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What We're Reading | March 16, 2012

Article by George W. Bush Presidential Center March 16, 2012 //   3 minute read

Many Teacher Pension Funds Underfunded, Analysis Finds:  “As a new generation of teachers replaces retiring baby boomers, financially strapped states face a quandary—what to do about teacher pensions.”  Michael Podgursky, Bush Institute Education Reform Fellow, and others weigh in on what is causing the pension fund shortfall. (Education Week) Egypt’s Full-Frontal Assault on Civil Society:  David J. Kramer, President of Freedom House, documents the unlawful NGO raids of December 29, 2011, the subsequent actions of the Egyptian government and how those actions represent “a betrayal of last year’s uprising and the ultimate sacrifices made by more than 800 Egyptians.” (The Washington Post, David J. Kramer) Pass the Books, Hold the Oil: Thomas Friedman explores the newly discovered relationship between student test scores and the economy of a nation. He focuses on the high performance of the Taiwanese despite their total lack of natural resources to support their economy.  The new study finds “a significant negative relationship between the money countries extract from national resources and the knowledge and skills of their high school population.” The Bush Institute’s Global Report Card shows a comparison of PISA scores on a U.S. school district level to other OECD countries. Take a look and see where your district ranks in comparison to Taiwan. (New York Times) In Tunisia, press freedoms are in the crosshairs: Tunisia has become the model for democratic transformation in the Arab world, but Elliott Abrams sheds light on some recent examples of Islamist pressures inhibiting the freedom of the press in the country, including several instances where journalists and publishers are being prosecuted. While these abuses of freedom of speech are lesser than those in other democratizing nations, it is because everyone is looking towards Tunisia to lead the way in its transformation that Abrams points out these Tunisian prosecutions and asks the world to pay special attention. (Washington Post)  

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