The biggest headline in Idaho’s November 6 election was the defeat of three education reform measures that would have limited collective bargaining by teachers, formalized a merit pay program and increased the use of technology in Idaho schools, including laptops for high school students.

In the wake of the three defeats, the Idaho State Board of Education has repealed a requirement that high school students take at least two online classes and education stakeholders have put out feelers for negotiations in the lead up to the 2013 Legislative session.

Here at The Blue Review, we took an interest in the funding of the pro-reform campaign, unique in that many large donors who contributed anonymously at first, were later forced to disclose their political contributions. That research led us to the new concept of “venture philanthropy” or “social venture capital.”

From Joanne Barkan at Dissent.

A few billion dollars in private foundation money, strategically invested every year for a decade, has sufficed to define the national debate on education; sustain a crusade for a set of mostly ill-conceived reforms; and determine public policy at the local, state, and national levels. In the domain of venture philanthropy—where donors decide what social transformation they want to engineer and then design and fund projects to implement their vision—investing in education yields great bang for the buck.

Though state-level exit polling was canceled in 19 states this year, the Utah Colleges Exit Poll at BYU continues to gather data.

From Kelly Patterson at Utah Data Points.

National exit polls showed that Latinos made up 10% of the vote on election day. 71% of those voters supported President Obama.

Utah, for the moment, seems to be bucking that trend. While 13% of Utah residents are of Hispanic or Latino descent (compared to about 17% nationally), Utah Colleges Exit poll results show that only about 5.2% of Utah voters are Latino (It was 4.5% in 2008). While Latinos are the second largest ethnic group in the Utah electorate, they are still dwarfed by the 89% of the state’s electorate that is white.

Lots of melting pot/demographic change discussion post-election:
From Timothy Egan in The New York Times.

Slavery and polygamy are indeed relics, for the American story is one of working past the barbarism, past the irrational hatred — an arc of enlightenment, with dips along the way.

All of which makes Tuesday’s election worth looking at from a longer, wider view. The audacity of electing a black man or a Mormon bishop to lead the free world is something, still. But the overarching Great Experiment — the attempt to create a big, educated, multi-racial, multi-faith democracy that is not divided by oligarchical gaps between rich and poor — is still hanging in the balance.

From Business Insider Chart of the Day.

Chart of the Day: HP since Hurd left

Business Insider @chartoftheday
HP stock performance since Mark Hurd was forced out almost a year ago.

Is the extinction of the physical book inevitable?

From Anthony Daniels in The New Criterion.

If so, why should such an eventuality cause me to grieve? After all, I had felt no particular sorrow at the disappearance of the typewriter. (A film with a scene in a typing pool now strikes us as irresistibly comic, as if all those typists were simpletons or country bumpkins.) Nevertheless, I grew uneasy, like a man who had spent all his life on arcane alchemical studies only to realize towards the end, when it is too late to take up anything else, that scientific chemistry had rendered all his endeavors nugatory: that he had, in fact, devoted his earthly existence to the search for a chimera and frittered his time away on a child’s illusion.

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The views and opinions expressed here are those of the writer and do not necessarily reflect those of Boise State University, the Center for Idaho History and Politics, or the School of Public Service.