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Showing posts from May, 2018

Which educational reforms make sense

We have two sets of primary and secondary schools in this country. One set of schools lies in wealthy areas in which student achievement is quite high. The other set of schools lies in poor urban areas or extreme isolated rural areas in which poverty is pervasive and student achievement is dismal. We know what to do to improve the quality of education in under performing schools. As a country, we do not have the will to do it. There are several reforms that will make education so much better for those in poverty.

Increase Early Childhood Education
The Chicago economist, James Heckman, Nobel prize economist, analyzed data from Michigan and North Carolina going back several decades and found that no other infusion of public dollars came close to matching the rate of return of high-quality early childhood education. Heckman's studies in both the Michigan (the Perry Preschool Study) and North Carolina (the Abecedarian preschool program) studies concluded that there were significant he…

Reducing Homelessness

In order to reduce homelessness, our country needs to build low-income housing. The federal government used to build both affordable and low-income housing but doesn't anymore. Now the federal government makes deals with private developers and provides tax breaks of all kinds, so that developers build luxury housing and some affordable housing to qualify for tax credits but developers are not building low-income housing. What is the difference between affordable housing and low-income housing?

The federal Department of Housing and Development (HUD) calculates the Area Median Income (AMI) every year for every metropolitan area. AMI is the average household income for a metropolitan area. Let's use New York City metropolitan area as an example. In 2017, the AMI was $85,900 for a family of three. So if a locality defined 50% of the AMI as being low-income, that would mean the maximum income for such a status would be half of $85,900 or $42,950. You can see from these calculations…