Commentaries

Most Teachers Oppose Mandatory Union Fees

A national education journal, EducationNext, has just released results of its annual poll asking a number of education-related questions. One question has particular relevance now because this happens to be National Employee Freedom Week, a nationwide campaign offering an unparalleled focus on the freedoms union employees have to opt out of union membership. The EducationNext […]

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Put Individual Rights Above Those of Powerful Unions

By the time the U.S. Supreme Court rules in the Friedrichs v. California Teachers Association case next June, Rebecca Friedrichs may be the most well-known public school teacher in America—and the most controversial. She is asking the Court to uphold the Constitutional First Amendment free speech and free association rights of all California public school […]

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When Will the State Land Board Restore the “Trust” in Oregon’s State Trust Lands?

  By Anna Mae Kersey When Oregon joined the Union in 1859, it was granted approximately 3.4 million acres by Congress in State Trust Lands, public lands managed by the state to support public education. In so doing, Congress assigned a fiduciary responsibility to the state to produce a profit from these lands for the […]

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What They Say vs. What They Do: How PCC Students Really Get to School

By Anna Mae Kersey, Emma Newman, and Thomas Tullis TriMet is considering the construction of a light rail line from Portland State University to Tualatin, at a cost of roughly $2 billion. One routing option still on the table is to run the train down Barbur Boulevard, then build a tunnel to the Sylvania campus […]

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“Oregon Promise” Is Bad Policy

By Thomas Tullis On July 17, Governor Kate Brown signed Senate Bill 81, the “Oregon Promise” legislation that allocates $10 million to a “free” community college tuition program for Oregon students. As a current undergraduate at University of Oregon, I understand the importance of education and the problem of exponentially rising tuition costs. With college […]

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Portland Rideshare Drivers Praise “The Land of Opportunity”

Call it the smartphone/mobile app economy. Call it the Free World of Ridesharing. Call it the future. Whatever you call it, Uber, Lyft, and a host of smaller innovative companies are quickly transforming the century-long, highly government-regulated transportation market in Portland and around the world. And this is just a subset of a much broader […]

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The Crisis of Common Sense

I’ve taken two tours of Independence Hall in Philadelphia. Though it was full of vivid history about the signers of the Declaration, it was nearly silent about one relatively unsung hero of the American Revolution. Thomas Jefferson wrote the Declaration of Independence, but it was his friend Thomas Paine who stirred the new nation to […]

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Time to “Uberize” the Transportation Economy

This week marks the beginning of a 120-day “pilot project” by the City of Portland to allow private car-sharing companies such as Uber and Lyft to legally compete with cab companies. Given the consumer demand for such services, there is little doubt that the Portland experiment will become permanent. Cab services have long been heavily […]

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Low-Income Scholarship Recipients “Highly Successful” in High School and Beyond

The Friedman Foundation for Educational Choice just released an exploratory study examining the graduates of the Children’s Scholarship Fund Baltimore. CSF Baltimore is a privately funded scholarship program helping low-income children in the Baltimore area to attend the tuition-based elementary schools of their parents’ or guardians’ choice. CSF Baltimore is a partner program of the […]

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Alternative Paths to College Education: First Learn a Job

By William B. Conerly, Ph.D. The old advice about college isn’t working anymore. College graduates (as well as “quituates”) face poor job prospects in many cases, as well as high student debt. A college degree is not the meal ticket it once was, especially unfortunate at the time when loans have to be paid off. […]

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