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May 8, 2017

Trade
What's Behind Obama’s Push to Attract Foreign Businesses?

Last week the Obama administration hosted the first-ever national summit showcasing the United States as an attractive place to do business, part of a newish initiative called SelectUSA. The event wa…

U.S. President Barack Obama speaks at the SelectUSA 2013 Investment Summit in Washington

May 8, 2017

Education
What Does Adult Mediocrity Mean for U.S. Competitiveness? It's Complicated

It is old news that average American student performance is mediocre on international tests. With the recent release of the OECD’s first survey of adult skills, we now know that American adults conti…

Thomas Michel, a professor at Harvard Medical School, waits for the start of the 360th Commencement Exercises at Harvard University in Cambridge, Massachusetts May 26, 2011. (Brian Snyder/Courtesy Reuters)

May 8, 2017

Education
Making Colleges Accountable: One Step Forward, But More to Go

The most ambitious part of President Obama’s new college accountability plan unveiled in August—tying the eligibility of schools for federal student aid to demonstrated results in preparing students …

College students take their seats at a diploma ceremony (Brian Snyder/Reuters).

May 8, 2017

Infrastructure
Transportation: Overhyped “Can-Do” States and P3s

Advocates for more U.S. transportation spending are accustomed to discouraging news. So it is understandable they would claim a resounding victory when a handful of (small) “can-do” states manage to …

A police vehicle escorts visitors through one of two tunnels that will replace a stretch of California's Highway 1 near Pacifica, California on March 25, 2013 (Robert Galbraith/Courtesy Reuters).

May 8, 2017

Education
The U.S. Demographic “Advantage” Reconsidered

In the litany of Washington debates about current and future U.S. economic competitiveness, demographics is consistently placed on the advantage side of the U.S. competitiveness ledger. A broad view …

President Obama holds up a baby after speaking in Las Vegas (Larry Downing/Courtesy Reuters).

May 8, 2017

Infrastructure
The Sales Tax: The New Way to Fund Transportation?

Engineers have been browbeating U.S. policymakers about the dire state of the country’s infrastructure for years. This year is no different. Last week the American Society of Civil Engineers gave U.S…

Cars wait in a traffic jam in New York City (Mike Segar/Courtesy Reuters).

May 8, 2017

Education
The Critical Missing Education Piece: Universal Pre-K

President Obama’s call in last week’s State of the Union address for high-quality pre-kindergarten education for all American children is long overdue. The rest of the developed world is well ahead …

Pre-school graduation (Paul Schultz/Flickr).

May 8, 2017

Education
Education: Do International Test Scores Matter?

We’ve all seen the headlines: American students are far from stellar performers on international tests. Whether it’s the OECD’s oft-cited gold-standard PISA test on math and reading, the TIMSS test o…

A preschooler on his first day of school in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia (Bazuki Muhammad/Courtesy Reuters).

May 8, 2017

Trade
Expensive and Long U.S. Campaigns: A Competitive Disadvantage?

Of the competitive disadvantages faced by the United States, its democratic system is not supposed to be one of them. Quite the opposite. The stability of the U.S. democratic process and the trusted …

A member of the audience yawns behind a copy of her program at the Franklin County Lincoln Day Dinner, where U.S. Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney delivered remarks (Jonathan Ernst/Courtesy Reuters).

October 7, 2008

Climate Change
Climate Change Expert Worries Financial Crisis Will be ’Excuse’ to Delay Action

The UN special envoy on climate change for Papua New Guinea discusses the implications the financial crisis has for international efforts on climate change.