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Education & Labor Archive

NLRB's Ambush Election Rule, Bad Policy and Bad Law | Commentary

Membership in labor unions has been falling for decades and is at an all-time low in the U.S. While there are many reasons for this decline, it is an indicator that many workers simply don’t find unions as necessary as they once did.

Congress Can't Dodge Social Security Disability Insurance Trust Fund's Approaching Insolvency | Commentary

As if stirring, like Rip Van Winkle, from a 20-year snooze, Congress is finally awakened to the teetering finances of the Social Security’s disability program. Better late than never, but policymakers have known for years that this day would arrive — and it has.

Congress Should Correct Distortions in the Coal Market and Invest in Struggling Coal Communities | Commentary

Many of the hardest-working communities in America are in the Appalachian coal region that stretches from Ohio and Pennsylvania, to Kentucky, West Virginia and Virginia. For decades, workers have given all of their daylight hours in the darkness of mines so their families and others across the country can keep their lights on. But for decades these communities have suffered economic decline, as widespread job losses have decimated cities and towns and left families with little support. Generations of coal miners have seen their jobs disappear, from 122,000 in 1985 to just 58,000 in 2012, a reality driven largely by market forces and inequities embedded in the coal market.

Shippers Expecting Happier Chinese New Year

West Coast ports opened with a backlog of ships waiting to unload this week, after vessel operations were halted by employers over the weekend.

Port Dispute May Force Obama to Invoke Taft-Hartley Act

When managers of cargo terminals at 29 West Coast ports closed their facilities to ships last weekend, they opened the door to a new discussion about when the president can invoke powers under labor law to keep the country’s transportation networks running.

You Shouldn't Have to Be Lucky to Get Paid Sick Days | Commentary

Everyone gets sick, from the common cold to a more serious illness. Recently, my 15-year-old daughter called me after school to tell me she had a bad headache and sore throat. Because my employer provides paid sick days, I was able to leave in the middle of the afternoon and take my daughter for a strep and flu test — no questions asked and no pay docked. Every parent should be able to be there for his or her sick child and have the same level of trust and economic stability that I do.

The Numerous Tests of No Child Left Behind

Much of the discontent with the 2001 education law known as No Child Left Behind has stemmed from the rising number of standardized tests children must take every year.

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One State Takes Aim at Plethora of Public School Tests

There is little in K-12 education policy with broader bipartisan support than reducing the number of standardized tests children take, a result of the 2001 law commonly known as No Child Left Behind.

The Elementary and Secondary Education Act: Reauthorize an Early Start and a Great Finish | Commentary

As Congress debates the reauthorization of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act —commonly known as No Child Left Behind—it’s a great time to consider better policies for all children. No Child Left Behind wasted a great deal of effort and money and produced too few benefits because it addressed problems in our educational system too late in the lives of children and removed incentives for schools to develop the full range of intellectual, emotional and social skills necessary for individuals to flourish in the 21st century economy. ESEA should be revised to start with quality early learning and continue with K-12 education that develops the whole child.

America's Community Colleges: The Infrastructure of Opportunity | Commentary

President Barack Obama reminded us in his State of the Union address, “America thrived in the 20th century because we made high school free, sent a generation of GIs to college, and trained the best workforce in the world. But in a 21st century economy that rewards knowledge like never before, we need to do more.” He unveiled a plan for free community college education.

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Heritage to Offer Conservative Budget Blueprint

More than 100 cost-savings proposals, due out from the Heritage Foundation on Thursday, could provide ammunition for conservative lawmakers in coming debates over restructuring entitlement programs, addressing the post-sequester discretionary spending caps, reauthorizing the Highway Trust Fund and raising the debt limit.

Federal Higher Education Policy: Momentum or Collision Course? | Commentary

President Barack Obama’s proposals on higher education announced at the State of the Union have generated a continuum of reactions — ranging from positive to derisive — from lawmakers and the higher education policy community. Successful passage of these ideas will likely face long odds following the release of the president’s budget next week. But even if the president’s sweeping plans don’t make it through, the door is open for real, bipartisan progress that can serve as important first steps toward a much-needed overhaul of our federal strategies that help students gain the talent they need to prosper economically and socially in the 21st century.

We Built the Middle Class, and We Can Rebuild It | Commentary

Most members of Congress today are millionaires. Their wealth has increased 28 percent since 2007, while that of the average American fell 43 percent.

The Case for Year-Round Pell Grants | Commentary

As Congress takes up reauthorization of the Higher Education Act this year, it will have to address several policy concerns, including the rising cost of college and the need to increase degree attainment rates in the U.S. Notwithstanding those concerns, college access will continue to be a major issue. How can our nation expand college opportunities to those who have long been underrepresented, including lower-income students, minorities, and those who are the first in their families to attend college, ramping up the number of degree earners?

Five Lessons as the 114th Congress Gets Started | Commentary

As the 114th Congress settles in and President Barack Obama finalizes his State of the Union address, the consequences of the midterm elections are becoming real in Washington. New leaders have taken control of every Senate committee and subcommittee and the chamber itself, and the dynamic is changing.

Bringing Communities Together: A Better Way to Help America's Kids Succeed | Commentary

Today, President Barack Obama will be giving his State of the Union address, which will likely include the president laying out a vision for addressing the needs of our nation’s children. Among a host of other policy announcements, the president may emphasize much needed recent investments to expand access to pre-K and infant and toddler care.

Our Fight's With the President, Not DREAMers | Commentary

In November, President Barack Obama unveiled one of the most sweeping Executive Orders in American history. Ignoring for a moment the merits of the immigration policy itself, such actions cannot be condoned by the American body politic. Unilateral action defies the separation of powers on which our country was founded, and on which our federalist democracy is sustained. Imagine a future president refusing to enforce drug laws, environmental laws, criminal penalties for sexual assault or tax collection for important constituencies.

Fixing the On-Ramp to Higher Education | Commentary

This year portends to be an important one for higher education in Washington. Last week, both political parties and the White House were already falling over themselves to offer proposals that could pay major political and practical dividends.

Obama Administration Won't Back Away from Annual Student Testing

Education Secretary Arne Duncan Monday issued a firm call to continue annual standardized testing under the elementary and secondary education law known as No Child Left Behind.  

Moving Forward, Ideas Matter | Commentary

As the dust settles after the midterm elections, it is clear that voters across the country sent a strong message that they have had enough of partisan gridlock and inaction in Washington. And now the hard work begins – turning to the future and to the ideas that will move our nation forward.

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