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Fed ED: Boon or Boondoggle for Teachers?

It’s National Teacher Appreciation Week, but many teachers don’t feel all that appreciated. According to a recent US Department of Education survey, teachers’ perceptions about how much autonomy they have in the classroom has steadily declined since 2003—which corresponds with increasingly intrusive federal education mandates over testing, standards, and curriculum. In particular, opposition to…
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Puerto Rico as Greece: New at Reason

Puerto Rico’s debt crisis is fast turning the island into America’s analogue to Greece. But there could be a solution on the horizon.

Marc Joffe writes:

Now that Puerto Rico’s crisis has deepened, House Republican leadership and the Obama Treasury Department have reached a broad agreement on what needs to be done. The plan, embodied in HR 4900, combines a new legal process for debt restructuring with a federal oversight board to help Puerto Rico balance its budget.

Oversight boards are undemocratic, but they succeeded in New York and Washington, DC. As I discussed in a recent paper for the Mercatus Center at George Mason University focusing on the historical causes and potential solutions for the crisis, this formula also proved effective in Newfoundland—which was transformed from an insolvent British Colony to a debt-free province of Canada by an appointed government.

With Puerto Rico’s population shrinking, many government facilities could be consolidated. Although some schools have been shut, the Commonwealth has resisted closing prisons. Puerto Rico has maintained the same number of correctional facilities in recent years despite a substantial drop in prison population. It has a large number of unused cells and more guards per inmate than any of the 50 states. Puerto Rico’s elected government, susceptible to the influence of correctional officer unions, may be unable to make the necessary cuts. Unelected technocrats staffing an oversight board should be more effective.

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Voting by Blockchain?, More Americans Renounce Citizenship, London Elects First Muslim Mayor: A.M. Links

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Sometimes There Is No Lesser of Two Evils: New at Reason

The Republic will survive an election, David Harsanyi writes, but the Republican party is a different story:

For those who are idealists about the Constitution—and there are probably far fewer than some of us like to imagine—there are a number of reasons to sabotage The Trump Party, even if it ends with a Clinton presidency. The first is to salvage some of your own dignity and principles. But there are other long-term political advantages to beating back an authoritarian populist who peddles conspiracy theories and big-government schemes and doesn’t have a freshman-level comprehension about the basic workings of American governance.

The first political advantage is to save our divided government. On the same day Trump wins the GOP Indiana primary and secures the party’s nomination, he decides to use a National Enquirer story—the future in-flight publication of Air Force One—to accuse opponent Sen. Ted Cruz’s father of helping Lee Harvey Oswald assassinate President John F. Kennedy. This was just an amuse-bouche of the utter stupidity that down-ballot GOP candidates will have to deal with, justify, rationalize, ignore, excuse or support every day for the next six months or so. One hopes the stench of this kind of endorsement clings to them for the rest of their unprincipled and, hopefully, short political careers.

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