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OP-ED — Another case of ill-informed pronouncements on education in Mississippi

Bill Crawford has recently written several pieces on how to best train Mississippi’s work force. He makes his point by using the research generated by the Nobel Prize winning economist, Dr. James Heckman, who has shown that the greatest return on investment (ROI) in educating the workforce of the future is through high quality early childhood education. I suppose Grant ...

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Analysis: Wicker pushes fight for cell service subsidies

If a U.S. senator and a public service commissioner get their way, many Mississippians will spend the next six months trying to prove how bad their local cellphone service is. It’s all part of an effort to make Mississippi eligible for as big of a slice of $4.5 billion as possible. What the Federal Communications Commission calls the Mobility Fund II will ...

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BILL CRAWFORD — Koch thought machine will influence Mississippi elections

When it comes to government, Charles and David Koch want to influence, some say control, the political thoughts of all Americans. Yes, including Mississippians.   The Koch brothers and their super wealthy compatriots are spending billions of dollars to inform, many say indoctrinate, Americans on how to think about government, how to vote, and how to take down contrary elected ...

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GRANT CALLEN — School choice is not a new entitlement.  But Pre-K is.

Earlier this week, columnist Bill Crawford penned a piece arguing that school choice proposals authored in recent legislative sessions are not conservative because they represent a “new entitlement.” Instead, Crawford favors publicly funded Pre-K as the best fix for Mississippi’s education woes. Here’s why he’s wrong. To be a new entitlement the Legislature would have to appropriate more money for ...

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JACK WEATHERLY — Sadly, there goes that man who invented New Journalism

When I started working for newspapers 45 years ago, Tom Wolfe turned me on to something. It wasn’t a drug, though it did alter my writing sensibility, permanently. “There Goes (Varoom! Varoom!) That Kandy Kolored (Thphhhhhh!) Tangerine-Flake Streamline Baby…” was the name of one of his early pieces that went a long way in establishing New Journalism. That essay about ...

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MATTHEW McLAUGHLIN — Finding white space

When I work with startups that are analyzing market opportunities and existing firms that are exploring other opportunities, I try to frame the discussion in terms of white space.  There is nothing proprietary about the term “white space” – it has been around at least since the dot-com frenzy of the 1990s, if not before then.  White space essentially means ...

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Analysis: Pay gap and cost of child care create obstacles

A new report reinforces what many Mississippi residents already know, but legislators don’t often discuss: affordable child care is vital to the state economy. Parents can’t work outside the home if they can’t find a safe place for their babies and young children to stay and learn. But high-quality child care can cost thousands of dollars a year, and that ...

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BILL CRAWFORD — Wrong school fixes will keep our children shamefully behind

Emerging initiative “Empower Mississippi” is right that many children do not “flourish” in Mississippi public schools. But the fix it wants is wrong. Just as the fix proposed by the “Better Schools, Better Jobs” initiative was wrong.    Neither creating a new entitlement program in the guise of school choice nor making Mississippi Adequate Education Program (MAEP) funding mandatory will ...

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BILL CRAWFORD — Wanna bet on who’s not gonna run in 2019?

Not gonna run in 2019 season is upon us.    Vicksburg Mayor George Flaggs started it. He announced early this month he is not gonna run for Lt. Governor or any other statewide office next year.    While Petal Mayor Hal Marx says he is running for Governor and former Nettleton Mayor and now Public Service Commissioner Brandon Presley might ...

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Analysis: Candidates vie for attention in 3rd District race

Voters in central Mississippi’s 3rd District are choosing a new member of Congress for the first time in a decade. Candidates have been traveling for weeks to speak at forums and fish fries, and the heavy rotation of advertising – for those who can afford it – is expected to begin close to Memorial Day. Party primaries are June 5, ...

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