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In Texas, Stepping Back From The Failed Austerity Experiment On Public Schools?

What happens in Texas's educational system is closely watched by the rest of the nation, from its textbook selection to a recent rollback of the state's high-stakes testing requirements. We can add funding for public education and universal pre-K to that list. During the 2011 legislative session, the Texas legislature had cut $5.4 billion from public education for the 2012-2013 biennium, slamming students and teachers with the brunt of the first education cuts the state enacted in more than four decades. The cuts also came as the $3 billion in emergency aid that Texas received from the 2009 federal stimulus was drying up.

Great Futures for All Rhode Island Students

It is a concern that lawmakers across the states are continuing to hear from families and teachers: their youngest constituents are over-tested, forced into focusing heavily on high-stakes test scores at the expense of gaining high-order thinking skills, building complex reasoning abilities, and enjoying a well-rounded education. Rhode Island is no stranger to the concerns. In fact, with a new testing graduation requirement implemented by the Rhode Island Department of Elementary and Secondary Education this year, the stakes have soared for the state's students. Specifically, the new policy ties receiving a high school diploma to performance on the controversial New England Common Assessment Program (NECAP) exam, which was never intended to be a graduation requirement. As a result of the new requirement, approximately 4000 students are at risk of not graduating next year.

Clearing Georgians' Confusion On The Common Core

If you've never heard of the Common Core State Standards, count yourself among 2 in 3 Americans, including the majority of parents with children in public schools. That's one of the results of a recent poll on Americans' attitude toward public education, which also found that the majority of those who've heard of the Common Core felt they were only "somewhat knowledgeable" about the standards.

Wisconsin Families: Public Education Is A Civil Right

Fifty years ago, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. led the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom, inspiring the nation with a soaring call for equality and unity as Americans that still resonates today. But achieving equality in the form of jobs and freedom depends on a strong public educational system available to all -- a truth reflected in the "Public Education is A Civil Right March and Rally" held recently in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Representative Mandela Barnes and Senator Chris Larson were among the hundreds of Wisconsin students, parents, educators, faith leaders, and representatives of more than 50 organizations sponsoring the event who marched together on September 21.

The Right Approach for Michigan's Students

In Michigan, we are seeing a troubling phenomenon that we are seeing across the country today: public schools so starved of funding that students are returning to increasingly crowded classes taught by fewer and fewer teachers, with fewer textbooks and less of everything they need. But rather than investing in our public schools, misguided polices in Michigan and across the states are instead pushing struggling schools further into financial crisis, making them vulnerable to the loss of local control through state takeovers or potential moneymaking opportunities for private investors via for-profit charter schools.

October 5 Day of Action: Marching For Dignity & Respect For Immigrants

The overwhelming majority of Americans support immigration reform with a real deal on citizenship for aspiring citizens. Tomorrow, many of these ordinary Americans across the country will be rallying and marching in the streets to demand that our lawmakers in the Capitol make good on their promise. On October 5, members of the faith, immigrant, labor, and civil rights communities will be calling on Congress to pass meaningful, comprehensive legislation that reflects the dignity and respect that immigrant families in America deserve.

The Bumps In the Road Are Expected -- Take It From These Republican Officials & Leaders

The Health Care Marketplaces created by the Affordable Care Act are finally open for business -- and the American people are heading in, releasing their pent-up demand for affordable health coverage. We are also seeing media coverage of the minor hiccups in implementation as it continues to move forward, such as the overwhelming demand on some of the marketplace websites. How should we approach these glitches and bumps in the road?

Committed To All Children -- In Pennsylvania & Across The Country

As students headed back to school this fall, state legislators across the country took part in the National Week of Action on Public Education, sponsored by Progressive States. Pennsylvania's lawmakers were among the state leaders who used the National Week of Action to highlight education funding inequities harming Pennsylvania's students and to call for solutions.

Inequality For All, Across The States

As the nation counts down to several looming deadlines, all eyes are on Washington. In the states, elected leaders, policy experts, and businesses alike are closely watching the developments, not just because of the devastating local impacts of a shutdown or the catastrophic chaos of default, which experts fear could send the country back into a recession if not depression. Coming on the heels of news of record high income inequality in the United States, we are facing policy outcomes that will either make it worse or make it less bad -- both within each state and across the states. 

Striking For An Economy That Works For Everyone

Today, state legislators like Arizona Rep. Juan Mendez and State Sen. Steve Gallardo are joining workers, other elected officials, and advocates in strikes and protests across the country. Momentum has been building for months, but heading into Labor Day weekend and coming on the heels of the 50th Anniversary of the March on Washington For Jobs and Freedom, the timing couldn’t be more fitting. Whether they’re in the fast food industry or retail sales, ordinary workers are still marching on for a voice on the job and a better life for their families. As they carry on the unfinished business of making our economy work for everyone, they’re also demanding the ability to form unions in those industries. The idea is simple: people should be able to join together when going up against corporate executives to negotiate for decent wages and benefits.