News from EPSA
Congratulations and welcome to Amra Sabic-El_Rayess, Senior Research Associate at EPSA. Published: 11/7/2014 3:41:00 PM
Congratulations and welcome to Sam Abrams, Director of the National Center for the Study of Privatization in Education. Published: 11/7/2014 1:34:00 PM
Professor Aaron Pallas is "cautiously optimistic" about Mayor de Blasio's vision for failing NYC schools, including the plan to have superintendents spend more time inside school buildings. Published: 11/5/2014 12:38:00 PM
The Hill (thehill.com) is a top US political website, read by the White House and more lawmakers than any other site -- vital for policy, politics and election campaigns. Published: 10/29/2014 2:35:00 PM
How I got out of poverty: -'I don't like to think of myself as an outlier' The story of how one young man went from one of the toughest neighborhoods in Denver to graduate school at Columbia University. Read the article here. Published: 10/28/2014 2:27:00 PM
Professor Tom Bailey Says that Tuition-Free Plans Could Prompt "Steep Tuition Hikes" at Community Colleges Published: 10/16/2014 10:12:00 PM
Professor Aaron Pallas on NPR: Optional SAT is "Sensible," Especially for Colleges Seeking Diversity Published: 10/12/2014 8:31:00 PM
Professor Amy Stuart Wells writes in The Atlantic about Ferguson's lessons for the future of the suburbs. Published: 10/8/2014 12:17:00 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.