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100 Days of Disruption: How Trump rewrote the presidential script

Fox News (Politics) - Fri, 04/28/2017 - 23:30
At the “100 days” mark of his administration, it's clear President Trump has brought a “wrecking ball” to Washington.

Trump's first 100 days – by the numbers

Fox News (Politics) - Fri, 04/28/2017 - 23:30
President Trump hit his 100th day in office on Saturday, with the White House claiming they've accomplished more in the opening stretch than any president since Franklin D. Roosevelt.

Trump's first 100 days: Did he keep his promises?

Fox News (Politics) - Fri, 04/28/2017 - 23:30
Candidate Donald Trump made big promises on the campaign trail for what he'd do to "make America great again" in his first 100 days. So how did he do?

Trump proclaims May 1 as 'Loyalty Day'

Fox News (Politics) - Fri, 04/28/2017 - 20:39
President Donald Trump on Friday proclaimed May 1 as 'Loyalty Day' as a way to "recognize and reaffirm our allegiance to the principles" upon which America was built and express pride in those ideals, according to a release of the proclamation from the White House.

'First 100 Days': Trump declares 'ObamaCare is dead,' predicts replacement deal soon

Fox News (Politics) - Fri, 04/28/2017 - 18:02
President Trump voiced confidence Friday about a new health care overhaul coming together as early as next week, declaring in an interview with Fox News’ Martha MacCallum that despite Republicans’ failure to pass a replacement in his first 100 days, “ObamaCare is dead.”

NSA to stop collecting some internet communications

Fox News (Politics) - Fri, 04/28/2017 - 15:22
The National Security Agency says it will no longer collect certain communications moving on the internet simply because they mention a foreign intelligence target.

Perfect: Well-to-do anti-greed progressive who endorsed Hillary and socialist with 3 homes team up to slam Obama for Wall Street hypocrisy

Michelle Malkin - Fri, 04/28/2017 - 14:23

**Written by Doug Powers

There’s a three-ring circus of hypocrisy here that makes me want to do nothing but sit back, grab some popcorn, and laugh hysterically:

Sen. Bernie Sanders believes former President Barack Obama’s plan to receive $400,000 for speaking at a September Wall Street health conference is “distasteful,” The Vermont Independent reported Friday.

Speaking with CNN’s Suzanne Malveaux, Sanders labeled the transaction “not a good idea” and said he was “sorry President Obama made that choice.”

“I just think it does not look good,” Sanders said. “I just think it is distasteful — not a good idea that he did that.”
[…]
Sen. Elizabeth Warren — another influential progressive — has also expressed concern over Obama’s speech, saying Thursday that the former President’s decision “troubled” her.

It’s certainly enough for a joke setup: “A Hillary-endorsing student debt-reduction advocate who raked in hundreds of thousands of dollars teaching at Harvard on a limited basis, a socialist with three homes and a DC special interest lamenting ex-prez who’s getting $400,000 for one Wall Street speech walk into a bar…”

**Written by Doug Powers

Twitter @ThePowersThatBe

Do Negative Test Results Mean School Choice Has Failed? Perhaps the Opposite!

Cato Recent Op Eds - Fri, 04/28/2017 - 14:11

Neal McCluskey

It is understandably considered bad news for school choice when a study comes out finding negative effects on test scores, especially one using a “gold standard,” randomized control trial design. But context is crucial for understanding such findings, and this may be especially true for a new study of vouchers in Washington, D.C.

The researchers studied various impacts one year after families applied to the District of Columbia Opportunity Scholarship Program. Studied students participated in a lottery for vouchers, which is key because who wins or loses is random, automatically controlling for variables that can powerfully affect outcomes, such as family income or motivation levels.

nd those who won and used the voucher to attend a private school — what policymakers likely care most about — saw slightly lower scores than non-users. Reading scores were also slightly lower, but were not statistically significant, meaning the researchers could not be confident the differences were other than the result of random chance.

So what’s the good news here? Surely no one can be pleased that choice appears to lead to lower math scores.

For one thing, on other measures the program fared better. Parent and student satisfaction with their schools were higher for both lottery winners and winners who used their vouchers, though the results did not reach statistical significance. Both winners and users were also more likely to perceive their schools as safe, though statistical significance was only reached for parents. And for kids in sixth through 12th grade, the program had a positive impact on parents’ involvement in education-related activities at home.

Then there’s this: the sum of education is far more than standardized test scores.

Much more important, the test results may well be the result of choice working, not failing, in Washington. You see, families in Washington have lots of choices.

First, Washington is a city, so people who live there can put pressure on the district by saying, “Shape up or we’ll move to Virginia or Maryland.” More directly, Washington has a huge charter school sector. Indeed, 42 percent of the study’s control group attended charter schools, and 10 percent attended private schools despite losing the lottery. Only 48 percent attended traditional public schools.

Quite possibly because of so much choice pressure — most imposed by Congress — the public schools in Washington have seen marked increases in achievement. According to the National Assessment of Educational Progress, since the mid-1990s achievement in Washington has risen at a rate appreciably outpacing the national average. Charter schooling in Washington started in 1996, and the voucher program was created in 2004.

Alas, charter schools — tuition-free public schools that in many ways seem private — have likely hurt Washington’s private sector, which was already struggling against free traditional public schools and decades of changes in the Roman Catholic Church, whose schools predominate in the private sector. If nothing else, struggling to survive cannot be positive for staff morale.

