Lawmakers in Florida recently took a step in the right direction when they voted to put on hold a section of the state's longstanding education reform policy. For the first time since 2003, parents and teachers will have a say in whether their third grader will go on to fourth grade if the child doesn't perform well on their assessment.
Of all the Great Society programs, Head Start is perhaps the most popular. It provides center-based services to millions of very cute 3- and 4-year-olds, mostly children from disadvantaged families. If members of the public, educators, and policy makers know a single conclusion from educational research, it is that early-childhood programs have long-term positive impacts.
In the House and Senate budget proposals for fiscal year 2016, passed with only Republican votes at the end of March, there are big winners and big losers. The big winners are defense spending and contractors and very wealthy people and powerful special interests. The big losers are children, our poorest group in America, and struggling low- and middle-income families.
Why are so many girls, especially girls of color, confined in our nation's detention facilities, and what are we as a society going to do about it? We must all work tirelessly to give hope and a fair chance to these girls and all children by promoting policies, programs, and supports that help them and their families, especially those most at risk.
Head Start -- the nation's commitment to giving the most vulnerable children and their families an opportunity to succeed in school and in life -- is an evergreen design. Let us make sure that its redesign 50 years later ensures it continues to be the window of opportunity to the American Dream for generations to come.