A Racist Wake-Up Call

A Racist Wake-Up Call

I worked proudly with Muslim CIA officers in the aftermath of the 9/11 attacks. I used to think most Americans understood that Muslim Americans are patriots, too. Ahmed Mohamed’s recent ordeal proved how wrong I was. He’s the 14-year-old who was recently interrogated,...
Georgia’s Educational Neglect

Georgia’s Educational Neglect

I worked as a substitute teacher in a Newton, Massachusetts middle school a few months ago. I taught a wide range of kids, including some with behavior-related disabilities. A few of these children needed in-class aides and extra academic support, but they met their...
The Housing Lottery’s Hand in Fate

The Housing Lottery’s Hand in Fate

I grew up in an affluent corner of Loudoun County, Virginia, where the median household income is nearly $120,000. In September, I’ll be a junior at Harvard University. Coming from the richest county in the United States, where I graduated from a competitive magnet...
When Children Hurt, Schools Can Help

When Children Hurt, Schools Can Help

What happens when children witness violence? It’s more common than you think, and the effects can be devastating. More than 1 in 4 American children have been exposed to violence, according to a recently published study from the journal Pediatrics. Researchers found...
A Green-Energy Founding Father

A Green-Energy Founding Father

When historians get around to identifying who greened the national grid, Scott Sklar belongs on their list. The energy consultant and former solar lobbyist with a wild white beard has spent more than 40 years bolstering industries that tread more lightly than fossil...
Author Event: Gbagba: A Children’s Book

Author Event: Gbagba: A Children’s Book

Gbagba follows a few days in the life of Liberian twins, Sundaymah and Sundaygar, who leave their hometown of Buchanan to visit their aunt in Monrovia, Liberia’s capital. The twins encounter characters and have experiences that introduce them to the word gbagba,...
The Art of Inequality

The Art of Inequality

Thomas Campbell directs the Metropolitan Museum of Art in Manhattan. He’s smiling a great deal these days. Why? Campbell has just received something museum directors only dream about: a donation of paintings, drawings, and sculptures worth over $1 billion. The...
Shortchanging Our Future

Shortchanging Our Future

More than 5 million young people are looking for work. College is increasingly unaffordable, while youth jobs are few and far between. For years lawmakers have been cutting programs that help young Americans find a productive path. And as if that weren’t enough,...
Mali: Crisis and Hope

Mali: Crisis and Hope

The potential is high for foreign military intervention in Mali. Mali remains in crisis. A military coup early this year followed by an insurgency attack in the north threatens the stability of the entire West African sub-region. Just this week the Associated Press...
America’s Rocky Road Away from Homophobia

America’s Rocky Road Away from Homophobia

It’s been one year since Congress officially repealed the archaic “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy. A new wave of LGBT cadets is entering training academies without the burden of silence — well, almost. While the military has made...
Virtually, Anything Goes with Online Education

Virtually, Anything Goes with Online Education

The sounds of September: school bells ringing, loose-leaf binders snapping open and shut, sneakers squeaking on gymnasium floors. Next to apple pie, what could possibly be more American than these familiar sounds and the local public schools where we hear them? But...
Washington, Are You Listening?

Washington, Are You Listening?

Patrick Pylvainen grew up in a small town outside Minneapolis. The Minnesotan college student has seven siblings, so he borrows money for his tuition — Stafford loans from the federal government, plus loans from private banks that require interest payments while...
The Separate-but-Equal Sale

The Separate-but-Equal Sale

“Back-to-school” sales seem to start earlier every year. These days, more than binders and backpacks are on offer. Now, public schools themselves are for sale. In July, Muskegon Heights, Michigan became the first American city to hand its entire school...