| Feb. 11, 2015, 11:59 a.m.
West Coast ports opened with a backlog of ships waiting to unload this week, after vessel operations were halted by employers over the weekend.
| Feb. 10, 2015, 2:34 p.m.
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.
| Feb. 9, 2015, 12:33 p.m.
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.
| Feb. 9, 2015, 12:20 p.m.
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.
| Feb. 6, 2015, 5:05 p.m.
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.
| Feb. 4, 2015, 4:37 p.m.
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.
| Feb. 4, 2015, 2:06 p.m.
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.
| Feb. 3, 2015, 7:25 p.m.
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.
| Feb. 2, 2015, 1:58 p.m.
Most members of Congress today are millionaires. Their wealth has increased 28 percent since 2007, while that of the average American fell 43 percent.
| Jan. 28, 2015, 6:49 p.m.
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?
| Jan. 19, 2015, 4:27 p.m.
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.
| Jan. 19, 2015, 3:25 p.m.
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.
| Jan. 14, 2015, 10:39 a.m.
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.
| Jan. 13, 2015, 6:49 p.m.
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.
| Jan. 12, 2015, 2:04 p.m.
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.
| Dec. 16, 2014, 12:13 p.m.
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.
| Dec. 15, 2014, 4:20 p.m.
When the newly elected Congress convenes, it will consider two seemingly unrelated issues: funding a new military involvement in the Middle East and reauthorizing the Higher Education Act, which governs student aid.
| Dec. 12, 2014, 5:15 p.m.
I applaud Melinda Bonner’s efforts to make healthier school meals work in her district (Congress: Don’t Turn Back the Clock on Healthy School Meals, Roll Call, Dec. 4). As a retired general from Alabama, I would like to add that improved school nutrition is also important for our future national security.
| Dec. 12, 2014, 2:52 p.m.
Patty Murray confirmed Friday that she plans to succeed Tom Harkin as the top Democrat on the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee next year, where she is expected to play a prominent role defending the health care law and trying to forge compromises on stalled education policy.
| Dec. 10, 2014, 5:48 p.m.
Like communities across the country, Capitol Hill is pitching in for a time-honored tradition this holiday season: a canned food drive to benefit the local food bank. Stepping up to donate and volunteer are members of Congress, their staff and the Hill’s other major inhabitant — corporate lobbyists. This is also a popular time of year for elected officials to volunteer at food pantries and soup kitchens, and highlight the good work of private food assistance in their districts.