Posts Tagged ‘schools’

“The pros and cons of ‘mandated reporting.'”

Advocates are pushing for laws much expanding the ranks of private actors required by law to inform to authorities on suspicions about child abuse (“mandatory reporters”). Naomi S. Riley quotes some of my misgivings: “As Walter Olson of the Cato Institute notes, increasing the number of mandated reporters could ‘incentivize’ people ‘to resolve uncertain, gray areas in favor of reporting.’ It will multiply “investigations based on hunches or ambiguous evidence which can harm the innocent, traumatize families, result in CPS [child protective services] raids, and stimulate false allegations,’ he says.” [Weekly Standard]

August 29 roundup

  • Astonishing investigation into feds’ “235 school shootings a year” statistic: “NPR reached out to every one of those schools repeatedly over the course of three months and found that more than two-thirds of these reported incidents never happened. …We were able to confirm just 11 reported incidents.” [Anya Kamenetz, Alexis Arnold, and Emily Cardinali, NPR]
  • Sentences that make you go back and read twice: “Mister Cookie Face lawyer Blake Hannafan also applauds the verdict and says 600 lb Gorillas ‘overreached.’” [AP/WHEC, Metro West Daily News on legal battle between Massachusetts dessert company and ice cream supplier]
  • “In-N-Out Burger sends pun-filled letter to beer maker to address ‘brewing’ trademark issue” [ABA Journal]
  • In Arkansas, socially conservative Family Council Action Committee enlists in the ranks against liability reform, and some less-than-charitable souls wonder whether $150,000 in donations from a Little Rock law firm might have had anything to do with that [Andrew DeMillo, AP]
  • AG Brian Frosh’s embarrassing SALT suit, religious adoption fight, Cardin’s red meat thrown to Left, union influence in Montgomery County, Baltimore water supply, and more Maryland stuff in my new Free State Notes roundup;
  • Federal court strikes down North Carolina’s U.S. House map as partisan gerrymandering, which could (or might not) lead to lively doings at the Supreme Court between now and Election Day [my new post at Cato]

Schools and childhood roundup

Janus aftermath roundup

“Illinois 13-year-old charged with eavesdropping felony for recording meeting with principal”

“For years, [Illinois] cops used the state’s eavesdropping laws to arrest citizens who attempted to record them. This practice finally stopped when three consecutive courts — including a federal appeals court — ruled the law was unconstitutional when applied to target citizens recording public servants.” But the law is “still being used by government officials to punish people they don’t like. Illinois Policy reports a 13-year-old student is facing felony charges for recording a meeting between him and two school administrators.” [Tim Cushing, TechDirt; Austin Berg, Illinois Policy, related]

Schools roundup

  • Even as Washington, D.C. saddles child-care providers with new degree requirement, it leaves unenforced some of its certification rules for public school teachers [David Boaz, earlier here, etc.]
  • Mayor de Blasio plans to overhaul admission to NYC’s elite high schools. Watch out [Lisa Schiffren, New York Post]
  • On the Banks of Plumb Crazy: American Library Association removes Laura Ingalls Wilder’s name from children’s-book award [AP/The Guardian]
  • Max Eden investigation of death at a NYC school [The 74 Million] Eden and Seth Barron podcast on school shootings and discipline policy [City Journal]
  • “The Transgender Bathroom Wars Continue in State Court” [Gail Heriot]
  • Oklahoma, West Virginia, Arizona and on: are teacher uprisings justified? [Neal McCluskey and Caleb Brown]

Frequent flyer education complainants

“According to the Education Department, 41 percent of the 16,720 complaints filed in the 2016 fiscal year came from three people,” one of whom has filed thousands of similar complaints over the web accessibility of schools’ websites. Now the department intends to wrest back some control of its civil rights docket, which sounds like a long overdue move. [Erica L. Green, New York Times]

Schools roundup

  • Thread on Broward County, Fla. discipline policies and blame-shifting after Marjory Stoneman Douglas school shooting [Max Eden on Twitter]
  • Nothing wrong with Kansas making clear that school finance is province of elected legislature, not courts [Gavel to Gavel] Study finds that successful school finance lawsuits do redistribute funds, even after public agencies adjust [Zachary Liscow via Caron/TaxProf]
  • “Why the Federal Government Can’t Mandate an Ideal School Suspension Rate” [Robby Soave, Reason] “School Discipline: Don’t Make a Federal Case Out of It” [Gail Heriot]
  • Teacher strikes might have begun backfiring [Jessica R. Towhey, Inside Sources] Are teachers underpaid as a group? [Andrew G. Biggs and Jason Richwine, City Journal] Opponents of school choice embrace a logic that might lead to overturning the landmark liberty case Pierce v. Society of Sisters [Caleb Brown, Kentucky]
  • Judge dismisses remaining “clock boy” claims against Texas school district [Elvia Limón, Dallas News, earlier here and here]
  • Kent, Wash.: “Parents sue school district after son killed in car-surfing accident” [Amy Clancy, KIRO]

The wages of public sector unionism

From a new paper by Michael Lovenheim and Alexander Willen, via Tyler Cowen:

Our estimates suggest that teacher collective bargaining worsens the future labor market outcomes of students: living in a state that has a duty-to-bargain law for all 12 grade-school years reduces earnings by $800 (or 2%) per year and decreases hours worked by 0.50 hours per week. The earnings estimate indicates that teacher collective bargaining reduces earnings by $199.6 billion in the US annually. We also find evidence of lower employment rates, which is driven by lower labor force participation, as well as reductions in the skill levels of the occupations into which workers sort. The effects are driven by men and nonwhites, who experience larger relative declines in long-run outcomes.

Jon Gabriel discusses the current wave of teacher strikes, Caleb Brown notes that “Kentucky Teachers Have Had Enough” — but of what? — while this Twitter thread discusses the Oklahoma walkout. More: Eric Boehm on Kentucky’s efforts to shore up underfunded teacher pensions.

Baltimore will sponsor student anti-gun protests

Taxpayers will shell out $100,000 so the city of Baltimore can bus public school students to an anti-gun rally. And that’s only the start of what’s wrong here, I write in a new Cato post. “A protest outing that is ardently enabled or even meticulously organized by the authority figures in your life can be like the ninth-grade English course that ruins Macbeth or Moby Dick for you.” I quote Lynda C. Lambert in the Baltimore Sun: “Part of protesting is finding your own way, for your own reasons….. Government sponsorship is destructive to these ends.”

My parting shot: “As for the separate question of whether compulsory attendance and truancy laws should be enforced against students for skipping school in a favored cause, I’ll see and raise: don’t enforce those laws against anyone period.”