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Warren's Ginormous School-Choice Hypocrisy

November 10, 2019 in Economics

By Corey A. DeAngelis

Corey A. DeAngelis

Elizabeth Warren proudly opposes school choice — for your kids. She apparently could afford to take her own son out of the public-school system and enroll him in a private school, yet her education policies would deny that choice to less wealthy Americans.

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Sen. Warren’s schools plan, which she released last month, is radically anti-choice. She promises to end private-school vouchers and tax credits. She’d block new programs that give families choices and work to shut down existing ones.

She’d also ban for-profit charter schools, end federal funding for new charters and add more regulatory barriers to opening them.

The blueprint sounds like it came straight from the teachers’ union playbook: It calls for boosts in funding to government-run schools and more red tape for their competition.

Warren and her daughter, Amelia, offered support for a limited form of public-school choice in their 2003 book, “The Two-Income Trap.” But her campaign insists that “Elizabeth Warren never supported private-school vouchers.”

Warren reiterated this position in September’s Democratic presidential debate when she said, “Money for public schools should stay in public schools, not go anywhere else.”

It is anything but “progressive” to limit educational options for the least-advantaged students in the US. Yet it’s the peak of hypocrisy to exercise school choice for your own kids while fighting to prevent other families from doing the same.

One of Warren’s main talking points on education is that she attended traditional public schools as a child. But that decision was likely more her parents’ than hers. The more relevant question is where she chose to send her own kids.

Until now, no one has been able to answer that question. Although Education Week tried, writers Alyson Klein and Maya Riser-Kositsky reported that Warren’s campaign “did not respond to inquiries about where she sent her children.” I e-mailed the Warren campaign the same question and similarly didn’t receive a response.

Why the mystery? Warren regularly reminds us that she attended and taught at public schools. She brags that she is “#PublicSchoolProud.” Yet not proud enough, it seems, to stop her from exercising school choice by sending her kid to an expensive private school.

There was little information regarding her children’s K-12 educations on the Internet. But using her son Alex Warren’s full name and birth year (1976), I searched for school yearbooks on the …read more

Source: OP-EDS

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Media Outlets Turn Syria into Their Latest Melodrama

November 10, 2019 in Economics

By Ted Galen Carpenter

Ted Galen Carpenter

Mainstream media outlets inundated President Donald Trump with shrill denunciations when he announced the withdrawal of U.S. troops from Syria’s northern border with Turkey. The most frequent, emotionally laden criticism was that he had betrayed America’s Kurdish allies who had done much of the fighting against ISIS, giving Turkey a “green light” to launch a brutal military offensive against them. Most opinion pieces—and editorials masquerading as news stories—used such terms as loyal, noble, faithful and democratic to describe the Kurds. Once again, news coverage turned a complex geopolitical issue into a simplistic melodrama featuring admirable protagonists confronting odious villains.

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Trump’s handling of the withdrawal issue was indisputably clumsy, and the Turkish government has many unsavory features. Indeed, as I’ve written elsewhere, it should be an embarrassment to Washington to have the duplicitous, autocratic Turkish government as a NATO ally. But Ankara’s concerns about the impact of Kurdish separatist campaigns in Syria and Iraq on Turkey’s own festering Kurdish minority problem is not without merit.

The Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) in Turkey has waged a secessionist war intermittently since the early 1980s. Turkish leaders worry about ties between the PKK and their ethnic brethren in Syria and Iraq. The nature and extent of the relationship is the subject of considerable uncertainty and controversy. Writing in Time, Jared Malsin, a Middle East correspondent for the Wall Street Journal, notes that both Turkey and the U.S. list the PKK as a terrorist organization, “but the U.S. insists that its militia partners in Syria are a separate group from the PKK.” Yet, Malsin emphasizes, “the two organizations have direct ties, and Kurdish citizens of Turkey are among the YPG’s [People’s Protection Units] fighters.” The Kurdish Democratic Union Party of Syria, which controls the YPG, originated in 2003 as an offshoot of the PKK.

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The Kurdish political movements in both Syria and Iraq also …read more

Source: OP-EDS