Departing teachers less effective than peers

Here is a critical point from the draft 2015-16 State of the Teaching Profession Report.

Additionally, analysis of the effectiveness of teachers who no longer remain employed in NC public schools shows that departing teachers are, on average, less effective than their counterparts who choose to remain employed in NC public schools. (p. 25)

This is one of the positive, yet rarely acknowledged, aspects of turnover.

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Draft report: Teacher turnover rate was 9 percent last year

The N.C. State Board of Education just posted the draft 2015-16 State of the Teaching Profession Report.  It indicates that the overall attrition rate for 2015-16 was 9.04 percent.  Note that the attrition rate includes retirees and those who took a position in another North Carolina school district or charter school.

Because of changes made to the report, N.C. Department of Public Instruction researchers say that this year’s data should not be compared to rates from previous years, including the 14.84 percent rate reported last year.

I’ll post additional information from the report later today.



Meanwhile….in New York….

As you probably are aware, early voting is an issue here in North Carolina, with an NBC News analysis concluding “long wait times may bear out recent concerns that the controversial Republican-backed cuts to early voting, in combination with other voting changes and population growth, could restrict access to the ballot in some areas.”

(Interesting footnote—NBC characterizes Greensboro as a “predominantly African-American city.” While Gboro certainly has a thriving black community, I wouldn’t describe it as “predominantly African-American.”)

So you can imagine my surprise when listening to NPR’s “Fresh Air” last night to hear this interesting bit of information on the state of New York. Fresh Air host Terry Gross was interviewing Rick Hasen, founder of the Election Law Blog and author of the book “The Voting Wars.” Gross asked Hasen about early voting (emphasis mine):

There have been fights between Democrats and Republicans over extending early voting or cutting it back, and this has led to some litigation. There are some states – Pennsylvania is probably at the top of that list, put New York on there, some Northeastern states – that offer no early voting, that offer no absentee balloting for people who don’t have a good excuse, like being unable to get to the polling place because of a disability or being out of the country. So there are some places where voting is still very hard. And some of these states – take New York, you know, you’ve had Democrats in charge for a long time, and yet voting is still more difficult than it needs to be.

As for federal —“universal” voter registration—Hasen adds it’s “the kind of system I like to say that has unified Democrats or Republicans. They all hate it…” Why would Democrats hate it? Because it would involve voter ID…..

Newsweek keeping an eye on N.C.’s election

Newsweek parachutes into North Carolina to keep an eye on North Carolina’s election–specifically speaking black voters’ access to the polls:

Jen Jones, Democracy North Carolina’s communications director, says thus far the biggest concern has been reports of three- and four-hour waits in Wake and Mecklenburg counties—home to the state’s biggest metropolitan areas around Raleigh and Charlotte—during the first few days of early voting. The group has not received any reports of individual voter intimidation from Trump-aligned poll monitors. Trump’s website asks users to volunteer as poll watchers, but Jones said her organization had not heard of the GOP training any observers who may have signed up. The state Republican Party did not respond to an inquiry from Newsweek.

“What we’re concerned about is…you have a people who are not involved with the political process until this election going to the polls and just standing there and watching. And that can be intimidating,” says Jones. She also noted that many polling locations in the state are subject to open carry gun laws: “You may have someone with a gun standing there watching you vote.”

Autrice Campbell Long, a middle-aged bank employee, didn’t have any problems while voting October 21 in Durham but said the rhetoric coming from Trump and his supporters made her a little nervous. If anything happens, “I think it’s going to be more on Election Day, I get that sense,” she said. “I plan to bring my mom and have her vote early as well, to avoid any drama that might occur.”

Hello—-am I the only one who remembers liberal political groups monitoring the polls to make sure the 2004 election wasn’t stolen—which by the way many still claim was stolen?

An overview of state education data systems

Last week, the Education Commission of the States published 50-State Comparison: Statewide Longitudinal Data Systems.  Information on North Carolina’s longitudinal data system is available here.

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Answering for Obamacare’s failure

David Harsanyi of the Federalist wonders when left-of-center pundits and politicians will be called upon to answer for their failed predictions involving the Affordable Care Act.

No doubt, you’ll remember all those romantic charts and stories from the liberal smart-set predicting Obamacare’s affordability and success. Remember the jeering aimed at conservatives who argued state-run markets that inhibit genuine competition and increase regulations would only spur costs to rise? “Lies,” they said.

In 2014, E.J. Dionne asked a valuable question: “Is there any accountability in American politics for being completely wrong?” The answer is, of course not. Not for some conservative talkers. And definitely not for the Voxers and liberal pundits who keep modifying the meaning of success whenever Obamacare’s viability is threatened (1234567891011 … you could spend hours linking to pieces rationalizing why ACA’s failures simply mean it’s “working.”)

At the time, Dionne argued that the ACA was doing exactly what its supporters had predicted, “getting health insurance to millions who didn’t have it before.” In reality, that was only one piece of Obamacare’s promise, and even that accomplishment has been retroactively simplified to create an impression of unqualified success. Far from it.

