A 360° Discussion of Foreign, National and Local Policy Issues

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?

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Related Materials:

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The $4 Million Teacher (WSJ 8/3/2013)

 

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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?”

North Korea: Should we worry?

  • As a relatively small, distant and weak economy, what are the “vital U.S. interests” in North Korea?
  • To what degree is this a “U.S.” issue; shouldn’t other nations in closer proximity (China, South Korea, Japan) take the lead?
  • How do we feel about the U.S. military presence in South Korea?
  • What about the threat to stability of North Korea’s export of weapons and, potentially, nuclear know-how?
  • How strong–and likely to last–is the Kim leadership dynasty in the face of the hardships faced by the “common man”…shortages of food, power, etc.?

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