Articles of Interest

Wichita school funding, Wichita city property, Kansas campaigns, Great Depression, No Child Left Behind.

Grant funds middle-school rocket lessons (Lori Yount, Wichita Eagle) Grants of privately-raised money fund science classes in a Wichita school. With some $13,000 per student to spend each year, it’s still not enough to adequately fund our schools, I guess.

Wichita has no map, poor system of tracking city property (Brent D. Wistrom, Wichita Eagle) “… a disjointed records system leaves city officials and the public unable to quickly spot sellable land, say which department is responsible for upkeep or distinguish between parks, rights of way and corporate grounds the city holds title to as collateral for tax incentives, a weeks-long examination shows.”

One Way or Another, Kansas Will Have a Lot of New Faces in 18 Months A little coverage of Kansas campaigns from National Review.

Did FDR Make the Depression Great? (David Gordon at Mises Daily) A review of the new book The Politically Incorrect Guide to the Great Depression and the New Deal by Robert P. Murphy. “Robert Murphy demonstrates in this excellent book a penetrating ability to explain the essence of fallacious economic doctrines. As he notes, three theories offer competing explanations of the Great Depression: the Keynesian account, which stresses a lack of aggregate demand; Milton Friedman’s monetarism, which ascribes the severity of the early years of the Depression to a drastic cut in the money supply by the Fed; and, of course, the Austrian theory that Murphy himself favors.”

The Future of No Child Left Behind (Diane Ravitch and John E. Chubb in Education Next) “Diane Ravitch: It is time to pull the plug on No Child Left Behind. … NCLB has produced meager gains in achievement. The National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) assesses student achievement in reading and mathematics every other year. Despite the intense concentration on reading and mathematics required by the law, the gains registered on NAEP since the enactment of NCLB have been unimpressive. … Educators and the public are getting wise to the uselessness of the testing regime that has been foisted upon them. … NCLB may in reality be dumbing down our children by focusing the attention of teachers and administrators solely on basic skills. Our students are not being prepared to compete with students from high-performing nations in the world.” John Chubb disagrees. In Kansas, the NAEP scores are flat or register small gains, yet the state-managed assessments show big gains. Something isn’t right with this picture.

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