Meet the Press Guests are Singing our Song!

On Meet the Press yesterday, Donna Shalala (former Columbia professor, Secretary of Health and Human Services, and current President of the University of Miami) and Tim Shriver (President of Special Olympics) spoke about the need for a holistic approach to resolving our education crisis. Ms. Shalala underscored the importance of parental involvement and of the presence of many caring adults in the lives of children. Mr. Shriver pointed to research which supports the importance of social and emotional development (the inculcation of optimism, persistence, problem-solving skills,) which are often best taught outside the classroom, in music and the visual arts, in sports and in enrichment activities like scouting. Also appearing on the panel were Tavis Smiley, whose most recent book is on the topic of black boys being left behind by our system, and Robert Bennett, the former Secretary of Education, who made the point that we should rely on research and do what we know works. Ms. Shalala illustrated her point that economic inequities are intertwined with educational practices (more singing from the same songbook as Live United 2020!) by relating a story. She attended a dinner party last week, and early in the evening, one of the guests, a successful and renowned scientist, excused herself, to get home in time to help her daughter with her homework. Ms. Shalala looked up to see the faces of two of the waiters, who clearly piece together a living wage from several jobs, and who could not even hope to be home to be with their children at homework time. Posted on behalf of Marion Flynn, Development Manager at North Shore United Way.

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