This week on Banter, AEI Resident Scholar Nat Malkus joins the show to discuss the DC Public Schools graduation scandal. After posting a record graduation rate in 2017, an audit revealed that one-third of graduates received diplomas in violation of the District’s attendance policy. If the District’s attendance policy had been followed, the graduation rate would have fallen from 73 percent to less than 50 percent. What implications does this have for education reform and what systems should be developed to ensure this doesn’t happen in the future? Read more about the scandal at the links below.

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This week on Banter, Dr. Yascha Mounk joined the show to discuss his new book, “The People vs. Democracy: Why Our Freedom Is in Danger and How to Save It.” In his book, Mounk explains the rise of populism and its threats to liberal democracy, but also provides some practical solutions to turning that tide. Dr. Mounk is a lecturer on government at Harvard University, a senior fellow in the Political Reform program at New America, and executive director at the Tony Blair Institute for Global Change. His research focuses on political theory and comparative politics. He participated in a book event at AEI with AEI’s Jonah Goldberg, Norm Ornstein, and Stan Veuger. You can watch the full event video at the link below.

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This week on Banter, Dr. Marvin Olasky joined the show to discuss the history of compassionate conservatism, what it means, and whether or not it might return in the current political climate. Dr. Olasky is the editor in chief of World Magazine and the author of 20 books, including “Compassionate Conservatism: What It Is, What It Does, and How It Can Transform America” (Free Press, 2000) and “The Tragedy of American Compassion” (Regnery Publishing, 1992). He keynoted an event at AEI on compassionate conservatism hosted by AEI’s Director of Domestic Policy Studies Ryan Streeter and AEI Research Fellow Angela Rachidi. Olasky also joined a panel discussion on how the movement fell short and its chances for a comeback. You can watch the full event video at the link below.

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This week on Banter, AEI visiting scholar and director of the Cornell Program in Infrastructure Policy Rick Geddes joined the show to discuss the Trump administration’s long-awaited infrastructure plan and the future of US infrastructure policy. Geddes’ work at AEI focuses on infrastructure, public and private partnerships, the US postal system and postal delivery policy, and corporate governance. He hosted Under Secretary for Policy at the Department of Transportation Derek Kan and a panel of infrastructure policy experts at AEI for a discussion of the details of the plan. You can watch the full event video at the link below.

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This week on Banter, AEI Resident Scholar and Director of Russian Studies Leon Aron discusses the threat Vladimir Putin’s Russia poses to six countries in Europe and Central Asia. Dr. Aron recently released a new collection of essays titled “To Have and to Hold: Putin’s Quest for Control in the Former Soviet Empire.” The essays assess the likelihood and form of potential Russian intervention in six neighboring countries: Estonia, Latvia, Moldova, Ukraine, Belarus, and Kazakhstan. Dr. Aron hosted a release event for the essays at AEI featuring the compilation’s authors and Rep. Seth Moulton (D-MA) for a discussion on the threat Russia poses to the West on the eve of his reelection.

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This week on Banter, whistling champion and Managing Director and Director of Global Communications at the Carlyle Group Chris Ullman joined the show to discuss his new book, “Find Your Whistle: Simple Gifts Touch Hearts and Change Lives” as well as his career trajectory in Washington, DC. Prior to joining Carlyle, Ullman worked in government as Director of Communications at OMB. Formerly, he was public affairs director for the Securities and Exchange Commission, and he worked on Capitol Hill as Director of Communications for the House Budget Committee. You can check out the book webpage at the link below.

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This week on Banter, AEI Resident Scholar and deputy director of AEI’s Education Policy Studies Nat Malkus joined the show to discuss how a ruling in favor of Janus might affect unions in states where agency fees apply. Malkus’s work at AEI focuses on K-12 education, specifically school finance, charter schools, school choice, and the future of standardized testing. Before joining AEI, Malkus was a senior researcher at the American Institutes for Research. Learn more about the case and explore the potential effects of the expected ruling using Malkus’s interactive tool at the links below.

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On this week’s episode of Banter, Brookings Institution Senior Fellow Richard Reeves discusses his book “Dream Hoarders: How the American Upper Middle Class Is Leaving Everyone Else in the Dust, Why That Is a Problem, and What to Do About It.” The book argues that the top 20 percent of income earners in America are increasingly passing their status to their children, reducing overall social mobility for the bottom 80 percent. “Dream Hoarders” received considerable attention upon its release in 2017. Check out the links below for more information including a review of the book by AEI Director of Economic Policy Studies Michael Strain.

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On this week’s episode of Banter, AEI visiting scholar Mark Jamison joins the show to discuss how cryptocurrencies such as bitcoin work and how they are different from government-backed currency. At AEI, Dr. Jamison’s work focuses on how technology affects the economy, and on telecommunications and Federal Communications Commission issues. He has written several pieces on cryptocurrencies including how policymakers should approach this technology.

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On this week’s episode of Banter, AEI research fellow in poverty studies Angela Rachidi discusses the child tax credit and the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services’ recent move to consider state requests for work-related Medicaid requirements. As an expert in support programs for low-income families, her work at AEI focuses on poverty and the effects of federal safety net programs. Before joining AEI, Rachidi served as deputy commissioner in New York City’s Department of Social Services. She writes frequently for the New York Post, The Hill, InsideSources, and RealClearMarkets.com.

