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Wednesday, March 14, 2012
5th Annual Gramlich Showcase of Student Work
4:00 PM -  6:00 PM

An evaluation of the Affordable Care Act and its effects for the poor. An analysis of carbon taxation using the case study of British Columbia. A study of the risks that divorce poses to women's ability to afford health insurance. An analysis of efforts to contain Somali-based pirates. An appraisal of Grenada's waste management systems.

Each spring, Ford School faculty and staff nominate dozens of outstanding student research and service projects for recognition at the Gramlich Showcase of Student Work. Established in 2008 to honor internationally renowned economist and former Ford School dean, Ned Gramlich, this event features exceptional student work on a broad range of local, national, and international policy challenges.

Monday, March 19, 2012
Michigan's Controversial Emergency Manager Law: A panel discussion on fundamental issues of governance
4:00 PM -  5:30 PM
Policy Talks @ the Ford School

Michigan's new "Emergency Manager" law (Public Act 4 of 2011, the Local Government and School District Fiscal Accountability Act) has garnered national attention and ignited debate on fundamental issues of democratic governance. Among the law's most controversial aspects is the transfer of power from local elected officials to unelected Emergency Managers, providing them the ability to make sweeping changes to local government, including the power to terminate collective bargaining agreements. Proponents of the law argue that it encourages local actors to make difficult decisions themselves, negotiating local agreements in order to avoid a state take-over. In cases where that fails, proponents argue that the law provides critical alternatives to municipal bankruptcy. Opponents argue that the law is undemocratic and unconstitutional, and they have launched efforts to overturn the Act.

Monday, March 26, 2012
Kids v. Adults: How Politics and Policy Conspire to Leave Children Behind
4:00 PM -  5:30 PM
Policy Talks @ the Ford School
Margaret Spellings

Lecture by the Honorable Margaret Spellings, Former U.S. Secretary of Education (2005-2009)

The seminal education law known as No Child Left Behind put critical pressure on our schools to dramatically improve education in America. Through accountability, testing, and consequences for failure, a more targeted focus on our neediest students has translated into measurable success for them. Since the law's passage ten years ago, we've learned much, including that more progress won't be made until we, as a nation, tackle the toughest issues: the use of people, time and valuable taxpayer dollars in more strategic and effective ways. Therein, lies the rub; will adults—policymakers, educators and parents—put the needs of students before their own? You be the judge as we discuss these urgent policy matters and the political dynamics at play.

Wednesday, March 28, 2012
War in Afghanistan: Costs of Failure and Costs of Success
4:00 PM -  5:30 PM
Ronald E. Neumann
President of The American Academy of Diplomacy

The war in Afghanistan is entering its eleventh year with the debate over continuing or withdrawing often reduced to little more than bumper sticker phrases. Former US ambassador to Afghanistan Ronald Neumann will discuss what is at stake, what may be possible and the political and strategic costs of both continuation and withdrawal.