As someone who grew up in oil sale country and spent two summers working oil rigs during college, I often cast a jaundiced eye over claims that combine "economic growth," "business-friendly regulatory and tax climate" and "oil and gas industry." Chances are, the writer is about to praise a government that is only starting to enjoy its first oil and gas boom before all the social costs have come due. High paying jobs and environmental problems te... Read More
Metropolitan communities need to launch nothing less than a movement to reduce the educational achievement disparities that exist for minority and low-income students, and the good news is that comprehensive networks are coming together across the nation to get it done. Those themes of urgency and possibility were emphasized by Ronald Ferguson, a Harvard professor in education and policy studies, who spoke in Minnesota recently... Read More
You are a policymaker and you have a tough choice between two big development proposals for the same site on a key light rail line or transitway. All other things being equal, which do you choose: a major employer or a large housing complex? If overall accessibility improvement and employer access to labor is the goal, take the employer, says new research presented this week at the 23rd Annual Transportation Research Conference in St. Paul this w... Read More
Plain facts: By 2015, in just three years, white youth in the United States will no longer comprise a majority, and then all of our kids will be members of a minority group. The Star Tribune and other Minnesota media was abuzz last week confirming this transition. In 2011, for the first time in our nation's history, more than 50 percent of our newborns were non-white or Hispanic and in Minnesota more than 30 percent of our kids under 5 ... Read More
For lovers of Minnesota, for history buffs and for students and practitioners of public policy, I highly recommend two outstanding books released this week. One is Zero Chance of Passage: The Pioneering Charter School Story, by former state Sen. Ember Reichgott Junge, a state leader in education, human services, and governmental redesign and a primary champion of the school-choice and charter school movement of the 1980s and 1990s. Reichgott Jung... Read More
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