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Gary Becker on Economic and Social Policy

24 Sep
Speaking before an audience of mainly University of Chicago alumni in the halls of the International Monetary Fund, Chicago School Nobel Laureate Gary Becker addressed education reform, human capital, immigration, and the thoughts of Austrian-ish economist Tyler Cowan:

The event left a little to be desired.  Becker’s remarks were a little nebulous and less than tart, in contradiction to what he promised in his prologue.  If you were familiar with the topics you could fill in the blanks or repair to his written works.  The questions were almost uniformly disappointing.

Becker is asked a question about Tyler Cowan’s statement on whether all the “low hanging fruit” in terms of investments in human capital have been found in the American economy, and answers a question on whether all the “low hanging fruit” in terms of economic research and PhD topics has been picked.

(This is around 35 minutes of Becker talking followed by 35 minutes of Q&A.  So until you see around 8 pieces of video loaded here it isn’t all up.  You can check the YouTube playlist Life of the Mind and see if the rest is there yet if interested.)

"Waiting for Superman" October 22

14 Oct


U Street, Washington DC [October 12, 2011] – Concluding the second season of the U Street Movie Series, the U Street Neighborhood Association’s Education Committee will host a free screening of Waiting for “Superman” followed by a panel discussion on education policy on Saturday, October 22, from 12 pm – 3:30 pm.

Waiting for “Superman” is a 2010 documentary film by director Davis Guggenheim and producer Lesley Chilcott that analyzes the failures of American public education by
following several students though the educational system, hoping to be selected in a lottery for acceptance in charter schools.

The film will be shown at Shaw at Garnet-Patterson Jr. High School at 2001 10th Street, NW, Washington, DC 20001. Admission is free and open to the public. Advanced registration is required to attend, as seating is limited. Please register at:

The panel consists of a variety of local education leaders, including:

Jackie Gran (Moderator) – Chief Policy & Partnerships Officer at New
Leaders for New Schools
Jason Kamras – DCPS Chief of Human Capital, featured in the film, and
neighborhood resident
Evelyn Boyd Simmons – ANC 2F Education Committee Chair, parent of
Garrison and Oyster elementary students
Reuben Jacobson – Senior Associate for Research/Strategy for Coalition
for Community Schools
Patrick Mara – Ward 1 DC State Board of Education Representative
Robinette Breedlove — Principal, Meridian Public Charter School
Kerry Sylvia — Teacher, Cardozo High School
Ann McLeod — Garrison Elementary PTA President and parent

The U Street Neighborhood Association is the most active all-volunteer, resident-based, community organization in the U Street neighborhood. For nearly 20 years, the U
Street Neighborhood Association has worked closely with neighbors, public officials and businesses to improve and advocate for everyone in the U Street neighborhood. The U Street Neighborhood Association’s Education Committee seeks to raise awareness, foster productive conversation about urban education and encourage involvement in the U
Street neighborhood schools.

Donation proceeds from this screening of Waiting for Superman and panel discussion will support the HandsOn Greater DC Cares 2012 Martin Luther King, Jr. Day of Service
in January, and will directly benefit our neighborhood schools. For more than six years, HandsOn Greater DC Cares has used this day as a vehicle to recognize Dr. King’s leadership, legacy, and life through acts of service focusing on school and education based non-profit organizations and engaging youth in service.