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SB202 Offers the Wrong Solutions to a Real ProblemMy reference to ideological imbalance refers to the creation of an artificial close-mindedness that stifles debate, isolates important perspectives and diminishes the richness of a college education.View archives
|jobs and employment
|state and local government
|budget and spending
|workforce and human capital
|migration and population change
|January 21, 2024
|Small School Corporations Face Some Tough ChoicesStudent opportunities and outcomes increase and operational costs decrease when corporations approach optimal enrollment levels.
|January 14, 2024
|Thinking Hard About the IREAD TestAbout one in five Hoosier 3rd graders fail to pass the statewide reading test.
|November 5, 2023
|Municipal Elections Are Critical to Your ProsperityIn Indiana’s cities, like most cities nationwide, the problems mayors face aren’t partisan issues.
|October 22, 2023
|Economic Perceptions Driven by Educational and Geographic Differences in ProsperityThe geography of economic opportunity is shrinking.
|October 8, 2023
|Falling Behind Mississippi Indiana now sends 52.9 percent of high school graduates to college, while Mississippi sends 81 percent.
|September 3, 2023
|Work From Home Is Here to StayAt least 1 million Hoosiers work from home at least one day per week.
|July 9, 2023
|Human Capital Is the Source of ProsperitySuccessful places are both good for business and good for families.
|June 25, 2023
|Growing and Declining Places Have Different ChallengesThe Midwest came of age at a time when natural amenities and recreational opportunities played only a modest role in prosperity or migration.
|June 18, 2023
|New Labor Market Data Is Eye Opening But Under UsedThere’s been more data created on labor and education in the past 25 years than in the preceding 25 centuries.
|June 11, 2023
|“Of Boys and Men” by Richard Reeves Is a Must ReadThe gender gap in education is larger than any racial or ethnic gap.
|June 4, 2023
|Increasing Importance of Summer JobsThese jobs offer an opportunity to learn as well as earn money.
|May 28, 2023
|Educational Attainment, the 21st Century Fund and the Future of SchoolingIndiana ranks 42nd in educational attainment.
|May 14, 2023
|Re-Thinking Economic Development A large share of the most mobile families—perhaps half—no longer need to live near where they work.
|April 23, 2023
|Economic Opportunity Is Now in High Quality of Life PlacesAs Americans grew richer, we began to value more than just economic opportunity in our location choices.
|April 2, 2023
|The Five Skills Employers Tell Me They NeedI’ve asked countless numbers of leaders in business, government, military, and organizations.
|March 19, 2023
|Remote Work Through the Eyes of Three 20-SomethingsRemote work is here to stay.
|January 22, 2023
|Some Labor Market Facts You Won’t Read ElsewhereIndiana is simply not producing a 21st century workforce.
|January 15, 2023
|Three Types of Public DebtAll types of public debt are effectively transfers of wealth from the future to our present selves.
|December 11, 2022
|READI Grant Is Great for Most of IndianaBusinesses and households value public services more highly than public infrastructure spending.
|December 4, 2022
|Inflation Will Make the Legislature’s Job Difficult This YearThe budget challenges faced by state legislatures are twofold.
|November 27, 2022
|Economic Optimism and Worry on ThanksgivingThe balance of power between freedom and tyranny has never been this favorable.
|November 13, 2022
|The Timing of Economic PolicyCentral planning of economic activity likely will result in wasteful, ineffective policies.
|October 9, 2022
|A Recession Is Time to Think About the Long TermManufacturing employment is now a smaller part of our economy than it was in previous downturns.
|September 11, 2022
|Benefits and Costs of EducationFor the vast majority of students, college is among the best financial investments they will ever make.
|August 7, 2022
|It Is Time to Face the Facts About Factory JobsThe education and skills of today’s displaced factory workers don’t match the many available jobs nationwide.
|July 17, 2022
|My 750th ColumnColumns like mine are designed to help people think about issues they might otherwise not read about.
|May 1, 2022
|Lilly CEO Speaks to Indiana’s FutureIndiana must better educate a higher share of its young adults and make more communities into places they’d like to live.
|March 27, 2022
|A Tough Two Decades for the Hoosier EconomyMost of Indiana’s job growth this century has been in low-wage work.
|February 6, 2022
|Some Surprising Lessons from COVID Learning LossThe median school saw pass rates on standardized tests drop by more than 10 percent.
|January 23, 2022
|Indiana’s Long-Term Economic Prospects Are PoorState policymakers should be deeply alarmed about a return to a ‘normal’ economy.
|June 27, 2021
|School Choice, Cost Savings and Educational SpendingIndiana adopted universal school choice a little more than a decade ago.
|April 18, 2021
|The Post-COVID World Favors High Quality-of-Place CommunitiesBetween 23 million and 35 million households will find themselves newly unencumbered by the need to live within an easy daily commute to work.
|February 28, 2021
|Teacher Pay Is the Symptom of Deeper ProblemsState spending per Hoosier student is down more than 7.0 percent since 2010.
|October 25, 2020
|Indiana’s Hidden Fiscal DeficitSince 2009, Indiana slipped in every key measure of long-term growth.
|July 19, 2020
|School Re-opening Decision Is Tough, Politicizing Masks Makes It HarderIndiana has about 1.1 million kids in grades K-12, and many have little-to-no high-speed internet access.
|July 12, 2020
|Assault on Prosperity ContinuesThe U.S. economic loss of foreign college students would be enormous.
|February 9, 2020
|Back to Basics in Education, and Away from Vocational IndoctrinationThe only skill that we are certain will be needed by today’s kids in 20 years is the ability to learn and master new skills.
|November 25, 2019
|Time for an Education Tax IncreaseNothing predicts the income of a region better than the average education of its citizens.
|July 14, 2019
|Economic Research Points the Way for Different Education PolicyThis column is part of my effort to draw out two or three critical lessons from the last two or three decades and tie them to state policies.
|June 23, 2019
|Low Cost of Living Probably Means Low-Valued CommunityThe value of two identical homes will vary by as much as 25 percent given the quality of the local schools.
|June 16, 2019
|My Talk to School SuperintendentsFuture job skills are likely to demand more fundamental learning.
|April 14, 2019
|We Need to Send 10,000 More Hoosier Kids to College Next YearIf only 20 percent of the gains of higher education are due to actual learning or acquired skills, it may still be the best investment our state and local governments can make.
|March 3, 2019
|Some Unpleasant News on Education Spending PrioritiesThe State of Indiana funds K-12 education, and school boards pay teachers.
|August 5, 2018
|Midwest Must Save Middle Class NeighborhoodsIf your community isn’t thriving, your problems are far deeper than you suppose.
|May 20, 2018
|School Referenda and Local GovernmentRecent examples reinforce the simple notions of local governance.
|March 25, 2018
|Schools Need Bolder ActionEvery extra dollar must be spent on educating Muncie’s children and restoring confidence in the future.
|February 26, 2018
|School Choice Saves CommunitiesAll school choice did was let students flee underperforming schools without forcing families to move.
|January 28, 2018
|HB 1315 Is a Pragmatic Fix to Muncie School DilemmaThis school corporation needs a restoration of confidence before it can achieve any real stability.
|August 13, 2017
|A Case Study in School Performance and EnrollmentThere is stunning correlation between school performance and enrollment changes.