Editorial roundup

The (Tiffin) Advertiser-Tribune, March 16

One of the villains in last year’s scandal over EpiPens sold by Mylan Pharmaceuticals was the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, as we pointed out. That agency is about to get a new director.

Public outrage focused on Mylan for its pricing of the EpiPen, a device used to inject a drug that counteracts severe allergic reactions. Some people are at such risk that they carry EpiPens wherever they go.

In 2007, a two-pack of the devices could be purchased for $58. By 2016, Mylan was charging $600.

One of the strengths of our free-market system is that it encourages competition — allegedly. But would-be competitors in the EpiPen business were not allowed to sell their products, likely undercutting Mylan on price, because the FDA had not approved them for sale in the United States.

President Donald Trump has accused bureaucrats at the FDA of dragging their feet on such approvals. Last week, Trump nominated Dr. Scott Gottlieb, who once served as FDA deputy commissioner, to head the agency. Gottlieb should be confirmed swiftly so he can begin cutting red tape at the agency.

The Columbus Dispatch, March 17

For years, testing has been one of the most inflamed issues in education, pitting at least two educational priorities against each other. On the one hand is a drive for measurable and broad academic achievement, and accountability for those charged with achieving it. On the other is the desire to provide each student with an individualized education that moves at each student’s pace and yields an adult who is able to think and function creatively…

State Superintendent Paolo DeMaria announced … the state will delay submission of an education plan required by the federal government in order to conduct a review of the state’s testing regime. Originally, the proposal left testing as it stands… So DeMaria has decided to appoint a panel to look for ways to streamline testing…

This review should include a discussion of the basic philosophy of testing and what it seeks to accomplish. … The panel should ensure that Ohio has a system that ensures that students are being prepared to compete in a global marketplace…

Most of the drive for more rigorous testing, teacher accountability and for educational alternatives such as school vouchers and charter schools was born of concern that traditional public schools were failing to provide effective educations to large numbers of students. While it’s possible that accountability measures were pushed too far, the pendulum should not be allowed to swing too far the other way, either.