News from EPSA
On December 3rd, Teachers College, Columbia University hosted a national conference that focused on the Vergara, Davids, and Wright cases, which concern the impact of teacher tenure on low-'income and minority students. Panels included both supporters and critics of the Vergara/Wright approach. Published: 12/19/2014 11:39:00 AM
"Policy makers should resist being seduced by achievement scores and, instead, hold charter schools accountable and aligned with the long-standing purpose of public schools." Prof. Huerta's article High-Suspension Rates at Charter Schools Don't Help Students appeared in the Opinion Pages, Room for Debate of the NYT on Dec. 11, 2014. Published: 12/11/2014 3:29:00 PM
In the recent months, a lot of media and public attention has been devoted to the events in Ferguson, Missouri. More recently, Eric Garner's death and the Grand Jury's failure to indict Officer Pantaleo has sparked media and public activity here in New York City, and across the nation. EPSA students and alumni have their reaction to the situation. Published: 12/8/2014 11:28:00 AM
Professor Judith Scott-Clayton joined President Obama, the First Lady and Vice President Biden at the White House College Opportunity Summit. Published: 12/5/2014 7:57:00 AM
Terrenda White, a 2014 graduate of the Sociology & Education PhD program, was featured in an NPR story on Teach for America. Published: 12/2/2014 4:49:00 PM
Governor Andrew Cuomo has appointed Professor Elana Sigall as New York State's Deputy Secretary for Education Published: 11/18/2014 5:34:00 PM
Congratulations and welcome to Amra Sabic-El_Rayess, Senior Research Associate at EPSA. Published: 11/7/2014 3:41:00 PM
Congratulations and welcome to Sam Abrams, Director of the National Center for the Study of Privatization in Education. Published: 11/7/2014 1:34:00 PM
Basil Smikle, P&E Ph.D. student, in the NYT, April 18
The Room for Debate section of the New York Times.
Too Concerned With Re-election to Compromise
Basil Smikle is a political strategist and an adjunct professor at Columbia University's School of International and Public Affairs.
APRIL 18, 2013
President Obama’s rare public display of exasperation and animus after the defeat of bipartisan gun control in the Senate was unmistakable. He could only bemoan the handful of senators -- four of them Democrats -- derailing the hopes of 90 percent of America. Sadly, there are many reasons for the derailment of the gun bills, at the local level and by our legislative process.
The founding fathers were concerned about excessive and direct democracy and favored representative government, which proscribes simple majority influence on policy issues. Our Constitution and subsequent laws governing legislative processes have at times expanded or curtailed the influence of the legislative power. But even in a revered body like the Senate, the arcane rules -- like the filibuster -- undermine majority preferences instead of acquiescing to them.
Closer to home, the hard truth is that many legislators are concerned with re-election rather than building consensus around issues that preoccupy their constituents. Their election imperatives are fueled by the will of a few active voters and powerful interest groups.