In our latest Liberty Update, we highlight an eye-opening new study confirming how drug price controls…
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AEI's Michael Rosen: "Omicron Variant Sows Chaos but Doesn’t Move Needle on Patent Waiver Debate"

In our latest Liberty Update, we highlight an eye-opening new study confirming how drug price controls kill pharmaceutical investment and innovation at the worst possible time, when America and the entire world depend upon them more than ever.

In similar vein, American Enterprise Institute (AEI) Adjunct Fellow and healthcare expert Michael Rosen nicely illustrates how the omicron variant of Covid has paused the destructive global effort to suspend enforcement of patent rights belonging to lifesaving vaccine developers:

But the new omicron variant of the virus has intervened, shelving the planned WTO meeting and throwing into continued contrast the supposed haves and have-nots of vaccine protection...  But the EU has held firm in resisting the vaccine waiver, and rightly so."

Unfortunately…[more]

December 06, 2021 • 12:20 PM

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Dems' Attack On Smart Kids Print
By Betsy McCaughey
Wednesday, October 13 2021
The rhetoric attacking gifted programs is vicious and divisive.

Parents whose kids excel in school need to be on guard. Leftist school administrators across the country  not just in New York City  are banning gifted programs in elementary and middle school and Advanced Placement courses in high school. 

Typically, without any notice to parents, an eight grader's accelerated science class or a fifth grader's fast-track math class is merged into the regular classroom. Top students lose out. They need accelerated programs every bit as much as children with learning challenges need special education. It's discrimination.

The left is seizing on a newly published study of Ohio students from the Thomas B. Fordham Institute to call for banning gifted programs. The study, "Ohio's Lost Einsteins," looks at what became of second and third grade students who were identified as high performers. By eighth grade, only 30% of Black students, 39% of Hispanic students and 34% of economically disadvantaged students in the group were still outstanding performers. Most had floundered.

Washington Post education columnist Jay Mathews misreads the findings to argue that gifted programs are unproven and probably a waste of money. But many of the Ohio students labelled as high achievers were never placed in a "gifted" program. Fordham's experts actually recommend more students be tracked into gifted programs.

The study also underscores the importance of helping gifted children early on overcome barriers to success. They may lack a place to study and, most importantly, an involved parent. Some parents don't insist their children do their homework, concentrate in class and aim for AP classes. These parents need guidance on buying into the educational achievement culture.

Instead, school administrators are scapegoating gifted kids for the sake of equity. Boston suspended enrollment in its Advanced Work Classes program for fourth, fifth and six graders, citing the fact that the school district is 80% Black and Hispanic, but AWC enrollment is 70% white and Asian.

The rhetoric attacking gifted programs is vicious and divisive. The Hechinger Report, based at Columbia University's Teachers College, claims "gifted education has racism in its roots," arguing that the scientist who popularized IQ measurement was a eugenicist.

California proposes eliminating accelerated math before eleventh grade and requiring all students to study math together. "We reject ideas of natural gifts and talents," the state's math plan declares. That's like declaring that all students can play on the varsity football team. Ridiculous.

Educators are peddling a false claim that students of mixed abilities learn better together. A website addressed to school administrators deplores tracking as "segregation" and announces, "It's good for students to be in classrooms where there's a robust exchange of perspectives; perspectives that are shaped by racial, ethnic and economic identities." Maybe in homeroom or social studies, but not physics. Gifted children in slow classes grow bored and even drop out.

Leftist educators are also targeting AP high school classes. But a study by the left-leaning Center for American Progress shows that students who succeed in AP classes have higher grades in college and are more likely to graduate. Eliminating them would be a mistake. 

Fewer Black students enroll in AP, and those who do are less likely to pass the AP exams. Approximately 69% of Asians, 65% of whites and 46% of Hispanics who take AP tests pass, but only 28% of Blacks pass. The country should be deeply concerned, but the solution is to better prepare disadvantaged kids.

The equity warriors are also attacking the nation's 165 competitive public high schools. From Boston to Alexandria, Virginia, and San Francisco, they're eliminating entrance exams and allocating seats by lottery or zip code. 

Georgetown University's Anthony Carnevale calls it "a direct populist rebellion." Don't buy it. The real populism is parents rising up to resist dumbing down their children's education. These parents, including Asian American immigrants, know their best shot at the American dream is to have their children succeed in a highly competitive public school. No one should take that away.


Betsy McCaughey is a former lieutenant governor of New York and author of "The Next Pandemic," available at Amazon.com. 

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Quiz Question   
How many gun purchase background checks were processed by the FBI during Thanksgiving Week 2021?
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Notable Quote   
 
"A bank that misplaced over one-fifth of its deposits would be shut down almost immediately. So would a hospital that bungled one in five operations, or a private health insurer that mishandled one-fifth of its claims.But apparently, the bar is a lot lower for government programs. The Biden administration recently admitted that 'improper payments' made up 21.69% of total Medicaid spending in fiscal…[more]
 
 
—Sally Pipes, President, CEO, and the Thomas W. Smith Fellow in Healthcare Policy at the Pacific Research Institute
— Sally Pipes, President, CEO, and the Thomas W. Smith Fellow in Healthcare Policy at the Pacific Research Institute
 
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