Tag: Georgia Public Policy Foundation

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

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
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
There are two big cats in the national college admission test industry – the SAT which is familiar in Georgia because that is what most high school students here take, and the ACT which is taken by fewer Georgia students, but like the SAT, it also has a significant national college admissions testing footprint. Increasingly, southern states students are taking the ACT.  This week the Southern Regional Education Board said at least 50% of 2011 high school seniors took the ACT in 10 of SREB’s 16 member states.  Georgia is not among those states, but it is trending in that direction.  Last year 44 percent of Georgia seniors took the ACT.  The ratio grew to 47 percent this year. Here… View Article
Georgia’s governor and attorney general said Friday’s decision by the federal appeals court in Atlanta that strikes down the federal health care reform individual mandate is “a huge step toward victory” but ultimately, ObamaCare will be decided by the U.S. Supreme Court. Governor Nathan Deal and Attorney General Sam Olens issued a statement about two hours after the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals in Atlanta released its 2-to-1 opinion: “We applaud today’s ruling from the United States Court of Appeals for the 11th Circuit striking down the individual mandate as ‘a wholly novel and potentially unbounded assertion of congressional authority.’ Today’s ruling recognizes the core principles of our federalist system and reminds an over-reaching federal government that the Constitution applies… View Article
The House Judiciary Committee is scheduled to meet on August 30 to discuss a rewrite of the state Open Meetings and Records Act that has become a priority for Attorney General Sam Olens. House Bill 397 was filed late in this past spring’s session and a vote is possible next year.  “My goal is to pass the bill,” Olens said.  “I’m not putting myself out here for failure.” Making public records easier to obtain, opening more meetings to citizen eyes and cracking down harder on those who prevent that from happening has become a goal for the first-term Attorney General.  He made that clear during a recent presentation to the Atlanta Press Club. “While the press continues to spend much… View Article
Governor Nathan Deal did not hesitate Wednesday when was asked whether the state regional transportation sales tax referendum scheduled for next year is in trouble, as some believe.  If the measure passes the sales tax would be imposed for ten years and it would fund projects that voters would know about before they approve the money. “I don’t necessarily think that it is,” Governor Deal replied during a news conference at the State Capitol.  “Obviously, anytime in an economy like we have now getting people to understand that an additional one penny is going to be asked of them is a very significant undertaking. “But by the same token, I think this is a unique opportunity for Georgians to have… View Article
Michelle Rhee, the innovative founder of StudentsFirst and former chancellor of Washington, D.C. public schools, spoke about the new Obama administration No Child Left Behind waivers when she appeared on CNN on Wednesday morning.  “American Morning” host Christine Romans asked, has NCLB been a bust? “I don’t think so at all. Let me be clear that the law is not perfect. I think everyone knows there are some changes and modifications that need to be made, but I don’t think that anyone can doubt that it has brought a new level of accountability to American schools,” Rhee said. “We are looking at data in a way that we never have before, we are paying attention to sub-groups of kids and… View Article
By Benita M. Dodd The federal Environmental Protection Agency was in Atlanta on May 26 to hold a daylong hearing – one of just three nationwide – on its proposed Maximum Achievable Control Technology (MACT) regulations for utilities. The passionate – if sometimes misguided – comments came from representatives of utilities, power plant neighbors, Native Americans, environmental activists, grassroots groups and the Georgia Public Policy Foundation. The Foundation’s comments focused on three aspects of the proposed MACT rules: The cost to industry and consumers in Georgia The time frame, both in the limited opportunity for analysis of the 945 pages of regulations and in the compliance deadline The basis for the EPA’s tougher regulations. The cost to industry and consumers: View Article

I wanted to publicly say how much I appreciate Georgia Public Policy Foundation.  For those of you that will be entering the Legislature or are relatively new you may not quite yet appreciate how much we rely on Georgia Public Policy Foundation’s research and work.  As you know we’re a citizen’s legislature.  We have very little staff. They have been an invaluable, invaluable resource to us.  To put this [Forum] on and the regular programs that they do throughout the year make us better at what we do. (At the 2012 Georgia Legislative Policy Forum.)

Speaker Pro Tem Jan Jones more quotes