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Society and Culture, Education

The price of pre-K in 2016 might be higher than you think

As mid-term election season rolls around and presidential hopefuls look ahead to 2016, conservatives are asking the question: what to do about universal pre-K? It’s an important question. Over the past couple of years, a number of red and blue states across the country have joined the pre-K bandwagon, including Republican strongholds like Oklahoma and Georgia. And the trend might continue: last month, the Obama administration announced its new Preschool Grant Program in which states are eligible for a chunk of $250 million to build or expand preschool programs. read more >

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Society and Culture, Education

Still waiting for Superman

If there’s one thing that’s important for good schools, it’s good teachers. That’s the central point of Davis Guggenheim’s widely-acclaimed documentary, “Waiting for Superman,” released four years ago today. Yet, as the film vividly depicted, it’s virtually impossible to dismiss poorly performing teachers in many public school systems across the country. Four years later, the issue raised by the film is still one of the most serious problems facing public schools. read more >

U.S. Congress
Politics and Public Opinion, Society and Culture

Americans ‘surprisingly uncertain’ what their branches of government are, new survey reveals

In the relatively short survey administered to 1,416 adults and published on September 17, 2014 (Constitution Day), the APPC found that 35% of respondents could not name even one branch of government in the US. Only a little more than a third of respondents (36%) could name all three branches of government. read more >

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Society and Culture

‘This Constitution…because I am not sure, that it is not the best’

Benjamin Franklin’s message was simple: he meant to sign the Constitution, and he meant each of the delegates to sign it also. “I agree to this Constitution with all its faults, if they are such; because I think a general Government necessary for us, and there is no form of Government but what may be a blessing to the people if well administered.” read more >

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Society and Culture, Education

When Catholic schools close, poor communities suffer (and crime goes up)

For decades, research on Catholic schools has almost exclusively examined their academic effects. Brinig and Garnett take a novel tack. Rather than wade into academic effects, they use a rich data set of social cohesion measures and crime data from Chicago, Philadelphia, and Los Angeles to track the effect of closing Catholic schools on neighborhoods. Not to spoil the ending, but closing Catholic schools rends the fabrics of low income communities and can be linked to an increase in crime. read more >