Category Archives: National

Education: Is it successfully preparing the next generation?

This topic was discussed on August 5, 2013

  • Who needs to be better educated?
  • What does “better educated” mean…college, vocational skills, critical thinking, practical “life skills?”
  • How do we emphasize more STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) education, which seem to be in high demand from employers?
  • What is the role of, and outlook for, social studies, foreign language, English?
  • Is this an issue that should be dealt with via Federal policy (regulation, mandates, etc.) or at the state and local levels?
    • How should Federal, state and local input be coordinated?

 

The Media: Are we well served by it?

This subject was discussed on September 16, 2013.

  • Is the line between “news” and “opinion” blurring and becoming increasingly problematic?
  • Does the availability of right- and left-leaning “news” outlets exacerbate the partisan divide in the country?
  • Given the constitutional protection of “freedom of the press,” is there anything we can really do about any issues?  (Other than not buying the newspaper, reading the blog or watching the TV news?)
  • What is the audience for today’s news media…does it address only a small and skewed (by age, education, economic well-being) portion of the population?
  • Is the general population sophisticated enough to critically evaluate what they read, hear or see on the “news?”

Immigration Reform: What should it look like?

This topic is scheduled to be discussed August 12, 2013

  • What penalty, if any, is appropriate for current undocumented immigrants?
  • What should be the path to “green card”-type eligibility and citizenship?
  • At what point along this path should the “social safety net” and other benefits (education, social security, Medicare/Medicaid) be available to immigrants?
  • What quotas or other limits to immigration should be in place?
  • Who should accompany an eligible immigrant (how broadly should “family” be defined)?
  • What should be the criteria for citizenship of children born in the U.S. to non-citizen parents?
  • How important is enhanced border protection (particularly the southern border) to immigration reform?