To some people, Common Core means what it actually is, which is a set of standards. That's not necessarily most people. To other people, Common Core is a new curriculum that's been implemented at their school that they don't understand. It's applying new teaching tools.
The protests and pain over the deaths of Eric Garner and Michael Brown had me wondering if we can ever experience the world as others do. For no matter how disputed the circumstances of both cases, many people see what happened in black and white.
Lester is the Rock of Gibraltar. Nothing can rattle him. I am not. I was always flying off the handle about things. And the one person who could calm me down and make me realize that none of this silliness mattered was Lester Holt.
I'm trying to get my head in the game, think about the questions I wanted to ask, breast milk is flying everywhere - over my notes - and I - how do you 'lean in' at that moment? What is the equivalent of that for Wolf Blitzer or Joe Scarborough?
The president has been more than willing to challenge the National Rifle Association, but that is like a Republican president standing up to labor unions - not a move that risks anything with his core supporters. Mr. Obama could show some real bravery by taking on Hollywood.
Whenever someone says to me, 'Are you for or against Common Core,' the first question I ask is, 'What do you think Common Core is?' You will get a different answer from every single person. You will literally get a different answer.
Trump doesn't force the networks to show his rallies live rather than do real reporting. Nor does he force anyone to accept his phone calls rather than demand that he do a face-to-face interview that would be a greater risk for him.
It's the way tenure works, together with dismissal protections that tenured teachers have, that no other public employee has, which makes it almost impossible to remove a grossly ineffective and incompetent teacher or, in some cases, even an abusive teacher.
It comes down to what your priorities are, and if public education is about kids, then every decision we make should be focused on the question of 'Is this good for a child?' And that should be the driving focus and the priority when we decide what our policies should be and what our laws should be.
I know people talk about poverty and other factors, but there is very little I can do to ensure that a child has a stable two-parent home. But what if we can give them a shot in the classroom with a stable, high-standards environment?
Put together, what we want is a system that supports, protects, and properly pays good teachers and makes it possible in a responsible and fair way to remove teachers judged to be incompetent or abusive - that's it.
My second-grade teacher went around the class and asked everybody what they were going to be when they grew up. I said, 'I want to travel the world,' and he said, 'You'll be married and pregnant by 21, just like all the girls in this room.'
My cousin in Louisiana started a small company with a little savings, renovating houses. A single mom, she saved enough to buy a home and provide child care for her son. When the economy went belly up, so did her company. She was forced to sell her home and move in with her parents.
Sometimes, in the midst of a tragedy like the Newton massacre, we witness incredible acts of valor, tenderness, grace, and decency. We saw it from Sandy Hook Elementary School's teachers, students, and parents, as well as from their community and country. The outpouring of sympathy and help has been touching and, at times, inspiring.
It has seemed, at times, like American carmakers think car buyers are so blindly loyal that they will keep coming back - despite the sticker shock - for crummy cars that guzzle gas, fall apart too soon, and cost too much to repair.
I'm moderating one of the presidential primary debates right after I've had a baby. I'm sitting in a dirty closet on the floor behind the auditorium where this debate is taking place between Obama, Hillary Clinton, and I'm pumping breast milk... twenty minutes before I'm going on.
Perhaps there is no greater evidence that the teachers' union has swung too far out of the mainstream that they both have been a target of near-constant criticism from Secretary of Education Arne Duncan.
Let's be clear about what Common Core is. It spells out what students should know at the end of each grade. The goal is to ensure that our students are sound in math and literacy and that our schools have some basic consistency nationwide. But the standards do not dictate a national curriculum, and teachers are not told how or what to teach.
'Morning Joe' host Mika Brzezinski's personal life is a minefield. Her father is Zbigniew Brzezinski, former national security adviser to President Jimmy Carter, and while one brother is an Obama appointee, the other advises Romney.
The 8 P.M. hour in the cable news world is currently driven by the indomitable Bill O'Reilly, Nancy Grace, and Keith Olbermann. Shedding my own journalistic skin to try to inhabit the kind of persona that might coexist in that lineup is just impossible for me.