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April showers bring May flowers, June brings…Early Learning Advocacy Day

June 21, 2010
I always look forward to June—it’s the month to celebrate Father’s Day, the arrival of summer and Early Learning Advocacy Day. This June, California’s Early Learning Advocacy Day convened more than 350 early learning advocates from across the state—including teachers and providers, parents, business leaders and others—to the state Capitol to advocate for high-quality early care and education programs. Participants met with more than 100 state legislators and staff members to share their stories about how high-quality early learning programs have benefited California’s children, families and...

Questions the Media Should Be Asking About Education

June 21, 2010
I knew what was coming. I knew from the pre-show questions the producer asked me off camera how “balanced” the Friends would be. Q. Wouldn’t you say that the key to reform is to fire bad teachers, which is now impossible? A. Well, I’m so glad you asked the question because a lot of people out there don’t understand that all teachers have is a fair way for a good teacher to defend herself if she is treated unfairly and that process is develo... Q. Excuse me, but wouldn’t you say that it’s impossible to reform schools because unions protect bad teachers from being fired? A. Again, there’s a lot...
Lily Eskelsen's picture

Who Needs More Women in Government? Dads.

June 17, 2010
As the first-time mother of an 8-month-old, I’m often concerned with making the world better for my daughter as she grows up. But every day, I also realize that I’m not in this struggle alone. Not only are there millions of moms out there trying to figure out how to balance work, a personal life, and a child (or three)— there are also millions of fathers that now have to face the same challenges. According to CAWP , Elected women are working to make the agenda of legislative institutions more reflective of women's concerns stemming from their roles as caregivers in the family and in society...

NYT: Moms are losing work for one simple but shocking reason:

June 7, 2010
Less than two weeks ago, the New York Times reported that more and more moms are losing their jobs and turning to welfare for one shocking reason: They simply can't afford to work. Can't afford to work?! How could that be? Well, it turns out that too often the high cost of childcare is more than the pay that moms bring home. It's a catch-22. Many modern families now need the wages of two breadwinners to put food on the table. “It’s a blow to my own self-image and self-worth as a person who can take care of myself,” explains a mom in Tuscon. “I’m totally able, physically and intellectually, to...
Sarah Francis's picture

Divas, madonnas, and working mamas

May 20, 2010
The media is our society’s muse. It attends to our collective consciousness. Whether we watch it or not, like it or not, it propels (or limits) our collective imagination. So when our society is bombarded with images of madonnas and primadonnas, princesses and whores, these images worm their way into our understanding of what a woman is.
Katrina Alcorn's picture

A Budget That A Mother Could Love

May 17, 2010
What’s stinkier than a poopy diaper, bigger than a pile of laundry, deeper than a sink full of dirty dishes? It’s the Illinois budget mess and it’s growing by the minute. In fact, the fiscal woes we’re facing here in the Land of Lincoln are said to be among the worst in the nation. But, what’s even more worrisome is the fact that members of our General Assembly can’t seem to reach consensus on a substantive plan for addressing the state’s mounting money problems. Meanwhile, the crisis is crippling everything from local schools to the vital social services that countless families depend on...

Closing the Achievement Gap

April 19, 2010
This year, a number of changes are planned by the Obama Administration, the Department of Education, the National Governors Association, the Council of Chief State School Officers and others to address the achievement gap in the United States, a gap that begins before children even enter school and widens as children grow up. The achievement gap, which the National Governors Association calls “one of the most pressing education-policy challenges that states currently face” is almost universally defined as a problem of low-income children and the distance between them and their higher-income...

What Can Our Schools Learn from the Finns?

April 9, 2010
This six-minute BBC clip (BBC Finland\'s Education Success) contains some serious gems gained from learning about what makes some country’s education systems outstanding and why America’s schools have been dropping in global rankings. Finland’s children have consistently performed at the top of international rankings year after year. I highlight this trend in Growing Up Global and organizations like the Asia Society have been studying what works and implementing learnings in their network of internationally-focused U.S. schools. Some of the success factors are distilled in the video clip:...
Homa Tavangar's picture

Safety First with Open-Flexible Work

April 5, 2010
You might be wondering what safety has to do with Open-Flexible work. How about the safety of your children? I personally realized this safety issue when I picked up my daughter’s friend for a scheduled play date. My daughter’s friend went home directly after school since her mother could not afford after school care all five days. Her mother is a low-moderate wage worker and single parent of two. I arrived at the apartment complex where my daughter’s friend lived to see her distraught mother outside with her daughter. Apparently, something scared her daughter and she left the house, ran...

Every Child Deserves the World

March 29, 2010
There’s a school just outside L.A., where all the students are classified as “poor.” Until a few years ago, the school’s location was considered part of a gang’s territory, with a violent history. Crossing the line to get to the Vaughn school meant you were taking your life into your own hands. But the day I walked into the high school now known as Vaughn International Studies Academy (VISA) , groups of students were preparing to take the stage for a Chinese New Year celebration, packing red silk vests as their weapon of choice. The freshmen sang first, and seniors sitting in the front of the...
Homa Tavangar's picture