Washington, we can do this

By now, everyone has heard of the story of baseball’s Oakland Athletics and their 2002 season, immortalized by Michael Lewis in the book (and the movie) Moneyball. Recognizing his team’s limitations and scarce resources, Oakland general manager Billy Beane pioneered the use of performance data, rather than unscientific scouting reports, to drive his player draft […]

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In politics, does evidence matter?

One of the lovely formulations in John F. Kennedy’s inaugural addressexpressed his hope that “a beachhead of cooperation may push back the jungle of suspicion.” Kennedy was talking about the Cold War, but we could use a little of this in the partisan and ideological warfare that engulfs our nation’s capital. And so let us […]

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Test lets Wisconsin schools see how they stack up internationally

It’s been known for a while that U.S. students trail their counterparts in some other countries on academic performance measures. But some Wisconsin high schools are actually performing above the level of the highest-performing “economy” in the world — Shanghai, China — according to results from an international exam. Last spring, almost 300 high schools, […]

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