Updated Invitation – Truth, Errors, and Lies: Politics and Economics in a Volatile World

The Program on America and the Global Economy (PAGE)

Presents a Book Launch:

Truth, Errors, and Lies

Politics and Economics  in a Volatile World

Featuring: Professor Grzegorz W. Kolodko, Director, Transformation, Integration, and Globalization Economic Research (TIGER)

Moderated by: John Milewski, Host, Dialogue Radio & Television

Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars

Professor Grzegorz W. Kolodko is an intellectual leader and politician, a key architect of Polish reforms, and a renowned expert on economic policy. In 1989 he took a part in historical Round Table negotiations leading to the first post-communist government in Central Europe. While Deputy Premier and Minister of Finance (1994-97) he led Poland into membership in the OECD. Holding the same positions again in 2002-03 he played an important role in Poland’s integration with the European Union. He is the founder and Director of TIGER – Transformation, Integration and Globalization Economic Research – at Kozminski University in Warsaw.  A university professor, researcher, consultant to international organizations, and columnist, he is the author of numerous academic books and research papers on development policy and systemic transformation published in 25 languages.  In English his books include From Shock to Therapy. The Political Economy of Postsocialist Transformation (Oxford UP, 2000), Globalization and Catching-up In Transition Economies (Rochester UP, 2002), The Polish Miracles. Lessons for Emerging Markets (Ashgate, 2005), The World Economy and Great Post-Communist Change (Nova Science 2006), and Truth, Errors and Lies. Politics and Economics in a Volatile World (Columbia University Press 2011). Professor Kolodko is a marathon runner and the globetrotter who’s explored almost 150 countries. He is also a music lover and a photographer.

Tuesday, February 1st:  2:00 to 3:30 p.m.

4th Floor Conference Room, Woodrow Wilson Center

RSVP (acceptances only) to page@wilsoncenter.org

Posted by: PAGE Staff

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Competition Rewards STEM Scholarship in National Security

The Colorado Homeland Defense Alliance (CDHA) recently announced that it is holding its fifth annual National Security Innovation Competition (NSIC), open to submissions from undergraduate and graduate-level students from the United States and Canada.  Competitors will address a wide variety of national security issues, with past students submitting innovative projects in biometrics, Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAV’s), cyber-security, infrastructure security, border security and first responder support systems.

Coming on the heels of President Obama’s State of the Union address in which he called for improving math and science education, the NSIC is garnering attention from donor organizations and potential judges. Representatives from DOD, DHS, NORAD and other major government defense sectors will join executives from the Aerospace Corporation and Raytheon to choose the winners of this year’s competition, where prizes to the three top finalists should exceed last year’s record of $35,000.

Dr. Ron Scott, the competition’s program director, notes that the incentive-based competition “stimulate[s] college undergraduate and graduate student interest to address national security problem-solving by exposing their university-sponsored projects to a broad audience including industry, academic, and government organizations.”

United States students currently rank well behind their counterparts in countries such as China and Singapore on STEM subjects, and Michael Volcheff, the CEO of CDHA, stresses that “now is an important time to recognize science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) talent within our universities and colleges.”

Innovative ideas from academia, like the ones sure to be on display in this competition, can translate into economic success and increase international competitiveness in the private sector, provided there is a healthy relationship between corporations and scientists.  As a recent RAND report highlights, “if countries are to stay ahead in their capacity to implement applications, they will need to make continuing efforts to ensure that laws, public opinion, investment in R&D, and education and literacy are drivers for, and not barriers to, technology implementation.”  Fora like the Security Innovation Network that bring innovators and private companies together have been growing over the past decade, and the continued cooperation between science and industry has the potential to greatly  impact the future competitiveness of the American defense sector.

Posted by: John Coit

Sources: National Defense University, Benzinga, Examiner, LiveScience, RAND

Photo Credit: BEST OF THE MARINE CORPS – May 2006 – Defense Visual Information Center by flickr user expertinfantry


Congress and the Education Deficit

The following is an event summary from an event held by the Congress Project and co-sponsored by the Program on America and the Global Economy.

