August 27, 2017—A pilot program being run by a non-profit in Boston provides stipends to former gang members, many just released from prison, to attend college. This Washington Post article takes a look at the inititiative, which has already seen some success. Governments should take notice: for the social democrat, no citizen is expendable.
August 14, 2017—Connecting high school graduates with solid careers is one of the foremost challenges facing the nation. This New York Times piece describes how West Virginia is doing something about it, with a major push for career and technical education, featuring simulated workplaces in the schools that prepare students with skills needed by local employers. Overall, only 6% of U.S. students are in technical and career education: West Virginia now has 37%. How about more mature social democracies? In the UK, the percentage is 42; Germany, 59; and the Netherlands, 67.
Writing in the New York Times, columnist Thomas B. Edsall discusses recent research on the effects of family structure, income levels and other factors on a child’s successful development.
This report for the Washington Post examines one nefarious consequence of the charter school movement: increasing ethnic segregation. The Social Democrat, in general, supports the solidaristic and inclusion functions of public schools.
Delaware Governor Jack Markell has spearheaded an effort to create employment-ready high school graduates, frontally attacking the “skills-mismatch” issue behind much of our unemployment.
Under a new initiative, the Massachusetts Senate has voted $34 million targeted to expanded pre-K opportunities, after-school programs and higher salaries to retain talented teachers. As Massachusetts Senators Stand Rosenberg ad Sal Di Domenico write in this Boston Globe op-ed, “Serious and sustained investments beginning now will make the difference beteween a student falling through society’s cracks or becoming a healthy, resilient adult helping to drive our economy.” With a waiting list of 20,000 children for pre-K, and only 1,000 new places, however, The Social Democrat hopes more money will be coming soon. (June, 2017)
After-school programs, which have been shown to improve outcomes in academic achievement, behavior and future success for the 1.1 million mostly low-income children they serve, are on Trump’s demolition list. Former Treasury Secretary Lawrence Summers and Emily McCan, CEO of Citizens Schools, make the necessary case for supporting them vigorously.
After school programs can be a key factor in making life possible for working parents. This piece on the After School Alliance website looks at how the programs function in a coal mining community.
Multiple factors complicate comparing charter and public school achievement. While some studies find improved outcomes for students in charters, the effect is slight; other studies find charter students underperforming public students.
(Chicago Tribune) A recent study reveals that 90,000 Cook County teens and young adults, in keeping with national trends, are neither in school nor employed. The social democratic model demands effective programs to bring these young people into the economic and social mainstream.
Public education was one of social democracy’s earliest and most significant accomplishments. This L.A. Times op-ed, by an educator and a public schools advocate, makes the case for public schools as a key component of social solidarity.
June 3, 2017 – Save the Children has issued its report ranking nations according to children’s welfare. The report also ranks US states. The top of the list is crowded with mature social democracies: Norway, Finland, the Netherlands and Sweden.
In this L.A. Times column, Harold Meyerson asks the rhetorical question: why are billionaires, whose children invariably attend private schools, so intent upon remaking public education?
A program organized by Purdue University in conjunction multiple area firms, state governments and community colleges, all funded by a National Science Foundation grant, is teaming young engineers with employers who need their skills.