Pope Francis Suggests a Progressive Freedom of Religion

Posted on September 27, 2015

Last Saturday, Pope Francis delivered a homily at Independence Hall in Philadelphia. Billed as an address on religious freedom, conservatives hoped and expected the Pope to praise their hard-line opposition to abortion, contraception and...


What, if anything, is causing violent crime to increase?

Posted on September 16, 2015

Recently, the New York Times published a front page story headlined “Murder Rates Rising Sharply in Many U.S. Cities.” Much of the media have run similar reports, including USA Today, Reuters and Time. First...


Common Core “results” aren’t actually test scores

Posted on September 1, 2015

A few states have now released results from the Common Core standardized tests administered to students last spring. The Associated Press recently published a story about it, and over the next couple of months...


Time to kill the death penalty

Posted on August 19, 2015

In February 2015, Pennsylvania issued a moratorium on executions. In May, Nebraska became the 19th state, and the seventh state since 2007, to abolish the death penalty. And weeks ago, the Connecticut Supreme Court...


Why is the generic conservative philosophy so popular?

Posted on August 5, 2015

First, let’s be clear: Americans like the concept of “conservative.” Nearly 40 percent of Americans—including nearly 20 percent of Democrats—identify themselves as conservative. And 62 percent of Americans—including 47 percent of Democrats—have a positive...


Worst state and local defeats so far this year

Posted on July 20, 2015

Our last blog listed some really great progressive victories in the states and localities so far this year. Now it’s time to face some grim music. The fact is, state legislatures were more conservative...


Six key progressive victories in the states and localities

Posted on July 6, 2015

With the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives controlled by the right wing, it’s no wonder that this Congress has been among the least productive in our nation’s history. But while Congress treads water,...


The flag that offends 100 million Americans

Posted on June 22, 2015

We’ve had this discussion before. Over recent years, state and local governments have gradually recognized that flying the Confederate battle flag is offensive and inappropriate. For example, Florida took down that flag in 2001,...


School evaluation that’s data driven—over a cliff

Posted on June 10, 2015

Last week, a very distinguished panel convened by the National Research Council published an Evaluation of the Public Schools of the District of Columbia. The report is 341 pages long and cost millions of...


Neo-Cons are wrong about “freedom” and “security”

Posted on May 26, 2015

Some war hawks have defended the invasion and occupation of Iraq as a necessity of national “security” while others promoted the war as a defense of “freedom.” Poppycock, in both cases. “Values” have real...