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CrossTalk: Obama Doctrine
Stephen Schlesinger April 17, 2015

TCF fellow Stephen Schlesinger joined Russia Today's CrossTalk program today to discuss President Obama's foreign policy. Watch the full interview below:

Egyptians Question President’s Decision to Go to War in Yemen
Michael Wahid Hanna April 16, 2015

In Egypt, a public debate is growing regarding whether or not the country should go to war in Yemen in an attempt to combat Houthi rebels in the region. TCF fellow Michael Hanna commented on the Yemen debate and how a decision to go to war could leave the Egyptian government with a dissatisfied public.

“This is the kind of situation where they [the state] could face very real public disgruntlement and dissent. There are very few issues that could produce that kind of reaction. This seems like one,” said Hanna. “There has been an interesting level of questioning. That hasn’t been the case in the past year and a half.”

Read more on the discussion surrounding Egypt's involvement in Yemen at TIME.

White Parents in North Carolina are Using Charter Schools to Secede From the Education System
Mike Cassidy, Halley Potter April 15, 2015

The newest trend, besides send students to charter schools, is send students to charter schools to keep them out of racially-integrated schools. TCF fellows Rick Kahlenberg and Halley Potter cite the ways that this perpetual segregation fuels an unhealthy education system in their book A Smarter Charter.

Already last year, North Carolina rejected 60 of 71 applications for new charter schools. Some complained that applications were getting dinged for not having adequate busing and meal plans, though the charter school board denied this.

Check out the charter school article from The Washington Post.

StudentsFirst Sues Teachers Unions Over Dues
Moshe Marvit April 15, 2015

In California, a court case addressing whether or not teacher union members should be able to opt out of paying dues destined for political purposes has been filed by Sacramento-based StudentsFirst, a national school-privitization organization. In an article discussing the legal battle, TCF fellow Moshe Marvit comments on similar cases involving dues disputes, discussing in particular Friedrichs v. California Teachers Association, a case that is now on appeal to the Supreme Court.

“Friedrichs is sort of attacking [Abood] head-on,” labor attorney and Century Foundation fellow Moshe Marvit told Capital & Main, “saying that it should be overturned, that the whole agency fee or fair share provision model that Abood sort of formalized in the public sector should be deemed unconstitutional. Bain is not attacking Abood in the same way. It’s saying that a fair share balance should be struck, not necessarily in favor of a right to work, but more in favor of the idea that nonmembers should get all the benefits of membership.”

Read more at Capital & Main.

Wolf Camp Disputes Assertion of Home-Care ‘Union Ballot’
Moshe Marvit April 15, 2015

In Pennsylvania, Republicans are accusing a ballot that is being circulated to the state's independent home-care workers of being a union ballot, calling the move an "ambush." Labor experts like TCF fellow Moshe Marvit, however, have noted that the ballot is about representation of these workers and not unionization, which is a key distinction to make as the Pennsylvania Labor Relations Act effectively prohibits home-care “domestic” workers from organizing.

“It’s actually a pretty important distinction,” said Moshe Z. Marvit, a labor law expert and a fellow with The Century Foundation, a liberal New York City policy group. “And it is a distinction that has been very well developed under the law in America.”

Read more on this story in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.

Iran is Winning the War for Dominance of the Middle East
Thanassis Cambanis April 14, 2015

There is a continuous battle for Middle Eastern dominance, with the two loose coalitions between Iran and Saudi Arabia, neither of whom have any solid grasp of what good governance would resemble in the region. TCF fellow Thanassis Cambanis says that despite the highly regional localized struggle, the U.S. should "take particular care in this conflict."

Sure, it’s bizarre to see the U.S. military working with Iran to battle the Islamic State in Iraq, while working against Tehran in Yemen. It’s also refreshing. This isn’t a homily; it’s foreign policy. It’s encouraging to see the United States operating around the edges of a complex, multiparty conflict and finding ways to advance American interests.

Read Cambanis's full article.

Time For a Moratorium on Charter Schools
Amy Dean April 14, 2015

The public education system has never been without fault, but it seems that most recently more and more issues have arisen that concern teacher unions and standardized testing. Despite the faith put in charter schools to fix this seemingly flawed public education system, TCF fellow Amy B. Dean writes that charter schools are in need of reform before they can be confidently considered a viable and effective alternative.

