New Orleanians often have to justify why they live in their city, perhaps more frequently than other Americans. Whether it's with friends, family or themselves, it's a conversation most residents will have. But perhaps the answer is more universal than we think.
New Orleans has a literacy problem. More than a quarter of the working-age population in the New Orleans metro are low-skilled and likely low-literate. There is a mismatch between the educational levels of our workforce and the 14 years of education required for available positions.
As important as our current school reforms are to the future of the city, the impact of its graduates won’t be felt for decades. Two-thirds of New Orleans’ 2025 labor pool is working-age adults, meaning — if we want to become a more literate and productive city — we must make significant investments in adult education.
Gun control, gun control, gun control. In spite of this holiday season, I’ve heard the phrase “gun control” more than “peace on earth.” As an educator in the aftermath of the Sandy Hook Elementary tragedy, there would be few better presents for me than a national ban on assault weapons, body armor and high volume magazines. Yet I have to admit that while a national ban would be a tremendous political gift, I don’t see it as a watershed solution to our culture of violence. The discourse of gun control must quickly transition towards peace if we want substantive change.
Men, did you know that we hurt people when we chose not to learn? Aldous Huxley said, “We can only love what we know, and we can never know completely what we do not love.”
That Huxley quote always reminds me of the never-ending responsibility to learn about the people I claim to love. Intimacy comes out of the scrutiny of our desires, shames and delights. Therefore, loving is not just learning how to be vulnerable; it’s being vulnerable enough to learn.
When you consider how carefully staged and planned the debates are and how long they've been around, it's remarkable how often candidates manage to screw them up. Sometimes they're undone by a simple gaffe or an ill-conceived bit of stagecraft, like Gerald Ford's slip-up about Soviet domination of eastern Europe in 1976, or Al Gore's histrionic sighing in 2000. Sometimes it's just a sign of a candidate having a bad day, like Ronald Reagan's woolly ramblings in the first debate with Walter Mondale in 1984.
The deadline for voter registration for this year’s elections is Tuesday, October 9. Have you registered?
Regrettably, political and legal battles over voter identification laws compel me to ask, "Have you registered correctly?"
“One percent rapper” Nikki Minaj proclaimed that she intended to vote for Mitt Romney, but later a charged public discovered that darling Nikki hasn’t registered to vote. We’ll chalk that up as an oversight. However, several rappers have made it clear that they’re not voting.