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Do Michigan Charter Schools Get More Bang for the Buck?

The past year’s rise of Betsy DeVos as U.S. Secretary of Education has brought more attention to the performance of charter schools, both nationally and in her native Michigan. Charter schools are tuition-free, state-funded schools of choice that tend to operate with fewer dollars than other public schools. How well are charter schools doing with the resources they have?

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Laws of Evidence: How Sound Forensic Science Policy Can Help Prevent Wrongful Convictions

The Innocence Project is a well-known nonprofit organization whose goal is to exonerate the wrongfully convicted. Forty-six percent of its cases involved misapplied forensic science — meaning that a method, technique or analysis was conducted incorrectly. There have been 17 exonerations in Michigan involving misapplied forensic science. Now, in partnership with the Reason Foundation, the Innocence Project is calling for improvements to forensic science and for better transparency and quality control in crime labs. Panelists from the Innocence Project and Reason will discuss how the application of forensic science to criminal prosecutions can be improved by policy change and public education.

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Issues and Ideas Forum: Luncheons and Experts

Overview, e-mail notifications, and archives. Listen to Expert Speakers Over Lunch. more

Smart Regulations for the Coming Driverless Car Revolution

As you read this, a future that features driverless cars on city streets, interstate highways and maybe in your driveway is steadily unfolding. But before this future fully arrives, policymakers need to think hard about how to properly regulate these new technologies. Regulations, after all, are powerful and often blunt tools — they can be used to foster innovation, competition and economic growth, and they can be used to prevent change, snuff out invention and slow technological advances. The predicted benefits of autonomous vehicles to society are large and widespread, and Michigan needs to be ensure that its residents can take full advantage of these upsides.

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What Can We Learn from Michigan Parents Using School Choice?

An increasing number of Michigan families are exercising choice within the public education system. More than 300,000 students attend either a charter school or another public school across district lines, most often through Schools of Choice. While there has been much debate about how school choice is working in Michigan, the voices of parents seeking educational alternatives have largely not been included in the discussion.

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The New Fight for the Right: Where the Conservative Movement is Going

The Republican Party fully controls most states and at the national level has captured the House, Senate and presidency. By many measures, the party has more power than it has had in many decades. But will that control last? And, more importantly, what policy priorities are coming about from these political victories?

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Home Sharing: Michigan’s Next Property Rights Battle

Renting out the family summer cottage is a common practice in Michigan, but with today’s technologies, it’s easier than ever, empowered by companies like AirBnB, HomeAway, VRBO and more. These short-term rentals mean vacationers can find a place much more easily and inexpensively, while owners can earn some extra money. It seems like a win-win.

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Fighting for Free Speech on Michigan University Campuses

Some institutions of higher education have cracked down on free speech. Even in Michigan, universities have speech codes that restrict students’ speech, campus groups have prevented speakers from delivering talks and administrators have stopped individuals from handing outcertain literature.

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From the Model T to Driverless Cars: How Michigan Can Lead in Transportation Innovation

You may not have seen them on the highway yet, but autonomous vehicles are here. The potential benefits of this and related technologies are immense. But they also present new and unique regulatory and infrastructure challenges for state and local governments. Brent Skorup of the Mercatus Center has written extensively on these issues and will lay out the principles and practices policymakers should pursue when determining how to regulate these new technologies.

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Why Trump is Wrong About Trade

There aren’t many policies that get near unanimous support from economists, but free trade is one of them. Despite this, a central theme of the 2016 presidential campaign, heard from both political parties, was that free trade was somehow harmful to the United States and corrective action was needed. Mark Perry, an economics professor at the University of Michigan-Flint and scholar with the American Enterprise Institute, will make the case for why President Trump’s assessment of free trade is misguided.

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