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Our Kids Deserve A Digital Detox

February 14, 2011
Whenever I ponder of the excess of technology in today’s society, I think of a posting on my friend’s Facebook page complaining that her kids were driving her crazy as they waited in line for ice cream. It seemed obvious to me why her kids were acting up--they wanted her to stop the constant mobile uploads and pay attention to them. Our children, our partners, our friends, and our community are crying out for us to lift our eyes from our smartphones and unplug the earphones to reconnect with each other off-line. This is why the organization I work for created the National Day of Unplugging in...
Tanya Schevitz's picture

Ahh the power of the glue stick!

February 10, 2011
Here's the deal: Roses, champagne flutes, glittery gems and jewelry--all great. But these days, I'm all about a different kind of Valentine's Day: Red construction paper hearts, lopsided, and shaped by small hands wielding safety scissors, glue sticks, and glitter. Let's face it. Lopsided glitter glue has the power to melt hearts far and wide. What if we could use the power of Valentine's Day to stand up for kids and get Congress to focus on preschool and quality, affordable childcare? It turns out, we (you) can! *Click this link to see our super cool online valentine-creation-station and...
Sarah Francis's picture

Competitive Mothering Takes a Hit

February 5, 2011
From Your (Wo)manInWashington blog MOTHERS changing the conversation @ With an eyebrow firmly raised at all the Tiger Mother brouhaha, I was delighted to find this post from Cameron Macdonald , an Assistant Professor of Sociology at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. She's written a book, “Shadow Mothers: Nannies, Au Pairs and the Micropolitics of Mothering” which looks as what she calls the "private to public care transfer", meaning childcare moving from the household (and mother) to a paid employee. She is also interested, according to her bio, in "...
Valerie Young's picture

Indiscriminate Budget Cuts at What Toll?

February 2, 2011
The recent House proposal to slash domestic spending to 2008 levels would mean millions lost in funding for early childhood programs. It’s easy to give short shrift to this number when discussing it broadly and in the abstract. After all, there is wide agreement that balance needs to be restored to the federal budget. President Obama has called for a five-year freeze in domestic, non-defense discretionary spending and states are grappling with budget shortfalls and considering across the board cuts, including human services. But when discussing balancing the budget and cutting programs, we...
Hannah Matthews's picture

A Powerful Education Reform Tool - Kindergarten Readiness Data

January 20, 2011
Understanding whether or not children are ready to succeed when they walk through the kindergarten door is one of the most difficult questions to answer. Washington only begins to collect consistent student progress data at the end of 3rd grade. By the time the state reports this data, the students are buying school supplies for 4th grade. Unfortunately we know this is too late.

The Gender Politics of Education Reform

January 20, 2011
Education reform: I fervently believe women who are in the schools every day--as parent volunteers, and as teachers--have a great deal to tell policymakers what works and what doesn't. What we need is a pointilist approach: steady application of dots of information about how schools are working--or not working--that add up to a big picture. We need it from parents, students, and educators themselves.
Cynthia Liu's picture

An Invitation to California MomsRising Members

January 4, 2011
Across the country, the New Year means new beginnings. Here in the Golden State our former and just-sworn-in Governor Jerry Brown will bring creative and sometimes austere approaches to tackle an estimated deficit of over $25 billion . For those of us who care about health care and the social services that comprise our safety net, being prepared with our policy priorities and strategies is more important than ever. Next week, on Wednesday, January 12, many of the state’s leading health, social service and workplace advocates will come together at the California Working Families Policy Summit...

For Moms & Moms-to-be the Personal Is Political

December 30, 2010
Cross posted from the Young Women's Leadership Program Blog: Words of Wisdom from Worldly Young Women As I scrolled through my newsfeed on my Facebook page this week I came across a posting written by a friend who has two young children that read, “I make $4.26 a week after daycare. Oh, the joys of parenthood.” My immediate reaction and my subsequent comment on her post read, “No, more like: Oh the joys of a society that says it values family but then doesn’t give us paid maternity leave and doesn’t create more affordable childcare options!” Ever since reading the Motherhood Manifesto (read...
Michelle Noehren's picture

Shame on US: Congress defeats bill to protect girls from dangerous child marriages

December 17, 2010
The US House of Representatives just defeated S. 987 (The International Protecting Girls by Preventing Child Marriage Act), despite passing unanimously in the Senate. By failing to pass the Child Marriage bill, our country turns a blind eye to practices enslaving children into marriage. Here's the update from the Washington Post's Post Partisan blog . Tell Congress: Girls need books, not husbands Ironically, the background published at for the Republicans in Congress makes a good case to PASS the bill: "The United Nations Children's Fund estimates that 60 million girls in developing...
Homa Tavangar's picture

The Promise of Postsecondary Education for Parents

December 16, 2010
Education, and particularly higher education, provides many individuals with hope for a better future. The power of this simple truism was brought home to me while working on Striking a Balance , when I discovered that the union for hotel workers in San Francisco ( HERE Local 2 ) had developed a scholarship program to fund prep courses for college admissions tests. The catch? The program was for the daughters and sons of union members, and not the members themselves. The members are mainly immigrant women, and their vision for a brighter future involves higher education for their children. A...
Robert Drago's picture