The video archive can be found here.

Congressman Tom Petri (R-Wisc.) a senior member of the House Education and the Workforce Committee, observed that, “we have been hearing for some time now about how the United States is falling behind other countries educationally.  Before it was Japan that was 10-feet tall, now it’s China.  It has led me to wonder whether people are crying ‘wolf’ or whether there is really something to it.  I’ve concluded it’s probably half-true.”  Petri was referring to a recently published survey of 15-year old students in the 34 wealthiest nations in the world showing the U.S. ranked 17th in reading, 23rd in science, and 31st in math.  Petri said the results are questionable because “we’re not comparing apples to apples;” the U.S. has a very diverse educational system compared to other countries.  In talking to foreign diplomats whose children go to school in the Washington suburbs, he said, they consistently say their children are getting a much better education here because their experiences are more rounded than in their home countries.

“A lot of children do fall by the wayside in our system for a variety of reasons,” Petri said, “and we’re redefining education to address that—from when you get up in the morning to when you go bed at night.  But we have to ask ourselves how much public schools can realistically be responsible for.”  Petri said one of the biggest mismatches he has noticed is between the demands of industry for technically skilled workers and the inability of our educational system to provide students who are properly trained.  Petri said he thought the Elementary and Secondary Education Act, with its centerpiece No Child Left Behind Act (NCLB), will be reauthorized in this Congress, but that it will probably be broken into several bills to make it more manageable.  He said some legitimate criticisms have been leveled against NCLB, such as it being too inflexible and forcing teachers to “teach for the test,” and these concerns must be addressed by this Congress. Read more of this post

Competition, Innovation, and Education to be focus in Obama’s State of the Union

President Barack Obama yesterday released a preview of his 2011 State of the Union address, which might shed some light onto the White House’s core policy goals for the upcoming year.  Topping the President’s list of topics is jobs, with the speech stressing not only the immediacy of the current recovery, but the need for America to “out-innovate,” “out-compete” and “out-educate” other nations in the coming years.

In the past two years President Obama has tried to add incentives to boost innovative education reform with programs like Race to the Top.   The most sweeping education legislation however, the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA), or “No Child Left Behind” (NCLB), has not been re-authorized since 2005.  Last March the White House released a blueprint for renewing and improving the bill, including substantial provisions for cutting-edge STEM programs.

Major questions remain, however, about whether comprehensive education policy is the best way to address underperforming schools. Rep. John Kline (R-MN), the new chair of the House Education and Workforce Committee, said in a statement that he wants to “pull back federal involvement in the day-to-day operation of our classrooms.”

In a recent Washington Post Op-Ed, Obama’s Secretary of Education Arne Duncan called for bipartisan agreement on ESEA re-authorization, hoping to find common ground on more flexible standards and effective incentives.  Gene Sperling, the new director of the National Economic Council, echoed Duncan’s call at an Aspen Institute panel on technology in education last week to reiterate that education is “core economics” for the Obama team, and that competitiveness in education will be essential for creating “long-term jobs in the future.”

Posted by: John Coit

Sources: The Washington Post, Bloomberg News, Education Week, US Dept. of Education

Photo Credit: State of the Union: Jan. 27, 2010, courtesy of flickr user White House

Watch Live: Congress and the Education Deficit

The live webcast of this event has now concluded.  To watch an archived video of the event please click here.

The Congress Project at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars

&

The Congressional Black Caucus Foundation

cordially invite you to a seminar

“Congress and the U.S. Education Deficit”

Monday, January 24, 2011

4:00-6:00 p.m.

Congressman Donald Payne (D-NJ)

Congressman Tom Petri (R-Wisc.)

