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What We’re Reading | March 8, 2013

March 8, 2013 5 minute Read by Jacqueline Lowe

Salute To International Women

By Mrs. Laura Bush

In this op-ed published in USA Today on March 8, 2013, Mrs. Laura Bush celebrates International Women’s Day, recognizing the progress made and the remaining room for improvement: “The success and progress of free societies depends on the participation of all citizens, men and women. A century of progress has shown us that when you educate and empower women, you improve nearly every other aspect of society. As the great Egyptian poet Hafez Ibrahim said, "When you educate a woman, you create a nation." This year, on International Women's Day, we celebrate the many women around the world who strive for freedom, justice and equality. We applaud their courage and sacrifice and recommit ourselves to addressing the inequities -- from healthcare to economics, education, and political representation -- that still affect women. With united effort, we can look forward to the day when every woman is educated and empowered and able to fully participate in the life of her nation.” Read the full article here.

Dow 36,000 Is Attainable Again

By James K. Glassman

In 1999, Bush Institute executive director James K. Glassman and economist Kevin Hassett forecasted a Dow Jones Industrial Average of 36,000 in their 1999 book, “Dow 36,000.” In this column published by Bloomberg View Glassman takes a look at what it would take to get there now in light of recent record highs by the Dow: “For investment gains over the long term, there is absolutely no substitute for faster economic growth. To get it, we need policy changes that will create a better environment for businesses to increase revenue, profits and jobs: a rational tax system that keeps rates low and eliminates special deductions and credits; immigration laws that encourage the best and the brightest to move here and stay; entitlement reform to bring down costs and provide incentives for productive seniors to keep working; sensible environmental, workplace and financial regulation that allows entrepreneurship to thrive; a K-12 education system that boosts student achievement and holds teachers, administrators and politicians accountable…” Read the full article here.

Empowering Egyptians, One Woman At A Time

By Charity Wallace

As Director of the Women’s Initiative at the Bush Institute, Charity Wallace oversees the Women’s Initiative Fellowship, and in this op-ed, published in the South Florida Sun-Sentinel yesterday in honor of International Women’s Day, Wallace explains why the Fellowship is so important: “In some countries, conditions are actually getting worse. In December, Egypt adopted a new constitution -- one that fails to enshrine equal rights for women. Observers are also worried that aspects of the new constitution will lend support to horrific offenses against women, like female genital mutilation and sex trafficking. No nation can thrive when half its population is unable to lend its talent and effort to pressing social problems. The way forward is to support women in these countries as they work together, to advocate for opportunity and equality. These networks of women can push beyond the political and cultural forces intent on repressing them. That's why at the George W. Bush Institute, our Women's Initiative Fellowship Program seeks to identify and empower female leaders in countries where women are oppressed and marginalized.” Read the full article here.

Why are we shackling school principals? Accountability must be paired with autonomy

By Joe Siedlecki

Writing for the Michael and Susan Dell Foundation, Joe Siedlecki asserts, “Why are we shackling school principals?  Accountability must be paired with autonomy.”  Echoing many of the Bush Institute’s Alliance to Reform Education Leadership’s (AREL) beliefs, Mr. Siedlecki highlights disconcerting facts about today’s principals (only 43% say they “have control when removing teachers”) as he concludes that the current gap between principal expectations and principal autonomy must be closed.  “Anything else” says Mr. Siedlecki, “is just more of the same.”