Category: The Forum

Value-Added in NYC

Last week NYC Chancellor Joel Klein proposed publishing individual teachers' value-added data, L.A. Times-style. Current teacher evaluation systems do not take student achievement into account. That's a given.  Value-added models (VAM), which attempt to measure how much of an effect individual teachers have on students' test scores are potentially very useful as part of a re-worked teacher evaluation system. These data could be useful for promotion, dismissal and other reward decisions. But there are some items that should be discussed more often up front: First, to calculate a VAM score, a teacher has to teach a class to which a standardized test is attached. In Georgia, as in many states, that means that a VAM could only touch somewhere… View Article

Repeal or Replace? How About New Ideas?

Health care needs reform and the American people have now clearly indicated what passed Congress last year is not what they want. Rather than gridlock, let's try to find better answers. Our Senior Fellow John Goodman is full of them in his blog post today: As I explained at Kaiser Health News the other day, in thinking about what can be done, it’s helpful to review who won and lost under the Affordable Care Act (ACA). The big winners under the bill passed last spring are most (but certainly not all) of the 32 million newly insured plus some people with high health care costs. Let’s generously peg that at 50 million. The other 250 million are going to… View Article

Schools Should Look to Online Options Before Cutting Foreign Language and AP Courses

Tom Vander Ark writes that online offerings can help schools address tight budgets without reducing course options for students. The Georgia Virtual School run by the Georgia Department of Education offers 22 AP classes and six foreign languages including Chinese, French, German, Japanese, Spanish and Latin. Some districts are cutting subjects like foreign language. EdWeek points to a WI example. ”According to a recent study, schools across the nation are doing the same—eliminating foreign language instruction and undermining a skill that economists and educators agree is one of the most overlooked but essential navigation skills in a global economy.” One of the benefits of online learning is that states and districts can expand offerings and save money. Every district should… View Article

Friday Facts: October 29th, 2010

October 29, 2010   It’s Friday!   Quotable – “Always vote for principle, though you may vote alone, and you may cherish the sweetest reflection that your vote is never lost.” – John Quincy Adams – “Perhaps the fact that we have seen millions voting themselves into complete dependence on a tyrant has made our generation understand that to choose one’s government is not necessarily to secure freedom.” – Friedrich August Hayek   What’s happening at the Foundation – Register now: Saturday, Nov. 13, is the Georgia Legislative Policy Briefing, a daylong event featuring national and statewide experts on the top issues facing the state’s elected officials. Don’t miss a day of dynamic speakers and innovative ideas, sponsored by the… View Article

Friday Facts: October 15th, 2010

It’s Friday!  Quotable – “In an open economy, you will never know what is out there on the leading developmental edge of this or that industry. But the reality behind the miracles is the same: Someone innovates something useful, makes money from it, and re-innovates, or someone else trumps their innovation. Most of the time, no one notices. All it does is create jobs, wealth and well-being. But without this system running in the background, without the year-over-year progress embedded in these capitalist innovations, those trapped miners [in Chile] would be dead.” – Daniel Henninger, Wall Street Journal   Great Georgia! – Congratulations to Oscar Poole, whose famous Poole’s Bar-B-Q restaurant in Ellijay just set a 21-year record for sales … View Article

Friday Facts: October 22nd, 2010

It’s Friday!   Quotable – “There is no good reason to think the [Federal Communications Commission] should engineer electronic devices and interfaces based on its own views about what technologies and applications work best. Nor is there good reason to trust the FCC’s predictions about what kinds of investments cable operators and device manufacturers should risk in research and marketing for devices and interfaces to meet future consumer demands.” –  Seth L. Cooper, Free State Foundation – “From the President on down, the only proffered rationale for putting tens and eventually hundreds of billions of tax dollars into HSR (high-speed rail) is that … ‘people want high-speed rail.’ Well, people may want a door-to-door limo service paid for by… View Article

Friday Facts: October 8th, 2010

It’s Friday! Quotable – “What progressives want to do is take money from some – by force – and spend it on others. It sounds less noble when plainly stated. That’s the moral side of the matter. There’s a practical side, too. Taxes discourage wealth creation. That hurts everyone, the lower end of the income scale most of all. An economy that, through freedom, encourages the production of wealth raises the living standards of lower-income people as well as everyone else.” – John Stossel – “The Senate has passed a new bill that requires TV stations to lower the volume level on commercials. This is great, a hundred of the most powerful people in the nation have managed to… View Article

Friday Facts: October 1st, 2010

It’s Friday!   What’s happening at the Foundation – Mark your calendar: Saturday, Nov. 13, is the Georgia Legislative Policy Briefing, a daylong event featuring national and statewide experts on the top issues facing the state’s elected officials. Don’t miss a day of dynamic speakers and innovative ideas, sponsored by the Georgia Public Policy Foundation and the Conservative Policy Leadership Institute. Reserve your spot now to get the early registration discount. Keynote speakers include former West Virginia Governor Bob Wise on, “The Power of Digital Learning for Georgia and the Country” and the Wall Street Journal’s Stephen Moore on, “How to Make Georgia the Most Economically Competitive State in the Nation.” – It’s good, it’s fresh, it’s free! Have you… View Article

Friday Facts: September 24, 2010

It’s Friday!     Notable – “When normal people hear about a budget cut, we assume the amount of money to be spent is less than the previous year’s allocation. But that’s not what bureaucrats mean. ‘They are not comparing current year spending to the previous year’s spending,’ [Cato Institute’s Andrew] Coulson writes. ‘What they’re doing is comparing the approved current year budget to the budget that they initially dreamed about having.'” — John Stossel   News – We are very excited to announce the “soft launch” of a new interactive policy community at Feel free to join as the goal of the community is tocreate a place for thoughtful policy research, governing ideas and vigorous but respectful debate… View Article

Friday Facts: September 17th, 2010

It’s Friday!     Quotable – “We all want progress, but if you’re on the wrong road, progress means doing an about-turn and walking back to the right road; in that case, the man who turns back soonest is the most progressive.” — C. S. Lewis – “A collective tyrant, spread over the length and breadth of the land, is no more acceptable than a single tyrant ensconced on his throne.” — Georges Clemenceau   Education – Congratulations to Georgia Senate Majority Leader Chip Rogers (R-Woodstock), who has been named as a member of the  Digital Learning Council, chaired by former Governors Bob Wise of West Virginia and Jeb Bush of Florida. The Council will work to identify policies that will… View Article

Thank you for the great work that the Public Policy Foundation is doing across our state setting a wonderful example. I first ran for the Senate in 1994, and the Foundation was that resource I called upon to be a great help to me as we were articulating positions and formulating public policy initiatives. We appreciate very much your leadership and all that you stand for.

Lt. Gov. Casey Cagle more quotes