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On this week’s episode of Banter, new AEI visiting fellow Naomi Schaefer Riley discusses how big data might contribute to efforts to reform foster care bureaucracies. Naomi published a piece in the February 2018 edition of “Reason” magazine on the issue. The article describes how predictive analytics might be used to assess whether children are at a heightened risk of abuse or neglect based on available data. You can access the full article at the link below.

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This week marks Banter’s 300th episode. To commemorate this milestone, AEI President Arthur Brooks joined the show to discuss everything from AEI’s human dignity project and the future of free enterprise to the need for aspirational leadership in the face of a government shutdown. Arthur also updated us on some exciting upcoming AEI projects and left us with some unconventional fashion advice.

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This week on Banter we’re joined by Mike McShane for a discussion on education reform in the Bush and Obama administrations. Dr. McShane is the director of national research at EdChoice and a former research fellow in education policy studies at AEI. He cohosted a public event on the history of education reform in the Bush and Obama years, which featured a keynote address from Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos. You can watch the full event video at the link below.

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This week on Banter we’re joined by AEI Morgridge Fellow in Poverty Studies Robert Doar. Robert contributed to a new publication titled “This Way Up: New Thinking About Poverty and Economic Mobility.” The booklet of short essays, published by Opportunity America in conjunction with AEI, showcases some of the best new thinking on issues such as welfare reform, wage subsidies, workforce training, school choice, and family formation. Contributors include Speaker Paul Ryan, AEI President Arthur Brooks, Charles Murray, Robert Doar, Tamar Jacoby, and a number of other prominent researchers on the right. More information on the report can be found at the links below. If you’d like a complimentary copy of the report please send your name and email to [email protected]

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In Banter’s seventh installment of the “Bridging the Dignity Divide” series, AEI Morgridge Fellow in Education Studies Andy Smarick joins the show to discuss the unique challenges and opportunities facing rural education in America. In addition to his role at AEI, Smarick also serves as president of the Maryland State Board of Education. With AEI Research Fellow Angela Rachidi and Resident Scholar Nat Malkus, Smarick hosted an event at AEI with authors of a forthcoming edited volume on rural education in America. The volume includes pieces on topics such as rural poverty, the opioid crisis, and education policy in rural communities. The link below will take you to the full event video including links to selections from the volume.

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In Banter’s sixth installment of the “Bridging the Dignity Divide” series, Chris Karpowitz and Jeremy Pope joined the show to discuss the results of the third annual American Family Survey, cosponsored by Deseret News and Brigham Young University. The survey covers a range of issues facing American families today, including economic challenges, cultural concerns, health care priorities, immigration, and addiction. Karpowitz and Pope are codirectors of the Center for the Study of Elections and Democracy at BYU. They participated in the survey release event at AEI, hosted by AEI Senior Fellow Karlyn Bowman. The link below will take you to the full event video.

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In Banter’s fifth installment of the “Bridging the Dignity Divide” series, AEI Visiting Scholar Mark Schneider joined the show to discuss alternatives to the traditional bachelor’s degree, such as associate and certificate programs, and the differing earnings outcomes of these programs. This research was featured in the new report “Degrees of Opportunity: Lessons Learned from State-Level Data on Postsecondary Earnings Outcomes.” In addition to his role at AEI, Schneider is Vice President at the American Institutes for Research. He is the author and editor of numerous articles and books on education policy and has been working to increase accountability by making data on college productivity more publicly available.

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In a special bonus episode of Banter, AEI’s director of the Open Source Policy Center (OSPC), Matt Jensen, joined the show to discuss the ongoing tax reform debate and how the center’s models help make tax policy analysis more transparent. In addition to his work for OSPC, Jensen is a lecturer and founding member of the advisory board for the Open Source Macroeconomics Laboratory at the University of Chicago’s Becker Friedman Institute. He has written for RealClearMarkets, Tax Notes, The Wall Street Journal, and US News & World Report, among other publications.

Later this week, don’t miss Banter’s fifth installment of the “Bridging the Dignity Divide” series with AEI Visiting Scholar Mark Schneider on what’s wrong with our nation’s emphasis on the role of bachelor’s degrees for economic success.

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In Banter’s fourth installment of the “Bridging the Dignity Divide” series, John Bailey and Andy Smarick joined the show to share insights from their podcast, the New Skills Marketplace. In addition to discussing the skills gap, CTE programming, and charter schools, they discussed Smarick’s latest report, The Evolving High School CTE: New Jersey’s Distinctive Approach to Career Education. In addition to his role as AEI Visiting Fellow, Bailey is also a fellow at the Walton Family Foundation. His work focuses on finding new ways to reskill individuals. Smarick, the AEI Morgridge Fellow in Education Studies, also serves as president of the Maryland State Board of Education. His work centers on education and related domestic and social policy issues.

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In Banter’s third installment of the “Bridging the Dignity Divide” series, AEI Resident Fellow Gerard Robinson once again takes over as guest host. On this episode, he is joined by Grant Duwe of the Minnesota Department of Corrections to discuss prison education and evidence-based criminal justice reform. Duwe also serves as an academic adviser to AEI for criminal justice reform. He joined last week’s guests, Renita Seabrook and Ames Grawert, in an event at AEI hosted by Robinson and AEI Resident Scholar Stan Veuger on prison education reform policies.

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