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Education Policy and Social Analysis
Teachers College, Columbia University
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Education Policy and Social Analysis

News from EPSA

Basil Smikle's "Solving Minority Underrepresentation in STEM Careers." The Hill, March 6, 2015

Basil Smikle, a Ph.D. candidate in the Politics & Education Program and a contributor to The Hill, a US political website, gives an overview of the recent history and also the current representation of women and minorities in STEM careers. Published: 3/6/2015 11:57:00 AM

Research by Di Xu and Xin Gong

Research by Economics and Education PhD alumna Di Xu and PhD student Xin Gong has found that household income in China is directly correlated to preschool attendance. Published: 3/3/2015 10:47:00 AM

Pallas Letter to New York Times

Professor Pallas in NY Times on Annual Testing: Perhaps There's Another Way to Hold Schools Accountable Published: 2/26/2015 10:47:00 AM

Aaron Pallas Quoted in the New York Times

The New York Times quoted Professor Pallas in an article on Chancellor Farina's new course for NYC schools. Published: 2/19/2015 10:27:00 AM

Thomas Bailey Quoted in New York Times

Professor Bailey was quoted in the New York Times article, "The Promise and Failure of Community College,"on the need for the federal government to invest more money in the success of community college students. Published: 2/17/2015 9:28:00 PM

Inside Higher Ed: Report on Performance-based Funding Cites CCRC's Kevin Dougherty.

In an Inside Higher Education article about performance-based funding formulas, which link support for public colleges to student completion rates, degree production numbers or other metrics, David Tandberg, an assistant professor of higher education at Florida State University, praises a new report by HCM Strategies for its use of portions of studies by Kevin J. Dougherty, an associate professor of higher education at Columbia University's Teachers College, a senior research associate with TC's Community College Research Center. Published: 2/12/2015 9:23:00 AM

Jeffrey Henig quoted in articles in the Los Angeles Times and The Washington Post.

On February 8th, Professor Jeffrey Henig was quoted in two articles: in the Los Angeles Times' piece, which discussed the Broad Foundation suspension of its $1-million prize for top-performing urban school districts, and in the Washington Post's piece, which discussed the ouster of Joshua Starr as superintendent in Montgomery County, MD. Published: 2/9/2015 11:41:00 AM

Priscilla Wohlstetter and David Houston's commentary in TC REcord

A commentary "Rage Against the Regime: The Reform of Education Policy in New York City." by Prof. Priscilla Wohlstetter and David Houston (Ph.D. in Politics and Education) was published in TC Record on January 30, 2015 This commentary traces the transition of education policy from the Bloomberg-Klein years to the current administration of Mayor Bill de Blasio and Schools Chancellor Carmen Farina a year into their tenure. Published: 2/6/2015 11:57:00 AM

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.

Despite the trends that should indicate the opposite, research shows that political participation is declining in this country. Loopholes in campaign finance laws and the Supreme Court’s decision in Citizens United have encouraged organizations to infuse vulgar amounts of money and resources into campaigns. Unless we prevent senators from hiding behind parliamentary procedure and make them more responsive to the population, ordinary Americans will lose participatory power and suffer under the tyranny of the minority.
 

 

(4/18/2013)

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