Politics, Moderate



Low-Income Students Face a Knowledge Gap Outside the Classroom

CHICAGO -- The results of the first-ever nationally representative assessment of technology and engineering literacy are in, and they're generally positive: 43 percent of eighth-grade students are proficient at solving real-world problems. And of these students, female white and female black students outperformed their male peers overall.

...Read more

A Bill of Rights for Domestic Workers

CHICAGO -- Workers' rights are on a bit of a roll these days. Not only are $15 minimum-wage increases starting to take hold in top cities across the country, but bills mandating paid sick time are making their way through state legislatures. And top brands like Starbucks and J. Crew are eliminating erratic "on-call" work schedules for their ...Read more

A Bill of Rights for Domestic Workers

CHICAGO -- Workers' rights are on a bit of a roll these days. Not only are $15 minimum-wage increases starting to take hold in top cities across the country, but bills mandating paid sick time are making their way through state legislatures. And top brands like Starbucks and J. Crew are eliminating erratic "on-call" work schedules for their ...Read more

The Long-Term Effects of a Childhood in Hunger

CHICAGO -- In a country where the biggest headlines about food are about the prickly issues of overconsumption and weight loss, prolonged hunger is difficult for most people to relate to.

And yet, just as studies have shown how poverty affects brain development and hinders children even before they start school, so are researchers uncovering ...Read more

Do Democrats Deserve the Minority Vote?

CHICAGO -- So let's just posit that Hillary Clinton wins the presidency in November because her opponent, Donald Trump, is so off-putting that African-Americans, Hispanics, Asian-Americans -- and others Trump has insulted -- come out to the polls in droves.

And then what?

For all the talk about how the Republican Party has alienated minorities...Read more

'Free Money' for Schools. What Could Go Wrong?

CHICAGO -- If indeed the road to hell is paved with good intentions, a good example is the philanthropic funding of education reform.

The latest victims of moneyed saviors are the students and families formerly served by the North Carolina New Schools Project, which had been started 13 years ago with a five-year, $11 million grant from the Bill...Read more

'Bordertown' Fills Many Appetites

CHICAGO -- Humans have short attention spans. We get excited about something but then the next thing comes along and poof, there we go. So here's a reminder to keep watching "Bordertown," the funniest Hispanic-centric show on broadcast TV.

The animated Fox comedy about a white family, the Buckwalds, and their sometimes-tense relationship with ...Read more

Low-Income, 'First-Gen' College Students Benefit From an Extra Boost

CHICAGO -- Though we like to think of a college degree as an unqualified good, it isn't always. Maybe even especially not so for those who are seen to be the greatest beneficiaries of a socioeconomic-boosting credential: low-income young people.

Researchers from the University of Georgia's College of Family and Consumer Sciences analyzed a 13-...Read more

The Art of Persevering With Patience

CHICAGO -- Almost everyone has an old parental saw about patience. My husband tells our sons that, in his day, when you wanted to buy something that wasn't available at your local store, you had to order through the mail and it would take six to eight weeks for delivery.

Unfortunately, my parents' attempts to instill patience in me didn't take ...Read more

Having the Tough Talk About How We Wish to Die

CHICAGO -- There's no better time than now to talk about dying. And if the best-seller lists are any indication, it's a really hot topic these days.

You've got "Being Mortal: Medicine and What Matters in the End" by Atul Gawande, "Gratitude" by Oliver Sacks and "When Breath Becomes Air" by Paul Kalanithi.

What these titles have in common is ...Read more

My Family's Boycott of a Favorite Cookie

CHICAGO -- My youngest son -- a picky eater who has only a handful of foods he's willing to consume, much less enjoy -- is the chief cookie consumer in our household, and his preferences are limited to Oreos and Chips Ahoys.

When I broke the news to him that our household was going to boycott Oreo cookies, his eyes bugged out in alarm. He asked...Read more

Don't Expect Less of Low-Income Minority Students and Their Families

CHICAGO -- We've heard for years that when it comes to African-Americans, Hispanics and low-income minority communities in general, expectations for academic achievement are low.

Indeed, the Center for American Progress found in 2014 that 10th-grade teachers thought that African-American students were 47 percent, and Hispanic students were 42 ...Read more

The Disappointing Benefit of 'Whitening' a Resume

CHICAGO -- If a person of color takes steps to "whiten" his or her resume when applying for a certain job, is it a savvy move of self-marketing? And how helpful is it to minorities when employers claim in a job posting to be pro-diversity?

In a recent paper, "Whitened Resumes: Race and Self-Presentation in the Labor Market," researchers from ...Read more

Revised Nutrition Labeling Isn't Enough to Improve Our Diets

CHICAGO -- The journal Health Affairs and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation recently published a policy brief about the latest federal Dietary Guidelines for Americans, introduced with this succinct observation: "Nutrition is a relatively young science and dispensing good nutritional advice to an entire population is not easy."

Understatement ...Read more

A Mother's Cry for More Compassion From the Police

CHICAGO -- When it comes to the epidemic of African-Americans dying at the hands of police, people who are asked to consider the issue often get stuck on whether or not the person in question had it coming.

What was he or she doing at the time? Running away? Resisting arrest? And if so, doesn't that prove that he or she was guilty of something?...Read more

A Deliciously Revolting Takedown of Our Internet-Obsessed Way of Life

CHICAGO -- Perhaps the popularity of zombies has arisen because many people are so sickened by the way we live today that they have become infatuated with the idea of its end.

"How long has it been since any of us really NEEDED something that we WANTED?" ask the back covers of Robert Kirkman's "The Walking Dead" graphic novels. "The world of ...Read more

The 'Monolithic Latino Voting Bloc' Myth is Cracking

CHICAGO -- I would like to personally thank Charlie Rose, the wonky, late-night talk show host, for saying these words on broadcast TV last week: "13 million Hispanics are expected to vote in the 2016 presidential election, but as we saw in Tuesday's primaries, they won't all say the same thing. Lumping Latinos into one monolithic voting bloc is...Read more

Cultivating Empathy is No Cure-All

CHICAGO -- Empathy, the ability to actively understand and share the feelings of others, is the hot new thing. As if each of us doesn't have enough discomfort in our lives, it's now incumbent on us to take on others' in order to make us better -- take your pick -- employees, CEOs, students or political candidates.

Much like the medical myth of ...Read more

Stop Treating Poor Whites as Drug-Addicted Mongrels

CHICAGO -- We live in a country where it's considered out of bounds to put down African-Americans and other ethnic and racial minorities, LGBTs, unlawfully present immigrants and many other special interest groups.

But, as has long been the case, poor white people are simply another story.

Derogatory names such as "redneck" and "hillbilly" ...Read more

A Trailblazing Latina Who Fell Short of Expectations

CHICAGO -- It must be just awful to be a "first" in a high-profile job. To have to live up to the high standards of people with only a second-hand understanding of your position, the circumstances under which you attempt to do it and the expectations of the group you represent.

You wouldn't wish that on your worst enemy, and you can imagine how...Read more


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Gary Varvel Mike Lester Darrin Bell Lisa Benson Steve Benson Signe Wilkinson