expected to stage rallies, demonstrations, walkouts and other actions Thursday to decry what they say is an assault on public education at all levels.
A few weeks ago, Saturday Night Live teased President Obama for delivering great speeches but not actually bringing change. There's at least one area where that jibe is unfair: education.
The world economic crisis and the election of Barack Obama will change the future of higher education. Even as universities, both public and private, face unanticipated financial constraints, the president has called on them to assist in solving problems from health care delivery to climate change to economic recovery.
The Democratic Party has battled for universal health care this year, and over the decades it has admirably led the fight against poverty - except in the one way that would have the greatest impact.