I keep rereading James Fishback’s essay on high school debate. Published May 25 in the Free Press, he called out the national circuit of high school debate for being partisan, polarized, and punitive toward any students with sane, moderate, or conservative arguments. Continue Reading…
Together | Ensemble Conference 2023
Trinity Song, analyst for the Pembina Institute’s Equitable Transition team, will present information on the Women in Fleet Transformation project at the University of Alberta’s Together | Ensemble conference 2023.
UNDRIP, self-determination, and the clean energy transition (blog)
Indigenous communities continue to face persistent economic, regulatory, and political barriers as they seek to reduce diesel dependency and realize energy sovereignty. Confronting these barriers through a commitment to the inclusion of Indigenous leadership within decision-making and design processes can support the advancement of multiple government priorities. Key among them
Ghana and the IMF have struck a deal, but hard choices lie ahead
In mid-May 2023 the International Monetary Fund (IMF) finally approved a US$3 billion 36-month arrangement with Ghana. It immediately disbursed the first tranche of US$600 million. This is the second time in the past eight years that the country has approached the IMF. And it’s the 17th time since independence in 1957
Misinformation Is a Word We Use to Shut You Up
Writing at Discourse, published by the Mercatus Center, Martin Gurri describes “disinformation” as follows:
The word means, ‘Shut up, peasant.’ It’s a bullet aimed at killing the conversation. It’s loaded with hostility to reason, evidence, debate and all the stuff that makes our democracy great. (Gurri 2023)
That is from Gurri’s excellent piece, “Disinformation Is the Word I Use When I Want You to Shut Up.” The piece prompted the present essay, the title of which is a variation on his.
With such titles, Gurri and I are being polemical, of course. Not all usages of “disinformation” and “misinformation” come from people intent
Public school districts should embrace open enrollment
Most K-12 students are still assigned to their public schools based on where they live. This means access to high-caliber public schools isn’t equal, because housing costs and school quality are inextricably tied; obtaining a good public education requires an expensive mortgage or high rent.
Open enrollment policies that weaken residential assignment can significantly expand students’ options by letting them attend public schools outside their assigned attendance zones. Parents and students can use open enrollment to find schools with open seats that offer the right academic fit, an escape from bullying, better commutes or a variety of other benefits.
Unsurprisingly, open enrollment is popular with
Biden administration’s proposed changes would make it easier for agencies to justify regulations
In January 2021, the Biden administration issued a directive to modernize the regulatory review process. Part of this directive ordered the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) to look into revising one of their inter-agency directives, called circulars. On April 7, 2023, OMB released a set of proposed rule changes that nearly doubled the length of OMB Circular A-4, a document that serves as a set of best practices for benefit-cost analyses by federal agencies.
On the plus side, the Biden administration has reformed Circular A-4 rather than killing it completely, which was a possibility given some of his political party’s
The redesign of DC’s bus system is needed, but it leaves many questions
Last month, the Washington Metropolitan Area Transportation Authority (WMATA) released the results of its four-year bus system redesign. The agency envisions 100 routes with 20-minute frequencies or better, with many routes having 12-minute headways. This does not include many other low-frequency routes. The plan would create 20% more bus routes that are competitive with driving, and WMATA estimates that this could lead to 10% more total trips. WMATA created this handy trip planner for riders to compare their old and new bus routes.
The concept of a bus system redesign makes sense. Since the last bus system redesign in 1971, the
Homeschooling is on the rise, even as the pandemic recedes
The COVID-19 national emergency might be over, but parents’ desire to continue homeschooling is holding strong. That’s the key takeaway from the latest Household Pulse Survey (HPS) published by the U.S. Census Bureau. The data have notable limitations, including small sample sizes for subpopulations, but provide useful estimates of real-time national and state-level trends in K-12 education. These HPS figures based on surveys conducted from Dec. 2022 to May 2023 can be explored with Reason Foundation’s latest data tool found here.
Nationwide, the Household Plus Survey estimates that in May 2023, 85% of students are enrolled in public schools, 9.6% attend
North Carolina needs to fix its education funding formula
Throughout North Carolina’s long-running Leandro school finance lawsuit, multiple judges have ordered legislators to invest more in a “sound basic education,” as the state constitution requires. While much of this battle is about how much money is spent on K-12 education, more attention should be focused on how the state distributes the money it spends. North Carolina’s education funding formula is mired in red tape that confuses and frustrates local leaders and often prioritizes funding for school districts that least need it.
However, a proposed state bill would replace the old education funding system with a streamlined formula that allocates education
Ontario government should understand wage premium enjoyed by public-sector workers
Government workers in Ontario enjoy a 10.9 per cent wage premium compared to similar private-sector workers.Read more about Ontario government should understand wage premium enjoyed by public-sector workersTags: public sector compensationpublic sector employeespublic compensationgovernment salaries
A Campus Satire for Our Time
As far back as the 1960s, novelist Philip Roth declared that reality in the United States was outpacing the creative capacities of the writer of fiction. “The actuality is continually outdoing our talents,” he wrote back then, “and the culture tosses up figures daily that are the envy of any novelist.” Continue Reading…