The Achievement Gap: A Genetic Issue?

The Achievement Gap: A Genetic Issue? Why Do Poor Whites Outscore Rich Blacks on the SAT? by Jamal Mtshali 2016 proved yet another precarious year for U.S. education policy. The Supreme Court’s Fisher ruling and Donald Trump’s election (and tapping of charter school champion Betsy DeVos as his education secretary) teetered the U.S public policy playground’s seesaw. But Trump’s inauguration along with the Republican Party’s control of 31 US governorships threatens to catapult the vision of equitable American education into oblivion. Such disequilibrium manifests most glaringly in the education achievement gap, an expanse characterized by stark racial disparity. Policymakers at...

An ‘Open, Democratic Process’ Is Open To Investigative Reporting With Foreign Sources

An ‘Open, Democratic Process’ Is Open To Investigative Reporting With Foreign Sources By Steve Cunningham John Lewis recently said that “I think there was a conspiracy on the part of the Russians, and others, that helped him get elected. That’s not right. That’s not fair. That’s not the open, democratic process.” Putting aside questions of whether or not Russia hacked at all, and the claim of Wikileaks founder Julian Assange that his “source is not a state party,” there is nothing wrong with a foreign entity helping to disclose truth about public officials.  Investigative reporting is one of the most important contributions that...

Trump’s Brand of Xenophobia Is An American Cycle That Must Be Broken

Billionaire Presidential Candidate Donald Trump’s biggest sale to the electorate isn’t that he’s a brilliant businessman (though some people seem to think that starting with big money and ending up with big money makes him one), but rather that he’s a “tell it like it is” straight shooter who “says what everyone is thinking”. While, I must disagree with every orientation to reason I can muster that Trump is telling anything resembling “like it is” he may in fact be saying what many Americans are thinking. I have to be upfront here, I believe that America is an idea and an ideal of...

Nobody Is “Owed” My Vote, Especially Not “The Lesser of Two Evils”

I’m an Independent. I’ve never belonged to any political party and, to paraphrase Groucho Marx, I don’t know if I’d want to be a member of any party that would have me. At least, not the major parties as they currently exist. They are at present, big businesses that pedal notions without motions, bluster without muster, and platitudes without latitude. Now that the 2016 major party conventions are in the bag, the expected talk is swirling about the supposed irresponsibility of being an Independent and voting independently. The rhetoric is especially spirited in this cycle because we’re dealing not in degrees of likability, but degrees...

Things We Have Learned From the DNC So Far

Good evening, all. It’s the second day of the Democratic National Convention, and progressives have learned a great deal already. In an election cycle that is sure to be one for the textbooks, the lessons just keep flowing.  We all witnessed how populism as represented by the Bernie Sanders campaign has been dissipated in service of the neo-liberal agenda. We have learned that anyone who is asking for better than the status quo is “being ridiculous.”  We are seeing how Democratic Party myth making is done in real time, focusing on speeches, but forgetting about the policies that are still...