The State of the Union in Brief

In Tuesday night’s State of the Union address, President Obama outlined eight policy areas that he hopes will facilitate his broader goal of “Opportunity for All.” The goals were detailed further in the “enhanced” infographics and slides broadcast on during SOTU.

In recognition of the eight goals and the need for balanced, evidence-based policy solutions, CPR has pulled together articles from our archives to help better inform discussion on these topics. While these represent some of the most relevant research and thought leaders, more background can be found at

1.    Good Jobs Building 21st-Century Infrastructure

A Desperate Customer? The Growing Trend of PPPs in American Government

Recent study finds that political and ideological factors as well as increased congestion may be driving states to privatize their transportation infrastructure

The Metropolitan Revolution: An Interview with Houston’s Mayor Annise Parker

Mayor Annise Parker discusses the innovative nature of cities and the accomplishments of Houston

2.    Investing in a Clean Energy Future

Short-Circuiting: Budgeting Instability Reduces Alternative Energy Innovation

Instability in federal alternative energy investment is shown to reduce innovation in the sector

Blowin’ Through Texas: Local Wind Farm Economics

Wind farms create jobs in small communities. But are the economic benefits enjoyed most by city slickers?

3.    Leaving our Kids with Clean Air and Clean Water

Why We’ll Need More Than Just Inhalers if Climate Change and Air Pollution Persist

A large, multi-country study in Europe demonstrates a synergistic relationship between climate change and air pollution and their negative effects on respiratory health.

Cleaner at a Cost

A new study finds that Clean Air Act regulations reduce productivity in the manufacturing sector

4.    Training our Workforce for the Jobs of the Future

Filling in the Missing Pieces for Job Training Programs

Job providers focus on one or two niche industries to maximize impact for low-income, low-skilled workers

Fixing the Youth Jobs Pipeline

Workforce training programs should appeal to employers’ needs, not their charity

5.    A World-Class Education for Every Child

Learning “What Works” in Early Childhood Classrooms

Important evaluations like MDRC’s Foundations of Learning demonstration shed light on “what works” in improving early childhood programs and evaluate the benefits and costs of such initiatives

Measuring Teacher Quality: Do Teachers Impact Students’ Adult Outcomes?

A new study suggests that students who are taught by higher quality teachers have an increased chance of experiencing improved adult outcomes.

6.    Fair and Equal Workplace Rights for All

You Break It, They Try It

OSHA’s Chief of Staff discusses how the agency leverages limited resources to keep America’s workers safe

Maternal Tradeoffs: Economic Consequences for Mothers Who Breastfeed

Breastfeeding has health benefits, but does it also carry an economic penalty for mothers?

7.    Fair Wages for Every American

Welcome, Stranger: The Positive Labor Market Effects of Immigration

In a study of OECD countries, immigration had a small positive impact on receiving countries’ labor markets

Negotiating Your Way Out of the Binder

What role does the willingness to negotiate for salaries play in the gender gap?

8.    Ability to Retire with Dignity

Illinois’ 100 Billion Dollar Question: How Do We Solve the Pension Crisis?

Daniel Bliss, once a University of Chicago mathematician and now a State Senator, gives an inside look at the pension reform proposal in the Illinois General Assembly

Where the EITC Goes: A Qualitative Examination of EITC Allocation

A working paper from the National Poverty Center examines the allocation of the Earned Income Tax Credit in the budgets of low-income families

Feature Photo: cc/(Dave Hosford)'
Oona Bernhardt
Oona Bernhardt is the Editor-in-Chief of the Chicago Policy Review and is an MPP student at the Harris School of Public Policy. She is interested in aging and end-of-life policy.

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