GOP retools higher ed. Less regulation, more job training

Charged with updating the Higher Education Act, the House Committee on Education and the Workforce came up with the PROSPER Act — Promoting Real Opportunity, Success, and Prosperity through Education Reform. The bill passed out of committee last night after a 14-hour contentious session. The bill goes now to the full House. The main question: Will students...
Charged with updating the Higher Education Act, the House Committee on Education and the Workforce came up with the PROSPER Act — Promoting Real Opportunity, Success, and...


Torpy at Large: Snowballs and mischief my kind of wintry mix

Torpy at Large: Snowballs and mischief my kind of wintry mix

Every now and then you see a sliver of sunshine and know there’s hope for humanity. Last weekend on our local Google group, a lady warned the neighborhood that “three teenage boys are throwing snow balls at passing cars and people. Including older women.” A self-identified “older woman” chimed in, saying she’d retaliate if so attacked, which is what you want to...

Opinion: A-list Trump backers in next phase of manipulating public opinion

I swear, those red MAGA hats must come with the tin-foil inserts pre-installed at the factory in China. Listen to this stuff: “Mueller is corrupt, the senior FBI is corrupt. The system is corrupt and until you get back up and say — realize how really truly corrupt this is, there’s a sickness here … I think it is frightening. If you believe in the rule of law and you believe...
Is the price for a vote in the Senate one the right wants to pay?

Is the price for a vote in the Senate one the right wants to pay?

Election Day is here, and we have to look at the cost of Roy Moore as a United States senator. A roundup of editorials Tuesday takes a look at the issue. From Newsmax: The RNC is trading its soul for a vote in the Senate. From The National Review: Alabamians, Moore has done nothing to earn your vote. From al.com: Will Alabama be remembered as a place of decency after Tuesday’s vote?
In Alabama, the left wonders if there can even be a winner

In Alabama, the left wonders if there can even be a winner

What is the race for the Alabama Senate seat really about? A roundup of editorials Tuesday takes a look at the issue. From The New York Times: The race isn’t necessarily between Roy Moore and Doug Jones. From ABC: If we gather in our own tribes can we ever get to a consensus on anything? From St. Louis Post Dispatch: What would be next? Firing Robert Mueller? 
Opinion: No truth, and no consequences

Opinion: No truth, and no consequences

(AP) Read this, because the distinctions that it draws are important and well put: “There’s a very big difference between making honest mistakes and purposefully misleading the American people…. You cannot say that it’s an honest mistake when you’re purposefully putting out information that you know to be false, or when you’re taking...
Here’s why the right should embrace Robert Mueller’s investigation

Here’s why the right should embrace Robert Mueller’s investigation

As Mueller’s investigation heats up, the right would do well to support the special counsel’s work. A roundup of editorials Monday takes a look at the issue. From The Wall Street Journal: A president can obstruct justice, but this one hasn’t as far was what we’ve seen. From the National Review: Why doesn’t Trump just order the Justice Department to reveal how the dossier...
The left continues to question who could support Roy Moore in Tuesday’s election

The left continues to question who could support Roy Moore in Tuesday’s election

A day before the Alabama Senate election, the left wonders why people in Alabama think Roy Moore is the right  person for the job. A roundup of editorials Monday takes a look at the issue. From CNN: The one person people in Alabama would likely listen to about Moore has remained quiet. From USA Today: Has Jones waited too late to try to fire up the base? From NBC News: What chance does Jones...
Differentiated instruction: Snake oil or coconut oil?

Differentiated instruction: Snake oil or coconut oil?

I wrote a column a few years ago on differentiated instruction, calling it the coconut oil of education because of all its fabled curative powers: “It can reduce cholesterol, moisturize your skin and meet the needs of all students, no matter where they fall in the performance panorama. And make a tasty pie crust, too.” At the time, I heard from defenders of differentiated...
Opinion: Wild Alabama Senate race offers one last twist before the end

Opinion: Wild Alabama Senate race offers one last twist before the end

U.S. Senate candidate Roy Moore speaks to supporters, Aug. 15, in Montgomery, Ala. (AP Photo / Brynn Anderson) Here is your weird, no-one-knows-which-end-is-up news of the day (so far), in two headlines: 1.  Roy Moore takes biggest lead in weeks over Doug Jones in new Senate poll 2.  Fox News Poll: Enthused Democrats give Jones lead...
Opinion: The wildfire endangering American politics

Opinion: The wildfire endangering American politics

(AP) Andrew Jackson, Donald Trump’s second favorite president, has left us a colorful political legacy that includes the term “kitchen cabinet,” applied initially to the group of informal advisers that Jackson often turned to for support. Trump has his own version of Jackson’s kitchen cabinet, in...
States now have more control over their schools. Will that improve them?

