Can We Talk About Gun Safety Now?
Just two weeks ago, I spent the day visiting Connecticut schools with Governor Malloy. We visited elementary schools that are planning to expand learning time next year through an initiative on which my organization, the National Center on Time & Learning, is partnering with the state. In my visits, I was energized by the creativity of the students and the dedication of the teachers, as I am every time I visit a school. Schools are dynamic, lively, and secure places -- or at least they should be.
And on Friday, all of that was shattered in Newtown, Connecticut. The community and nation is searching for answers, of which there are too few. As a parent of a kindergartener and an education policy advocate, I do want to lend my voice to the call for serious action on gun safety.
In his remarks last night, President Obama said, "No single law or series of laws can eliminate evil from the world...but that can't be an excuse for inaction." I could not agree more. My work in education policy over the past 20 years has shown me that although no single policy can solve every problem, legislative and policy changes do make a difference. For example, when I worked for President Clinton, we were able to create a bipartisan coalition to support legislation that provided resources for states to create new higher education standards -- the Goals 2000: Educate America Act. That policy laid the groundwork for the implementation of the Common Core Standards in states across the country today. Of course, the Common Core Standards will not solve every problem in education -- nor will expanding learning time -- but they are steps towards ensuring equal education to students across the country for years to come.
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