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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

Aaron Pallas Discusses Teacher Evaluations at NYS Board of Regents Learning Summit

Aaron Pallas was one of seven researchers, economists, and professors who weighed in on the evaluation systems for teachers and principals at a Learning Summit hosted by the New York State Board of Regents and State Education Department on Thursday, May 7 at the New York State Museum. Published: 5/14/2015 3:55:00 PM

Mandy Shen is the Runner-Up for CCEE Prize

The Columbia Committee on the Economics of Education (CCEE) has announced that Mandy Shen, PhD student in Economics and Education, is the runner-up for this year's prize for the best research paper by a PhD student at Columbia for her paper, "Intergenerational effects of school desegregation." Published: 5/14/2015 3:28:00 PM

Sharon Lynn Kagan co-authors a report on early childhood education.

"A Better Start: Why Classroom Diversity Matters in Early Education." By Jeanne L. Reid, Sharon Lynn Kagan, Michael Hilton, Halley Potter. Published by The Century Foundation, April 3, 2015. Published: 5/7/2015 1:55:00 PM

Ryan Allen's podcast discussion with Kevin Dougherty and Rebecca Natow.

In this podcast, Ryan Allen interviews Prof. Kevin Dougherty, an Associate Professor of Higher Education and Education Policy, and Rebecca Natow, a Postdoctoral Research Associate at the Community College Research Center. They discuss their book The Politics of Performance Funding for Higher Education: Origins, Discontinuations, and Transformations, published by Johns Hopkins University Press, 2015. Published: 5/7/2015

Travis Bristol, Ph.D. 2014 in Education Policy featured in the Washington Post article

Black Male Teachers: There aren't enough of them by Valerie Strauss, was published in the Washington Post on April 28 in the Answer Sheet section. Published: 4/29/2015 4:54:00 PM

EPSA Announces the Winners of 2015-2016 Education Policy Dissertation Research Fellowships

EPSA department congratulates all the winners. Published: 4/27/2015 3:50:00 PM

Basil Smikle, Ph.D. in P&E, the new executive director of the NYS Democratic Party

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

Aaron Pallas Quoted in Articles on the Future of Teacher Evaluations in NY State

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

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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