Weekly Writers Round-Up: Reopening Schools, Ending Qualified Immunity, and Lessons from the Segway - America's Future Foundation

July 22, 2020

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Weekly Writers Round-Up: Reopening Schools, Ending Qualified Immunity, and Lessons from the Segway

By: Josh Evans

Each week, we’ll be featuring opinion pieces from the alumni and current participants of AFF’s Writing Fellows Program. A few highlights from the past week are below. Do you dream of having bylines like these? Learn more about how the Writing Fellows Program can help boost your writing career!

Hybrid schools could revolutionize education by Satya Marar (Spring 2020) in The Hill
In every crisis, there’s an opportunity. The crisis facing U.S. schools today is certainly no exception. 

As schools and states across the country grapple with how (or even whether) to reopen this fall, policymakers should explore and embrace innovative schooling models that could revolutionize how we educate children while empowering families and students alike…

Ending Qualified Immunity Will Also Impact the Administrative State, Not Just the Police by Trace Mitchell (Summer 2019) in the Morning Consult
In the wake of national protests and accusations of police brutality sparked by the death of George Floyd, a controversial legal doctrine known as qualified immunity is receiving increased scrutiny. There is now tripartisan (Democrat, Republican and Libertarian) congressional support for reform, as critics on both the left and right argue that qualified immunity insulates law enforcement officers from the consequences of their actions while stripping citizens of the right to pursue justice through civil litigation.

But it is important to remember that qualified immunity does not just remove accountability for police officers — it removes accountability for virtually any government official performing discretionary functions. That means ending qualified immunity won’t just provide better incentives for law enforcement, but for powerful government administrators as well…

Lessons from the Awkward Life and Death of the Segway by Nolan Gray (Fall 2015) and Katarina Hall (Fall 2015) in Bloomberg CityLab
In late June, Fast Company broke the news that Segway Inc. would end production of the Segway PT, the self-balancing two-wheeled “personal transporter” that was the company’s most iconic product, if not its most commercially successful. Once touted as the first great invention of the new millennium, it officially ends its nearly 20-year-long production run on July 15 as the butt of more than a few jokes. 

But was the Segway really such a failure? Or was it just two decades too early? In light of the current proliferation of e-scooters, e-bicycles, e-skateboards, and hoverboards, the electric urban mobility revolution that Segway promised seems downright prophetic. And its death holds important lessons for Segway’s would-be heirs…