In this AEI Events Podcast, AEI’s Nat Malkus welcomes Elizabeth McGhee Hassrick, Stephen Raudenbush, and Lisa Rosen, the authors of “The Ambitious Elementary School: Its Conception, Design, and Implications for Educational Equality,” to AEI to discuss school design, personalized instruction, and educational equality.

The authors open the event by describing their theory of school reform and its implementation at the University of Chicago Charter School. Their efforts have reduced racial inequality and improved reading ability among elementary school students. In short, the authors advocate for increased collaboration among teachers, administrators, and parents and for systemic approaches to school turnarounds.


Why Are You a “Climate Skeptic?”


Last week, The New York Times hired former Wall Street Journal columnist Bret Stephens to add a little ideological diversity. Granted, Stephens is a Never Trumper, but it was an effort to provide some center-right thought to an opinion page almost entirely devoted to center-left and far-left viewpoints.

Stephens’s first piece for the paper had liberals cancelling subscriptions and calling for his job. His crime wasn’t to sanction genocide or the re-institution of slavery. He merely said that, though he believes in man-made climate change, we should have more humility before pretending to have all the answers.


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Ian Tuttle of National Review and Greg Corombos of Radio America enjoy waching Democrats snipe at each other, as liberals blame the national party for not doing more to win the special election in Kansas. They’re also a bit dizzy from President Trump appearing to shift positions on Chinese currency manipulation, the Export-Import Bank, Federal Reserve Chairwoman Janet Yellen, the relevance of NATO and more – all on the same day. And they slam students at the University of Notre Dame for complaining it won’t be safe there when Vice President Mike Pence gives the commencement address next month


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Believing in Free Markets and Exploitation of Labor: A Conundrum


I am an adjunct history professor. I love my job. I love teaching. I love students. I love engaging with the material I try to help students understand. I have never minded the paltry sums I am paid because I also believe strongly in free markets and understand the invisible hand passes out checks to labor.

However, I’m starting to reconsider this position.


Campus Free Speech Legislation Proposed—Finally


“The Campus Free Speech Act gives the First Amendment bite,” said Jim Manley, Senior Attorney at the Goldwater Institute and a co-author of the Act and report. “Where this bill becomes law, there will be real consequences for anyone—including protestors, administrators, or professors—who tries to prevent others from expressing their opinions. The legislation also provides robust due process protections for anyone accused of trying to silence speech.”

Following legislation that was passed in 2016 in Arizona regarding free speech on campuses, we now have hope of a state-level laws protecting free speech at public universities. The law, developed by the Goldwater Institute with the help of Stanley Kurtz at the Ethics and Public Policy Center, was based on the University of Chicago’s 1967 Kalven Report and the 2015 Stone Report .


Katherine Kersten joins Brian Anderson to discuss how public school leaders in St. Paul, Minnesota abandoned student discipline—and unleashed mayhem—in the name of “racial equity.”

In January 2014, the Obama administration’s Departments of Education and Justice issued a “Dear Colleague” letter to every school district in the country, laying out guidelines to local officials for how to avoid racial bias when suspending or expelling students. Equity proponents view “disparate impact”—when the same policies yield different outcomes among demographic groups—as conclusive proof of discrimination.


Jim Geraghty of National Review and Greg Corombos of Radio America begin by discussing the interesting circumstances surrounding the discovery of Tom Brady’s stolen Superbowl jersey, but then get to the real news. They are excited to see Neil Gorsuch begin his Supreme Court confirmation hearings. They also react to the heads of the FBI and NSA say they have no evidence suggesting Pres. Obama ordered surveillance on Trump Tower. And they shake their heads as only 43 percent of Americans can name one Supreme Court justice.


Mob Censorship on Campus


In today’s political climate, there are sharp divisions of opinion over a range of issues, from health care and climate change to education and labor law. Ideally, a civil debate undertaken with mutual respect could ease tension and advance knowledge. Politics, however, often takes a very different turn.

One of the landmark decisions of the United States Supreme Court, New York Times v. Sullivan, was decided in 1964 at the height of civil rights movement. Writing for the majority, Justice William Brennan insisted that the First Amendment’s guarantee of freedom of speech rested on “a profound national commitment to the principle that debate on public issues should be uninhibited, robust, and wide-open, and that it may well include vehement, caustic, and sometimes unpleasantly sharp attacks on government and public officials.” He then concluded that the First Amendment offered extensive protection to the media from defamation suits brought by private individuals—a principle that was later extended to apply to public figures as well. Defamation suits in his view could chill public debate.