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Results in on Teach for America

What kind of impact does the influx of young, motivated people (ahem, without formal training in our dear schools of education) have on student performance? A big thank you to the Urban Institute for looking into this question. From their press release (last week): Teach for America teachers may be new to the profession, but they are generally more effective than their experienced colleagues, finds a new Urban Institute analysis. On average, high school students taught by TFA corps members performed significantly better on state-required end-of-course exams, especially in math and science, than peers taught by far more experienced instructors. The TFA teachers’ effect on student achievement in core classroom subjects was nearly three times the effect of teachers with […]

Patrick comes out for school choice!

Your Excellency, We at Pioneer were feeling as double-crossed as perhaps Bobby Haynes.  We were feeling it on school choice, knowing that you benefited from the school choice opportunity provided by the “A Better Chance” foundation to attend Milton Academy.  Bobby felt it on being double-crossed by the Doubleday deal, when you double-booked on the day of the casino vote.  He stayed on the Hill and earned himself the Speaker’s ire.  As someone who respects the free-market, I hope you got a good deal. Now, I know that it is difficult to come right out and say you are for school choice, so I think the sophisticated way you did it is just great.  According to today’s Globe, “an unspecified portion of […]

One Last Word on the Film Tax Incentives

Yesterday’s Globe had an article critical of the film tax credit offered by the Commonwealth. I will say that it has significantly improved the celebrity level of the gossip columns, minimizing the Globe’s Names & Faces section’s embarassing fascination with C-list celebrities eating chinese food at the Kowloon. Wow! John Waite? Pro wrestlers? Wasn’t exactly Page 6 material. However, the Department of Revenue’s report makes one fact clear — these are temporary jobs: …the 20 film productions for which tax credits were claimed in calendar year 2006 employed approximately 2,267 individuals, with an average employment duration of 3.2 months, with the employment duration ranging from one week to 12 months. Weighted for the number employed and the duration of employment […]

What’s Going on at Higher Education

The Commonwealth released a mundane piece of annual debt disclosure a few days ago. One interesting section, on page 11, is the number of budgeted workers in the state’s workforce, which has grown by almost 6,000 employees (from a base of 62,000) since June 2004. Leading the charge? The Department of Higher Education, which has added almost 2,700 employees during that span, an increase of 22.5%. Yet, their enrollment levels have only increased by 6% at best during the span. What gives?

Benefit blowout

You are constantly berated for not saving money, folks. You overspend. You should put the money in bank accounts and let the government do all the borrowing to pay for the promises it makes to you. From John Goodman (and health blog HERE) is a neat packaging of Social Security and Medicare liabilities we are racking up… As John suggested in his email, read and weep. On Good Friday (when most people were off, including most reporters) the Administration announced that the following Tuesday during Spring Break (when Congress was in recess and everyone’s attention was focused elsewhere) the Social Security/Medicare Trustees annual report would be released. Apparently someone isn’t anxious for you to pay close attention to this year’s […]