Category Archives: Blog

From Math to Marksmanship: Military Ties to Gamified Assessments

This past February, economist James Heckman convened a working group of social scientists to discuss new types of assessments that are being designed to capture data about children’s social-emotional traits and predict future behaviors. The researchers spent two days in an oak-paneled room at the University of Chicago where they collaborated on the new assessments […]

Is Robert Dugger setting up Robin Hood to steal from the poor?

More on the people behind ReadyNation’s Global Business Summit on Early Childhood, November 1-2, 2018 New York City Who is Robert Dugger? Robert Dugger is the co-founder of ReadyNation and serves on the board of the Council for a Strong America. He began his career as an economist with the Board of Governor’s that oversees […]

Test Scores and Child Hunger: The Cold Calculus of Pay for Success Predators

When I give food to the poor they call me a saint. When I ask why the poor have no food, they call me a Communist. Dom Helder Camara, Brazilian Catholic archbishop and important figure in liberation theology (1909-1999) Wrench in the Gears is primarily a blog about education, and the dehumanizing influence technology wields […]

The Chicago School of Economics And George Soros: New Theories for an Impoverished World

The Human Capital and Economic Opportunity Global Working Group (HCEO), referenced in my prior post, is run by James Heckman, Stephen Durlauf, and Robert Dugger. It operates out of the Center for the Economics of Human Development (CEHD) at the University of Chicago, and its fiscal sponsor is the Institute for New Economic Thinking (INET), an […]

Heckman and Pritzker Pitch Apps as Poverty “Solutions” Yielding a 13% Return on Investment

This is the fourth in a series providing context for the Global Business Summit on Early Childhood that ReadyNation will be hosting in New York City November 1-2, 2018. The featured image is from an article pitching Waterford Upstart online preschool, piloted in Utah, a state experimenting with funding early childhood education using social impact bonds. […]

Galton and Global Education Futures Forum: Scientific Racism Looking Backwards and Forwards

Psychology, Economics and Human Capital I spent much of my weekend researching Dr. James Heckman, Nobel prize-winning professor of economics from the University of Chicago who specializes in research around investments in human capital. I plan to write a more extensive piece on him shortly. In the meantime you can check out his Little Sis map-in-progress […]

Making Childhood Pay: Arthur Rolnick, Steven Rothschild, and ReadyNation

This post provides additional background on the ReadyNation Global Business Summit on Early Childhood Education that will take place at the Grand Hyatt hotel in New York City November 1-2, 2018. No U.S. educators or policy advocates may attend unless they come with at least four pre-approved business sponsors. Review the draft agenda here. This […]

Pre-K Profit: ReadyNation Hosts Global Business Leaders In New York City This November

Business executives, government officials, and representatives of non-profits and NGOs from across the globe will gather in New York City this fall to discuss the business of early childhood. These are not people looking to open childcare franchises. No, that is not their “business.” The intent is more sinister, transforming our youngest learners into points […]

“Yes, I am an advisor for Ridge-Lane.” Superintendent Hite May 17, 2018

Testimony to the Philadelphia School Reform Commission May 17, 2018 Read my previous post about Dr. Hite and Ridge-Lane, testimony given during Philadelphia City Council budget hearings on May 16, here. “Ridge-Lane, Limited Partners is a merchant bank co-founded by former Governor Tom Ridge and R. Brad Lane. The firm “specializes in corporate strategy and venture […]

Speaking Out Against Pay for Success, Predatory Public-Private Partnerships and Dr. Hite’s Ties to Ridge-Lane, LP

As the parent of a public school student and a citizen of Philadelphia, I arrived at Council Chambers today to convey my concern about Superintendent William Hite’s involvement with former Governor Tom Ridge’s merchant banking advisory firm Ridge-Lane, LP and to get it on the record.  Full list of team members viewable as a PDF […]