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Undermining kindergarten, one test at a time

BY TAMMY HAGGERTY JONES: It used to be that kindergarteners were considered too young for school-wide testing, but times have changed, and from September until June they participate in five sets of standardized tests. This is far too many tests, stressing out students, depriving them of precious time to grow and explore and consuming massive amounts of teacher time that could be better spent educating. I’m all for keeping track of students, particularly the ones that are already falling behind, but this is counterproductive.

Declare Pullman a national park

BY U.S. REP. ROBIN KELLY: A Pullman National Park in Chicago could become the Statue of Liberty for American labor.

Special rules apply for raising a boy who is brown

BY D’RITA ROBINSON: There is a clause in the rules of empowerment for a son who is brown. One day I will have to tell him the truth.

Mayor’s plan for hiring firefighters just a ‘stunt’

BY KAREN LEWIS: The City of Chicago is gearing up to enforce its Chicago Public Schools preference policy, which would give CPS graduates preferential standing among other firefighter applicants, providing an unfair advantage above students enrolled in private or religious schools. I suggest a real and meaningful incentive plan that goes beyond the mayor’s proposal.

Rick Perry indictment good for GOP

BY MICHAEL LIND: When I heard that Texas Governor Rick Perry had been indicted, I thought, “This had better be good, or it will backfire on the Democrats.” It isn’t good and it may well backfire on the Democrats.

Our roads have too many signs

BY RICH TUCKER: In the long run we’d be safer, on the roads and in our lives, if the government was doing less to look out for us.

Finding a community in a city neighborhood

BY JOE ARCHER: I’m not from the South Side of Chicago. I’m from a small Ohio suburb where everybody knows your name but nobody can be bothered to extend a hand. When I moved to the city, I expected the problem to be magnified. I was right in some ways, but I was wrong in so many others.

Ferguson cops think no news is good news

BY GENE POLICINSKI: Manhandling and muzzling reporters won’t stop a riot. Freedom to report the news means the freedom to gather it, whether a journalist for mainstream media or a citizen using a cellphone camera.

Climate change deniers resort to character attacks

Recently a friend posted a video on Facebook that he asserted would demolish the Godless theory of evolution. On it, a fellow sitting in a pickup and wearing a backward baseball cap smugly explained that Darwinian evolution contradicts the Second Law of Thermodynamics, a fundamental …

Climate change blamed for end of civilizations

BY PAUL BROWN: Scientists looking at what is known as the “Fertile Crescent” of ancient Mesopotamia have found new evidence that drought caused by climate change brings an end to civilizations. It is the latest study that confirms the threat posed to present civilizations in Africa, Asia and parts of the United States by changes in rainfall pattern that could lead to the abandonment of once-fertile areas — and the cities that once were fed by them.

America’s new post-racial racism

BY DOUG CUNNINGHAM: It is silly to reflexively put that second hand on the steering wheel whenever a patrol car nears. If I’m not doing anything wrong, why be fearful? But feeling a certain discomfort in our own skin is a unique yet ubiquitous experience for black Americans.

Hackers ruined the art of passwords

BY RANDY MALAMUD: The bad guys have won. There is no way to keep in our heads the new and improved super-safe passwords that provide immunity from identity thieves.

Chicago’s good at quitting smoking

BY DR. BECHARA CHOUCAIR: But tobacco use remains the single biggest reason for disease and premature death in Chicago and the rest of the United States. It kills more people than HIV, illegal drug use, alcohol use, motor vehicle injuries, suicides and murders combined.

Down with shareholder capitalism!

BY ROBERT REICH: Arthur T. Demoulas, chief executive of the Market Basket, viewed the supermarket chain as a joint enterprise from which everyone should benefit, not just shareholders. Which is why the corporate board fired him. But we’re beginning to see the Arthur T. business model pop up all over the place.

  • Suicide is depression’s deadliest symptom: op-ed

    When I learned that Robin Williams died on Monday, writes Kevin Allen, I didn’t just hear “suicide” as the cause. I understood that he lost what must have been a very long battle with severe depression. I knew this because I—along with an estimated 350 million people worldwide, according to the World Health Organization—am in the midst of such a daily battle.

  • Immigrants a boon to Medicare

    BY LINDA CHAVEZ: Medicare is fast becoming financially unsustainable. But one demographic group actually takes less out than they contribute: immigrants. …Read More

  • Don’t confuse tea party birth pains with death throes

    BY STAR PARKER: We’re starting to hear eulogies, but the movement is here to stay.