Member Post

 

Why can’t we deal with climate change over the decades, centuries even, as the planet warms, glaciers and ice shelves melt, and other weather changes occur? Because if we don’t undo the industrial revolution right now we are doomed. The world will come to an end. All coastal cities will be underwater. Killer storms will happen […]

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Greg Corombos of Radio America and Jim Geraghty of National Review reveal their choices for most under-reported story, most over-reported story and the best story of 2015.

Mismatch Theory: Why a Movie Should Be Made about Prof. Richard Sander (Part 3)

 

This post is the third in a series on Prof. Richard Sander and the reaction to his Mismatch theory. You can read Part 1, Part 2, and Part 4 of this series at the links.

51ba5ZH-x8L._SX308_BO1,204,203,200_As I noted in Part 2 of this series, a slew of pro-affirmative-action law scholars wrote critiques of Sander’s work on Mismatch, the theory that if students are less prepared for a particular level of instruction—which occurs almost by design with affirmative action—then, not only do they make worse grades than their peers, they actually learn less than they would have learned if they had attended a less challenging school. All of these critiques, I believe, realized that the first and second regularities that Sander documented were solid. None even attempted to show contradictory data that could overturn them.

Mismatch Theory: Why a Movie Should Be Made about Prof. Richard Sander (Part 2)

 

This post is the second in a series on Prof. Richard Sander and the reaction to his Mismatch theory. You can read Part 1, Part 3, and Part 4 of this series at the links.

51ba5ZH-x8L._SX308_BO1,204,203,200_As I noted in Part 1, Sander noticed an overlap with what economist Thomas Sowell called the “mismatch” effect. If students are less prepared for a particular level of instruction—which occurs almost by design with affirmative action—then, not only do they make worse grades than their peers, they actually learn less than they would have learned if they had attended a less challenging school.

A Republican’s Practical Guide to College

 

image“My boy, we are pilgrims in an unholy land.” — Dr. Henry Jones Sr., on watching a Nazi book burning in Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade.

I am a recent college graduate and a young Republican. The happiest moment in my short political life so far has been receiving a piece of paper, freeing me from the encroaching liberal bonfire of the modern college campus. What I’ve learned from my time in academia is probably not the most conventional lesson, but it is the most practical: don’t be an activist; just get through it. Accept that college and university is not a friendly place to express counter-cultural views, focus on strengthening your conservative beliefs, and get that diploma.

What got me through college was keeping my ideological head down and a healthy dose of underhanded sarcasm. Let me be perfectly honest: no one likes the campus activist — be he from the right or the left — or the kid who argues with the professor. Seriously. Just keep your mouth shut and parrot back whatever he/she/xhe wants to hear. Although it may be romantic to stand up for one’s beliefs in the middle of the lecture and tell-off that smug liberal professor, please don’t. It’s not a good look and, more importantly, the guy you’re laying into also grades your papers.

A quarter century ago, he battled with Dinesh D’Souza over political correctness in a series of campus debates. Today, he’s the author of Think Again: Contrarian Reflections on Life, Culture, Politics, Religion, Law, and Education.

In a 10-minute conversation with The Bookmonger, Stanley Fish talks about the role and responsibility of contrarians, how higher education has changed over the last 25 years, and whether he and D’Souza have become friends (the answer is yes). Finally, he explains why he regards the late Charlton Heston as one of America’s great actors.

US Startups Aren’t Creating Jobs Like They Used to

 

From “Where Has All The Skewness Gone? The Decline In High-Growth (Young) Firms In The U.S.” by Ryan Decker, John Haltiwanger, Ron Jarmin, and Javier Miranda:

There is now robust evidence, from multiple data sources using a variety of indicators, of a pervasive decline in U.S. business dynamism over the last several decades. … Declining business dynamism can be the outcome of efficient responses to changing tastes and technology as has been occurring in the retail sector.

Arizona Governor’s End Run Around Education Unions

 

1409113012000-Doug-DuceyArizona Governor Doug Ducey is not your typical politician. He rose to prominence as the CEO of Cold Stone Creamery, turning a sleepy local chain with a handful of stores into an international brand with nearly 1,500 locations in 31 countries. Having mastered business, he entered state politics, spending four years as Arizona’s treasurer until his landslide election as governor one year ago.

Since his inauguration, Ducey has already fulfilled several of his campaign promises, but his trickiest pledge remained: How could he give more money to classrooms without raising taxes? For decades Arizona has led the nation in school-choice initiatives, but a years-long court case mandated more money for the K-12 education. This summer, a judge ordered that an additional $336 million be spent at once and perhaps as much as $1.3 billion in back payments in the near future. As I note in my article for The Wall Street Journal (subscription required), Gov. Ducey knows how to wheel and deal while keeping his promises to the taxpayers:

Reviewing several poor options, the governor’s office noticed something curious about the results of the 2000 [schools] tax increase. Education spending had gone up 41%, but the share of funds eaten by non-classroom expenses, such as plant operations and student support services, had grown every year for the past nine. The state auditor’s office calculated that in 2013 Arizona spent only 54% of school funds in the classroom, compared with 61% nationwide. Several academic studies have shown a direct correlation between that figure and student achievement, so it’s no surprise that Arizona ranks near the bottom in educational success, too.

