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  • Opening the Grid: How to Recharge Arizona's Electricity System for the 21st Century

    Posted on July 21, 2009 | Type: Policy Report | Author: Stanley S. Reynolds

    Arizona’s heavily regulated, monopolistic electricity industry is ill-equipped to meet the state’s growing demand for energy. Nor is it well-suited to contain the higher costs that are likely to result from renewable energy mandates. Only by moving Arizona’s electricity industry closer to the ideal of an open and competitive market can the ingenuity of entrepreneurs be engaged to meet the increasing demand for electricity—the lifeblood of Arizona’s economy.

  • Justice Denied: The Improper Clearance of Unsolved Crimes by the Maricopa County Sheriff's Office

    Posted on May 21, 2009 | Type: Policy Report | Author: Clint Bolick

    One of the most effective ways to measure a law-enforcement agency’s performance is by the percentage of crimes it solves, known in legal circles as its “clearance rate.” Criminal investigations can be cleared in one of two ways: by arrest or by “exception.” Clearances by exception must meet rigid criteria that the FBI has used for 80 years. Essentially, the perpetrator must be known to the police but cannot be apprehended due to special circumstances such as the suspect’s death. Although the criteria governing exceptional clearance are clear and objective, some law-enforcement agencies skirt the rules of exception to clear cases that do not meet the criteria, essentially declaring unsolved crimes solved to inflate the agency’s clearance rate. Clearing cases that have not been solved deprives crime victims of justice and may compromise public safety.

  • Shameless Self-Promotion: How Politicians Use Your Money to get Re-Elected

    Posted on May 12, 2009 | Type: Policy Report | Author: Shawnna L.M. Bolick

    Each year, American public officials spend millions in taxpayer funds to pay for broadcast ads, billboards, and glossy brochures under the umbrella of public service announcements. These officials often feature prominently in the ads, yielding increased name recognition and favorability ratings — objects of exceptional value — for them.

  • New Millennium Schools: Delivering Six-Figure Teacher Salaries in Return for Outstanding Student Learning Gains

    Posted on April 28, 2009 | Type: Policy Report | Author: Matthew Ladner

    Despite the fact that American students enjoy higher average family incomes and per-pupil funding, they consistently rank near the bottom in international examinations of high school achievement. Many researchers point to the United States’ poor practices of recruiting, training, compensating, and retaining teachers. The highest-achieving countries tend to recruit their teachers from the top 5 percent of university graduates; however, on average, American K-12 schools recruit from the bottom third.

  • Student-Based Funding: How to Improve Transparency and Accountability in Arizona Public Education Finance

    Posted on April 01, 2009 | Type: Policy Report | Author: Susan Aud

    Like most states, Arizona finances its public schools through the application of complex formulas, some of which depend on enrollment and some of which rely upon categories of spending.

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