News from EPSA
On April 9, former New York State Governor David Paterson, the chairman of the NYS Democratic Party, announced that Basil Smikle Jr. would become the new executive director of the party. Published: 4/17/2015 1:24:00 PM
Professor Aaron Pallas was quoted in articles in Chalkbeat and NYC Lens about the handling of teachers' evaluations in the just-passed NY State budget. Published: 4/8/2015 4:24:00 PM
In an article he wrote for The Hechinger Report, an independent news website based at TC, Professor Aaron Pallas challenged NYS Board of Regents Chancellor Meryl Tisch's assertion that opting out of testing is a "terrible mistake." Published: 4/8/2015 4:15:00 PM
An Education Week article on "The Teachers of Color Disappearance Crisis" featured responses from 2014 alumni Travis Bristol (PhD, Education Policy) and Terrenda White (PhD, Sociology & Education). Published: 4/2/2015 4:12:00 PM
Luis Huerta, Associate Professor of Education and Public Policy, is quoted in a Houston Public Media radio story about school voucher proposals in Texas. Huerta, who has researched vouchers and charter schools, says that vouchers, which would make state allocations for public school portable to private institutions, don't always lead to greater access to private schools."Private organizations, specifically private schools, have the ability to choose whomever they want to enter into those schools," he said.Huerta debunked another claim about vouchers -'" that students perform better in private schools. In fact, he said research indicates that after students transfer to a private school, they often perform about the same as their peers back in public school -'" or even worse. And it's impossible to hold private schools accountable for students' education, even if they receive public dollars.He's planning to testify at a Texas Senate senate hearing Thursday. Published: 3/27/2015 12:26:00 PM
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 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
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
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.