Demography Defeated: Florida's K-12 Reforms and Their Lessons for the NationPosted on September 30, 2008 | Type: Policy Report
Jeb Bush campaigned for governor on a clear and bracing set of education reforms in 1998. Having won office, he immediately pursued a dual-track strategy of education reform: standards and accountability for public schools, and choice options for dissatisfied parents. Florida lawmakers followed these reforms with additional measures, including instruction-based reforms; the curtailing of social promotion, which advances students to higher grades regardless of academic achievement; merit pay for teachers; and additional choice measures.
Piercing the Fog: A Call for Greater Transparency in State and Local GovernmentPosted on July 29, 2008 | Type: Policy Report
Whenever the people are well-informed, they can be trusted with their own government. - Thomas Jefferson
Fortune Favors the Bold: Reforms for Results in K-12 EducationPosted on July 02, 2008 | Type: Policy Report
Arizona trails far behind other states in terms of public school academic achievement. National comparative data often place Arizona near the bottom of state rankings. Aggregate fourth-grade reading scores on the National Assessment of Educational Progress, also known as the Nations Report Card or NAEP, barely budged between 1992 and 2007. Other states, meanwhile, have made substantial progress.
Arizona's Struggle for Sovereignty: The Consequences of Federal MandatesPosted on June 03, 2008 | Type: Policy Report | Author: Benjamin Barr
Arizona is awash in federal money. In fiscal year (FY) 2007, Arizona received close to $8.5 billion in federal funds. This money funds programs that most Arizonans are familiar with, such as Medicaid and the No Child Left Behind Act (NCLB). Even though the inflow of federal dollars appears attractive, there is a catch: As federal dollars flow in, state dollars are fixed to ever-growing demands connected to these programs. In 2000, the State of Arizona used general funds at close to $463 million for Medicaid alone. By 2005, that figure had risen to $914 million, and it is projected to grow to $1.3 billion in FY 2008.
More Roads to Travel: A Path to Transportation Solutions in ArizonaPosted on April 30, 2008 | Type: Policy Report | Author: Byron Schlomach
Arizona has a transportation problem. The average Phoenix commuter spends some 38 hours a year stuck in traffic, and one in Tucson spends an average 42 hours. Overall, traffic congestion costs Arizonans at least $2 billion annually in lost time and wasted fuel. The state must take action on a number of fronts to ensure that transportation problems do not damage Arizona's economy and quality of life.