The most paternalist policies in place today require the closure of underperforming schools even if they are popular with parents. Who should decide if the tradeoffs are worth it? A case to be made, but I still don’t quite buy it.
Fifty years ago, the historian Elizabeth Monroe published a beautifully written book with a dismissive title, "Britain's Moment in the Middle East, 1914-1956." She captured well the British interlude between two more culturally transformative powers: the Ottoman Empire and sec
WASHINGTON: The recently retired senior admiral of the Navy, Adm. Gary Roughead, says the Obama administration must do much more across the government to ensure the Pacific pivot works and is well directed, joining his voice to four prominent House lawmakers. I asked Roughead after today’s hearing on the Pacific “rebalance” if he knew about yesterday’s bipartisan letter to Susan Rice, the administration’s new National Security Advisor. That letter, written by Rep. Randy Forbes, chair of the House Armed Services seapower and projections forces subcommittee, was also signed by Reps. Bob Wittman, Republican chairman of the House Armed Services readiness subcommittee; Colleen Hanabusa, Democrat from Hawaii; and Madeleine Bordallo, the Democrat from Guam. Roughead didn’t know about the letter, but he said he agreed with its basic thrust, namely that the interagency coordination needed to make the Pacific pivot effective has been lacking. “I don’t think it has even begun to be done at the level that is required,” he said, noting that tech transfers to Pacific allies must be sped up and foreign military training (IMET) must be beefed up. “This whole rebalance has had too much of a military component,” he told me. “We can’t simply keep talking about this.” The Forbes letter called for “clear, interagency guidance enabling a broad effort and empowering departments and agencies to implement the guidance,” arguing that agencies and embassies “lack the specific direction that will be required for the implementation of this strategy.“ The agent for improving this governmental guidance, the lawmakers argue, might best be “an interagency Asia-Pacific Strategy Review” done in both classified and unclassified form. That review “will provide permanent clarity to the Administration’s regional strategy and more effectively communicate to the U.S. Government, friends, and allies the direction of U.S. policy in the region.” Over to you, White House.
In Endangering Prosperity, a trio of experts on international education policy compares the performance of American schools against that of other nations. The net result is a mixed but largely disappointing picture that clearly shows where improvement is most needed.