In today’s St. Louis Post-Dispatch, Mike McShane, director of education policy at the Show-Me Institute, and I highlight where the Ferguson Commission missed the mark.
The Roman philosopher Cicero once said, “Advice is judged by results, not by intentions.” It is hard not to think of these words when reading the final report of the Ferguson Commission.
The signature priorities, “justice for all,” “youth at the center,” and providing individuals the “opportunity to thrive,” could not be more noble. Unfortunately, we cannot judge the Ferguson Commission’s report on good intentions alone. We must examine the probable results. It is certainly too early to understand all of the long-term implications of the policies that the report advocates; however, based on the evidence, the prospects are bleak.
Read more here.
The fact that there is even an organization that must fight this battle is scary.
Last month, Michael Rathbone and I released a new pension report, “Betting on the Big Returns: How Missouri Teacher Pension Plans Have Shifted to Riskier Assets.” Not unexpectedly, our report was met with some resistance by Steve Yoakum, executive director of the Public School Retirement System of Missouri (PSRS). PSRS is Missouri’s largest public employee pension system.
Yoakum penned a three page response to our paper. Yet, in his effort to discredit our work, he simply reaffirmed everything we wrote. I highlight this on the Show-Me Institute’s blog.
Our paper states that current teacher and school district contributions do not cover the existing obligations, meaning that pension plans must rely on investment returns in order to meet their obligations to members. Mr. Yoakum’s response: “Only if we exclude income from investments is this true.” It is difficult to describe this as anything but a restatement of our point.
Read more here.
For most, April 15 just marks the day that taxes are due. For teachers in Missouri, however, it marks the day by which contracts are due. If a teacher is not going to be rehired, they must be notified by this date. Mike McShane, the new director of education policy at the Show-Me Institute, and I explain why this is a needless government regulation that should be removed. Check out our latest in the Columbia Missourian.
Charter schools are a contentious topic of conversation among many traditional public school educators. It’s not fair, they argue, that charter schools are not subject to the same regulations that public schools have to follow. Don’t compare the two sectors, they’ll tell you — public schools are fighting with one hand tied behind their backs.
And you know what? They’re right. It isn’t fair that public schools are burdened with regulations that stifle their ability to serve kids.
Read it all here.
Do you worry about the influence of “Big Oil” or “Big Pharma” in U.S. politics? In this latest video from Prager University, Daniel DiSalvo, an assistant professor of political science at City College of New York, demonstrates how Big Unions pose and even greater threat.