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Boston is one of four US cities – along with Los Angeles, San Francisco, and Washington, D.C. – vying to host the 2024 Summer Olympics.  Business and civic leaders planning the effort tout the benefits and rosy forecasts – increased global stature for Boston, economic boom in jobs and revenue for local business before, during and after the games, and improved infrastructure and facilities, etc.  The price tag? Recent analysis by The Boston Globe pegs it at approximately $15 billion. 

But here’s another idea altogether: to spur similar investment and excitement in Boston and other cities for education by borrowing this same blueprint. 

Now that members of the National Collegiate Athletic Association have voted to approve a sweeping, if not radical, proposal giving the five largest athletic conferences “autonomy” to establish new governance rules regarding a compensation pay package for the recruitment of athletes, three very important public policy concerns need to be addressed.

When it comes to the debates around the Common Core State Standards and how best to educate our children, I have a unique perspective: I am a parent of school-aged children, a high school English teacher, and an adjunct college instructor. Every day, through these lenses, I am reminded of how important the Common Core standards are to our students.

At a time of growing economic inequality in America, Wesleyan University President Michael Roth urges colleges and universities to create a culture in which low-income students can thrive.

"America today is a land of much greater distance between the haves and the have-nots," Roth writes. "It’s always been the case that wealthy students could have a very different experience than those of limited means, but today the social distance created by that economic gap is so great that it can undermine campus learning."

In Boston we may well be at the epicenter of the debate over the value of a liberal education. The "culture wars,” “the crisis in liberal arts education or the humanities”- these phrases are commonplace. 

Because of our admissions processes, today’s students arrive at college having been encouraged to be well-rounded as the highest of values. I hope for my students that they will learn to explore, to follow their own intellectual pathways, and to discover their passions – rendering them sharp. 

The well-rounded student, after the rigors of a broadly based liberal education, emerges after graduation prepared to forge ahead as an individual and citizen in our global, complex, ever-changing, and imperiled world with a sharp focus on the implications for people and societies.

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