Democracy was founded on the principle that every voice should have a vote. As the end of this year draws near, those voices calling for a vote on immigration reform have never been louder. The calls are heard across cultures, across communities, across the country.
Hearing President Obama's speech on the 50th anniversary of the Civil Rights Act, we are encouraged by the progress America has made to live up to its promise. Yet it marks a bittersweet moment. For although there are no more Bull Connors with dogs chasing down African Americans, we continue to bury our head in the sand regarding racial economic inequality.
The secret to the great success of American industry and innovation throughout the country's short history, to its now default position at the forefront of the world economy, is also the missing link in the mystery of the country's failing education system. Imagine the proposal to make college admissions and corporate and industry personnel decisions on a basis not of individual merit but the results of a random lottery; and yet, this is exactly the latest new thing in education at the lower levels of our education system.
Perhaps years from now, when President Obama writes his autobiography about his time in office, we’ll learn all the details about his conversation with Pope Francis. We knew before the meeting that economic inequality would be a topic of discussion, and afterwards we were told it was part of the conversation.
Before I entered the fray of Washington, I lived in Colorado. It was an amazing life, one in which I was surrounded by awe-inspiring beauty, and humbled by Mother Nature herself. As I approach another World Water Day in my new world, absent of mountains but full of a lot that is equally meaningful, I'm joining WaterAid supporters across the country in reflecting on an everyday moment when I was reminded of how important water really is. That moment came high in the mountains of the western slope of the Continental Divide, near Vail, Colorado.
We have a good understanding of why students drop out of high school. But if we know this, why aren't students succeeding in schools and why aren't schools succeeding in helping them?