Iron Shrink to Debunk Anti-Conservative Studies on Rosen Show

Ever been told that your conservative views are a result of stupidity, emotional insecurity, or a defective upbringing? Ever seen such puerile claims shrouded in scholarly robes to give them an aura of credibility? Then you should read the well-reasoned responses of Colorado's own Iron Shrink (here and here) to some recent "academic" studies that appear to be guilty of one of the worst sins in the liberal PC pantheon: stereotyping. You also will want to listen to the Iron Shrink (aka Shawn Smith) during his guest appearance during the 10 AM hour of Thursday's edition of the Mike Rosen Show. Memo to those on the Left: I hope you don't take these studies too seriously. After all, I believe some of you can have intelligent debates with … [Read more...]

Education Reform in Colorado: Watershed Day

Yes, I'm back from my long hiatus - family visits and a general sense of tedium with passing affairs are among my excuses - for the few of you who have visited often enough to notice. But I'm back blogging now, because today was a noteworthy day in Colorado's path toward meaningful education reform. The desperate attempt of most legislative Democrats (led by Senator Sue Windels) to undermine the charter school movement took a blow when four members of their own party voted to turn the attack upside down. At the apex of their power in Colorado, enough Democrats have gained sense on K-12 education to deeply dampen the dreams of educrats who are trying to regain control of areas of the "system" lost to consumer empowerment and common … [Read more...]

Senate Bill 141: Performance Pay for Teachers?

The Colorado General Assembly - specifically the Senate Education Committee - will listen tomorrow to a proposal by Senator Nancy Spence (R - Centennial) to set up a state grant program so school districts can offer performance pay incentives to teachers. (Full disclosure: I am quoted in the linked article and will be testifying at tomorrow's hearing "for information only.") … [Read more...]

Utah Breaks Ground with Universal School Vouchers

Yesterday, Utah Governor Jon Huntsman, Jr., signed into law the nation's most expansive school choice program: the Parent Choice in Education Act. It's a victory for the state's students and for the power of education consumers. The sad irony is that the great father of the universal school voucher idea - Milton Friedman - missed the chance to see this exciting development by only a few short months. But his legacy lives on. … [Read more...]

It’s Official: Romney is In

I haven't written much about the presidential campaign here. (I resisted the urge to comment on Obama's invocation of Abraham Lincoln in his formal announcement this past weekend.) You know, all these candidates are entering the race - Democrats & Republicans - seemingly faster than rabbits reproduce. (I'm waiting for the North Dakota agriculture commissioner to form an exploratory committee - ha, ha.) So much is speculation now. I'm not even entirely sure we've taken a good glimpse at the eventual nominees yet (who in the heck knew Bill Clinton in February 1991 - and who was Lincoln but a recently defeated candidate for the U.S. Senate in February 1859?). Okay, I'm pretty sure the Democrat nominee is going to be one of the current … [Read more...]

Statehouse Dems Divided on Education

Stories like this one reported in today's Rocky Mountain News have to frustrate the teachers union to no end. A coalition of urban Democrats join Republicans in the state legislature to stand up for the power of parental choice. The state's education establishment - personified by the 600-pound gorilla Colorado Education Association - isn't comfortable with empowering parents, for obvious reasons. And they aren't going to go down without a fight. The growing inevitable reality, however, is that choice and competition will break down the walls of the schoolhouse monopoly. Look at Utah, Arizona, Georgia, and Virginia where voucher proposals are moving through the state legislatures. And look at Colorado, where an unprecedented … [Read more...]

Remembering Lincoln’s Birthday

There is so much that can be said in honor of the birthday of America's 16th and greatest President, Abraham Lincoln (1809-1865). Nothing I could write would be fitting enough. I will, however, put in a plug for the book I'm reading now: Team of Rivals: The Political Genius of Abraham Lincoln by Doris Kearns Goodwin. It's a vast tome, but my only regret is that I waited so long to pick it up and delve into it. Goodwin skillfully and eloquently reminds us that at his heart, Lincoln was an ambitious and savvy politician who translated his skills into success - not in the mere service of political avarice and power but in the service of a large and maturing vision about the Declaration of Independence, free labor, and America's role in … [Read more...]

Bob Schaffer Speaks Out

The thoroughly accomplished former Congressman Bob Schaffer - a man of great character, integrity, and insight - was the guest on the most recent edition of the Aaron Harber Show. It's too late to catch the televised broadcast, but I highly recommend that anyone interested in the political culture and direction of Colorado and our nation catch the episode online (note: current version of Windows Media Player needed). In my opinion, Schaffer accurately diagnoses the causes of the 2006 Republican defeat in Colorado. He also clearly explains how the primary reason for recent GOP shortcomings relates to the guiding factor weighing on his current decision whether to run for U.S. Senate in 2008. I sincerely hope that he finds the conditions … [Read more...]