At this time last year, we suggested members of the new Congress resolve to put bitter partisanship behind them and find a way to work together for the good of the country.

That shouldn't have been too difficult, considering how low the 112th Congress had set the bar -- scoring the lowest approval rating ever and producing the least amount of work since the 1940s.

Maybe they would have had better luck losing weight or quitting smoking, because they certainly blew that resolution.

The 113th Congress scored a new record-low approval rating in its first year and is on track to pass even fewer bills than its predecessor -- plus we got a government shutdown for good measure.

That fiasco created a massive public backlash, and there was a sign this month members might be getting the message.

Congress recently passed a two-year budget deal. It was modest, and neither side got everything it wanted.

But it was a budget deal nonetheless -- something no divided Congress has managed since 1986.

We hope the members resolve to build on this bit cooperation in 2014, perhaps even break the gridlock on other important matters that have been gathering dust in Washington.

While not as dysfunctional as D.C., Harrisburg could also stand to be a bit more cooperative in the new year.


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Although Republicans control the House, Senate and the governor's office, our lawmakers accomplish remarkably little of substance.

It manage to pass a comprehensive transportation spending bill in 2013 -- after years of trying -- but the Legislature has yet to deal with other pressing issues, such as pension reform and a property tax overhaul.

Many Pennsylvania taxpayers would agree those are worthy resolutions for 2014.

Closer to home, we hope more parents resolve to take active rolls in their children's education next year.

That would be particularly helpful in the York City School District, which has adopted rigorous new academic standards as part of a state-mandated financial recovery plan.

Part of the process involves creating individual academic plans for high school students who receive D's or F's in classes. There are 930 such plans for a student body of 750.

Administrators have been trying to get parents more involved in the academic improvement efforts, individually contacting about 80 percent of the students' parents.

Yet only a handful have responded, according to a district official.

Parents: Teachers can't expected to do this alone. You need to do this for your kids in 2014.