When President Barack Obama announced his support for universal preschool in his State of the Union address this year, he rekindled a fierce debate. Supporters praised universal preschool as an excellent "investment" in the nation's future workforce. Critics lambasted it as yet another example of wasteful federal spending.
Today, although dental treatment during pregnancy is considered beneficial, some dentists still hesitate to see pregnant women, because they fear litigation or harm to the fetus, or their knowledge of appropriate care lags behind the current evidence.
Over the past decade, my colleagues and I have produced a series of peer-reviewed articles evaluating the effectiveness of Oklahoma’s universal pre-K program, which President Obama praised in his State of the Union Address. Oklahoma’s program, established in 1998, now reaches approximately three-fourths of the state’s four-year-olds. The “Sooner State” has decided that sooner is better than later when it comes to early childhood education.
President Obama got roughed up by the pundit class last week. The question is what lessons he draws from the going-over. Here’s one he should take: The nation’s political conversation has grown stale, and many Americans have lost the sense of what he is doing to improve their lives.
Melissa Block talks to political commentators E.J. Dionne of The Washington Post and Brookings Institution, and Ramesh Ponnuru, senior editor at the National Review. They discuss jobs numbers, and Guantanamo.
If these workers do not return to the labor market, their absence may alter the country’s budget picture. “One of the biggest problems we face with the baby-boomer bulge in retirement is having enough workers behind them to pay their bills,” says Harry Holzer, a professor at Georgetown University’s Public Policy Institute.
By 2018, according to the Georgetown Center on Education and the Workforce, 68 percent of jobs in Massachusetts will require a career certificate or college degree. Currently, only half the Commonwealth’s adults hold an associates degree or higher. When business leaders are unable to fill their job openings with the local workforce, they will look elsewhere to hire and grow their businesses.
A bi-partisan Senate immigration policy plan has won support of many key political leaders. But some within the African-American community say it could hurt low wage black workers. Guest host Celeste Headlee discusses the issue with Harry Holzer of Georgetown University; and Lesley Jordan, a food industry worker from Los Angeles.