New GOP Infatuated by Change

RyanThis confidence in the constructive value of chaos is reflected in the Republican primary Presidential contest where relevant experience is deemed a disqualifying event. If one accepts the premise that our government could be run better by someone with no direct experience, should we argue that America could be better administered by someone who had never been in the US before and could look at our problems with a fresh set of eyes, if only the relevant Constitutional constraints could be avoided? Continue reading

Delusional Politics Feed Public Frustration

trump and sandersIt would be nice if Jeb Bush could deliver on his promise to make America’s economy grow by 4% annually.

And it would be nice if Bernie Sanders could enact programs estimated to cost $18 trillion over a decade to provide us all with health and higher education without worrying about how to pay the bills, an outcome that would be more achievable if our economy grew 4% a year.
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Unclear Private Role in Public Education

donorsComplaints about the quality of American public education are seldom absent from our political and historical debates. At issue are two related questions — whether the population is adequately educated to keep America great (defined in various ways) and whether the public schools are providing the ladder for upward social and economic mobility we believe in. Continue reading

Doubting Data and the Debate on Education

Heiwa_elementary_school_18America’s war between the progressives and populists is well into its second century with no resolution in sight.  Despite changes in rhetoric and technology, the basic tension about who can be most trusted to decide what’s best for us — the experts or we voters — shows no sign of abating.

Public education has always been central to the American vision and an important part of this debate.  That’s what inspired the Scopes Monkey Trial and more recent controversies about creationism. And there’s been a endless debate about whether American education is good enough and, if not, what need be done to make it better. Continue reading