So no one should be surprised that a voucher program enrolling fewer than 1,200 students, which has been repeatedly threatened with extinction, does not have powerful testing effects. Oh, and a maximum voucher is roughly $8,000 for grades K-8, and $13,000 for 9-12. Meanwhile, the traditional public schools spend a whopping $30,000 per-pupil, and charters get about $17,500.

Given the gaping funding disparities, it may seem amazing that previous “gold-standard” research found that Washington voucher students performed on par with the control group on tests, and beat it soundly on high school graduation rates. And in the current report, the math difference was only about 7 percentile points between voucher users and the control group-appreciable, but not yawning.

Then there’s this: the sum of education is far more than standardized test scores. Indeed, the nation has seen a backlash against education reduced to such narrow measures, which may not predict future success. And it may be that people want things out of schooling that simply cannot be easily tested, ranging from safety, to strong moral values, to appreciation for the arts, to just a sense of fulfillment. Which is why it may be a good sign that even if it adversely affected test scores, schools chosen by lottery winners spent less time on math and reading instruction than control group schools. They may instead have been devoting time to music, or field trips, or myriad other very valuable activities.

Are negative testing impacts good? All other things equal, no. But all other things are not equal, especially in Washington.

Neal McCluskey is a contributor to the Washington Examiner’s Beltway Confidential blog. He is the director of the Cato Institute’s Center for Educational Freedom and maintains Cato’s Public Schooling Battle Map.

Trump at NRA convention: 'Eight-year assault' on gun rights is over

Fox News (Politics) - Fri, 04/28/2017 - 13:38
On the eve of his 100th day in office, President Trump rallied a convention of the National Rifle Association by vowing to "never, ever infringe" on Second Amendment rights and declaring his predecessor's alleged "assault" on those freedoms is over.

Trump's 100-day cram session

Fox News (Politics) - Fri, 04/28/2017 - 13:17
Is your head hurting yet?

AG Sessions to MS-13 gang: 'We are coming after you'

Fox News (Politics) - Fri, 04/28/2017 - 13:14
Years of open borders and lax immigration laws have allowed one of the country’s most brutal gangs to thrive nationally, U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions said Friday.

Congress investigating taxpayer-backed school over alleged ties to Chinese military after Fox News report

Fox News (Politics) - Fri, 04/28/2017 - 13:06
Four congressional committees are demanding answers from the FBI and departments of Justice and Defense about a taxpayer-funded school that markets to the military, after a Fox News investigation exposed alleged ties between the university's leadership and the Chinese military.

Congress looking into taxpayer-backed school over alleged ties to Chinese military

Fox News (Politics) - Fri, 04/28/2017 - 13:06
Four congressional committees are demanding answers from the FBI and departments of Justice and Defense about a taxpayer-funded school that markets to the military, after a Fox News investigation exposed alleged ties between the university's leadership and the Chinese military.

'The First 100 Days': Trump says he's 'disappointed' with congressional Republicans

Fox News (Politics) - Fri, 04/28/2017 - 12:51
President Trump told Fox News’ Martha MacCallum on Friday that he’s “disappointed” with how congressional Republicans have handled big legislation on health care and other issues, as he reflected on his first 100 days in office.

Trump talks to NRA in Atlanta as Georgia debates guns on college campuses

Fox News (Politics) - Fri, 04/28/2017 - 12:23
The NRA kicks off its annual meeting in Atlanta at a time Georgia is in the middle of two hot debates — one over who will represent the state’s 6th Congressional District, and another on whether Republican Gov. Nathan Deal should sign a bill allowing registered gun owners to carry firearms on public college campuses.

Gov. Jerry Brown keeps Oroville Dam repair costs hidden, state lawmakers say

Fox News (Politics) - Fri, 04/28/2017 - 12:21
California Gov. Jerry Brown has unsealed previously secret memos related to repair plans and safety issues at the damaged Oroville Dam, but his administration's refusal to be transparent about contract bidding process and overall project costs has state legislators frustrated.

George HW Bush released after latest Houston hospital stay

Fox News (Politics) - Fri, 04/28/2017 - 11:57
Former President George H.W. Bush has been released from a Houston hospital where he received treatment for a mild case of pneumonia and chronic bronchitis during a two-week stay.

Tillerson presses for economic sanctions on North Korea in special UN meeting

Fox News (Politics) - Fri, 04/28/2017 - 10:40
Secretary of State Rex Tillerson took the escalating threat of a nuclear North Korea to the United Nations Security Council Friday, urging member countries to financially cut ties with Pyongyang and freeze access to funds that could be used to build up that nation’s nuclear arsenal.

House bill to give Venezuelans path to legal US residency has bipartisan support

Fox News (Politics) - Fri, 04/28/2017 - 10:27
A bill to assist Venezuelan refugees in becoming permanent U.S. residents was re-introduced in the House this week with bipartisan support.

Congress approves stopgap spending bill to avert shutdown

Fox News (Politics) - Fri, 04/28/2017 - 10:06
Congress on Friday approved a one-week, stopgap spending bill to avert a government shutdown this weekend, giving lawmakers more time to negotiate a broader budget deal – as lawmakers also pushed off talks on a new health care package.

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