Author: Salimah Jasani

The Gas Pump is No Place for a Child to Play: The case for replacing 12th grade with universal Pre-K

This piece is the first prize winner of the 2019 Baines Report Op-Ed Contest. _ It’s the autumn of 1995 in a sleepy East Texas town. The principal of the local preschool stops by the store for groceries, when she notices a young child playing outside by the gas pumps. She rushes to the child’s father, who is working the cash register, and explains to him the importance of early childhood education. Within minutes, she has helped him enroll the girl in the preschool where she is principal. As she leaves, she tells him sternly, “The gas pump is...

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This immigrant Muslim woman says: please don’t unfriend your annoying Republican uncle

On November 9, 2016, I woke up to a bewildering array of text messages. There were the many friends who, like myself, were utterly shocked that Donald Trump was going to be our next President. There were also the fellow teachers hastily scrapping lesson plans so we could talk about the election with our students. And then there was the most unexpected text of all: “I want you to know I didn’t vote for him. I couldn’t do that and still be able to look you in the eyes.” Nearly two years later, I still marvel at the meaning...

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