• Research Report

    Elective Surgery: Budget deficits require elected officials to reassess course offerings

    posted February 13, 2011 by Dr. Terry Stoops
    North Carolina needs a thorough review of the number and types of courses offered in its public schools, especially during tight budget times. There is no evidence that school districts or the state has conducted an audit of the costs and outcomes or elective courses. A statewide curriculum audit would be a sound way to reduce costs and refocus our curriculum on the core skills that many of our public school students so desperately need.
  • Research Report

    Demand Management: Social engineering by any other name …

    posted October 27, 2010 by Dr. Roy Cordato
    Over the past decade the “demand side management” (DSM) model of public policy has crept into the state of North Carolina’s approach to regulation. Advocates of DSM are clear in making explicit their goals of social engineering and the rearrangement of lifestyles. The language in their guiding documents are replete with references to “behavior modification” and “restraining and restricting” certain activities or lifestyle choices. DSM is inconsistent with a free society, where the role of government is to respond to constituent demands, not manage and control them.
  • Research Report

    Public Transit in North Carolina

    posted September 15, 2010 by Randal O’Toole
    North Carolina highway users are subsidizing other programs at the rate of slightly more than a penny per passenger mile. The total cost of driving in North Carolina is no more than 22 cents per passenger mile. By comparison, the state average cost of public transit is $1.15 per passenger mile, nearly $1 of which is subsidized by non-transit users. Driving is more energy efficient and produces less carbon emissions than almost any transit system in North Carolina.
  • Research Report

    Good Classroom ‘Disruption’: Use the Internet to expand educational options in rural school districts

    posted August 15, 2010 by Dr. Terry Stoops
    North Carolina has the infrastructure to expand online course offerings significantly. Districts that enroll few students in online courses generally have a higher per-pupil expenditure than those that enroll a higher number of virtual school students.This report offers several recommendations, including introduce virtual charter schools; expanding online course offerings from private and for-profit companies, community colleges, and universities; and developing off-site high school campuses.
  • Research Report

    Wind Power and the Ridge Law: N.C. Legislature Should Stop Providing Special Treatment for Wind Power

    posted August 23, 2009 by Daren Bakst
    Wind power advocates are pushing for commercial wind turbines along the mountain ridgelines - the mountains and the coast are the only locations where wind is viable in North Carolina. These commercial wind turbines can be as tall as 500 feet or the height of 50-story skyscrapers. The Ridge Law generally prohibits most tall buildings over 40 feet from being built along the ridgelines.
  • Research Report

    Why North Carolina Should Not Build High-Speed Rail

    posted June 24, 2009 by Randal O’Toole
    Because of their high costs, tiny benefits, and interference with property rights, North Carolina should not attempt to provide high-speed rail service. Instead, it should use its share of the $8 billion stimulus funds solely for incremental upgrades, such as safer grade crossings and signaling systems, that do not obligate state taxpayers to pay future operations and maintenance costs.
  • Research Report

    Mental Health Reform: Steps Toward Improvement

    posted October 14, 2008 by Joseph Coletti
    Mental health reform began in 2001, but has had disappointing results. This paper examines major areas of the mental health system – care management, criminal justice, provider networks, supplemental services, and payment. It offers some evolutionary steps toward improvement.

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