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The fate of 380,000 working families

February 24, 2011
Last night there was a bit of panic in my house. Snow in Seattle! Ack--that means preschool is closed. What are working parents supposed to do when preschool is closed? But over 368,000 parents across this country are in a panic far worse than mine. Depending on how our U.S. Senators vote, these families could find themselves permanently cut off from preschool and child care . Take one minute right now to send a quick note to your Senator. We’ve got to make it clear that working parents depend on child care and preschool. What’s going on? Last week the House passed a...
Sarah Francis's picture

The Attack on Teachers and Unions Should Concern Everyone

February 18, 2011
And all of us, whether in a union or not, should care about what’s happening in Wisconsin. In fact, maybe it’s more important for those who don’t have a union. The ability of modestly paid people to collectively bargain something better has helped build the great middle class of our great country, even among non-union members.
Lily Eskelsen's picture

You Want Better Teachers?

February 17, 2011
There is a convergence of politicians, activists, venture capitalists and even movie-makers, looking for a slick, simple storyline as to why, in neighborhoods with growing crime, unemployment, drug use and incarceration rates, students are failing and dropping out. Their answer: Those kids must have bad teachers.
Lily Eskelsen's picture

Giant cuts proposed to kids' programs!

February 16, 2011
Something doesn't add up. These days you hear a lot of members of Congress saying, "Governments need to budget like families do." I couldn't agree more. Every family I know budgets by putting the health, safety, and future of their children first. But what gets me is that some of the same members of Congress who advocate for budgeting like families are--at the same time!--doing the opposite by putting critical programs for children's health and education on the chopping block. Just last week the House of Representatives unveiled their new spending plan for the rest of fiscal year 2011. This...
Donna's picture

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

A Parent’s Decision to Empower thru Sports

February 3, 2011
Getting a child into sports and keeping them there is one of the best decisions a parent will make. While your kids do it for the fun, research on the life-long benefits of a sports experience gives parents even more motivation to schlep kids to those practices. Contrary to the “dumb jock” myth, interscholastic sports participation has a measurable, positive educational impact on both boys and girls from diverse socioeconomic, racial, and ethnic backgrounds. Betsey Stevenson, an economist from Wharton, found that it’s not just that kids already destined to do well play sports, but that...
Nancy Hogshead-Makar'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 Compelling Argument for Public School Choice

February 1, 2011
Inside scoop : I facebooked and tweeted the story about the Ohio mom who became a convicted felon after she used her parents' address to send her daughters to a public school there. According to a very close source, the mother was an employee at the Akron schools district she refused to send her daughter to and while they are supportive of her as "you can imagine what it is doing for their image when a staff member won't send her kids there." The source also provided this inside scoop: "50 other folks were charged with the same offense (sending their child to Copley when they lived somewhere...
Elisa Batista's picture