Friday Edition


1. The School Choice Candidate

The school choice movement keeps gaining momentum — but who's the best presidential candidate for it? (WSJ)

GOP megadonor Jeff Yass answers that question in a new Wall Street Journal op-ed: “Through his education reforms, [President Obama] temporarily helped bring school choice to the fore and expanded it. Unfortunately owing largely to teachers union influence, Joe Biden has switched course and become the most anti-school-choice president in history.”

Yass acknowledged Donald Trump’s work on the issue, namely endorsing pro-school choice Republicans. As president, Trump issued an executive order expanding school choice via pandemic funds and pre-existing grants. He’s also campaigned on backing programs that let parents use government money for private school tuition.

Biden’s record is less convincing. His latest budget proposal contains $40 million in cuts to the federal Charter Schools Program.

70% of parents say they want more education options.

We showed this in the past few weeks, but it’s so overwhelming that it’s worth showing again: School choice has overwhelming support from a variety of groups:

  • 66% of Democrats

  • 80% of Republicans

  • 69% of Independents

  • 70% of Asian-Americans

  • 73% of black Americans

  • 71% of Hispanic-Americans

  • 71% of white Americans

Bubba’s Two Cents: School choice isn’t a sexy, attention-grabbing issue. But it has wide appeal, and it’s important to a lot of parents. While the 2024 election might not hinge on school choice, you could see it swaying more than a few votes.

2. Crucial to 2024

The 2024 election is likely to be a close one, which means swing state independent voters are poised to play a big role in the outcome. What do these voters look like? (Reuters)

They’re younger: 26% are Gen Z (born between 1997-2012) and 36% are Millennials (born between 1981-1996).

They’re relatively diverse: Just 48% of independents are white, compared to 77% of Republicans and 53% of Democrats.

They’re less educated: 74% don’t have college degrees (compared to 56% of Dems and 66% of GOP voters).

They tend to earn less: 40% have a household income under $50,000.

Their biggest concerns: The economy (75%) and crime (73%).

Bubba’s Two Cents: Based on the above profile, it's tough to say if President Biden or Donald Trump has a stronger grip on independent voters. It’s an indication of why so many people think the 2024 election is really anyone’s game.

3. Latinos Want the Wall

U.S. Hispanics have some pretty surprising views on immigration. (Axios)

A new Axios-Ipsos Latino poll:

  • Support among Latinos for building a border wall has increased by 12 points since December 2021, and is now at 42%.

  • 38% of Latinos support deporting all undocumented immigrants, up 10 points from 2021.

  • 64% of Latinos support giving the president the authority to shut U.S. borders.

  • Immigration ranks as the third-highest concern among Latinos, only behind inflation and crime.

Other polls have documented how Latinos are trending toward Donald Trump and the GOP.

Bubba’s Two Cents: Latinos’ rightward shift defies narratives from both left and right, who have both claimed that immigrants are destined to be a permanent Democratic voting bloc.

4. We Were Just Kidding About “Test-Optional”

The trend of elite colleges, like Harvard, Yale, Brown, M.I.T., and Caltech, making standardized testing optional for admissions is reversing in a big way. (Bloomberg)

Research on the impact of test-optional policies, conducted by schools like the University of Texas at Austin, might explain the sudden shift.

A recent analysis by UT: “Those who opted in had a median SAT score of 1420, compared with a median of 1160 among [students who didn’t submit standardized test scores]. … The higher standardized scores translated on average to better collegiate academic performance. Of 9,217 first-year students enrolled in 2023, those who opted in had an estimated average GPA of 0.86 grade points higher during their first fall semester.”

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