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Trump’s Executive Orders Are Mostly Theater - POLITICO Magazine
Trump’s order on reorganizing the government simply directed his budget director to devise a plan for reorganizing the government. His order on the opioid crisis set up a commission. His orders on rebuilding the military, streamlining permits for manufacturers, and preventing violence against law enforcement instructed Cabinet secretaries to devise plans to achieve those goals—which they were presumably supposed to do anyway. His orders on trade deficits, drug cartels and burdensome tax regulations called for reports on those issues, essentially homework assignments issued on national television. Yesterday, as he signed an order regarding aluminum imports, he complained that foreign dumping was destroying the U.S. industry. But his order—like a similar one he signed last week about steel imports—did not impose any retaliatory duties; it just called for expediting an ongoing investigation of the issue.
politics  government 
9 hours ago by sandykoe
“A Nation at Risk” Twenty-Five Years Later | Cato Unbound
"As to the relative responsibility of schools: A Nation at Risk was issued in 1983, a decade after the nation’s postwar narrowing of social and economic inequality had ended. By the time of the report, income was becoming less evenly distributed. The real value of the minimum wage was falling and the share of the workforce with union protection was declining. Progress towards integration had halted and, as William Julius Wilson noted in The Truly Disadvantaged, published only half a dozen years later, the poorest black children were becoming isolated in dysfunctional inner-city communities to an extent not previously seen in American social history.

Social and economic disadvantage contributes in important ways to poor student achievement. Children in poor health attend quality schools less regularly. Those with inadequate housing change schools frequently, disrupting not only their own educations but those of their classmates. Children whose parents are less literate and whose homes have less rich intellectual environments enter school already so far behind that they rarely can catch up. Parents under severe economic stress cannot provide the support children need to excel. And, as Wilson described, children in neighborhoods without academically successful role models are less likely to develop academic ambitions themselves.[12]

These nonschool influences on academic achievement were known to the commissioners who authored A Nation at Risk. The Coleman Report of 1966, still a major document of recent research history, had concluded that family background factors were more important influences on student achievement variation than school quality.[13] In 1972 and 1979, Christopher Jencks and his colleagues had published two widely noticed reassessments of Coleman, Inequality and Who Gets Ahead?, both of which confirmed the Coleman Report’s central finding. Yet the National Commission on Excellence in Education, in preparation for its Nation at Risk report, commissioned 40 research studies from the leading academic researchers in the nation, and not one of these was primarily devoted to the social and economic factors that affect learning.

Most remarkably, A Nation at Risk concluded with a brief “Word to Parents and Students,” acknowledging that schools alone could not reverse the alleged decline in academic performance. It urged parents to be a “living example of what you expect your children to honor and emulate… You should encourage more diligent study and discourage satisfaction with mediocrity… .”[14] This was the report’s only reference to nonschool factors that influence learning.

A Nation at Risk therefore changed the national conversation about education from the Coleman-Jencks focus on social and economic influences to an assumption that schools alone could raise and equalize student achievement. The distorted focus culminated in the No Child Left Behind legislation of 2002, demanding that school accountability alone for raising test scores should raise achievement to never-before-attained levels, and equalize outcomes by race and social class as well.

A Nation at Risk was well-intentioned, but based on flawed analyses, at least some of which should have been known to the commission that authored it. The report burned into Americans’ consciousness a conviction that, evidence notwithstanding, our schools are failures, and warped our view of the relationship between schools and economic well-being. It distracted education policymakers from insisting that our political, economic, and social institutions also have a responsibility to prepare children to be ready to learn when they attend school.

There are many reasons to improve American schools, but declining achievement and international competition are not good arguments for doing so. Asking schools to improve dramatically without support from other social and economic institutions is bound to fail, as a quarter century of experience since A Nation at Risk has demonstrated."
anationatrisk  richardrothstein  2008  1983  schools  politics  policy  education  poverty  charters  publicschools  inequality  testing  standardizedtesting  backtothebasics  curriculum  teaching  nclb  society  economics  sociology 
9 hours ago by robertogreco
For the last time, President Trump can’t change U.S. libel law – Poynter
President Trump has repeatedly threatened to change U.S. libel law to crack down on news organizations that publish information he finds objectionable. But could he actually make good on his threat…
politics  journalism 
10 hours ago by jellis
Committee Dues | User Clip | C-SPAN.org
Amazing information revealed about the cost of being on a committee.
amazing  politics  quotes  government  video 
10 hours ago by cera
The Return of the Barbarian
Barbarians versus agrarian civilizations and the continuing cycle
sociology  politics  history  is:article 
11 hours ago by graham
Part III – Prediction: Jim DeMint Will Join The Trump Administration… | The Last Refuge
Virtually all of the K-Street policy and lobbying influence is targeted to grow government and present legislation that grows the scale, scope and interests of the financial political class. DeMint’s efforts toward providing a counter-balance to the influence of the singular policy agenda is exactly what’s needed to begin to deconstruct the UniParty institutions.

The House and Senate, and all of the membership therein, are mired in the swamp by the legislative priorities of the financial influences and lobbyists upon them. The scale of the lobbying is jaw-dropping when you consider over $3 billion spent in 2016 alone.
politics  lobbyists  trump 
12 hours ago by astrogirl

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