The problem at meetings such as Reclaiming the Conversation on Education conference is that they tend to be "anti" meetings that do not present a clear alternative agenda defining what participants believe is the role public education should play in a democratic society.
We squander valuable human and cultural capital when in another time and place the unauthorized would have been citizens simply because they live and contribute to our common life, and have ties to American citizens. That's what's wrong with our system.
All of our friends knew we were legally married because they had attended the ceremony and partied with us at the wedding reception. But as we would learn in going through the green card and naturalization applications, there is nothing routine about the process.
As much of the higher education industry continues to focus on the possibilities of MOOCs, we must be careful not to forget that learning by doing in real life situations brings a value that the online experience can not fully replace.
Lincoln, self-educated, a versatile and critical thinker, questioned prevailing assumptions of his day, and, in his search for truth, drew upon mathematical axioms as a storehouse of principles he might apply to his political philosophy.
The practice of hospitality, especially to strangers (the Bible's term for outsiders or people not of your tribe, clan or national group), is one of the most central teachings of the Jewish and Christian scriptures.
Besides being unfair, denying millions of people the right to citizenship is socially and politically disruptive. It is important for each of us to have skin in the game -- to know that our investment in this country brings real rewards.
Who is responsible for this "values cliff" and how do we get back on track to a shared expectation of decency, responsibility and citizenship that we all can say is the real America of our traditions, aspirations, hopes and dreams?
This question of citizenship vs. residency is no mere technical policy dispute. This idea of denying citizenship to 11 million people -- a population the size of Ohio -- goes to the heart of who we are as a nation.
With the sequester threatening economic stability and gun advocates and opponents squaring off for a battle, it seems increasingly likely that the only policy area where Democrats and Republicans may agree this year is immigration reform -- and now even that seems chancy.
We are indeed at a pivot point for the "success or failure of our great experiment" in government." Schools and families must play an essential role in building citizenship and the character of the nation. So too should national service.
Now that we are moving ahead with immigration reform, we should embrace citizenship as a positive value that strengthens the nation rather than putting unnecessary obstacles and long delays in the way of immigrants becoming citizens.
Obama's vision is broad, challenging the good versus evil, hyper-moralized political scripts which dominate today on both right and left. In contrast, today higher education leaders often contribute to the latter.