News from EPSA
Twenty-one years after the first charter schools opened in Minnesota, what do we know about charter school performance in the United States? TC's Priscilla Wohlstetter and co-authors bring new information to a longstanding debate. Published: 9/25/2013 4:13:00 PM
Basil Smikle, Politics & Education Ph.D. candidate, shares his voice on the NYC mayoral race in the New York Times. Published: 9/16/2013 3:58:00 PM
Travis Bristol, former high school English teacher in New York City public schools, who is currently a clinical teacher educator with the Boston Teacher Residency program, as well as a fifth-year Ph.D. candidate at Teachers College, Columbia University. Published: 9/4/2013 6:37:00 PM
Judith Scott-Clayton, Assistant Professor in Economics & Education, discusses the factors that affect the cost of college attendance in a New York Times article about President Obama's college affordability plan. Published: 8/21/2013 3:32:00 PM
Caring parents seek educational dreams for new generation on US campuses. Published: 8/13/2013 4:05:00 PM
If mayoral candidates promising a change in school policy are short on specifics, that might be because reversing the Bloomberg reforms will be require a delicate touch. Published: 8/9/2013 4:02:00 PM
Two EPSA Ph.D. students are among the 2013 National Academy of Education/Spencer dissertation winners. Published: 7/24/2013
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.