Tales of a ‘you-can’t-scare-me’ education reformer

August 6, 2013

Our new Achiever Spotlight tells the story of Terry Stoops, Director of Research and Education Policy Analyst at the John Locke Foundation: The odds have always been against Terry Stoops. As an advocate for expanding parental choice in education, Terry has been a minority in a world dominated by education bureaucrats. He has faced formidable foes in North Carolina — the education establishment, including the powerful N.C. Association of Educators — that stand against parental empowerment and choice and fight to maintain the status quo. But Terry has never backed down from the fight, and recently his commitment has produced results. Since a Republican majority took control of the North Carolina legislature in 2011, Terry has played an even more important role contributing to the policy dialog on schools — and he’s been a leader in reaching common sense reforms. As Director of Research at the John Locke Foundation, a free-market think tank in Raleigh, North...

Educating future — and current — economists about their past

July 23, 2013

Categories: Education

Our new Grantee Profile focuses on the Center for the History of Political Economy at Duke University, an academic center designed to teach the origins of one of the most essential disciplines of all time — economics: Human beings are fascinated by stories of origins: How life began, how nations were founded, how civilizations rise and fall, and how concepts were developed. Jumping off that natural interest in beginnings, Dr. Bruce Caldwell has established a world-class academic center at Duke University —the Center for the History of Political Economy — designed to teach the origins of one of the most essential disciplines of all time: economics. That’s an important mission, because the history of economic thought is all-too-often overlooked in economics curriculum. Many recently graduated economists understand current theories and practice, but lack a firm grasp of their profession’s history — where theories originated, and who originated them. Caldwell is...

Being rather than seeming

July 10, 2013

Categories: Education

Our new Achiever Spotlight tells the story of Travis Fisher, who became a free-market economist from the political left: Travis Fisher experienced a political epiphany as a junior in college: He wanted to become an advocate for free markets. Until then, Travis considered himself a confused, left-leaning moderate in his political philosophy. Then a two-fold revelation occurred — he began reading the works of the French classical liberal theorist Frederic Bastiat and he took a course in economics at N.C. State University. Both set him on the path to fiscal conservatism. “I came to believe in free markets from the political left,” Travis said. “I remember thinking the way that Bastiat explained the economic harmony that emerges from free markets appealed to me the most.” Soon afterward, Travis switched to an economics major — a decision that he’s never regretted. From the moment he took his first economics course, the subject matter clicked with him. “That was...

Reaching the physicians of tomorrow with free-market principles

July 2, 2013

The Associated Press reports on the rising tide of free-market, limited government thought in medical schools through the Benjamin Rush Institute (known as Benjamin Rush Society at the time of this article): A new conservatism is beginning to emerge on some college campuses, spurred in part by opposition to President Barack Obama's signature health care law. Modeled after The Federalist Society for Law and Public Policy, which has molded several generations of legal thinkers at the nation's law schools, this new wave of conservative thinkers is looking to take root in graduate schools of business, medicine and foreign policy. One of the fastest-growing conservative alternatives is the Benjamin Rush Society, whose members support a free-market, limited government approach to medicine. The organization says its ranks have swelled since passage of the federal Affordable Care Act. "Thirty to 40 years ago, the rule of law was a joke. It wasn't taken seriously," said Dr. Beth...

Preparing young people for leadership in America

Categories: Education

Our new Grantee Profile focuses on The Fund for American Studies, a nonprofit that prepares young people for leadership, with particular emphasis on economics: The time was the late 1960s. The United States was engulfed in a seismic cultural and political shift. Radicalism dominated college campuses. Confidence in the American system of government was on the decline. That atmosphere prompted former New Jersey Governor Charles Edison, in 1967, to lay the foundation for what would become the Fund for American Studies, a nonprofit that organizes training programs to teach college students the values of freedom, individual responsibility, and free markets. Today, TFAS has over 13,500 alumni representing 1,900 colleges and universities, all 50 states, and 113 countries. Built around training young people to be the leaders of tomorrow, TFAS targets students interested in fields of study that are particularly influential in society: journalism, government, political science,...

Ben Carson: America must be virtuous to remain free

July 1, 2013

Dr. Ben Carson began — and ended — his speech on the evening of June 27 by referencing a quote attributed to the French political thinker and historian Alex de Tocqueville. “America is great because she is good,” de Tocqueville said. “If America ceases to be good, America will cease to be great.” Spring boarding off that sentiment, Carson encouraged an audience of 700 at a fundraiser for Upper Room Christian Academy (lead by John Amanchukwu) to defend and renew virtue, civil discourse, and the free-market economy in the United States. “Let us seize the opportunity to truly be good, so that we can hand off to our progeny a great nation,” Carson said. Carson, the director of pediatric neurosurgery at Johns Hopkins University, wowed the crowd gathered at the Raleigh Convention Center in downtown Raleigh, North Carolina. The speech was the headline event for the URCA’s scholarship fundraiser, which generated $250,000 toward giving low-income students an...

Pope Foundation Announces New Feature: ‘Liberty Leaders”

June 26, 2013

RALEIGH, N.C. JUNE. 26, 2013 — The John William Pope Foundation, one of the top-giving philanthropies in North Carolina, has announced a new feature on its website — Liberty Leaders. The series features stories of generous free-market, conservative philanthropists and the causes and people they support and help. "A bedrock of civilized, free society is individual generosity," said Dave Riggs, Vice President for Operations and Programs at the Pope Foundation. "We're excited to create this new feature that will highlight the lives of individuals who give generously in the name of liberty — and hopefully convince others to do the same." In addition to Liberty Leaders, the Pope Foundation has two other series — Grantee Profiles, which focuses on the good work of nonprofits in our community, and Achiever Spotlights, which highlight the lives of individuals who have achieved much, thanks in large part to nonprofits supported by the Foundation. For more information or...