President Obama on Thursday unveiled a proposal to greatly expand pre-K and other early childhood education programs. As a White House statement put it, Obama believes that “high-quality early education provides the foundation for all children’s success in school and helps to reduce achievement gaps.”
In giving up the papacy, Pope Benedict XVI was brave and bold. He did the unexpected for the good of the Catholic Church. And when it selects a new pope next month, the College of Cardinals should be equally brave and bold. It is time to elect a nun as the next pontiff.
In a speech to promote his State of the Union education plan, President Obama framed it in a way to appeal to Republicans: It saves money. But the question is not whether it's a good idea so much as whether it can pass the Republican-controlled House.
William Gormley, a professor at Georgetown, has extensively evaluated Oklahoma’s pre-K program and found that participants are much better off than Head Start participants in terms of cognitive development. He also has found that the programs makes students more prepared for school, with participants doing 52 percent better on tests of their ability to recognize words.
President Obama is a freer man than he has been at any point in his presidency. He is free from the need to save an economy close to collapse, from illusions that Republicans in Congress would work with him readily, from the threat of a rising tea party movement and from the need to win reelection.
If you care about deficits, you should want our economy to grow faster. If you care about lifting up the poor and reducing unemployment, you should want our economy to grow faster. And if you are a committed capitalist and hope to make more money, you should want our economy to grow faster.
I disagreed with former president George W. Bush on many things. But on one issue, I admired him greatly: He was wise enough to marry a teacher and a librarian. I’m unabashedly biased about this, since my late mom was also a teacher and a librarian.
Pope Benedict XVI’s resignation is in character in several ways. As an institutionalist who believes in the Roman Catholic Church as the carrier of truth in a sinful world, he would worry a great deal about the impact of his own infirmities on the institution’s capacity to thrive.