News & Highlights

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. [continue reading…]
Research

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. [continue reading…]
News & Highlights

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. [continue reading…]
News & Highlights

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. [continue reading…]
Trainings / Workshops

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. [continue reading…]
Curricula

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? [continue reading…]
No Picture
Opinion

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. [continue reading…]
News & Highlights

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. [continue reading…]
News & Highlights

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. [continue reading…]