Member Post

 

Due to the clamoring of hundreds of you, I have written this post on the topic of American Education. Well okay, it wasn’t hundreds of you. Okay it was my mom. I’ve posted snippets of these incidents in various threads, but here they are all in one place, along with more incidents I haven’t written […]

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Greg Corombos of Radio America and Jim Geraghty of National Review like a new poll showing Hillary Clinton losing badly to all four top GOP candidates in Colorado.  They also discuss multiple reports of Syrians fraudulently posing as refugees in an effort to reach the U.S.  And they enjoy the demand of student protesters that Princeton scrub all references to former Pres. Woodrow Wilson.

As the terror attacks in Paris unfolded, John, Scott and Steve hosted Episode 29 of the Power Line Show. The attacks threw both halves of the show into sharp relief. We started by interviewing Dan Polisar, author of in important article in titled “What Do Palestinians Want?

Polisar reviewed years’ worth of public opinion polling of Palestinians. He found several common themes; a common denominator is a lack of contact with reality. As twisted as Palestinian culture is, what we saw in Paris tonight reflects an even more virulent version of the same ideology.

Greg Corombos of Radio America and Jim Geraghty of National Review applaud Neil Cavuto’s dismantling of the free college arguments of the Million Student March.  They also sigh as some Republicans are still trying to find a path for Mitt Romney to join the race and save the party from the likes of Donald Trump and Ben Carson.  And they react to Donald Trump calling Iowans and other Americans “stupid” for believing Ben Carson’s personal story.

Greg Corombos of Radio America and Jim Geraghty of National Review discuss the FBI expanding its investigation into Hillary Clinton’s emails to probe whether she or any aides made false statements, which is a felony.  They also slam MSNBC’s Chris Matthews for suggesting Ted Cruz and Marco Rubio aren’t Hispanic and are actually Cuban nationals.  And they unload on the University of Missouri protesters for claiming the first amendment right to free speech creates a hostile learning environment for them.

Greg Corombos of Radio America and Ian Tuttle of National Review cheer the decision from a federal appeals court ruling that Pres. Obama did not have the authority to take unilateral action on immigration last year.  They also cringe as a Jeb Bush Super PAC targets Marco Rubio for being too pro-life.  And they unload on the insanity at the University of Missouri.

Greg Corombos of Radio America and Jim Geraghty of National Review cheer the election of a conservative governor in Kentucky, the GOP holding the Virginia Senate and voters rejecting liberal initiatives in Houston and Ohio.  They also groan as TransCanada asks for its Keystone XL pipeline request to be to be postponed and they slam the Obama administration for its endless delay in deciding on the pipeline.  And they unload on the Department of Education for forcing an Illinois high school to allow a male who “identifies” as a female to dress and shower with the girls on his team.

Will New Data Nudge Democrats to Change Their Minds on Universal Pre-K?

 

twenty20_2550bff8-ceb5-404b-b988-0db7b62e480e_Preschool-e1445890691432I sense Ezra Klein did not enjoy writing this piece about new pre-K research:

Perhaps preschool doesn’t help children as much as we thought — or hoped. A new study by Mark Lipsey, Dale Farran, and Kerry Hofer finds that children who were admitted to Tennessee’s pre-K program were worse off by the end of first grade than children who didn’t make the cut.

The study is beautifully designed — it takes advantage of areas in Tennessee where demand for the program outstripped supply, so entrance to the program was decided randomly. That means researchers could compare outcomes for kids who randomly got in with outcomes for those who randomly didn’t, and isolate the effects of the program. What they found should worry advocates of universal pre-K.

Private-Sector Solution to Rising College Tuition, Student Debt

 

shutterstock_151974746With the federal Department of Education now overseeing $1.2 trillion in student-loan debt, attention has been driven to the cost of tuition at our institutions of higher education. While it may appear that the causation runs from higher tuition to student debt, it’s more likely that it runs the other way.

When the federal government attempted to increase the number of low-income homeowners by requiring banks to increase the percentage of their loans to low-income households, and by purchasing mortgages through Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, the result was a sustained increase in housing prices and a vast expansion of mortgage debt. We’re pretty well aware of how that ended up.

We should not be surprised that, as the federal government expanded its role in higher education through Pell Grants and loans to students without regard for their ability to pay the loans back, tuition has risen. Over the past 30 years, tuition has risen by 146 percent at private four-year colleges, to $31,231 (in constant 2014 dollars). The increase for in-state tuition at public four-year institutions has risen 225 percent, to $9,139.

Politics for 10-Year-Olds

 

While I was watching the debate last night, my stepdaughter and her friend came into the room. They were instantly thrilled that “a girl” was on stage and began cheering for her to win. I told them there was another girl in the other party, so it could end up as girl versus girl. Then I had to explain this debate was just among one party, and the other party would have their debates (like the playoffs). Then the winner from each party would debate, and at the end we’d pick a president (like the Superbowl).

Then they wanted to understand the difference between the two parties.

Washington State Constitutional Crisis

 

imageA few months back, I wrote about the crazy battle between Washington State’s supreme court and state legislature over education funding. The short version of the story is that the state constitution imposes the “paramount” duty on the legislature “to make ample provision for the education of all children.” The state has been sued repeatedly over a supposed failure to live up to this duty, and the court has sided against the legislature, demanding it square itself away. Last September, the legislature was found in contempt of the court. Now that the legislative session has ended, the court has evaluated their work and found it wanting:

After the close of the session and following several special sessions, the State has offered no plan for achieving full constitutional compliance by the deadline the legislature itself adopted. Accordingly, this court must take immediate action to enforce its order. Effective today, the court imposes a $100,000 per day penalty on the State for each day it remains in violation of this court’s order…this penalty may be abated in part if a special session is called and results in full compliance.

The state education unions are, of course, pleased: