California Promised ‘Preschool For All.’ What I Got Was $120,000 in Tuition Fees.

For a Generation, the Golden State Has Failed to Educate Its Youngest Citizens

Since the 1990s, California’s leaders have promised to make preschool universal for every child.

Maybe they’ll do it by the time I have grandchildren.

It’s already too late for my own kids. The youngest of my three sons graduated from preschool last week. I celebrated by writing my final preschool check—for monthly tuition of $1,165. With that check, my spending on preschool tuition for all three boys, over the last seven years, totaled more than $120,000.

All that tuition, alongside a 21st-century Southern California mortgage, has wiped away most of my family’s …

The Civil War Art of Using Words to Assuage Fear and Convey Love

Soldiers and Their Families, Sometimes Barely Literate, Turned to Letters to Stay Close

Sarepta Revis was a 17-year-old newlywed when her husband left their North Carolina home to fight in the Confederate States Army. Neither had much schooling, and writing did not come …

Want to Take My Civics Class? Get Ready to Squirm

Learning How America Works Should Be Hard on You, Not Just Good for You

In many conversations, the topic of civics education comes with its own halo. The conventional wisdom is that it’s good, clean medicine, and if our children just get enough of …

How Universities Migrated into Cities and Democratized Higher Education

Colleges Once Thought the Countryside Bred Character. Now They Use Cities for "Hands-On Learning"

Since the end of World War II, most American college students have attended schools in cities and metropolitan areas. Mirroring the rapid urbanization of the United States in the …

Why an Undocumented College Student Left California for Indiana

The Golden State Values Dreamers Like Me, but the Hoosier State Put Graduation Within Reach

I’m one of the young people covered by President Obama’s Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, which allows people who immigrated with their parents before they were 16 to live …

How African Americans Emerged from Slavery with a Hunger for Education

From Plantations to Churches to the Classroom, Ex-Slaves Tirelessly Pursued Public Schooling

The focus of my research and writing is women’s involvement in higher education, especially women from the Pentecostal and Holiness faith traditions. While conducting research on African American female seminaries, …