States now have more control over their schools. Will that improve them?

The Center on Education Policy at George Washington University surveyed state leaders on the Every Student Succeeds Act, the sequel to No Child Less Behind.  Enacted two years ago as an antidote to the overly prescriptive No Child, ESSA provides states with more freedom and flexibility to determine education policy and practice. ESSA eliminated the “failure to make...
The left is calling on Congress to do the right thing with the CHIP program

The left is calling on Congress to do the right thing with the CHIP program

Congress missed a Sept. 30 deadline to extend funding for The Children’s Health Insurance Program. Now they are fighting over how to fund it. A roundup of editorials Friday calls on Congress to do the right thing by these children and their families.  From The New York Times: A bipartisan group of governors reminds legislators that CHIP isn’t just another government spending program...
The right is still waiting for Al Franken to admit he did something wrong

The right is still waiting for Al Franken to admit he did something wrong

Did Minnesota Sen. Al Franken’s resignation speech ring hollow? Some on the right sure thought so. A roundup of editorials Friday critiques Franken’s comments and the meaning behind them. From The American Spectator: From his speech, it seems Franken was the victim. If he wasn’t guilty, why did he resign? From Fox News: Maybe we missed it. Did Franken ever admit he did something...

Opinion: Free speech for me, not for thee

“Our rights come from our creator, and no earthly force can ever take those rights away, and they never will,” said President Donald #Trump during his “Make America Great Again” rally in Pensacola, #Florida. https://t.co/23mOEGfkvK pic.twitter.com/MZFK8Uwqyw ...

Opinion: Snow day!

Looking out my window on this Friday afternoon, this seemed an appropriate way to kick off the weekend.   [youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=44ZUmL0dIx0&w=492&h=307]
Opinion: Cooperating to reduce opioid abuse, harm to vets

Opinion: Cooperating to reduce opioid abuse, harm to vets

Americans consume more opioids than any other country in the world. In 2015, the quantity of opioids prescribed in the United States was enough for every American to be medicated around the clock for three weeks. Georgia, unfortunately, is no stranger to the malicious effects of the epidemic. In Georgia alone, from June 2016 to May 2017, the total number of opioid doses prescribed to patients surpassed...

Opinion: Innovative thinking deserves our ear

It’s a deceptively simple, not-uncommon thought: That the future’s likely to look relatively little like the past. As a concept, it can be hard to grip the totality of changes just over today’s horizon that are either inevitable or, alternately, are sorely needed but far from a sure thing. The future promises profound effects upon people, communities, businesses and government. The...

Opinion: America should also be ‘good’ again

As President Trump’s first year in office winds down, the world is gaining a much clearer understanding of what the president means when he proclaims that he intends to “Make America Great Again.” And if recent polls of the president’s popularity are correct, it appears that most Americans (and millions of people throughout the world) do not share the president’s vision...
Opinion: A whiff of panic in the air?

Opinion: A whiff of panic in the air?

I swear, those red MAGA hats must come with the tin-foil inserts pre-installed at the factory in China. Listen to this stuff: “Mueller is corrupt, the senior FBI is corrupt. The system is corrupt and until you get back up and say — realize how really truly corrupt this is, there’s a sickness here … I think it is frightening. If you believe in the rule of law and...
Telling the story of resegregation through Marietta High School

Telling the story of resegregation through Marietta High School

Should a school district losing middle-class white families labor to lure them back or focus on the students now walking through its doors? That’s one of the big questions in a scholarly new book that chronicles the story of resegregation of Southern schools and communities through Marietta High School. Marietta High integrated 10 years after the U.S. Supreme...
Opinion: A day of reckoning coming to Congress?

