Wanted: European Grand Strategy for War Against the Islamic State

Wanted: European Grand Strategy for War Against the Islamic State. YaleGlobal. Joergen Oerstroem Moeller. February 2, 2016.

Leaders of the Islamic State impose a rigid and fundamentalist interpretation of Islam, maintaining that the religion does not condone Western values of democracy, individual freedom, economic globalization or education. Moeller urges Europe to develop a grand strategy to combat extremism by recognizing how the long history of the Middle East influences political agendas, intensifying a laser focus on collecting intelligence, and praising Muslim leaders who insist that Islamic State actions contradict the religious faith. [Note: contains copyrighted material].

[HTML format, various paging].

Wildfires in the United States: A Primer

Wildfires in the United States: A Primer. Urban Institute. Vera Brusentsev and Wayne Vroman. January 28, 2016.

The report examines recent wildfires in the United States, summarizing their frequency, trends, and costs. It documents the increase in large wildfires and shows their concentration in western states. Cost and budget issues linked to wildfires are also examined. The report recommends ways to reduce the frequency and costs of wildfires along with measures to enhance the resilience of local communities to wildfires. Also noted is a misalignment of incentives in current wildfire policy. Local governments make most of the decisions that influence the cost of wildfires, but the federal government incurs most of the costs for preventing and suppressing wildfires. [Note: contains copyrighted material].

[PDF format, 22 pages, 465.47 KB].

What Supports Do Teachers Need to Help Students Meet Common Core State Standards for English Language Arts and Literacy?

What Supports Do Teachers Need to Help Students Meet Common Core State Standards for English Language Arts and Literacy? RAND Corporation. Julia H. Kaufman et al. January 28, 2016.

The majority of K-12 teachers are expected to address state standards for English language arts (ELA) and literacy, but many reported the need for professional development in order to help students meet these standards. [Note: contains copyrighted material].

[PDF format, 10 pages, 0.1 MB].

2012 Republican Primary Voters: More Conservative Than GOP General Election Voters: A Profile of the GOP Primary Electorate

2012 Republican Primary Voters: More Conservative Than GOP General Election Voters: A Profile of the GOP Primary Electorate. Pew Research Center. January 28, 2016.

A person’s past voting history can be a powerful predictor of future turnout. A new analysis of the Republican electorate in 2012, using the national voter file, reveals substantial attitudinal and demographic differences between verified GOP primary voters and Republicans who voted in the general election, but not the primaries. The study confirms the conventional wisdom that, in many ways, GOP primary voters were more conservative than those Republicans who did not participate in that year’s primaries but would eventually vote in the general election, both in their self-identification and in their political values. [Note: contains copyrighted material].

[PDF format, 10 pages, 546.2 KB].

Surging Liquefied Natural Gas Trade: How US Exports Will Benefit European and Global Gas Supply Diversity, Competition, and Security

Surging Liquefied Natural Gas Trade: How US Exports Will Benefit European and Global Gas Supply Diversity, Competition, and Security. Atlantic Council. Bud Coote. January 20, 2016.

The EU’s move toward a freer energy market and a global shift toward gas by climate-conscious consumers are likely to help fuel growing demand for U.S. liquefied natural gas (LNG) in the coming years, Bud Coote writes. [Note: contains copyrighted material].

[PDF format, 28 pages, 1.51 MB].

A Look at the Education Crisis: Tests, Standards, and the Future of American Education

A Look at the Education Crisis: Tests, Standards, and the Future of American Education. Center for American Progress. Ulrich Boser et al. January 26, 2016.

In many ways standards-based school reform is at a crossroads. On one side, the movement has made tremendous strides. A solid body of data demonstrates that the standards-based reform movement has shown success in raising student outcomes. In some areas, outcome indicators are on the rise. Over the past two decades, for instance, the number of students of color performing at grade level in reading and math has more than doubled in elementary and middle school. Meanwhile, high school graduation rates are the highest they have ever been: 81 percent of the class of 2013 received their diploma within four years. But clearly much work remains. Achievement gaps in many subject areas remain large, according to the authors. [Note: contains copyrighted material].

[PDF format, 25 pages, 1.01 MB].

Defense Modernization Plans through the 2020s

Defense Modernization Plans through the 2020s. Center for Strategic & International Studies. Todd Harrison. January 26, 2016.

Since the enactment of the Budget Control Act (BCA) of 2011, much attention has been paid to the near-term effects of budgetary constraints on national defense. What has received less attention are the looming budgetary challenges defense faces beyond the BCA budget caps and the Defense Department’s five-year budget planning horizon. The report details the plans for major acquisition programs over the next fifteen years and explores the complicating factors that may make the situation more problematic for policymakers. [Note: contains copyrighted material].

[PDF format, 42 pages, 2.12 MB].