Government’s college scorecard misleads students

In mid-September, the Department of Education released their government scorecard of America’s higher learning institutions. Prior to the release, President Obama promised the American people that it would contain “reliable data on every institution of higher education.” But the scorecard fails on both counts.

Despite the president’s promise, the scorecard fails to provide reliable data, nor does it include every institution of higher learning. Parents and students attracted by the scorecard’s ease of use and accessibility could easily be blindsided by the incomplete and skewed information it provides.

The first fatal flaw of the scorecard is its dependence upon incomplete and mismatched data. Unlike private rankings and scorecards which try to present that most holistic data possible, much of the government statistics are based exclusively on data received through the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). At first glance, it must be pointed out that the data tends to be focused on students are more economically disadvantaged than their peers and leaves out a large and important part of college student data.

Read the rest on The Hill here.


Putin’s invasion has sparked a revival of liberalism in Ukraine

It’s been half a year since I moved from Moscow to Kiev. I was a journalist for independent media in Russia, a member of a Moscow local council, and a civil rights activist. All those activities have become taboo — the Kremlin calls us “national traitors” on Russian TV, and many people believe it.

But as Putin’s neo-stalinism continues to infect Russian society, Ukraine is becoming more liberal. And we have Putin’s invasion partly to thank for it.

My grandparents live in Pavlograd, a small mining town in eastern Ukraine. I’ve visited them almost every year since my birth, and things there were always the same. The people spoke Russian, watched Russian TV, and sympathized with our common past. But now there is only an empty pedestal in the center of the town, where a Lenin monument used to stand. In the museum of local history, there is an exhibition devoted the Kyiv Euromaidan revolution, and the local volunteers who have defended eastern Ukraine.

Read the rest on CapX here.

Driverless car

Technology Could End the Horrible Thanksgiving Drive – If We Let It

Thanksgiving travel is about to get much easier

This week, 42 million Americans will hop into their cars and arduously travel home for the Thanksgiving holiday, driving over 214 miles on average. In the near future, this may not be the norm: driverless cars will liberate us from the headache and frustration of long holiday commutes.

This dynamic technology will produce tangible benefits to the environment, the economy, and most importantly, human well-being. But only if lawmakers get out of the way.

Autonomous vehicles are automobiles that operate independently of human control. Once mere science fiction, this technology will soon become the most important technological advancement of the twenty-first century. It will revolutionize transportation as we know it — just as the Internet revolutionized communications and knowledge sharing in ways we could have never envisioned.

Currently, over 25 companies are working on developing this technology, and many are progressing closer to usable consumer models. Theoretically, these vehicles could be driving on highways within the decade. The only factor that might stop mass deployment of these vehicles is the tendency for government to concoct misguided regulations.

Legislators may have good intentions at heart, but their ideas will only delay widespread availability of this pioneering technology.

Read the full article at


Young Voices Podcast – Free the Skies for Commercial Drones

The latest Young Voices podcast features Ryan Hagemann and Daniel Pryor. Today they will explore some of the issues raised in Ryan’s recent CapX article, titled ‘Free the Skies for Commercial Drones’.

Topics discussed include state regulation of commercial drone technology, how to encourage innovation in this area, and the potential future of commercial drone usage.

Don’t miss out on our future podcasts – subscribe on iTunes here!


Labor Department Should Not Block the Flexible Future of Work

“Freedom, flexibility, and mobility.” This is how former Secretary of Labor (2001-2009) Elaine L. Chao described the future of work at an American Action Forum conference last week. While calls for a $15 an hour minimum wage or paid parental leave receive far more attention from the press, Chao’s push for an individualized labor force is the real path to a 21st Century workplace.

The U.S. Department of Labor’s outdated policies are major impediments to a modern workforce. Chao pointed out that the Labor Department administers over 180 laws, some of which, such as the 77-year-old Fair Labor Standards Act, date back to the Great Depression. Even the Occupational Health and Safety Administration is now 45 years old. It is difficult to promote Chao’s principles when employers and their employees are forced to comprehend 64,000 restrictions from DOL.

Even under this colossal level of Washington control, it is challenging to revise updated labor regulations. DOL not only has to find political support and go through the regulatory reform process, but it also has to take steps to educate and persuade business owners. Stability and regulatory certainty are critical for established business owners, which is why some prefer the outdated status quo when many of their employees and new competitors desire updated regulations.

Read the rest on Economics 21 here.