Our nation needs to do far more to improve both the fairness and the productivity of public school dollars. In other words, we need to make sure that schools and districts both get enough money to serve their population of students and then spend those dollars wisely.
The United States and Japan are the two leading democratic economies in the world, and they share a close alliance that benefits both countries in areas extending from national security, trade, investment, finance, and science and technology to the arts, education, and culture. But the relationship has been evolving in new directions, especially since the end of the Cold War in the 1990s and recent changes in the security and economic environment in East Asia.
In the United States, conversations about the women's leadership gap tend to focus on what individual women can do to get ahead. In many other countries, however, the cause of women's advancement has become a matter of public policy. Does the United States have lessons to learn from abroad? How can we develop public policy solutions that would be effective and appropriate in an American legal and cultural context?
Please join us on Monday, June 30, for a conversation that will explore the potential for using public policy to help combat the women's leadership gap and how this might be accomplished in the United States.
Please join the Center for American Progress for a screening and discussion of "Spent: Looking for Change," a new film executive produced by Academy Award-winning filmmaker Davis Guggenheim—whose past work includes "An Inconvenient Truth" and "Waiting for Superman"—following the stories of everyday Americans who earn, save, and spend money, yet don’t have access to the same financial tools most Americans take for granted. Millions of Americans are disconnected from the mainstream financial system in one way or another, which can lead to higher fees, greater risk, and missed opportunities. This film brings the issue of financial access and affordability to the forefront. Following the screening, a panel of experts will discuss the issues raised in the film and potential solutions to building a financial system that works for all Americans.
The Common Core State Standards, which were adopted by more than 40 states and the District of Columbia, are one of the most important reforms to American public education in decades. The standards will improve the quality of education by creating a roadmap for the knowledge and skills that students need to be successful in the 21st century. If implemented correctly, the new standards and aligned tests will make rote memorization, simplified curricula, and bubble tests things of the past.
In her new book, Place, Not Race
, Professor Sheryll Cashin argues that the declining influence of race-based affirmative action—the percentage of four-year public colleges that consider racial or ethnic status in admissions has fallen from 60 percent to 35 percent and only 45 percent of private colleges still explicitly consider race—is not entirely bad news since affirmative action as currently practiced does little to help disadvantaged people.
Please join the Center for American Progress, Higher Heights, and the Rutgers University Center for American Women and Politics for the release of the “Status of Black Women in American Politics” report, featuring a panel discussion on developing and implementing a long-term strategy to build, expand, and support a leadership pipeline at all levels for black women and proactively harnessing their political power to influence public policy and elections.
Levels of gun violence remain unacceptably high in this country, and judging from the daily toll of gun murders to the extraordinary acts of mass violence such as the one that occurred in Isla Vista just days ago, women are too often the targets of gun violence.
Please join the Center for American Progress, Americans for Responsible Solutions, and the National Domestic Violence Hotline for a discussion on policy solutions to protect women from gun violence.
In the three years since popular uprisings swept across the Middle East, the status of the Muslim Brotherhood has become a deep point of contention among regional states. Key countries in the Middle East and North Africa are sharply divided over the status of the Muslim Brotherhood and political Islam. During this time, U.S. policy has been hesitant as the United States has sought to define its position in reaction to both the uprisings themselves and the new era of competition among regional states they produced. This hesitancy has produced muted responses, strategically bereft of clear statements on U.S. interests and values. The uneven U.S. responses to the Arab uprisings and the regional competition that has been sparked offers several important lessons learned for U.S. policy in the future.
This year marks the 50th anniversary of the 1964 Freedom Summer, when civil rights activists traveled to Mississippi to register voters of color and unleash democracy across the state and the region. Fifty years later, the stretch of heavily black southern states that make up the so-called “Black Belt” are still defined by racial polarization. Despite the progress of the past five decades, black voters are often locked out of statewide politics.
Whether it is about education standards, testing, or school interventions, the current public conversation wrestles with fundamental questions about the role of the federal government in schools. Some argue that any federal involvement, particularly related to what students should learn, takes away local communities’ control over their children’s education. Others, such as the Center for American Progress, argue that without some federal intervention and financial resources, local communities will not be able to close achievement gaps and ensure equal opportunity for all students. Wherever one falls, this conversation has substantial implications for the lives of children in U.S. schools. States can certainly do much more within the current policy environment to improve outcomes for students, but what role should federal policy play in how states manage their schools?
In the coming years, two demographic shifts will shape our country’s course in public policy: exponential growth in communities of color and the aging of the Baby Boom generation. While considerable attention has been placed on the "emerging majority" of communities of color, America’s aging population—or the "silver tsunami"—will have important implications for public policy as well. Where do the interests of these groups come together? Where do they diverge? Most importantly, how can progressives harness the power of both to win a policy agenda that improves the lives of everyone?
Please join the Center for American Progress and the Small Business Administration for keynote remarks from SBA Administrator Maria Contreras-Sweet, who will outline her vision for ensuring small business owners have the resources and capital they need to succeed. Her remarks will focus on access to capital for traditionally underserved communities, providing pathways to the middle class through entrepreneurship for all people, and opening markets through exporting and supply chains. A panel discussion focusing on improving opportunities for women- and minority-owned small businesses will follow her remarks.
The progressive faith community has long provided moral leadership in the struggle for racial equity and is essential to the success of My Brother’s Keeper, an effort that President Barack Obama launched in February to address the persistent racial inequities in educational opportunity, employment, and incarceration among African American and Latino youth and men.
In his most recent book, Genesis
, John Judis argues that while Israelis and Palestinians must shoulder much of the blame, the United States has been the principal power outside the region since the end of World War II and as such must account for its repeated failed efforts to resolve this enduring strife. The fatal flaw in American policy, Judis shows, can be traced back to the Truman years. What happened between 1945 and 1949 sealed the fate of the Middle East for the remainder of the century. A provocative narrative history animated by a strong analytical and moral perspective and peopled by colorful and outsized personalities, Genesis
offers a fresh look at these critical postwar years, arguing that if we can understand how this stalemate originated, we will be better positioned to help end it.