President Donald Trump promised to drain the swamp. Instead, it’s filling up.
For the first time since 2007, the number of registered lobbyists along with federal lobbying expenditures went up, reversing annual declines in both registrations and spending that began a decade ago.
In all, $3.34 billion was spent on federal lobbying last year, up 6 percent from $3.15 billion a year ago. The increase comes after lobbying expenditures had declined five of the past six years — spending rose less than 1 percent the other year… Read More
by Geoff West
Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont hosted a town hall recently to discuss the Medicare for All Act, during which he emphasized a conflict of interest around involving the private sector in healthcare.
“Right now, we have a healthcare system that is not designed to provide quality care to all people in a cost effective way,” Sanders said. “Let us be frank, we have a healthcare system designed to make enormous profits for insurance companies and drug companies. And disease prevention is not very high on their lists.”…Read More by Josh Finkelstein
We expected the phrase “America First.” The name Gorsuch. And multiple uses of the word “great.”
In the days before President Trump’s first State of Union all we could do was guess what achievements he would highlight and what goals he would line out for 2018.
Reports had suggested Trump’s speech would center on four topics: the economy, immigration, infrastructure, trade and defense. And he delievered
Here’s our primer on what we expected Tuesdaynight… Read More by Geoff West
After voting against the 2014 Farm Bill, El Paso Democrat Beto O’Rourke was asked to apologize. Not to the voters, but to a political action committee (PAC) that donated to his campaign.
“At that moment, I just said ‘You know what, I don’t want to take PAC money anymore,” O’Rourke said. “This is crazy.”
Now, as Rep. O’Rourke campaigns to unseat Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Tx.) in the upcoming midterm election, his pledge to not “take a dime from PACs or special interest groups” may have paid off.The Center for Responsive Politics requested quarter four fundraising information from both campaigns ahead of Federal Election Commission’s deadline. Information provided shows that O’Rourke outraised Cruz and did so largely through smaller, individual contributions…. Read More by Megan Janetsky
Key Takeaway: Brief suggests ways to promote a deeper understanding and more effective use of socioeconomic status measures.
BOULDER, CO (January 30, 2018) – Measures of socioeconomic status (SES) are widely used in educational research and policy applications, in large part due to overwhelming evidence linking SES to student achievement. SES is usually conceptualized as an unobservable factor—a construct—measured using variables such as parental education, occupation, income/wealth, and home possessions to take into account disparities between students, classrooms, and schools.
The National Education Policy Center released a brief today that examines the usefulness of common SES measures. Researchers and policymakers agree on the importance of SES in educational settings, but the available measures that we use belie that importance.
Professor Michael Harwell of the University of Minnesota authored the brief, titled Don’t Expect Too Much: The Limited Usefulness of Common SES Measures and a Prescription for Change. He explores the factors that undermine the usefulness of common SES measures in ways that can bias or muddy research and policy conclusions, and he considers what changes might promote a deeper understanding and more effective use of SES in research and policy.
Professor Harwell’s recommendations include the following:
- A theory-grounded model of SES should be adopted to define this construct in ways consistent with the purpose of the research or policy application.
- Correlations between SES measures and outcomes should be examined to assess the usefulness of these measures as control variables in statistical analyses.
- Researchers and policymakers wishing to employ existing SES measures should consider a composite index of SES, perhaps in conjunction with common measures, or turn to alternative measures such as either students’ perception of their SES or poverty estimates at the district level. Those interested in developing new measures should use a theory-grounded SES model as a guide to help ensure new SES measures do in fact measure what they are intended to (i.e., show evidence of construct validity).
- The development of new SES measures guided by a theory-grounded model of SES requires assembling a multidisciplinary team with expertise in a substantive area of education (e.g., mathematics education) as well as expertise in psychometrics, statistics, and the SES literature.
- Eligibility for a free- or reduced-price lunch should not be used as a student-level SES measure, but aggregating this variable to reflect the percentage of students receiving subsidized meals produces a crude but useful index to compare the economic need of a school or district with other schools or districts.
Find Don’t Expect Too Much: The Limited Usefulness of Common SES Measures and a Prescription for Change, by Michael Harwell, at: http://nepc.colorado.edu/publication/SES
This policy brief was made possible in part by the support of the Great Lakes Center for Education Research and Practice (greatlakescenter.org).
The National Education Policy Center (NEPC), housed at the University of Colorado Boulder School of Education, produces and disseminates high-quality, peer-reviewed research to inform education policy discussions. Visit us at: http://nepc.colorado.edu