Back to School

As the new school year begins, I wonder why the United States continues to struggle to provide an extraordinary education for all of our children. The Pearson’s Global Education Index Ranks U.S. 14th in Learning and Skill Attainment and reported – “Pacific Asian countries have continued to outrank their peers because of an effective education system and “culture of accountability,” according to the report. The research showed that teachers, students, and parents took equal responsibility for their roles in education. These countries also valued teachers and schools significantly higher than other nations. The report attributes this to a commitment to …read more

Good News from Professional Sports

In the last few months many of us who enjoy professional sports have been disappointed in the behavior and ethics of players, team owners, and league officials. All seemed to disregard the interest of women, Native Americans, and anyone who thinks that public figures have a responsibility to model ethical behavior. But this week fans can enjoy a couple of high points in professional sports.

The San Antonio Spurs named Becky Hammon an assistant coach, making her the first female paid by an NBA team to be an assistant. Coach Gregg Popovich announced –

“I very much look forward to …read more

What Does the NFL Care About?

English: Baltimore Ravens Training Camp August 20, 2009 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Controversy surrounds the National Football League – specifically Ray Rice’s 2-game suspension for assaulting his now wife, Janay Palmer Rice.

Baltimore Ravens’ Ray Rice has been issued a 2-game suspension for domestic abuse, or violation of the NFL’s “personal conduct policy.” Given the controversy around this very public, very ugly assault, fans and critics alike are outraged by the seemingly light sentence, especially in light of the inconsistency in other personal conduct charges:

4 Game Suspension for Plaxico Burress, who shot himself in the leg with a concealed …read more

Is the 1% Beginning to Worry?

After President Obama’s State of the Union speech this year, I blogged about the emphasis on wage equality and the continued decline of the middle class. Since that time, unions and other organizations have continued to fight to move the minimum wage up and there have been some successes, including Seattle’s increase in the minimum wage to $15.

Nick Hanauer, Seattle entrepreneur (Photo Credit – Politico)

A recent article in Politico, The Pitchforks Are Coming…For Us Plutocrats, by Nick Hanauer, a Seattle entrepreneur, may be an indication that those who are benefiting by a successful middle class …read more

Children are the Future: Let’s Listen

Everyone knows that children are our future, and the city of Boston put their money where their mouth is. Boston recently held the “Youth Lead the Change” project, with help from the Participatory Budgeting Project. This was the first youth-led participatory budgeting process in a U.S. city which empowered young people, ages 12 to 25, to decide where 1 million dollars of public capital should go to best improve their communities. [1]

Participating youth were able to vote in four categories for projects that would better their communityvia text and voting stations. Projects had to be for brick and mortar …read more

Limiting Women’s Healthcare Access for the Sake of Corporations’ Religious Freedom?

Monday’s Supreme Court ruling that closely held corporations cannot be required to provide contraception coverage for their employees under the Affordable Care Act (ACA) spurs controversy and concern for the future as it pertains to women’s access to healthcare services.

English: Picture Of Ortho Tri-Cyclen oral contraceptives with Ortho Dialpak dispensers (photo taken by self). (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The ACA requires employers to cover the full range of contraception in their health care plans at no cost to their female employees with exemptions for churches and accommodations for religious hospitals, schools and non-profits. Last week’s ruling asserts that requiring …read more

Wendy Davis Filibuster a Year Later

It has been a year since Wendy Davis filibustered a regressive bill that would close women’s health clinics in some of the most desperate areas of the country, so what’s happened since?

As Candice Russell writes in the Huffington Post Politics Blog –

“It’s been almost a year since that night in the Capitol. A year that has seen clinic closures and revoked admitting privileges and multiple lawsuits aimed at undoing the damage caused by the passing of terrible legislation. Texans are still working tirelessly to defend ourselves from the attacks made to our health and reproductive rights. Our state …read more

Homeless Children – Across the Nation and Here in Baltimore

homeless (Photo credit: Bagunçêiro)

Across the nation, The National Alliance to End Homelessness reports that approximately 550,000 unaccompanied, single young adults (up to age 24) experience a homelessness episode longer than one week – and while it’s difficult to track homeless youth, it is estimated that 380,000 are under 18 years old. Here at home, the number of Baltimore City Public School students identified as homeless doubled between 2008 – 2013; with 2,716 homeless students identified in the 2012-13 school year.

Children are considered homeless when they lack a fixed, regular and adequate night-time place of residence including:

Sharing …read more

74 School Shootings Since Sandy Hook, When Does It Stop?

There have been 74 school shootings since Sandy Hook. That equals an average of 1.37 school shootings for each school week.[1]

Courtesy of the Washington Post. This map is of the cities where the 74 shootings place. Note: Blue markers represent incidents in 2014; red markers are for incidents from 2013.

Those numbers are unbearable to write. How is it possible that we’ve watch this unfold weekly and nothing has changed. Perhaps you’ve seen on Facebook the bullet proof backpack or blanket you can buy your child. That’s right, to be a good parent you might have to buy …read more

What Happens After the Protests

In the last few years there have been several monumental efforts to change society in many places across the globe, including the United States, China, Kiev and Cairo. All of the protests have energized the “people” to improve their status in their country. An article in USA Today reminded us that over two years ago the “Occupy Wall Street” movement in the United States emerged to empower “The 99%”. One of the participants in the anniversary march is quoted – “The CEOs are still making outrageous sums of money. And now it’s time that they have to pay,” she said. …read more