MCAS graduation requirement is not punitive, it’s a lifeline for highest-need students in Mass.
Equity, a term often at the forefront of discussions surrounding public schools, is not merely a buzzword. It represents the fundamental principle that every student in the Commonwealth, regardless of background or circumstances, deserves an equal opportunity to succeed academically. Since its inception as part of the 1993 Education Reform Act, the Massachusetts Comprehensive Assessment […]
How a garment used for protection against the desert sun became a symbol of Palestinian identity
After Israel declared war on Hamas following the militant group’s surprise attack on Oct. 7, 2023, and hostilities resumed in the region, some Palestinians have been urging non-Palestinians to wear the keffiyeh, a distinctive checkered scarf, during protests. Indeed, several Palestinian diaspora communities and their allies across the globe have taken to wearing the keffiyeh […]
Remembering those impacted by HIV and AIDS on World AIDS Day
Today is World AIDS Day, and 2023 marks the 35th year that this day has been observed. World AIDS Day started as a way to increase awareness of HIV and AIDS and to remember those who lost their lives to the HIV and AIDS epidemic. This year, the theme is “Remember and Commit,” urging people […]
Recommended reads to quell reeling minds
Every few days, news stories emerge that are unsettling at best, horrifyingly terrible at worst. After a period of pandemic, the ongoing war in Ukraine, the political turmoil since 2016, more (yes more) mass shootings, and the developments in the Middle East, I feel like I am walking around with an unaddressed case of post-traumatic […]
I won the best Thanksgiving prize ever in the fourth grade. Not.
The prize made me the envy of the entire fourth grade. But I could not savor the victory when one of the drumsticks from the turkey our class spit-roasted over an open fire landed on my plate the Friday before Thanksgiving. I pretend-smiled, feeling the eyes of my tablemates on me from under the brim […]
Why are U.S. politicians so old? And why do they want to stay in office?
When former President Bill Clinton showed up at the White House in early 2023, he was there to join President Joe Biden to celebrate the 30th anniversary of the Family and Medical Leave Act. It was hard to avoid the fact that it had been three decades since Clinton was in office – yet at […]
The reading wars are over. Who won and what now?
The decades-long war between Science-Based Reading (SBR) and Balanced Literacy (BL) is over. Sound the celebratory bells. Mountains of research backing SBR have finally convinced most education leaders. Forty-five states have passed laws to mandate SBR reading instruction, including Rhode Island, which passed the Right To Read Act in 2019. While the transition has begun […]
How about a cease-fire of words?
Providence City Councilor Miguel Sanchez lost his state government job in Rhode Island due to public statements in support of the Palestinian people. U.S. Rep. Rashida Tlaib, a Michigan Democrat, has been censured in Congress. I have many thoughts. And a few conclusions. In the first hours after the news began to emerge that Hamas […]
On Veterans Day, a 24-note bugle tune serves as a powerful reminder
Promptly at 5 p.m., every day, rain or shine, blizzard or heat, a volunteer bugler wearing a period World War I U.S. Army uniform stands at attention near the flagpole at the National World War I Memorial not far from the White House in Washington D.C. On a brilliant autumn day, I watched as a […]
The reports of the Democratic Party’s demise have been greatly exaggerated
A recent poll published by the New York Times stirred up a great deal of chatter about President Biden’s vulnerability against Donald Trump in next year’s presidential election. Not a week later, Democrats nationwide celebrated major victories on this year’s off-cycle election night. This discrepancy between media narratives and actual results show that Democratic candidates […]
One night 85 years ago, emotional antisemitism became systemic government violence against Jews
Late in 1938, Nazis across Germany attacked Jews and their homes, businesses and places of worship and arrested about 30,000 Jewish men. The attacks became known as Kristallnacht – the “Night of Broken Glass” – for the streets littered with broken glass from the vandalism. But the pogrom of Nov. 9-10, 1938, went beyond the […]
A Pawtucket school where guidance is great
Rachael Okpara’s parents immigrated from Nigeria, willing to start from scratch to build a better life for their family. Undocumented at the time, but no longer, they were scared to reach out for help. It was a rough go. Still, they expected the best from Rachael, telling her, “If you come back with low grades, […]