Opinion: A day of reckoning coming to Congress?

AP File Photo / J. Scott Applewhite Al Franken’s announcement Thursday that he will resign from the Senate may not be the beginning of the end of the story of powerful elected officials in Washington brought down by their bad behavior. It might not even be the end of the beginning. The Minnesota Democrat finally stepped down after another...
The left remains stunned at the GOP’s support of Roy Moore

The left remains stunned at the GOP’s support of Roy Moore

Can the Republicans claim any high ground – or separation from the president -- after the party decided to support Roy Moore? A roundup of editorials Thursday takes a look at the issue. From nj.com: How is there a place for Roy Moore in the Senate if he got kicked out of an Alabama mall? From U.S. News and World Report: Why would the GOP choose to support a man with such allegations against...
The right wonders why Democrats had such a hard time condemning Al Franken

The right wonders why Democrats had such a hard time condemning Al Franken

What took the left so long to call Al Franken out? A roundup of editorials Thursday takes a look at the issue. From The Washington Examiner: Why are the Democrats calling for Franken to resign? They want to grab the moral high ground. From azcentral.com: One too many accusations tip the balance against Franken. From The Boston Herald: The GOP’s one upside from Al Franken’s troubles? Elizabeth...
Torpy at Large: Now, 1 mayor must somehow bridge Atlanta’s 2 sides

Torpy at Large: Now, 1 mayor must somehow bridge Atlanta’s 2 sides

A Keisha Lance Bottoms supporter was teasing (sort of) that the Great White Hope went down in flames during the mayoral election Tuesday. I responded that flags were at half-staff in mourning along West Paces Ferry Road in Buckhead, where three precincts went 92, 93 and 95 percent for Mary Norwood, who lost by 759 votes out of 92,000 cast. White folks overwhelmingly vote for white candidates...
Torpy at Large: City Council high jinks reflect roughshod Reed era

Torpy at Large: City Council high jinks reflect roughshod Reed era

The Atlanta City Council’s last regular meeting during the reign of Mayor Kasim Reed demonstrated what Atlanta has become — confident, successful, chaotic and a bit of a bully. When time is short, there’s a sense of urgency. Legislation must get rammed or even sneaked through. First, though, the council had to endure the public comments section of the meeting. Monday’s meeting...

Opinion: Democrats lay claim to Atlanta — for better or worse

It’s hardly breaking news that Atlanta is Democratic territory. It has long elected Democrats to the state and U.S. capitols and borne a deep blue in statewide contests. And although its mayoral elections are officially nonpartisan, no one has bothered trying to get to City Hall as a card-carrying Republican in a long time. Still, it was jarring to watch the Democratic Party of Georgia itself...

Opinion: AJC, readers are a partnership

On Thursday morning, about 20 journalists gathered at the East Atlanta home of an editor to plan coverage for the 2018 General Assembly Session. We have done this for many years. Thursday’s conversation ranged through the usual issues - education, health care, transportation, taxes, and we spent some time swapping rumors and talking politics. Around the room were AJC reporters, editors and columnists...

Opinion: Create public spaces enhancing ‘we,’ not ‘me’

For the past 70 years, suburban-style, decentralized development, and its emphasis on private space, has been dominant. The quality of public space and public life has declined – even in downtowns, where shopping malls, parking lots and highways killed street life in their effort to compete with the suburbs. But today, that pattern has been reversed. Today, metro Atlanta suburbs are following...
Opinion: Just a bunch of suckers

Opinion: Just a bunch of suckers

(AP) Just to be very clear: My fellow Americans, you’re getting scammed, screwed and swindled. Bamboozled, bilked and betrayed. Also, deceived, duped and double-crossed. And the question is what, if anything, you’re willing to do about it. If you’re paying attention — if you’re not off watching the Kardashians or playing Xbox or letting Fox News enrage you with ...

Opinion: Ga. Power nuke plants a total loss

Here’s how bad things have gotten in Georgia Power’s attempt to build two new nuclear plants: If we stopped construction of the two half-built nuclear plants immediately, writing them off as a complete loss, then started from scratch with construction of brand new natural-gas plants, we would be able to generate the same amount of energy promised by those two abandoned nuke plants. We...

