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#AskExcelinEd: What I’m Reading and Listening to This Summer

• Adam Peshek


During our #AskExcelinEd Summer Learning series, you’ll get to know some of ExcelinEd’s team as they share what they are learning over the summer. Remember to join us on social media to ask your burning policy questions. Enjoy!

ExcelinEd.Headshot.AdamPeshek.webMeet Adam Peshek

Managing Director of Opportunity Policy

I direct ExcelinEd’s work on school choice. My wife and I are currently house hunting in the Atlanta area, and the negative consequences of tying home values to school funding has never been so clear to me.

I Prefer…

E-Book over Print Book

Text over Phone Call

Smart Watch over Traditional Watch

Coffee over Tea

State Spotlight: Georgia

In Georgia, we expanded our tax-credit scholarship program by lifting the donation cap from $58 million to $100 million. This will literally translate to tens-of-thousands of new scholarships for students to attend a school of their choice in 2019.

My Favorite Podcast

The Arthur Brooks Show just launched this month. His approach to hard policy problems is needed now more than ever.

What I’m Reading

The Tyranny of Metricsby Jerry Muller. Today, organizations of all kinds are ruled by the belief that the path to success is quantifying human performance, publicizing the results and dividing up the rewards based on the numbers. But in our zeal to instill the evaluation process with scientific rigor, we’ve gone from measuring performance to fixating on measuring itself. The result is a tyranny of metrics that threatens the quality of our lives and most important institutions.

My Recommended News Reads

  • Why Do Americans Stay When Their Town Has No Future? – Bloomberg Businessweek. One of the more vexing problems in America is the growing inequality between booming metropolitan cities and declining industrial towns. In the past, workers were more mobile and willing to pack up and move to where the work was. But today, more and more people are sticking around in areas of economic decline.
  • A $76,000 Monthly Pension: Why States and Cities Are Short on Cash  – The New York Times. As people live longer and our society consists of more retired persons, American workers are going to feel pressure from costs associated with educating students who are not yet in the workforce and costs associated with an increasingly-elderly population. A growing problem in most states are the unfunded public sector pensions that are taking up more and more of state and local tax funds.

Thought Starter

ExcelinEd Resource Highlight

As the number of new public charter schools declines, the sector needs to find new and creative ways to create more school options for students. A new change in federal tax law creates the incentive for people to locate charter schools in low-income areas that have struggled to rebound from the Great Recession. Check out our analysis Growing Charter Schools Through Federal Opportunity Zones for more.

About the author

Adam Peshek @AdamPeshek

Adam Peshek is Managing Director of Opportunity Policy at ExcelinEd, where he provides strategic support to state leaders interested in developing, adopting, and implementing policies that increase educational options for children. He has provided expert testimony in more than a dozen state legislatures and is a frequent commentator on ESAs, school choice, and education policy across the country. He is also the is the co-editor of the first published volume on ESAs, Education Savings Accounts: The New Frontier in School Choice. Adam currently resides in Atlanta, Georgia and is a Senior Fellow with the Beacon Center of Tennessee.