Commentary

Downed power lines in Louisiana following Hurricane Ida

Commentary: To avoid long power outages after disasters, utilities need to think differently

BY: - September 27, 2021

A busy 2021 Atlantic hurricane season is in full swing. The year’s 18th named storm, Sam, has become a hurricane. Meanwhile, some residents in the parts of Louisiana hit hardest by Hurricane Ida in late August are still waiting for their power to be restored. And thousands of Texas residents endured multi-day outages after Hurricane […]

A large mural painted on a ceiling

Commentary: Why America has a debt ceiling

BY: - September 24, 2021

Republicans and Democrats are again waging a battle of wills over the U.S. debt ceiling, which is a statutory limit on how much the government can borrow to pay its bills. Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell says no member of his party will support a bill lifting or suspending the debt limit – even though […]

The "Tribute in Light" memorial at the World Trade Center

3-Minute Civics: Today’s living history

BY: - September 23, 2021

On Friday, Sept. 10, at 8:46 a.m., my principal got on the P.A. system and spoke about the 20th anniversary of 9/11. When he was done, we all stood in my classroom and recited the Pledge of Allegiance along with him. Afterward, I turned to my class, an honors Civics class called “We the People,” […]

A view of early foliage under a blue sky

Editor’s Notebook: Nine miles down September Road

BY: - September 21, 2021

After Saturday morning coffee, I load four plastic storage bins into the back of the truck. The two closest to the cab are green and have red snap-on covers, and I wonder sometimes whether the Christmas colors make people think I’m lugging popsicle-stick ornaments, a Gordian knot of multi-colored lights, and artificial garland. They’d be […]

A masked nurse looks forlornly out a windo

Commentary: Nurses are leaving the profession, and replacing them won’t be easy

BY: - September 21, 2021

The fourth wave of COVID-19 is exacerbating the ongoing crisis for the nursing workforce and has led to burnout for many nurses. As a result, many are quitting their jobs in substantial numbers all across the country, with 62 percent of hospitals reporting a nurse vacancy rate higher than 7.5 percent, according to a 2021 […]

A teacher reads with students on the floor

Commentary: Pandemic prompts more teachers to consider early retirement or new career

BY: , , and - September 20, 2021

The COVID-19 pandemic reduced teachers’ commitment to remain in the classroom, our study on teacher turnover found. When schools resumed classes in the fall of 2020, teachers faced a host of new challenges. These included things such as adapting to combinations of in-person, hybrid, and remote learning models and managing health concerns during the pandemic. […]

Flowers in the foreground with a blurry expanse and building in the background

Commentary: OxyContin created the opioid crisis, but stigma and prohibition have fueled it

BY: - September 17, 2021

The highly contentious Purdue Pharma settlement announced Sept. 1 comes at a pivotal time for the U.S. overdose crisis: 2020 was the worst year on record, with over 93,000 Americans losing their lives to fatal drug overdose. The drug overdose epidemic, now more than two decades long, has claimed the lives of more than 840,000 […]

Vaccine protesters hold signs

Commentary: Forceful vaccine messages backfire with holdouts, so how can it be done better?

BY: - September 15, 2021

With the FDA approval of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine and the continued surge of the Delta variant, governments across the world have renewed their push to increase the number of vaccinated individuals by persuading the holdouts. On Sept. 9, President Joe Biden announced sweeping vaccine mandates, expressing frustration at the vaccine holdouts: “We’ve been patient, but […]

A stack of books near a chair and lamp

Editor’s Notebook: Bertrand and Jiddu, Alan and Eckhart

BY: - September 15, 2021

We spent an afternoon in Portsmouth over Labor Day weekend. The main purpose, to the extent there was one, was to visit a record store so my daughter could add Halsey’s latest to her vinyl collection. The promise of lunch by the ocean – in my opinion the very best way to bid farewell to […]

Gov. Greg Abbott of Texas

Commentary: Jim Crow tactics reborn in Texas abortion law

BY: - September 14, 2021

The new Texas law that bans most abortions uses a method employed by Texas and other states to enforce racist Jim Crow laws in the 19th and 20th centuries that aimed to disenfranchise African Americans. Rather than giving state officials, such as the police, the power to enforce the law, the Texas law instead allows […]

A girl sits on her bed while looking at a tablet while another child works at a desk in the background

Commentary: What young kids say worked – and didn’t work – for them during virtual learning

BY: - September 13, 2021

On Aug. 30, my kid joined millions of children in walking through school doors as he began first grade. Despite the ongoing pandemic, school buildings are almost universally open. While there are many voices expressing health and safety concerns, policymakers have decided that the best choice for children’s well-being is for them to be in […]

A child holds up a sign thanking veterans during a parade

3-Minute Civics: Our longest war

BY: - September 10, 2021

“War is God’s way of teaching Americans geography.” This quote, often attributed to Ambrose Bierce, resonates deeply with me. In my classroom, I often have to pull down the wall maps to show my students where Cuba and the Philippines are, or Iwo Jima and Normandy, or Korea and Vietnam. I understand their dilemma, reflecting […]