Charter advocates claim that they are data-driven technicians who pay attention to evidence of what works. But research does not support their preferred education policies. A national moratorium on charter schools would stop the hemorrhaging of funds from traditional public schools. It would also allow time to address the corruption that has plagued the charter industry. This would create an opportunity for some reflection on what actually works best for educating our children.

Read the rest of Dean's article featured in Al Jazeera America.

POLITICO: Morning Transportation
The Century Foundation April 13, 2015

The Century Foundation's conference, Building the Bridge: Solutions to the Infrastructure Crisis, made it into this week's edition of POLITICO's Morning Transportation.

Blumenauer will also speak downtown during a Century Foundation conference on infrastructure improvement, along with Jason Miller, deputy director of the White House National Economic Council.

See more on the week ahead in transportation and infrastructure here.

Economic Inequality Goes to College
Richard D. Kahlenberg April 13, 2015

TCF senior fellow and education expert Richard Kahlenberg was featured on NPR's On Point with Tom Ashbrook where he spoke about how the American college education system is becoming increasingly the poster child of the affluent class. Listen to him speaking on the issue:


The Real “Middle Class” is Even Worse Off
Mark Thoma April 13, 2015

TCF fellow Mark Thoma lays out the real definition of the "Middle Class" and says that between the period of 1989 and 2013, they are the only class whose median income and wealth decreased (and at a surprising 13 percent and 22 percent, respectively).

The bottom line according to Emmons and Noeth is that "the demographically defined middle class reveals that families that are neither rich nor poor may be under more downward economic and financial pressure than common but simplistic rank-based measures of income or wealth would suggest.

Read Thoma's full article here.

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Upcoming Events

America’s Rich & Poor: Looking at the Financial Gap
APRIL 18, 2015 AT 3:30PMJoin TCF fellow Ed Kleinbard discuss his book, "We Are Better Than This: How Government Should Spend Our Money," at the LA Times Festival of Books.
Capitol Hill Briefing: Why Classroom Diversity Matters in Early Education
April 29, 2015 AT 2:00PM - 3:00PMThe Century Foundation and the Poverty & Race Research Action Council invite you to attend a Capitol Hill Briefing on a new report, A Better Start: Why Classroom Diversity Matters in Early Education.

Recent Events

Building the Bridge: Solutions to the Infrastructure Crisis
April 14, 2015 AT 8:30AM - 2:00PMThe Century Foundation’s Bernard L. Schwartz Rediscovering Government Initiative invites you to help revitalize the public discourse by attending our conference, Building the Bridge: Solutions to the Infrastructure Crisis.
Child Poverty Solutions That Can Work
January 22, 2015 AT 9:00AMAmerica’s child poverty rate, currently at 22 percent—highest in the developed world—is one of our nation’s gravest problems. Fortunately, we know what tools work when it comes to combating child poverty. The question is, why aren’t we using them?
Ending the Charter Wars: Century and KIPP on School Models that Work
December 3, 2014 at 12:00PMWith an estimated 2.5 million students attending charter schools, it's time to focus on which charter school models work best.
Implications of a Nuclear Agreement with Iran
NOVEMBER 20, 2014 AT 5:30PMPlease join The Iran Project and The Century Foundation for a discussion about the wide-ranging implications of a nuclear agreement with Iran.
A Smarter Charter: Book Party and Discussion
Thursday, October 9, 2014 at 5PM
A Smarter Charter: Book Release and Response
OCTOBER 7, 2014 AT 5:30PMJoin us on October 7 as we look more deeply at Smarter Charter and the ideals and limitations of charter school policy.
A Smarter Charter: A Discussion with Richard Kahlenberg and Halley Potter
Monday, September 29, 2014 AT 5:30PMA conversation with Teachers College Press authors Richard D. Kahlenberg and Halley Potter.
The Delicate Balance: Media, Security & Freedom in a Post 9/11 World
Monday, September 22, 2014 at 6:00PMThe panel will also examine the upcoming Senate Intelligence Committee report on interrogations, the case of journalist James Risen, the continuing debate over Edward Snowden's release of NSA documents and whether transparency comes with a cost to our national security.

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