As we approach Thanksgiving, you may have heard (or personally experienced) that the cost of Thanksgiving…
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Stat of the Day: Thanksgiving Costs Up a Record 20%, but Prescription Drug Prices Decline

As we approach Thanksgiving, you may have heard (or personally experienced) that the cost of Thanksgiving dinner this year is up a record 20%.

Meanwhile, guess what's actually declined in price, according to the federal government itself.  That would be prescription drug prices, which declined 0.1% last month alone.

Perhaps the Biden Administration should focus on helping everyday Americans afford Thanksgiving, rather than artificially imposing innovation-killing government price controls on lifesaving drugs, which are actually declining in price and nowhere near the inflation rate afflicting other consumer costs.…[more]

November 17, 2022 • 11:48 AM

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Student Performance Suffers Unprecedented Decline, Confirming Need for School Choice Print
By Timothy H. Lee
Thursday, October 27 2022
According to the 2022 National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP), the nation suffered an unprecedented plummet in learning performance in what’s known as the “Nation’s Report Card,” including the first declines in math scores ever recorded.

Are you better off today than you were two years ago?  

Paraphrasing Ronald Reagan’s pivotal 1980 debate query, that question looms large with November’s midterm elections already underway.  

From inflation to crime to international relations to energy to almost every other realm of our lives, the answer is an unequivocal “no.”  

This week brought perhaps the most unsettling response to that question yet, however, as the Education Department released student test results showing that our nation’s children certainly aren’t better off.  

According to the 2022 National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP), the nation suffered an unprecedented plummet in learning performance in what’s known as the “Nation’s Report Card,” including the first declines in math scores ever recorded:    

In 2022, the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) conducted a special administration of the NAEP long-term trend (LTT) reading and mathematics assessments for age 9 students to examine student achievement during the COVID-19 pandemic.  Average scores for age 9 students in 2022 declined 5 points in reading and 7 points in mathematics compared to 2020.  This is the largest average score decline in reading since 1990, and the first ever score decline in mathematics.  

That depressing news arrives less than a week after American College Testing (ACT) average scores plummeted to a record low:  

The ACT has released the average scores for the class of 2022, which show a precipitous drop in national averages.  The class of 2022 had an average composite score of 19.8 – down from 20.3 in 2021 – making this the first time since 1991 that the average score has fallen below 20.  This number offers a more comprehensive picture than in years past, as a record 60% of students took the test in 2022, compared to 27% in 2015.  The decline is consistent with dropping averages in other standardized tests across age groups, including the SAT, which saw a 10-point drop, and the NAEP Age 9 Assessment, which yielded the lowest scores in math and reading in decades.    

In ACT’s official press release, CEO Janet Godwin added that, “The magnitude of the declines this year is particularly alarming, as we see rapidly growing numbers of seniors leaving high school without meeting the college readiness benchmark in any of the subjects we measure.”  She also emphasized, “These declines are not simply a byproduct of the pandemic.”  

She’s absolutely right.  These unprecedented declines indict our nation’s educational establishment, even as it receives ever-higher amounts of taxpayer subsidy.  This wasn’t merely some mundane continuation of a gradual decline, but a precipitous drop after school lockdowns and forcible remote instruction continued long after children’s diminished Covid risk level became clear.  

It all offers yet another stark reminder of just how costly educational command and control according to the wishes of teachers’ unions and arrogant officials like Anthony Fauci can be.  

It also explains why American public trust in public schools has fallen to its own record low, according to Gallup.  Today, only 28% of Americans express trust in the public school system, down from 62% in 1975, and down 13 points from 41% in 2020.  

That distrust was well-earned and well-deserved.  Now the question becomes whether fed-up Americans will insist on change.  

So far, the signs are encouraging.  

In an otherwise difficult election year for Republicans, Ron DeSantis won the tight 2018 Florida governor’s race due in significant part to his support for school choice.  Today he stands poised to be comfortably reelected.  

In Arizona, which offers a nationwide educational voucher model under the leadership of outgoing Governor Doug Ducey, school choice has proved wildly popular with actual students and parents themselves, as even the left-leaning Arizona Republic acknowledged:  

Over 10,000 applications for universal school vouchers poured in over the course of less than a week, according to the Arizona Education Department.  As of Wednesday, the state had received nearly 22,500 universal eligibility applications, the Education Department said on Twitter.  Arizona started accepting universal eligibility applications in mid-August, and the program was officially greenlit last week.  Those numbers show significant interest in the expanded school choice voucher program, now the biggest of its kind in the nation.  

Even far-left union-captive Illinois Governor J.B. Pritzker just backtracked on his longstanding opposition to a statewide school choice program, which he previously vowed to terminate.  

As accumulating data confirm the disastrous effect of excessive school closures and educational conformity on our nation’s children, the parental backlash in favor of greater school choice is welcome.  Whatever the merits of different educational alternatives, the choices should be made by parents and students with skin in the game, not government officials and their teachers’ union overlords.  

Quiz Question   
The first U.S. oil-producing well was founded in 1859 near which of the following towns?
More Questions
Notable Quote   
 
"Florida is divesting from investment giant BlackRock, becoming the latest state to pull assets from the firm over its environment, social, and governance (ESG) policies.The Sunshine State's chief financial officer, Jimmy Patronis, announced Thursday that the Florida Treasury would immediately begin removing roughly $2 billion in assets from BlackRock's control in a process that should be completed…[more]
 
 
—Breck Dumas, Fox Business
— Breck Dumas, Fox Business
 
Liberty Poll   

Congress is debating adding $45 billion more than requested to defense spending for 2023. Considering a fragile economy and geopolitical threats, do you support or oppose that increase?