Loans for Kindergarten, Another Middle Class Bubble

Justin sees a trend for private-school loans, even at the kindergarten level, as an indication of a staggering civic society, not a faddish excess of the 1%.

Superior Court: North Kingstown Schools Cannot Knowingly Overspend

A Superior Court Ruling in Town of North Kingstown v. North Kingstown School Committee requires the school department to live within its budget but solidifies legal precedent requiring town governments to cover losses in state aid unless the budget makes estimates “expressly contingent” on actual revenue.

Conspicuous Timing Between Alinsky and Unfruitful Spending

Noting a chronological coincidence of Saul Alinsky’s influence on teachers’ unions and leveling results (with higher expenditures), Justin suggests that reevaluation might be wise.

House Labor Committee Calls Out Ocean State Tea Party in Action… Again

Reps. Williams and Guthrie opened yesterday’s House Labor hearing with an objection to a legislative alert from the Ocean State Tea Party in Action that inferred legislators’ opinions on teacher-related issues. Reviewing the transcripts allows readers to decide who is misrepresenting what.

Teacher Steps in the Law, Not Above the Law

Step increases for teachers are, indeed, mandated by law, but that does not change them into something other than raises or present the public with a single path forward.

Consolidation Becomes a Battle for Power in North Kingstown

Proposals from North Kingstown school superintendent Philip Auger could change a balance of power that some already see as out of whack.

On Dan Yorke to Discuss Woonsocket Raises

Audio of Justin’s appearance on the Dan Yorke Show relates to the larger questions of structure and strategy that Rhode Island has to answer.

Woonsocket Teachers Receive $4.7 Million in Raises and Bonuses in Current Contract

Far from receiving “no raises,” the increases in pay of the teaching staff in Woonsocket amount to $4.7 million over the period covered by their current contract.

A Free-Market Catholic’s Conversation with the Bishop, Part 2 of 3

The Current interviews Roman Catholic Bishop of Providence Thomas Tobin, part 2 of 3: no political box; healthcare and political lessons; school choice

03/20/12 – House Committee on Labor

Justin writes live and extemporaneously from the House Committee on Labor, addressing teacher layoff notifications, right-to-work for teachers, city/town council approval of school labor contracts, and others.

Societal Structure (Including Boys and Men) and Societal Health

Educational imbalances and legal bias against boys and men and the corrosion of cultural mores illustrate why small-government, fiscal conservatism requires a dose of social conservatism, as well.

03/08/12 – House Labor on Binding Arbitration: Carnevale Provokes Nadeau

Video of Rep. John Carnevale provoking Warwick School Committee Member Eugene Nadeau during House Labor’s hearing on binding arbitration.

Video of 2012 RISC Winter Meeting

Video of RISC’s 2012 Winter Meeting, featuring Central Falls Receiver Robert Flanders, Cranston Mayor Allan Fung, Woonsocket Mayor Loe Fontaine, Providence advisor Gary Sasse, and Rep. Larry Ehrhardt.

03/08/12 – RI House Labor Committee Hearing

Justin writes live from the RI House Labor Committee Hearing, dealing mainly with binding arbitration and perpetual contracts.

School Budgets to Town/City Councils: Derailing Reform Still Suggests a Forward Motion

A labor-friendly senator proposing reform-minded legislation indicates the need for the careful consideration of unintended consequences as Rhode Island shifts the way it does business.

Star Kids for the Children Left Behind

The Star Kids Program, in the East Bay, helps the children that Rhode Island might otherwise leave behind to close the graduation gap.

Jennifer Hushion: Why RI Is Driving Us Out

Jennifer Hushion explains why her family is considering moving out of Cranston and Rhode Island

Tying Some Threads from Diversity to Education to Social Disparity

The education gap and Rhode Island’s economic difficulties converge in such a way as to suggest school choice and a diversification of opportunities for schooling.

Arguments and Practice in High Stakes Testing

National studies do not show that standardized graduation tests have a clear and immediate effect on student achievement, but closer examination is required for RI’s specific circumstances, and all students deserve diplomas that are universally acknowledged to have value.

Education Reform Has to Appeal to Everybody

Education reform has, in recent years, meant a focus on “closing the gap,” but parents of higher-achieving student are justified in their concern that their own children are being short-changed.

Inequality and Economic Dust

Ash Wednesday seems an appropriate day to consider ruminations on economic inequality, from James Nuechterlein’s “Public Square” column in last April’s First Things (subscription required): … the connection between inequality and hard times is so prevalent in folk wisdom that expressions of alarm over the nation’s distribution of income followed in the wake of the […]

Rhode Island Improves in Education Week Report Card, with a Long Way to Go

Rhode Island’s overall score improved on Education Week’s annual report card and ranking report, while the national average remained exactly the same. But a look north to New Hampshire suggests that it will be some time before RI can show that its gains are more than just a consequence of the study’s methodology.

Overpaid Teachers, and Undercounting Statistics

As important as Jason Richwine and Andrew Biggs’ conclusion, in a Heritage Foundation study, that public-school teachers are overpaid is the way in which Bureau of Labor Statistics data is biased to promote the opposite conclusion.

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