Education

The End Of All-you-can-drive Insurance
January 04, 2009

Suppose that, instead of paying for gas each time they filled up, drivers paid a fixed sum every six months to cover their fuel costs. This sum would vary based on the driver's age, type of vehicle, and location, but wouldn't change with the number of miles driven. It sounds absurd, of course, but it's exactly what happens in the auto-insurance market.

Gov. Patterson: Hands Off My Yoo Hoo!
December 19, 2008

New York Governor David Patersen has a commentary up on CNN.com today, arguing for an "obesity tax" on sodas and sugary fruit drinks. Though well-intentioned, this kind of proposal gives me the willies. I appreciate the public health challenges posed by the "obesity epidemic," but there are a variety of reasons why fat is not tobacco (a parallel Patersen draws in his opening graf). I wrote a piece to this effect back in 2002--which I would link to if our archives weren't so craptacular.

Hands Off My Yoo Hoo, Buddy!
December 19, 2008

New York Governor David Patersen has a commentary up on CNN.com today, arguing for an "obesity tax" on sodas and sugary fruit drinks. Though well-intentioned, this kind of proposal gives me the willies. I appreciate the public health challenges posed by the "obesity epidemic," but there are a variety of reasons why fat is not tobacco (a parallel Patersen draws in his opening graf). I wrote a piece to this effect back in 2002--which I would link to if our archives weren't so craptacular.

Why Obama Gets An "a" For Choosing Duncan
December 16, 2008

Arne Duncan wasn't Mayor Richard Daley's first choice to lead Chicago's public schools in 2001. But when Daley's top pick declined the offer, he turned to Duncan, who at the time was young and relatively unknown to the public, despite having served as deputy chief of staff to outgoing CEO Paul Vallas. Now, seven years later, Duncan has been tapped as Obama's secretary of education--and many Chicago education leaders I spoke to said they're sad to see him go. That comes as no surprise, considering all that Duncan's done to improve the Windy City's schools.

Obama’s Health Care Plans: ‘this Year … This Administration’
December 11, 2008

At the Chicago press conference, Obama just gave the clearest signal yet that he intends to make health care reform a top priority. After running through the litany of familiar problems--rising costs, faltering coverage, poor quality--he vowed to tackle the problem "this year and in this administration." Afterwards, he confronted head-on the argument that the rough economy makes this a poor time to try health care reform.

Obama’s Health Care Plans: ‘this Year … This Administration’
December 11, 2008

 Obama on Health Care: "This Year ... This Administration" At the Chicago press conference, Obama just gave the clearest signal yet that he intends to make health care reform a top priority. After running through the litany of familiar problems--rising costs, faltering coverage, poor quality--he vowed to tackle the problem "this year and in this administration." Afterwards, he confronted head-on the argument that the rough economy makes this a poor time to try health care reform.

Obama On Health Care: "this Year ... This Administration"
December 11, 2008

At the Chicago press conference, Obama just gave the clearest signal yet that he intends to make health care reform a top priority. After running through the litany of familiar problems--rising costs, faltering coverage, poor quality--he vowed to tackle the problem "this year and in this administration." Afterwards, he confronted head-on the argument that the rough economy makes this a poor time to try health care reform. He noted that economic insecurity and our health care crisis our inextricably linked.

Daschle To Be Named Hhs Secretary (officially)
December 10, 2008

Barack Obama will be holding a press conference in Chicago on Thursday. And it's safe bet that most of the political world will be watching to hear Obama give his first extended remarks about the Rod Blagojevich scandal. But Obama will be making news of another sort, too: He will, according to transition sources, make official the appointment of former Senator Tom Daschle as the Secretary of Health and Human Services. And while that's not exactly news--sources had fingered Daschle as the likely nominee some time ago--Obama's broader statements about health care will be.

Education Reformers Get A Lobbying Lesson
December 08, 2008

In an article this week, I discuss Linda Darling-Hammond's leadership of Obama's education policy team and how the Stanford professor's role is upsetting many in the education reform community, which has aggressive views about how to improve schools. Today, a leading member of that community explained how reformers are pressing (or, at least, trying to press) the incoming administration to select one of their own as secretary of education. As it turns out, they're not very good at it.

Mississippi Is For . . . Education?
December 02, 2008

Marc Ambinder reports that of the six people Obama's considering for secretary of education, two are from Mississippi--Ray Mabus and Ronnie Musgrove. Which made me wonder: Education? Mississippi? Really? Sure enough, this report card that was put together in 2007 by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and the Center for American Progress ranked Mississippi second-to-last, above only D.C., when it came to education. So what gives? Is there something positive going on in public education in Mississippi that would result in two people from its state being finalists for Secretary of Education?

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