For my part I really don’t care what Michelle Rhee’s value-add or gain scores would or would not have been in Baltimore almost two decades ago. Why? It’s not just that this whole thing is unprovable given the data available today. Rather, it’s because today she is pushing an actual education agenda that has ideas – with varying amounts of evidence and/or proof of concept behind them – and we should have a lively debate about those proposals. And it should be obvious that those ideas don’t hinge on her value-add scores or really much of anything that happened almost two-decades ago…Jay Mathews
If we have managed to be the world's most powerful country, politically, economically and militarily, for the last 47 years despite our less than impressive math and science scores, maybe that flaw is not as important as film documentaries and political party platforms claim…Sasha Chavkin, Cezary Podkul, Jeannette Neumann, and Ben Protess
Under federal law, borrowers who develop severe and lasting disabilities after taking out federal student loans are entitled to have their debts forgiven… But an investigation by ProPublica and the Center for Public Integrity has found that the process of discharging the loans of disabled borrowers is broken…Neal McCluskey
Perhaps the most telling sign that the House GOP is not serious about really cutting Washington down to size, though, is that the laughable Exchanges with Historic Whaling and Trading Partners program is not on their chopping block. If you won't pick off this ridiculous, almost-on-the-ground-it's-hanging-so-low fruit, you simply aren't really trying…Ben Miller
At some point Congress should consider a law that automatically eliminates any program that has been recommended for termination multiple times by presidents from different parties over a 10 year period. For example, the Historic Whaling Partners Program has been targeted for elimination in every one of the 10 budget requests that have been released since its creation–a period that spans both George W. Bush and Barack Obama. Of the 13 education programs this year’s budget targets for elimination, six were also singled out in Bush’s 2009 fiscal year budget. The other eight weren’t signed into law after Bush had left office. There’s clear agreement across both parties to get rid of most of these programs, it’s a testament to the difficulty of the political process that they persist.