Why Our Kids Are Coming in Last Place

Why Our Kids Are Coming in Last Place

The United States, anyone could reasonably argue, has the most accomplished elite athletes in the world. The best evidence? In Rio this past summer, young American men and women finished at a comfortable first place in the Olympic final medal tally. But what if we...
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...
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...
Public School Reform: The New Inequality in Education

Public School Reform: The New Inequality in Education

Junius Williams, Director of the Abbott Leadership Institute at Rutgers University Newark, is a noted attorney, educator, musician and community advocate. In the city of Newark, Williams has served as the Director of Community Development and the Model Cities Program....
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...
Chicago and the Psychology of Teacher Bashing

Chicago and the Psychology of Teacher Bashing

Last year, state lawmakers in Illinois did their best to make a Chicago teacher strike impossible. They passed a new law that required at least 75 percent of the city’s teachers to OK any walkout in advance. How did Chicago teachers respond? In advance...
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...
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...
Pothole Nation

Pothole Nation

Investing in infrastructure used to be a political no-brainer. Politicians of nearly every ideological stripe supported government spending on everything from school buildings to bridges. The more conservative pols would typically favor highways, the more liberal...
Better Public Schools Require a Stronger Safety Net

Better Public Schools Require a Stronger Safety Net

If our schools Are in the tank; We just have Ourselves to thank. Many American kids are getting a fine education these days, but plenty more are stuck with lousy schools. This disparity shouldn’t come as a shock, because that’s the way our society is...

Education Cuts Aren’t Smart

Once upon a time, America professed to believe in a strong public education system. While we still talk about public education as the great equalizer that can offer a pathway out of poverty, the nation is falling far short in assuring millions of poor children,...