(Image: LA Johnson/NPR)

How Investing In Preschool Beats The Stock Market, Hands Down

(NPR) There’s a growing body of research on the value and importance of high-quality early education programs — especially for disadvantaged kids. But there’s surprisingly little research on its impact over time. A new paper. “The Life-Cycle Benefits of an Influential Early Childhood Program,” co-authored by Nobel laureate James Heckman, helps change that. Heckman and his co-authors examine the many ways in which these high-quality programs helped participants thrive throughout life.

The economic impact of violence on the global economy in 2015 was $13.6 trillion in purchasing power parity (PPP) terms. This figure represents 13.3 per cent of the world’s economic activity (gross world product) or $1,876 for every person in the world.

2016 Global Peace Index Records a Historically Less Peaceful and More Unequal World

The 2016 Global Peace Index (GPI) shows the world became less peaceful in the last year, reinforcing the underlying trend of declining peace over the last decade. Results also show a growing global inequality in peace, with the most peaceful countries continuing to improve while the least peaceful are falling into greater violence and conflict.

Civilians flee south from renewed fighting in Abyei.

The Future of Peace: How the Business of Peace is changing the Culture of Conflict

How can peace be understood as something just as thrilling, as daring, as engaging, as the struggle to deny our darkest paths? That is the future of peace. It is peace as more than a goal. It is peace taking its turn in the circle of hard marketing sells. Steve Killela initiated the first Global Peace Index (GPI) in 2006 in part to display the better business of peace critical to the 21st century.

The costs of inequality: Education’s the one key that rules them all

The revolutionary concept of free, nonsectarian public schools spread across America in the 19th century. By 1970, America had the world’s leading educational system, and until 1990 the gap between minority and white students, while clear, was narrowing. But educational gains in this country have plateaued since then, and the gap between white and minority students has proven stubbornly difficult to close, says Ronald Ferguson, adjunct lecturer in public policy at Harvard Kennedy School (HKS) and faculty director of Harvard’s Achievement Gap Initiative. That gap extends along class lines as well. By eighth grade, Harvard economist Roland G. Fryer Jr. noted last year, only 44 percent of American students are proficient in reading and math. The proficiency of African-American students, many of them in underperforming schools, is even lower. “The position of U.S. black students is truly alarming,” wrote Fryer, the Henry Lee Professor of Economics, who used the OECD rankings as a metaphor for minority standing educationally. “If they were to be considered a country, they would rank just below Mexico in last place.” Harvard Graduate School of Education (HGSE) Dean James E. Ryan, a former public interest lawyer, says geography has immense power in determining educational opportunity in America. As a scholar, he has studied how policies and the law affect learning, and how conditions are often vastly unequal. His book “Five Miles Away, A World Apart” (2010) is a case study of the disparity of opportunity in two Richmond, Va., schools, one grimly urban and the other richly suburban. Geography, he says, mirrors achievement levels.

Qatar Based University to Discuss Peace Education in Africa

To be held on February 8 and 9, the forum ‘Peace Education: Qatar Engagement in Mapping of Policies, Programmes and Resources in Africa’ will bring together academics, United Nations delegates and prominent practitioners to delve into crucial issues in education and peace-building that can affect Africa’s socio-economic and political transformation. Panelists will discuss the most effective ways universities in war-affected countries can be functionally relevant to the daily needs and challenges of their immediate environment by promoting peace-building through peace education.

Pricey Bargains

Climate change, species extinction, pollution and poverty: The world seems to go down the drain! There are many reasons for these problems. One reason of particular importance is rooted deep in our economic system. This video, produced by Edeos offers an explanation. What are your thoughts on the relationship of the global economy to the climate, pollution and poverty?

Impacts of the Privatization of Public Education

The political economy of public sector failure is wholly ignored when schools are declared failing and threatened with closure. Further, parents, guardians, community members, educators, and youth are systematically excluded from decisions to close schools and plans to redesign their replacements. The cover story about saving communities from educational crisis grows a bit suspect when the very communities presumably being saved are kept out of the process–and their children are often denied admission to the replacement schools.

Photo: (L-R) Betty Williams; Ingeborg Breines, Co-President, International Peace Bureau; Jonathan Granoff; Mairead Corrigan Maguire

The Measure of Our Humanity: Nobel Peace Laureates Promote Solutions to Refugee Crisis, Terrorism, Climate Change and Nuclear Annihilation

In November the 15th World Summit of Nobel Peace Laureates crafted the Barcelona Declaration. They addressed the crisis of refugees and the violence of terrorism with a focus on positive policies focused on root causes. A measure of a civilization is how it treats the most vulnerable. From that perspective, it is necessary to look with compassion on the lives disrupted by the civil war in Syria, drug-driven corruption in Central America and Mexico, chaos arising from the invasion of Iraq and Afghanistan, and the poverty driven multiple crises arising in Africa from dysfunctional governance, the failure of the rule of law, hyper-exploitation, and environmental degradation.