Of course mandating and subsidizing health-care insurance will decrease the number of uninsured. Yet Left punditry seems to be under the impression that coercing people to participate in their plans is revolutionary policymaking. But countless times in 2009, the president promised that exchanges would offer those newly insured Americans more quality “choices” and “affordability” and push down rates overall. (He promised the rest of us that health-care premiums would fall by $2,500 for a family of four. Instead, they’ve risen by over $4,800.)

New administration data released this week finds that Obamacare premiums will spike an average of 25 percent across the country for benchmark plans in 2017. But don’t worry, consumers on exchanges will also have far fewer choices. So they will either be forced to forfeit plans they like or lose insurance altogether and accept a tax or fine — or whatever liberals are calling their state-enforced mandate these days.

Mainstream news outlets downplay steep Obamacare cost increases

Pete Kasperowicz of the Washington Examiner explores mainstream media outlets’ response to the latest news surrounding Affordable Care Act rate increases.

Mainstream media outlets were slow to cover the Obama administration’s Monday announcement of a 25 percent average increase in federal Obamacare premiums for 2017, and for some, the news wasn’t worth covering at all.

The Department of Health and Human Services announced Monday at 5 p.m. that in addition to the price increase, there would be 36 percent fewer plans to choose from. When data was used for the three state-run exchanges for which data was available, the average price increase dropped just a little, to 22 percent.

HHS released the news at 5 p.m., but even hours later, no trace of the story could be found on the websites of NBC News or MSNBC.

Other mainstream news outlets that did decide to cover it did so only a few hours after the HHS embargo ended at 5 p.m.

The Washington Post, for example, initially didn’t put the story anywhere on its front page. Only by searching the Post’s website could readers discover that the paper put up the AP story on the announcement, headlined: “Obama administration confirms double-digit premium hikes.”

Then, just before 7 p.m., the Post put up its own version of the story with the headline: “Average premiums for popular Affordable Care Act plans rising 25 percent for 2017.” The story appeared under a story about Cleveland’s recent “sports prosperity,” a reference to the Indians making the World Series, and the Cavaliers’ recent NBA championship.

The New York Times took the same approach. The story was absent from its front page for a few hours, but a search revealed it also went with the AP story.

Just before 8 p.m., the Times had its’ own story that appeared in the top left-hand column of its website: “Some Health Plan Costs Will Rise Sharply, U.S. Says.” A subheadline said the increases “all but ensure that the next president will need to make significant adjustments to the health law.”

Walter Williams emphasizes the freedom to work

Walter Williams‘ latest column at Human Events focuses on government rules that restrict people’s ability to earn a livelihood.

If a person wants to go into business as a taxicab owner, what requirements should be imposed to protect the public? The prospective taxicab owner should show that he is honest and can operate a vehicle safely. His vehicle should pass a safety inspection, and he should have a liability insurance policy. Some cities require the purchase of an existing license, sometimes called a medallion. A medallion has cost as much as over $1 million, as in the case of New York City, and the cost has reached $700,000 in Boston and $360,000 in Chicago. There is no public protection interest served by forcing a person to go into debt to purchase a taxi medallion, but doing so does serve an interest.

Before we talk about that, let’s look at some good news for prospective taxi owners. The Arlington, Virginia-based Institute for Justice is a nonprofit libertarian public interest law firm that has been on the forefront in the fight for economic liberty for 2 1/2 decades. During that time period, it has piled up numerous victories. The most recent is its Oct. 7 win in the 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, which issued two groundbreaking decisions that will help cities to sweep aside protectionist transportation regulations in order to make way for new entrepreneurs.

The first case originated in Milwaukee, where Joe Sanfelippo Cabs, the city’s largest taxicab operator in the city, filed suit claiming that the city had violated both the U.S. Constitution and Wisconsin state law when it lifted a long-standing cap on the number of taxicabs it would allow to operate. Of course, Joe Sanfelippo Cabs wanted to keep the number of taxis limited so as to maintain monopoly power and gain monopoly wealth. The second case originated in Chicago, where incumbent taxicab operators sued the city for permitting ride-hailing services such as Uber and Lyft to operate. The plaintiffs charged that because city officials did not go out and arrest Uber and Lyft drivers, taxicab owners’ rights under federal and state law were violated.

Writing for the court in the case that challenged Milwaukee’s removal of a cap on the number of taxicab medallions, Judge Richard Posner wrote: “The plaintiffs’ contention that the increased number of permits has taken property away from the plaintiffs without compensation, in violation of the constitutional protection of property, borders on the absurd. Property can take a variety of forms, some of them intangible, such as patents. But a taxi permit confers only a right to operate a taxicab (a right which, in Milwaukee, may be sold). It does not create a right to be an oligopolist, and thus confers no right to exclude others from operating taxis.”

In the Chicago case, Judge Posner, who is very knowledgeable about economics, applied the great economist Joseph Schumpeter’s notion of “creative destruction.” He explained that Uber, Lyft and other companies that are wreaking destruction on the old taxi cartel are examples of companies engaging in a natural part of free market behavior. Posner wrote: “When new technologies, or new business methods, appear, a common result is the decline or even disappearance of the old. Were the old deemed to have a constitutional right to preclude the entry of the new into the markets of the old, economic progress might grind to a halt. Instead of taxis we might have horse and buggies; instead of the telephone, the telegraph; instead of computers, slide rules. Obsolescence would equal entitlement.”