Opinion: What a driverless world could look like

Thirty billion hours! That’s the amount of time that we, Americans, spend every year commuting. It is an insane and irrational collective behavior. We use cars that can reach 130 mph, but we drive them at the same speed as 19th-century horse carriages. Every morning, we are stuck on busy highways, but 85 percent of the cars around us only have one passenger. If traffic congestion was not such...

Opinion: Region needs economic mobility strategy

My parents were immigrants who came to this country in the early 1950s. My mom is from Mexico and my dad arrived here from Serbia. They embraced the American dream and, like so many other middle-class families, demonstrated that by working hard, they could prosper. But since my childhood, the middle class has shrunk, from 62 percent of families in 1970 to 43 percent in 2015. Could the stagnation of...
Has Sam Olens lost credibility to lead KSU after misstep on cheerleader protest?

Has Sam Olens lost credibility to lead KSU after misstep on cheerleader protest?

The AJC is reporting that Kennesaw State University President Sam Olens may be out of a job as a result of a bungled response to the cheerleaders who took a knee on the football field. According to the news story: Faculty and student protested when Chancellor Hank Huckaby tapped Olens to lead KSU last year. While a longtime resident of Cobb County, an attorney and a popular...
The left sees Trump’s plan to recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital a peace talk fumble

The left sees Trump’s plan to recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital a peace talk fumble

Later Wednesday, President Donald Trump will name Jerusalem as the capital of Israel. Will that be the death knell for the peace process? From The New York Times: What kind of Middle East peace do we have if we pretend that Israel has no capital? From CNN: If we don’t’ have a sensible plan for peace, why are we lighting this fuse? From the Los Angeles Times: What the president needs to...
The right sees Trump’s ‘recognizing the obvious’ as no block to Mideast peace

The right sees Trump’s ‘recognizing the obvious’ as no block to Mideast peace

As President Donald Trump moves to “recognize the obvious,” will his administration’s efforts toward peace in the Middle East be damaged? A roundup of editorials Wednesday takes a look at the issue.Opinions from the right: 1. How Trump's move makes peace more likely  From The Federalist: Chances of peace between Israel and Palestine are slim, but speaking the truth won&rsquo...
Historian: We must make stronger case for college history classes

Historian: We must make stronger case for college history classes

David Leinweber is an associate professor of history at Oxford College of Emory University. In this piece, he addresses the growing disillusionment with higher education, especially in terms of liberal arts education, history, and the humanities. Leinweber also speaks to what he considers legitimate parent frustration with soaring college tuition. By David Leinweber On...
Opinion: An example for Atlanta’s new mayor to follow

Opinion: An example for Atlanta’s new mayor to follow

Former Atlanta mayor Shirley Franklin, in an August 2017 file photo. (AJC Photo / Hyosub Shin) A departing administration stained by corruption charges. Campaign issues such as inadequate infrastructure, police shortages, and gentrification’s effect on housing prices. A candidate who’s cozy — maybe too cozy — with the city’s political establishment; ...
Opinion: Time to kill Vogtle project

Opinion: Time to kill Vogtle project

(AJC) Here’s how off-track we’ve gotten in Georgia Power’s attempt to build two new nuclear plants: If we stopped construction of the two half-built nuclear plants immediately, writing them off as a complete loss, then started from scratch with construction of brand new natural-gas plants, we would be able to generate the same amount of energy promised by...
The right is still waiting for any sign that Mueller has the goods on Trump

The right is still waiting for any sign that Mueller has the goods on Trump

Robert Mueller investigation has yet to point to Russian collusion during the campaign. Is this all there is or is the other shoe about to drop? A roundup of editorials Tuesday takes a look at what we expect to hear from Mueller and what we will believe. From The Wichita Eagle: Will either side believe the outcome of Mueller’s investigation? From The National Review: Mueller’s investigation...
Most Georgia schools graded D or F by the state serve low-income kids

Most Georgia schools graded D or F by the state serve low-income kids

In its new analysis of the grades awarded to schools by the Governor’s Office of Student Achievement, the Georgia Budget and Policy Institute found most schools where at least half of students are low-income earned a D or F, including 99 percent of extreme-poverty schools. (The institute defined extreme poverty as 75 percent or more of students...
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