Tiffany Anderson, the superintendent of the 3,000-student Jennings School District in Jennings, Mo., addresses college-prep students on Dec. 10. Anderson has a "hands-on" approach and visits classrooms frequently. She has brought additional funding, initiative and momentum to the district. (Bonnie Jo Mount/The Washington Post)

This superintendent has figured out how to make school work for poor kids

(Washington Post) School districts don’t usually operate homeless shelters for their students. Nor do they often run food banks or have a system in place to provide whatever clothes kids need. Few offer regular access to pediatricians and mental health counselors, or make washers and dryers available to families desperate to get clean. But the Jennings Mo. School District — serving about 3,000 students in a low-income, predominantly African American jurisdiction just north of St. Louis — does all of these things and more. When Superintendent Tiffany Anderson arrived here 3 1/2 years ago, she was determined to clear the barriers that so often keep poor kids from learning. And her approach has helped fuel a dramatic turnaround in Jennings, which has long been among the lowest-performing school districts in Missouri.

United Movement to End Child Soldiering: reflections from our work

United Movement to End Child Soldiering, based in Washington, DC, is partnered with UMECS: The Center for Peace, Education and Development, a Republic of Uganda based NGO, to fulfill a mutually shared mission: to support secondary school and higher education for children and youth affected by conflict and poverty, together with school-based peace education and guidance and counseling programs, and help to build cultures of peace to prevent new wars. Following are excerpts from their 2015 year-end newsletter.

Socio-economic inequality has become a threat to all categories of human rights. Photo from Occupy Wall Street protest by Dean Chamim

Economic Inequality and Human Rights: An Emerging Global Debate

(Original article: Center for Economic and Social Rights) Rising economic inequality has emerged as one of the defining social ills of our time, and a growing threat to all human rights. The 80 richest people on the planet now own as much as the bottom half of the world’s population, while 7 out of 10 people live […]

Dr. Carlos Alberto Torres, President of the World Council of Comparative Education Societies (WCCES)

Connecting peace education, education for sustainable development & global citizenship education to the 2030 Sustainable Development Agenda

A Peace Education Manifesto and the role of WCCES. From the desk of World Council of Comparative Education Societies (WCCES) President Carlos Alberto Torres. Our age of global interdependence is being marked not only by the dialectics of the global and the local that we will discuss in Beijing, but also by the dialectics of terrorism and anti-terrorism. I am writing to you as President of WCCES but also as a victim of state terrorism in Argentina that forced me to exile. I would like to invite the WCCES to a dialogue about our moral responsibilities.

A man walks past a boarded-up row of houses as rain falls in Baltimore, Sunday, April 22, 2012. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky)

Mapping the Continuing Culture of Disinvestment in Baltimore’s Black Neighborhoods

(Original article: Brentin Mock, Citylab.com, Nov. 18, 2015) If Baltimore seems hardwired for racial strife and segregation, that’s partly because the banks there have programmed it that way. Baltimore has a long history of redlining, in which financial institutions refuse to offer housing loans or insurance in African-American neighborhoods. That redlining legacy has continued running […]

Neoliberalism, Privatization, and the Crisis of Education

(Original article: Harry Targ, Diary of a Heartland Radical, Nov. 14, 2015) Introduction In August, 2015 12 parents in the Bronzeville neighborhood of Chicago launched a 34 day hunger strike to protest the closing of a neighborhood high school. Their demands, along with its reopening, included the establishment of a green jobs oriented curriculum that […]

Building a Sustainable Present: What can one person do?

  Building a Sustainable Present: What can one person do? A special panel discussion on sustainability and change was convened by the Peace Education Initiative at The University of Toledo on Tuesday, November 10, 2015.   Looking at sustainability, this panel of experts shared work being done at various levels from the grassroots to the […]

Principals of 35 schools affiliated with India’s Central Board of Secondary Education are taking part in the Jeddah conference. (AN photos)

Education for Peace and Development Conference – India

(Original article: Siraj Wahab, arabnews.com, Oct. 25, 2015) Education should not be for wealth creation alone, says Indian diplomat. JEDDAH: Indian Consul General B.S. Mubarak has said education is not merely for the creation of wealth as is the case now. “Wealth should be converted into well-being and education should focus on solving the world’s […]

The Challenges of Climate Change Education

(Original article: Nayla Naoufal, Earth and Peace Education International – Nov. 2015) As noted in the scientific literature, not only does climate change degrade the environment, diminish natural resources, increase health issues and decrease quality of life, but it is also very likely to exacerbate inequalities and provoke armed conflicts in the future, due to resource scarcities […]