Tag: Uncategorized

NSA Chief Recommends Severely Curtailing Spying. Obama Won’t. »

  A few weeks ago, Obama triumphantly announced NSA spying “reforms” that got lots of front page coverage, but amounted to: Absolutely No Change. Further, his speech carried his full endorsement of the sweeping collection and storage in bulk of private phone calls, emails, email address books, online transaction information, location data, and more,...
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The U.S. Government Makes a Mockery of the Principal-Agent Relationship »

The philosophical and legal foundation of the U.S. government (and some other governments) is that government officials are the agents of the citizens—in the familiar phrase, those who govern have the “consent of the governed.” An agent, of course, is someone I authorize to act on my behalf. For a host of reasons, this doctrine...
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State of the Union 2014: More Preschool Politics? »

Pundits are predicting that President Obama will try to recycle last year’s universal, government-run preschool plan in tonight’s State of the Union address. The Los Angeles Times’ Kathleen Hennessey, for example, isn’t jazzed: Little of what the president proposes in his most high-profile speech of the year is likely to get done, at least...
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Conscripting Four-Year Olds: California’s Latest Preschool Plan »

From House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi to President Obama, Washington politicians are scrambling to get their hands on other people’s toddlers. But they’re not alone. Back in 2010 California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger signed into law the Kindergarten Readiness Act of 2010. Basically, every year since 2012-13 children must celebrate their fifth birthday sooner and...
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Retiring Teacher Seniority in California? »

California is legendary for its protection of unionized teachers. But if a new measure makes it onto the November ballot, voters would decide whether California teachers would have to bank on more than seniority to keep their jobs. Matt David of StudentsFirst submitted the measure to the Secretary of State last month, where it’s awaiting...
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Two Minimum Wage Fallacies »

According to a recent report, Democrats plan to use a drive to increase federal and state minimum wages as a 2014 election strategy. (“Democrats Turn to Minimum Wage as 2014 Strategy”, NYT 12/30/13.) Generally, a binding minimum wage law will reduce the employment of the lowest-skilled workers. However, two economic fallacies that cloud the...
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Immigrants and Poor Kids Aren’t to Blame for Poor PISA Performance »

Recently I wrote about the latest PISA results for American 15-year-olds in reading, math, and science. (See PISA Results Show We’re No. 1...in Spending, Not Performance.) One commenter stated that she saw “very little control for demographics” with international assessments such as PISA. In particular, the commenter objected that while other countries may surpass...
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Rationing Schooling Freedom in Collectivist Oakland »

You can’t have too much of a good thing—unless you mean freedom and you live in Oakland, apparently. Oakland Unified School District school board member Jody London says enough’s enough when it comes to parents looking out for their own kids’ education. What does she mean? Oakland has the highest concentration of charter schools...
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PISA Results Show We’re a World Leader . . . in Spending, Not Performance »

Spending more and getting less—it’s an increasingly common refrain in education circles these days. Even U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan called the performance of American 15-year-old students, who slipped in the latest international reading, math, and science rankings, a portrait of stagnation. Every three years since 2000 the Organization for Economic Cooperation and...
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Twelfth Grader Schools School Board over Common Core National Standards »

Earlier this month a Farragut High School senior, Ethan Young, explained to the Knox County, Tennessee, school board why he believes the local school district should dump Common Core national standards: The president essentially bribed states into implementation via ‘Race to the Top,’ offering $4.35 billion taxpayer dollars to participating states, $500 million of...
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