It seems that some teachers and administrators, when offered incentives (within systems such as No Child Left Behind) for boosting students' test scores, act unethically to inflate them. The Manhattan Institute's Sol Stern recounts how two brave education officials are confronting assertions of "spectacular student progress" by forcing an outside audit of the tests. Their efforts, he writes, should serve as a model for making all states "come clean" and (in education secretary Arne Duncan's words) "'stop lying to children.'"
Recently, Secretary of Education Arne Duncan said that the new policy of forgiving student loan debts for those who "follow their heart" and enter public sector employment will do wonders for the U.S. In this week's Pope Center Clarion Call, I say that it's utter nonsense. Public sector employment pays very well and gives much greater job security than those who labor in the competitive world. A very large number of college graduates want those government jobs and forgiving some of their student loan debt because they've worked at them for ten years is just a gift from the overburdened taxpayers. One more thing -- with the private sector (where wealth is produced, unlike the government) struggling these days under the many burdens and obstacles the government has put in its way, shouldn't we worry about the government luring away talented people it needs?