Remembering Obama’s promises

by Paul Dame Remember when President Obama promised us that “If you like your health insurance, you can keep it”? As many people will find out in less than 120 days this promise is not valid in Vermont. Next month the State exchanges will open and anyone who works at a business with less than…

Gov. Shumlin’s Unlikely Olive Branch to Entergy

by John McClaughry Just over a year from now Vermont Yankee will go offline, putting an end to 42 years of safe, reliable, competitively priced baseload electricity delivered to the New England power market. The anti-nuclear forces that have ceaselessly agitated against Vermont Yankee for decades have jubilantly declared victory. And in truth, they are…

Revenge of the Test-Flunkers

by Martin Harris If the late John Nesbitt were still on radio, he’d devote an episode of his Passing Parade time-slot (it ran from 1937 to 1951) to the remarkable news regarding the US Department of Education’s NAEP student achievement tests. Specifically, some of them have just been cancelled by the Feds, after a 44…

How Public Ed Maxed Out on its Own Rorschach Test

by Martin Harris It’s tempting to quote teacher-union boss Albert Shanker on the subject of K-12 quality control –“we’ve got a lemon factory and we’re turning out 80-85% lemons” – or to use the old widget analogy about how private industry wouldn’t have any customers if most of its production had been found by users…

The Two-Straw Grasp

by Martin Harris If you’ve become despairing of evidence that the public-education establishment is at all amenable to public evaluation, even though it seems to have grown so entrenched as to shrug off such user- and payer-critique, you might take heart from a pair of straws seen floating in the informational winds recently. One comes,…

Vermont’s Welfare Cornucopia

by John McClaughry Eighteen years ago, as Congress was passing its landmark Welfare to Work statute, the libertarian Cato Institute published an influential economic analysis of welfare benefits versus work. This month, it published an updated version of that study, “The Work versus Welfare Tradeoff 2013”. Vermont didn’t come off very well. Before looking at the…