Brookings Today, 9/3/14

A roundup of some of the content published today by Brookings.

  • Are school superintendents irrelevant? Matt Chingos, Russ Whitehurst, and Katharine Lindquist examine the extent to which school district effects on student learning are due to the superintendent in charge, as compared to characteristics of districts that are independent of their leaders.  

  • The Arab “Digital” Spring. Stuart Brotman looks at data on Internet and social media usage in the Arab world, noting that “the success or failure of the colloquial Arab Spring will be strongly influenced—and perhaps determined—by another phenomenon: the Arab Digital Spring.”

  • Deficit hawks and doves are both right, and both wrong. Henry Aaron looks at the recent CBO numbers on the federal budget and concludes that while both sides’ arguments about taxing and spending have merit, “the nation should recognize that addressing the serious problems it currently faces requires more spending, not less.”