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What We’re Reading – January 23, 2014

Article by Brittney Bain January 23, 2014 //   3 minute read

Stephen Hadley, Former Assistant to the President for National Security Affairs, recently wrote in The Washington Post on security negotiations and a path forward in Afghanistan. Mr. Hadley, Chair of the Bush Institute’s Human Freedom Advisory Council, suggests options for U.S. policy and recommends an alternate approach to a security pact: “Afghanistan’s presidential election is less than three months away. U.S. policy must not be based on frustration with [Hamid] Karzai’s mercurial behavior but on ensuring the election of a legitimate successor to Karzai with whom the United States can sign a security agreement that is overwhelmingly in the interests of both countries.”

A recent article in The Week offers an interesting comparison between Tunisia and Egypt, two Middle East countries that ushered in the Arab Spring and will soon approve new constitutions. While Tunisia is on a path to establish democracy and includes steps towards religious freedoms and women's rights in its constitution, Egypt has continued a cycle of civil unrest, and its latest constitution grants more power to police and the military. For both countries to establish fully inclusive societies, women’s rights must be protected and expanded. As the Bush Institute’s Women’s Initiative Fellowship soon wraps up with its current class of Egyptian Fellows and welcomes our next class from Tunisia, we know these women will play an integral role in advocating for social stability and building civil society in the region.

The Alabama School Connection blog highlights the Bush Institute’s Global Report Card this week as a helpful tool to compare schools and students in the state, country and around the globe.  “How about taking a look at how children in your school district perform on tests compared with the rest of the world? This is a very simplistic look at what percentile the children in your school district performed on math and reading standardized tests in 2009 compared with the rest of the world,” the blog says. The article also offers other accountability tools, measurements, and achievement data for schools.