Welcome to the Heartland’s podcasts. This week, listen to a discussion on how to defend freedom in our personal and economic lives. Click the links below to listen, and subscribe on iTunes so you get the latest podcasts as soon as they are produced. (Search for “Heartland Institute” in the iTunes store.)
ON EDUCATION: While education reformers focus on big schemes like Common Core standards and teacher evaluations, little over the several past decades has seemed to change about American education. Author Beverlee Jobrack, a long-time textbook editor for SRA-McGraw Hill, explains in Tyranny of the Textbook that some of the reason why is that textbooks have not changed. Teachers keep teaching the way they always have, and publishers print books that make them happy, whether it’s based on research about how children learn best or not. Jobrack also explains why the Khan Academy and crazes over much education technology are non-research-supported fads. Listen here.
ON TECHNOLOGY: Eric M. Fraser discusses his extensive research and writing on municipal wi-fi systems, finding them to be more expensive and less effective than promised by governments willing to put taxpayers on the hook to pay for them. Fraser also addresses the technical and regulatory limitations of municipal wi-fi systems. Listen here.
ON BUDGET: Kentucky legislators have been negotiating a new budget in a room that’s been roped off and blocked by armed guards to keep people out. Bluegrass Institute President Jim Waters has been one of the leaders in the fight for more budget transparency in Kentucky, where, armed guards notwithstanding, the transparency movement has seen some victories. Listen here.
ON FINANCE: C-FIRE Deputy Director R.J. Lehmann provides an update on important insurance issues in Washington, including the Federal Insurance Office’s delayed report on improving U.S. insurance regulation, claims that taxpayers could make a “profit” on the AIG bailout, and Republican frontrunner Mitt Romney’s past support of a federal backstop for catastrophe insurance risks. Listen here.