AP Photo/Eric Gay A worker uses a lift to move rolls of sheet metal at LMS International, in Laredo, Texas. W ith our partners at The Democratic Strategist , The American Prospect is co-publishing this series of articles on one of the most contentious topics in today’s political discourse, and one of progressives’ and the Democratic Party’s most vexing problems: the white working class (WWC). The need for such a discussion is both obvious and twofold. First, the white working class—the bedrock of the long-vanished New Deal Coalition—has largely and increasingly been abandoning the Democratic Party, even when that has meant voting against some of its economic interests. While Hillary Clinton’s loss of such presumably blue-wall states as Wisconsin, Michigan, and Pennsylvania dramatized the extent of the Democrats’ problem, it was also just the latest stage of an epochal shift. Wisconsin, after all, has a wall-to-wall reactionary state government, with Scott Walker having won three...
Today, the Prospect is posting Ben Adler’s long-form piece, which also appears in the spring issue of our print magazine, on how states and cities are moving ahead on policies that limit climate change, and what they’re doing to counter the Trump administration’s policies that will make climate change even more severe.
As Ben points out, the regulations and standards for utility companies are set by states and in some cases, by municipalities. In the coastal states with Democratic governments—extending from Massachusetts to Maryland in the east, and California to Washington (with Hawaii thrown in for good measure) in the west—governments have set Renewable Portfolio Standards for their utilities that mandate transitions away from the use of coal and conversion to entirely renewable forms of energy over the next couple of decades. California and Washington have required new buildings to meet energy efficiency standards, through the use, for instance, of rooftop solar panels.
For their part, cities with progressive governments (which far outnumber states with such governments) have in recent years appropriated funds for light rail lines, bike paths, and other forms of transportation that provide alternatives to autos. And following the pattern set by new EPA chief Scott Pruitt when he was the much-beloved-by-oil-companies attorney general of Oklahoma, such enviro-conscious state attorneys general as New York’s Eric Schneiderman have announced they’ll be suing the federal government when it moves to undo long established environmental protections and climate-change legislation.
Today, The American Prospect published a feature story by Rachel Cohen on D.C. school reform. The District of Columbia has been cast as one of the nation’s most successful examples of education reform. Over the last decade, the city has significantly expanded charter schooling and implemented a new teacher evaluation system based in part on student test scores. The Obama administration repeatedly touted D.C.’s new school policies, and states across the country looked to the nation’s capital as a model to emulate.
Proponents of D.C.’s new school policies say there is clear evidence that the reforms are working, but critics say the success narratives have been blown way out of proportion. Here are other key takeaways from Cohen's story:
Racial achievement gaps have narrowed in D.C. since 2003, but they remain large, and socioeconomic achievement gaps have widened.
Researchers say that accessing data to study the effectiveness of D.C. school reform has been quite difficult. City leaders and DCPS officials have often been resistant to the idea of rigorous, independent evaluations, and the lack of transparency has created confusion over how effective or ineffective D.C.’s school reforms have actually been.
Some local researchers and education advocates want to see the government establish an agency—similar to the Congressional Budget Office—that could offer independent, objective analysis of D.C. education policy. But whether local politicians could be persuaded to fund a think tank that might possibly reveal less-than-flattering information about DCPS remains to be seen.
The American Prospect M ost progressives could never have imagined that 2016 would end on such a cataclysmic note. Even at the most appalling moments of a presidential campaign more bitter and divisive than any in recent memory, the depth of the democracy threat posed by a Donald Trump presidency did not fully sink in. Then came Election Day, and now the nation is waking up to the full implications of a Trump administration burdened by conflicts of interest and run by billionaires, CEOs, and doctrinaire conservatives bent on dismantling the very agencies they run. Through it all, the Prospect has weighed in unflinchingly with stories that make sense of the economic, racial, environmental, and civil liberties challenges ahead. Here are some of our favorite stories of 2016. Winter 2016 “ Grace Under Fire ,” by Rachel M. Cohen On a warm Tuesday morning in late September, Cecile Richards, the 58-year-old president and CEO of Planned Parenthood, went before Congress to defend her...
W ashington, D.C.— The American Prospect ( www.prospect.org ) announced today that Amy Lynn Marshall Lambrecht is returning to the magazine in the position of Publisher. Amy Lambrecht comes with a wealth of experience within nonprofit advocacy organizations, having spent over 25 years as a senior development professional at the Scholars Strategy Network, the Advancement Project, The Washington Monthly , Campaign for America’s Future, the Institute for Women’s Policy Research, and the Economic Policy Institute, as well as the Prospect , where Amy was instrumental in acquiring numerous large grants and gifts. She has a proven record of building and maintaining multi-million dollar revenue programs through fearless fundraising, innovative and creative thinking, and relationship-building and management. The American Prospect looks forward to Amy continuing her success. Amy joins The American Prospect as Publisher to support the Prospect ’s ongoing editorial success producing stellar print...