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  • Issue Brief posted March 18, 2014 by Lindsey Burke The Value of Parental Choice in Education: A Look at the Research

    Over the past decade, a growing body of empirical research examining the impact of school choice has emerged. Education researcher Greg Forster, PhD, conducted an analysis of all existing empirical evaluations of school choice programs to date. According to Forster, 11 out of 12 random assignment studies found that choice improved the academic outcomes of participants;…

  • Issue Brief posted March 7, 2014 by Lindsey Burke, Rachel Sheffield New Preschool Spending an Unnecessary Burden on American Taxpayers

    President Obama has proposed spending $75 billion over the next 10 years to create a new federally funded preschool initiative. His fiscal year (FY) 2015 budget proposes spending billions to expand access to “high quality preschool” for every four-year-old child in the country. Legislative proposals in the House and Senate mirror the President’s plan. Proposals to…

  • Issue Brief posted January 27, 2014 by Lindsey Burke, Brittany Corona Federal Preschool Proposals Will Cost Billions and Have Limited Impact on Participants

    In November, Senator Tom Harkin (D–IA) and Representative George Miller (D–CA) introduced the Strong Start for America’s Children Act (S. 1697 and H.R. 3461), which would create a federal preschool program for all four-year-old children from low- to moderate-income families in the country. It mirrors President Obama’s call for a new $75 billion federal preschool…

  • Issue Brief posted April 24, 2013 by Jason Richwine, Ph.D. The Unknown Cost of Federal Student Loans

    As Congress again considers preventing the interest rate on federal student loans from doubling, the cost to taxpayers should be a central issue. However, the federal government’s accounting practices systematically understate the cost of student loans by failing to account for market risk. A superior method called “fair value accounting,” which is the strong preference…

  • Center for Policy Innovation Discussion Paper posted March 26, 2013 by Vance H. Fried College 2020

    College in the not too distant future will look substantially different from college today. It will be better and drastically cheaper. While existing colleges and universities will fight against it (particularly the drastically cheaper part), change is coming. This change is driven by what we could call “Online 2.0,” a truly disruptive innovation.[1] Online 2.0 takes…

  • Backgrounder posted March 25, 2013 by Jason Richwine, Ph.D. Official Education Spending Figures Do Not Incorporate Full Cost of Teacher Pensions

    The cost of pensions for public school teachers is a major focus of debates over education spending. In Wisconsin, for example, Democrats strongly opposed reforms championed by Governor Scott Walker (R) that prevented teachers and other public employees from collectively bargaining over pensions. In Florida, teachers filed a lawsuit in response to a new requirement that…

  • Backgrounder posted March 12, 2013 by Lindsey Burke, Rachel Sheffield Universal Preschool’s Empty Promises

    The Obama Administration wants to establish a continuum of preschool services for children from birth through age five. As part of President Barack Obama’s drive for a “cradle-to-career” government-controlled education system, in February the Administration proposed significantly increasing government spending on early childhood education and care. The President’s…

  • Center for Policy Innovation Discussion Paper posted March 6, 2013 by Danielle Hanson Assessing the Harlem Children’s Zone

    The Harlem Children’s Zone® (HCZ or the Zone), an educational and social service organization, is seeking to transform central Harlem by increasing educational opportunities for students and working to strengthen families. The HCZ has attracted wide interest as a pioneering educational and social welfare organization in New York City because it has brought a unique and…

  • Special Report posted January 28, 2013 by Lindsey Burke, Virginia Walden Ford, Dan Lips, Jennifer A. Marshall, Jason Richwine, Ph.D., Rachel Sheffield, Evan Walter Choosing to Succeed

    Edited by Lindsey M. Burke In his enduring 1964 convention speech “A Time for Choosing,” Ronald Reagan remarked that “outside of its legitimate functions, government does nothing as well or as economically as the private sector of the economy.” If we believe as Reagan did that markets are superior to monopolies in every aspect of our lives, why then do we consign…

  • Issue Brief posted January 10, 2013 by Lindsey Burke, David B. Muhlhausen, Ph.D. Head Start Impact Evaluation Report Finally Released

    In 2008, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) completed data collection for its third-grade follow-up study of Head Start, a federal preschool program designed to improve the kindergarten readiness of low-income children. Four years later, just before Christmas, the agency finally published the results of the congressionally mandated evaluation. The report’s…

  • Issue Brief posted December 11, 2012 by Sandra Stotsky Common Core Standards’ Devastating Impact on Literary Study and Analytical Thinking

    Since coming to office, the Obama Administration has been intent on standardizing what is taught at each grade level in all of the nation’s schools. It has used its flagship “Race to the Top” competitive grant program to entice states to adopt the K–12 standards developed by a joint project of the National Governors Association (NGA) and the Council of Chief State School…

  • Backgrounder posted October 15, 2012 by Lindsey Burke How Escalating Education Spending Is Killing Crucial Reform

    Abstract: In August 2012, the White House released the report “Investing in Our Future: Returning Teachers to the Classroom” to bolster President Obama’s call for massive new education spending. The report suggests that, absent an enormous infusion of more tax dollars, the nation’s public schools will lose teachers and programs, damaging American education. This…

  • Backgrounder posted September 21, 2012 by Lindsey Burke, Stuart M. Butler, Ph.D. Accreditation: Removing the Barrier to Higher Education Reform

    Abstract: America’s higher education system is in dire need of reform. The average college student leaves school with more than $23,000 in debt, and total student loan debt in the United States now exceeds $1 trillion. Furthermore, too many students are leaving college without the skills needed to be successful in the workforce. And yet, despite the dire state…

  • Issue Brief posted September 5, 2012 by Lindsey Burke No Child Left Behind Waivers: Bogus Relief, Genuine Overreach

    Seizing on widespread dissatisfaction with No Child Left Behind (NCLB) and blaming congressional inaction for the need to act unilaterally, the Obama Administration has begun issuing waivers from the law to states willing to accept Department of Education (DOE) conditions that will end up further centralizing education policy. The NCLB waivers pose serious legal…

  • Backgrounder posted April 25, 2012 by Lindsey Burke, Rachel Sheffield Continuing the School Choice March: Policies to Promote Family K–12 Education Investment

    Abstract: Coverdell education savings accounts (ESAs), created through the federal tax code, allow families to save money tax-free for K–12 and higher education expenses. Lifting the cap on contributions to Coverdell accounts would provide greater access to school choice options by allowing families to invest more money in their children’s…