In early 2015, the Tiverton Taxpayer Association released and disseminated its first newsletter, with significant content and graphics design from Justin, including a crossword puzzle with clues from local politics.
Preparing for public debate around legislation that would bring real school choice to Rhode Island, the RI Center for Freedom & Prosperity began to look into the lay of the education land in the state. For this short report, Justin explored the nation-leading use of religiously affiliated private schools (generally a lower-cost option) in Rhode Island and the evidence that such schools are comparable to their peers in other states, even as Ocean State public schools lag.
As the RI Center for Freedom & Prosperity revved up to promote the concept of school choice (education savings accounts, specifically) during the state’s legislative session, one area in which the public clearly needed more information was the performance of its students compared with those in other states. The National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) tests are among the most widely accepted source for such comparisons. To make it possible to cut the data in ways that might reveal underlying trends, Justin developed an interactive online application.
When erstwhile Cool Moose political candidate Bob Healey made a surprise post-primary entry into the race for governor on the Moderate Party ticket (under a legal loophole related to the Moderate candidate’s health), Justin was a prominent voice arguing that the move was wrong. Matt Allen invited him on the radio to discuss the matter.