William T. Gormley, Jr., Professor of Government and Public Policy, Georgetown University

Laura Moore, Project and Policy Manager, Civic Enterprises

Most Americans think the quality of American public education has been declining in recent years and worry their children will not be able to compete in the new global economy.  A survey of 15 years olds in the 34 most wealthy countries by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development tends to bear that assessment out: U.S. students ranked 14th in reading, 17th in science and 25th in math.  The No Child Left Behind Act of 2001 was designed to improve student educational outcomes by encouraging states to set standards in basic skills and then holding schools accountable for them.   While some measurable progress has been made, NCLB has stirred a storm of controversy among politicians, parents and educators alike, delaying a renewal of the program for four years now.  Will the 112th Congress finally act to renew and improve the legislation, as the Obama Administration has requested, or will it again meet resistance for fiscal and policy reasons.  This panel will explore the issues and controversies involved and the prospects for bipartisan cooperation on educational reform in the new Congress.

Fifth floor Conference Room

Woodrow Wilson Center, 1300 Pennsylvania Avenue, N.W., Washington, DC

A reception will follow the program.

This is a free public event; but RSVPs are requested.

Please respond with acceptances only to congress@wilsoncenter.org

Posted by: PAGE Staff

U.S. Energy Security Policy: A Global Perspective

The following is an event summary from an event sponsored by America and the Global Economy at the Woodrow Wilson Center held on January 11, 2011.

The video archive can be found here.

“Open energy markets—which is the ability of oil and gas to flow to the purchaser—is really the core of our energy security,” said David Goldwyn, the State Department’s special envoy for international energy affairs. Making sure markets are open, fair, and transparent is one of five tenets of the administration’s global energy security agenda that he discussed at a January 11 Director’s Forum.

Another tenet in the administration’s agenda is promoting policies that increase efficient energy use at home and abroad. On the domestic front, Goldwyn said, the administration has increased fuel efficiency standards; increased investments in mass transit; raised building and appliance standards, and launched technology partnerships to develop energy-efficient initiatives. Looking abroad, the United States is working through the G-20 to help other countries reduce inefficient fossil fuels and develop low carbon emission strategies “so they can change their energy mix to use less and go farther,” said Goldwyn. Read more of this post

You are Invited – Truth, Errors, and Lies: Politics and Economics in a Volatile World

The Program on America and the Global Economy (PAGE)

Presents a Book Launch:

Truth, Errors, and Lies

Politics and Economics  in a Volatile World

Featuring: Professor Grzegorz W. Kolodko, Director, Transformation, Integration, and Globalization Economic Research (TIGER)

Moderated by: Kent Hughes, Director, Program on America and the Global Economy,

Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars

Professor Grzegorz W. Kolodko is an intellectual leader and politician, a key architect of Polish reforms, and a renowned expert on economic policy. In 1989 he took a part in historical Round Table negotiations leading to the first post-communist government in Central Europe. While Deputy Premier and Minister of Finance (1994-97) he led Poland into membership in the OECD. Holding the same positions again in 2002-03 he played an important role in Poland’s integration with the European Union. He is the founder and Director of TIGER – Transformation, Integration and Globalization Economic Research – at Kozminski University in Warsaw.  A university professor, researcher, consultant to international organizations, and columnist, he is the author of numerous academic books and research papers on development policy and systemic transformation published in 25 languages.  In English his books include From Shock to Therapy. The Political Economy of Postsocialist Transformation (Oxford UP, 2000), Globalization and Catching-up In Transition Economies (Rochester UP, 2002), The Polish Miracles. Lessons for Emerging Markets (Ashgate, 2005), The World Economy and Great Post-Communist Change (Nova Science 2006), and Truth, Errors and Lies. Politics and Economics in a Volatile World (Columbia University Press 2011). Professor Kolodko is a marathon runner and the globetrotter who’s explored almost 150 countries. He is also a music lover and a photographer.

Tuesday, February 1st:  2:00 to 3:30 p.m.

5th Floor Conference Room, Woodrow Wilson Center

RSVP (acceptances only) to page@wilsoncenter.org

Posted by: PAGE Staff