The Liberal Arts Can Work

Support science and the arts—especially the arts,” advised the documentarian Ken Burns during his commencement address to Wash U Class of 2015. “They have nothing to do with the actual defense of our country. They Just Make Our Country Worth Defending!” As a historian, Burns was probably referring to the liberal arts, not simply the…


Standarized Testing and Public Education

In recent decades, the United States has shifted its approach to schooling to incorporate neoliberal ideals. Traditionally, schools were regulated and funded by local governments. More recently, federal and state governments devoted programming and funding to efforts to reduce educational inequality caused by differences across communities such as income and tax revenue. However, rather than…


Big Changes in Medicare

According to a group of Congressional representatives, Medicare is due for a big change. A Democratic proposal was recently put forward that would allow the federal government to negotiate prescription drug prices for Medicare Part D. The agenda aligns with both the previous efforts of the Obama administration and plans put forward by the Clinton…


A Year of Cicadas

I was born in the late springtime 19 years ago, along with the cicadas. As my eyes were opened and I cried and was washed and wrapped in new linens, insects were crushing through their thin encasings and clawing through roots and rocks to see light for the first time, refracted in the zillion tiny…


The Return of Segregated Schools

There’s nothing like coming home for the holidays to news that your high school is in the midst of being resegregated. Despite what spell check may think, I didn’t mean to type ‘desegregated.’ I say resegregation, and I mean resegregation, because that’s precisely what many teachers, students, and parents at my North Miami Beach, Florida…

28th amendment

The 28th Amendment?

The quality and efficiency of education within the United States is a controversial topic, but data from various cross-national tests consistently underscores the fact that United States students are lagging internationally. One of the biggest cross-national tests, the Program for International Student Assessment (PISA), placed the United States 24th, 28th, and 36th in reading, science,…

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