When teachers embrace students as individuals and recognize their personal strengths and needs, young people in poverty can develop the kind of confidence needed to propel them beyond their circumstances.
Last week, as part of the reopening of the National Civil Rights Museum in Memphis, I moderated three panels of civil rights advocates who reflected on early efforts to pass civil rights legislation, promises fulfilled and progress not yet made.
Which prime movers are featured in our history and government textbooks? Whose stone faces look out from Mount Rushmore? Whom do we honor with national holidays? Who are the central characters in our movies, TV shows, and books?
As we take stock of the current state of America's children and the desperate need to change direction for the future, some ancient wisdom can give us a blueprint for setting sail and getting our children to safe harbor.
As the president and Congress struggle to find a way to lower the budget deficit and to raise the debt ceiling before we default on our debt for the first time in history, I hope they will stay away from further cuts in essential food, health, education, and other supports children need.
Right now, many of our elected officials are letting a no-new-taxes pledge take precedence. They are putting this before the pledge to the flag, and to the republic for which it stands, and to the promise of liberty and justice for all.
President Obama has called education the civil rights issue of our time. Now is the time for the next transforming freedom moment and movement -- to set our children free from illiteracy, low expectations, and jobless, hopeless futures.