October 10, 2007
'It never makes sense to build light rail'
Posted by Mitch Kokai at 7:25 PM
"... Never. Nowhere. Not anywhere on Earth does light rail make sense."
That's the assessment of Cato Institute senior fellow Randal O'Toole, a John Locke Foundation Headliner speaker today in Charlotte.
O'Toole offered his pronouncement as Mecklenburg County taxpayers prepare to vote next month on the potential repeal of a special half-cent sales tax for mass transit service.
10:30 p.m. update: Watch the entire speech here. O'Toole's remarks include his reasoning for the statement quoted above.
Posted by Dr. Karen Y. Palasek at 5:55 PM
Not really, not if you are in need of neonatal ICU or specialized birth facilities, according to the latest reports from across the border. The Canadian health system may be the envy of North America, but not by Canadians, apparently. Moms are literally being airlifted to medical facilities in the U.S., when these littlest Canadians simply refuse to wait for appropriate newborn facilities at home to become available before emerging onto the scene.
Middle & High School Teachers’ Views
Posted by Lindalyn Kakadelis at 3:33 PM
A new report, Lessons Learned: New Teachers Talk About Their Jobs, Challenges and Long-Range Plans, just released by Public Agenda states middle and high school teachers’ are “more concerned about administrative support, more frustrated by student motivation and behavior, less likely to see teaching a lifelong career, and less likely to believe all students can achieve in school, than their counterparts in elementary schools.”
Duh, I could have saved them money on this project! Talk to most middle and high school teachers and they will give you an ear full of how the system is broken. Finally the status quo educrats have figured out schools can’t be all things to all people. Schools must be flexible enough to focus on specific student needs, and give teachers the support needed for such changes.
One item not mentioned in the report is the need for parental choice. If parents and students had educational freedom and “buy in” by choosing the educational provider, the motivation to come to school is increased!
The public Horse Park to A private Dairy Farm
Posted by Michael Moore at 2:07 PM
In Cleveland County, a 312-acre tract of land that is owned by the Piedmont Equestrian Park Authority might be returned to the private sector.
Posted by Dr. Karen Y. Palasek at 12:49 AM
You may be right on that, Hal. I didn't investigate the numbers they are reporting. Hopefully John C. did not skew the sample.
Russ Roberts agrees on "spend and tax"
Posted by Joseph Coletti at 12:14 AM
While live-blogging the Republican debate for the NYTimes yesterday, the eminent GMU economist, author of The Choice, and host of EconTalk, stated (Turning to the Experts | 4:26 p.m)
So far, no one has pointed out that in a world of deficit spending, the true tax burden of the United States is better described by the level of spending rather than tax rates. The Bush administration has cut tax rates but because spending is so much larger, the burden of government is LARGER not smaller than it was before.
With apologies to our friends at ATR. I would go further than Roberts to say that this is true at any level of government regardless of whether deficits are allowed, because taxes have to cover spending -- as we have seen in North Carolina over the past two economic cycles and are setting up in the current cycle.
Re: Homeschoolers Apply to College
Posted by Hal Young at 11:50 AM
the latest Chronicles of Higher Education spotlights the demand for homescholed students, and the rising number of high schoolers graduating from home schools.
I'd question it, Karen. The data might have been skewed by the number of colleges our homeschooler visited last month.
Posted by Hal Young at 11:43 AM
Heads up to Captain Hood: Crewmembers are planning your funeral. Check six!
Posted by Dr. Karen Y. Palasek at 11:09 AM
You don't mean delighted to be dead, do you?
On the LAX Suit, from Duke Chronicle
Posted by Dr. Karen Y. Palasek at 11:06 AM
Here's today's Duke Chronicle take on the ex-lacrosse players' civil rights suit naming Nifong, the Durham Police Department, and the city of Durham.
Homeschoolers Apply to College
Posted by Dr. Karen Y. Palasek at 10:47 AM
Unfortunately under subscription, the latest Chronicles of Higher Education spotlights the demand for homescholed students, and the rising number of high schoolers graduating from home schools.
A short quote from the article refers to the University of Richmond, which, like many colleges and universities, is adapting its admissions documents to accomodate the home schooled student:
"Home schooling often really allows students to develop a passion," says Sabena Moretz, associate director of admissions, Richmond. "With a traditional high school, most of the time you don't see a kid who's gotten so excited with the history of Monticello or got themselves onto an archeology dig."
Home schoolers are also moving toward an application package format that is easier for schools to negotiate and evaluate, and (I love the market) private credentialing agencies have begun to offer services to help home schoolers and their parents produce diplomas and transcripts that colleges and universities can compare with those coming from standard schools. It's a mixed blessing, of course, since home schoolers' appeal rests partly on the unique characteristics of their education as well as, in some cases, the applications.
As a concession to the large numbers of home school students now ready for college, even the Common Application now has a supplement designed for home schoolers. The Common Application serves over 300 of the nation's most prominent unversities and colleges.
Politics and the professoriate
Posted by George Leef at 10:15 AM
John Leo takes a look at some recent research on that question here.
Of the professors responding to the survey, 31 percent did not say that they thought it important for students to have an atmosphere of intellectual diversity. Leo laments that the survey didn't ask the profs if they felt entitled to use the classroom as a political stage for promoting their views, but perhaps we get a good approximation from the figure above.
Ingenuity hits a new high in the marketplace.
Posted by Melissa Mitchell at 10:00 AM
Coming soon to a funeral home near you, Star Trek Funerals, which will feature Caskets and Urns with the Star Trek theme. There will be one unnamed leader at the Locke Foundation who will be delighted.
Don't you just love ingenuity in the market place!
Sometimes a picture says it all
Posted by Joseph Coletti at 09:24 AM
States are worried about their budgets next year. Predictably, spending has grown rapidly in the last five years as their economies have done well and revenues have skyrocketed. Now they are looking at slower revenue growth and don't know what to do.
The Nanny State gets bigger and more powerful
Posted by George Leef at 09:23 AM
Jacob Sullum writes here about the increasingly authoritarian anti-smoking laws. After the crusading pols are done with that vice, what next?
I'd like to see Tim Russert (or any other "debate" moderator) ask the candidates if they favor a national anti-smoking law. Would anyone answer, "There's no constitutional authority for it" or "People ought to be free to pursue their bad habits without government hounding them"? I doubt it.
Cary and Raleigh vote for growth...in New Jersey
Posted by Joseph Coletti at 09:03 AM
North Carolina has been a major destination for those fleeing the heavy hand of government in New York and New Jersey. A recent study shows that the net outflow from New Jersey is now about 75,000 people per year, which "cost the state economy about $10 billion in income, and about $680 million in state budget revenue," according to nj.com.
New Jersey officials will be happy to know that voters in the Triangle are doing their part to strengthen New Jersey's economy. Yesterday's bond votes in Wake County and Raleigh, combined with school board and city council elections mean higher taxes for all residents and less opportunity for newcomers are on the way.
Posted by Joseph Coletti at 08:01 AM
As part of a story on Teach for America, the Economist has one of the best and most optimistic descriptions I've seen of what's happening in America's schools.
Andy Rotherham, a former Clinton administration official who now serves on the Virginia Board of Education, is confident TFA will ultimately succeed. “Public education in the United States is...being de-regulated, and that never happens without a fight. What it really boils down to is producer interest versus consumer interest. In the sweep of American history it may take a while, but the consumers ultimately win.”
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