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