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Coming from Encounter Books in November 2018: Pre-Order Now

“A brilliant book. And among the most important I've ever read."

― J.D. Vance, author of Hillbilly Elegy

“No one has better articulated the conservative argument for why work matters . . ."

― Mitt Romney

“The essential policy book for our time . . . A must-read.”

― Yuval Levin, editor of National Affairs

“. . . an unflinching indictment of the mistakes that Washington has made for a generation . . .”

― Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL)

“. . . welcome common ground for policy debates across partisan and ideological lines . . .”

― William A. Galston, Senior Fellow, The Brookings Institution

Publication: Format: Topic:
How Our Education System Fails Most Students

Watching students move through it, America’s education system can seem to be functioning passably well. Most students complete high school on time. Most high school graduates go on to college. Most college enrollees will complete a degree. Most college graduates find their degrees useful in the labor market. But gazing back along the pipeline’s length yields a starkly different, distressing picture.

tags: Education

How the Other Half Learns

America’s education system, from kindergarten through the state university, is designed to produce college graduates. Those who stop short of at least a community-college diploma are widely regarded as failures, or at least victims of a failed system. Yet most Americans fall into this category, and current trends offer little hope for improvement. Politicians and policymakers are finally paying attention to this population—which, roughly speaking, comprises the working class—and calls for more vocational education and apprenticeships have become fashionable. But a more fundamental reordering of the nation’s misshapen educational infrastructure is necessary if alternatives to the college pipeline are to take their rightful place as coequal pathways to the workforce.

tags: Education

Political Economics and the New Labor Market

There's a real problem with the argument that people don't understand how good things are. If the economic data are saying that things are wonderful and people in the country are saying things are not, we need to ask what the economic data is missing.

tags: 2016 Election, Basic Income, Education, Labor Market, Safety Net, Technology, Trade, Unemployment

Not Everyone Should Go to College

The current system is not really trackless; it offers a single track, tailored toward those most likely to succeed anyway. If there is to be only one track, why not switch the default? Design the local high school for the needs of the median student, who won’t complete even community college. Those aiming for college could enroll in an after-school enrichment program three towns over. If that’s how 'no tracking' looked, many of tracking’s opponents would probably come around.

tags: Education

Teaching to the Rest

This particular bout of American exceptionalism is a mistake. What sense does it make to treat the vast majority of high-schoolers as if they were prospective college graduates when they are not; to pretend that the sudden divergence of outcomes after high-school graduation did not in fact begin long before? Indeed, the best way to understand the U.S. system is not as trackless, but rather as committed to a single track tailored toward those most likely to succeed anyway.

tags: Education

Some Multimedia

CSPAN Washington Journal, 8/1/18
On the future of work

Wall Street Journal, 3/17/18
On universal basic income

Evidence Squared (1 and 2), June 2017
On climate communication

WNYC w/ Brian Lehrer, 3/9/17
On replacing Obamacare

Harvard Kennedy School, 2/22/17
On the future of conservatism

Matter of Fact, 1/22/17
On the Trump administration

WNYC w/ Brian Lehrer, 10/28/16
On the 2016 election (second hour)

National Review Institute, 10/17/16
On the wisdom of free trade

Senate Energy Comm, 4/26/16
On oil & gas development

CSPAN Washington Journal, 11/29/15
On the Paris climate negotiations

NPR On Point, 8/4/15
On the Clean Power Plan (second half)