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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

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

Another successful run for the Federal Policy Institute course with Prof. Sharon Lynn Kagan

EPSA course, Federal Policy Institute EDPA 4899, offered during fall semesters and led by Professor Sharon Lynn Kagan, has had another successful run. It continued into January 2015, when students had a rare week-long opportunity to work with education policy experts in Washington D.C. The course will finish in February with students presentations. Published: 2/3/2015 2:45:00 PM

NY Times Cites Peter Bergman's Study

The NY Times story, "Helping the Poor in Education: The Power of a Simple Nudge," cites Professor Bergman's work with a Los Angeles school sending personalized text messages to parents of middle and high school students. Published: 1/19/2015 1:30:00 PM

Thomas Bailey Widely Quoted in Major Media Outlets on President Obama's Proposed Community College Plan

Professor Bailey was quoted in multiple news stories about President Obama's proposed plan to offer students two years of free tuition at community colleges, including those in the New York Times, Washington Post, and Wall Street Journal. Published: 1/11/2015 5:39:00 PM

USA Today Story on Diversity Quotes Amy Stuart Wells

Professor Wells states that consciously bringing together students of different races is useful and that putting kids in segregated schools "is not good preparation for the 21st century." Published: 1/11/2015 5:24:00 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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