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December, 2015


How the politics of education changed in 2015 (and what it means for 2016)

In 2015, K-12 and higher education officially switched places in the hierarchy of national issues. On the K-12 side, federal policymakers have quietly reined in the expansive federal role that took root under No Child Left Behind, and school reform has been largely absent from presidential debates. Meanwhile, college affordability has been a near-constant topic on the campaign trail, with candidates proposing far-reaching changes to the federal role in higher education. In Congress, calls for free college, accreditation reform, and risk-sharing are now commonplace. The federal role in K-12 is now clearly in retreat, but the push for higher educationRead More

Special feature: What we will be watching in 2016

This past week, we issued a challenge. We asked some of our scholars to reflect on and list the main events, trends, negotiations, policy goals, etc., that will, could, or should shape 2016. So what should we mark in red on our calendars? What is at the front of policy and political leaders’ minds this New Year? Read on to be enlightened by Danielle Pletka (Foreign and Defense Policy), Karlyn Bowman and Heather Sims (the Political Corner), and Alan D. Viard (Economics). Shutterstock. Danielle Pletka: The motto for 2016 may well be plus ça change, plus ça reste la memeRead More

The party of Trump

This article will be published in the January 11 issue of The Weekly Standard. Within weeks of announcing his candidacy for the Republican presidential nomination in June, Donald Trump seized the lead in virtually every national poll of GOP voters and has held that lead ever since. The Real Clear Politics average has Trump polling at 35.6 percent, with a 17-point spread between Trump and his nearest competitor. Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump signs his autograph after speaking at a campaign event at the Veterans Memorial Building in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, December 19, 2015. Reuters Although there is no poll ofRead More

Charts of the day: Another look at how America’s middle class is disappearing into higher income households

Here’s another look in the two charts above showing how America’s lower-income and middle-income households have declined as a share of all US households between 1967 and 2014, while the share of high-income households keeps increasing. 1. The top chart shows the three income groups: a) low-income households with income of $35,000 and below (in 2014 dollars), whose share of US households declined from by five percentage points from 38.7% in 1967 to 33.7% (in 2014 dollars), b) middle-income households with income between $35,000 and $100,000 (in 2014 dollars), whose share of all households declined by 11.6 percentage points fromRead More

Obama’s legacy: A work in progress

Is it too early to think about President Obama’s legacy? The pollsters don’t think so. The upcoming January issue of AEI’s Political Report compiles some of their early assessments. We find opinion of Obama in general and with respect to specific issues more negative than positive, although it is heavily influenced by partisan affiliation. When the McClatchy-Marist poll asked people earlier this year how President Obama would be remembered when he finished his second term, around a third said he would be remembered as one of the best presidents in US history or above average. Thirty-eight percent expressed opinions atRead More

2016 Data Point: Was 2015 a good year for you?

As 2016 officially begins, how do Americans feel about the year coming to an end? Was 2015 a good year for them? Forty-two percent say 2015 was an “about average year” for them personally. Twenty-eight percent say it was “one of the best years” or an “above-average year” for them, while 29 percent say it was a “below-average year” or “one of the worst years.” These responses are generally consistent with those from 2013, the first year NBC News/Wall Street Journal asked the question, and 2014. Even so, opinion of 2015 is not quite as negative as opinion of 2013Read More