Category Archives: Home

On Independence Day, liberty and learning each lean on the other

As we celebrate our nation’s independence with hamburgers on the grill, a rousing rendition of Tchaikovsky’s 1812 Overture and the requisite fireworks to round out the day, it’s a good time to ponder what the founding fathers would make of our educational approach today. A free public education is an American tenet going back to […]

Schooled: How public schools can improve on a dime

In 2010, then-Mayor Cory Booker brought Gov. Chris Christie on board to bring cutting-edge educational reform to Newark, New Jersey’s miserably failing schools through philanthropic donations, which bypass the need for public review of spending. Although admitting he didn’t know much about education reform, Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg stuck his big toe into the philanthropy […]

Taking on the (pink) elephant in the room

Perhaps the president of Dartmouth College has finally said what many other university administrators are feeling. Philip Hanlon didn’t mince words when he spoke to a group of student leaders, faculty and alumni earlier this month. He offered a withering critique of his own school, saying that its future “is being hijacked by extreme and […]

Hey, you owe me! Or, why a teen suing her parents is owed nothing

Here’s my definition of self-entitlement: The belief of selfish egoists who think they can have whatever they want, whenever they want it without regard to rules, guidelines, conventions, laws or fairness to others. Poster girl for this unfortunate character flaw: Rachel Canning, a New Jersey high school senior, who’s suing her parents for support and […]

In Maine, it pays to have an EBT card

Standing in line at the supermarket, surreptitiously catching up on the latest Enquirer gossip, I suddenly caught the words “food stamps” coming from the very well fed couple and their zaftig 20-something daughter ahead of me. Their stash included a cupboard full of junk food and Maine’s best-selling liquor, Allen’s Coffee Brandy. As they walked […]

Note to Maine Democrats: Get on the opportunity bus instead

Photo Credit: Troy R. Bennett, BDN Here we go again. Senate President Justin Alfond, who was born into wealth, last week put on his war paint to gin up yet another attack on those who want to protect the overburdened Maine taxpayer. This time he claims that Gov. Paul LePage has declared “war on the […]

In helicopter parent era, self-reliance is a gift for the kid who has everything

This is a tough economic time for many families, especially as the Christmas shopping season is in full swing. Good news for parents though: One of the best presents you can give your child doesn’t cost anything, doesn’t even need to be wrapped and will last a lifetime — the gift of self-reliance. D.H. Lawrence […]