Category: The Forum

President Barack Obama has dropped a water balloon onto No Child Left Behind. “In my State of the Union address this year I said Congress should reform No Child Left Behind law based on principles that have guided Race to the Top,” Obama said Friday morning at the White House.  The President stamped his approval onto new education performance guidelines that the administration says were developed by governors and educators nationwide. “I want to say, the goals behind No Child Left Behind were admirable,” Obama said during a carefully crafted appearance that allowed for no questions.  “President (George W.) Bush deserves credit for that.  Higher standards are the right goal.  Accountability is the right goal.  Closing the achievement gap is… View Article

Friday Facts: September 23rd, 2011

It’s Friday!   – Space is limited! Don’t miss the second annual Georgia Legislative Policy Briefing on Friday, Sept. 30, at the Cobb Energy Performing Arts Centre. Register now for the daylong event, which  includes keynote speakers Bernie Marcus, co-founder of Home Depot, on entrepreneurial leadership in Georgia; John Goodman, founder and president of the National Center for Policy Analysis, on health care reform, and Michael B. Horn, national expert on digital learning. Last year, more than 250 people attended to hear nearly three dozen state and national experts discuss Georgia public policy. Topics this year include education, transportation, tax reform, criminal justice and health care. Information and registration are online athttp://gppf.org/pub/legislative_briefing_agenda.htm.   Quotations – “You may… View Article

Trip time trends and transit

The Census Bureau has released its latest one-year estimate on the average travel time to work for Americans. The national average was 25.1 minutes, but metro Atlantans’ average commute was a full five minutes longer, making it the seventh-longest in the nation.  The report offers even more food for thought in metro Atlanta, where transit is the focus as policy-makers discuss the proposals that will sway congestion-plagued voters in next year’s referendum on a regional transportation sales tax.  As I pointed out in an August commentary, the regional round table committee is finalizing a list of transportation projects for the 10-county metro Atlanta region based on an anticipated $6.14 billion pot of money. That list includes transit projects that… View Article

What Should You Pay for Your Dog’s Knee Transplant?

What should you expect to pay for your dog’s knee replacement?  Should what you pay for your dog to have his knees fixed bear any relationship to fixing your own knees?   What determines the cost for knee replacements, whether the surgery is done here or overseas? Writing this week on his national Health Care Policy blog, economist John Goodman asked, “Why is the price of a knee replacement for a dog — involving the same technology and the same medical skills that are needed for humans — less than 1/6th the price a typical health insurance company pays for human operations?” Goodman also posed this question: “How is a Canadian able to come to the United States and get… View Article
The last time we spoke this summer Principal Christopher Ray was just weeks away from opening his first high school.  The former elementary principal still needed pupils, teachers and curriculum.  But launch it did this fall as Gwinnett Online Campus opened a blended learning high school that combines virtual courses with personal and group time with instructors. “The first year has been about getting people to understand what we’re all about, what are the requirements,” Ray said.  “I thought my previous job was hard.  This job is mentally exhausting.  You’re constantly thinking, ‘What can we do?’  The technology constantly evolves.”  Ray has nearly two decades in the Gwinnett County Public Schools, the last seven as an elementary principal. Gwinnett is… View Article

Friday Facts: September 16th, 2011

It’s Friday!   Quotations – “The fatal attraction of government is that it allows busybodies to impose decisions on others without paying any price themselves. That enables them to act as if there were no price, even when there are ruinous prices – paid by others.” – Thomas Sowell – “Man is not free unless government is limited. … As government expands, liberty contracts.” – Ronald Reagan   Events – September 30: Don’t miss the Foundation’s second annual Georgia Legislative Policy Briefing on Friday, Sept. 30, at the Cobb Energy Centre. Keynote speakers include Bernie Marcus, co-founder of Home Depot, on entrepreneurial leadership in Georgia and John Goodman, founder and president of the National Center for Policy Analysis, on health care… View Article
Golfers love being on the leader board.  Corrections officials, not so much as there is nothing to celebrate about Georgia being the national leader with the highest percentage of its adults under corrections system supervision.  The ratio is 1-in-13 and it is the worst in the country. Not only does it cost lots of money – more than $1 billion per year in state dollars to run prisons – but lofty incarceration, probation and parole statistics send the wrong message nationally and internationally when Georgia tries to market itself as a leading edge economy and destination. Over the next several months you will hear extensive discussion about adult corrections system reform.  A commission created by the 2011 General Assembly was… View Article

Realigning Georgia’s Fiscal Priorities

By Kelly McCutchen Fifteen years ago it was almost impossible to drive by a public school in Georgia without seeing at least one classroom trailer in the parking lot. Parents viewed those trailers as a threat to their children’s education, so in 1996 voters approved E-SPLOST – the special purpose local option sales tax for education that has funded hundreds of new schools and improvements to existing schools. Today, Georgia is in a much different landscape than in 1996. The migration of new residents to the state has slowed and, with few exceptions, school facilities are now more on par with needs. Today, the challenge is to get to the new and improved schools on time: We’re stuck in traffic.… View Article

Friday Facts: September 9th, 2011

It’s Friday! Events – September 30: Don’t miss the Foundation’s second annual Legislative Policy Briefing on Friday, Sept. 30, at the Cobb Energy Centre. Keynote speakers include Bernie Marcus, co-founder of Home Depot, on entrepreneurial leadership in Georgia and John Goodman, founder and president of the National Center for Policy Analysis, on health care reform. Last year, more than 250 people attended to hear nearly three dozen state and national experts discuss Georgia public policy. Topics this year include education, transportation, tax reform, criminal justice and health care. Information and registration are online at http://tinyurl.com/3kqlfck. – October 24: Invitations will be mailed soon for the Foundation’s 20th anniversary celebration and Freedom Award dinner, scheduled for the evening of Monday,… View Article

Friday Facts: August 26th, 2011

It’s Friday! Quotations – “We are fast verging to anarchy & confusion! … They are determined to annihilate all debts public & private, and have Agrarian Laws, which are easily effected by the means of unfunded paper money which shall be a tender in all cases whatever.” – George Washington – “As to the assumed authority of any assembly in making paper money, or paper of any kind, a legal tender, or in other language, a compulsive payment, it is a most presumptuous attempt at arbitrary power. There can be no such power in a republican government: the people have no freedom – and property no security – where this practice can be acted: and the committee who shall bring… View Article

The Georgia Public Policy Foundation is a driving force for market-based solutions to policy challenges. The work done by this outstanding organization is making a real impact on the future of Georgia. I personally consider the Foundation a primary source for policy ideas. All Georgians are better off because the Foundation is helping lead the critical policy debates in our state.

Senate Majority Leader Chip Rogers more quotes