A new Vanderbilt University report questions the academic benefits of Tennessee’s prekindergarten program. Terry Stoops, John Locke Foundation vice president of research and director of education studies, assesses the new research and discusses its implications for state pre-K programs in North Carolina. As stories about a national opioid epidemic continue to generate headlines, more and more states are considering new taxes on opioid drugs. Patrick Gleason, vice president of state affairs at Americans for Tax Reform, analyzes the growing interest in targeting opioids for taxation. He explains ATR’s concerns about these taxes. It’s hard to tell how well a government program works if no one is measuring its impact. That’s why John Turcotte, director of the N.C. General Assembly’s Program Evaluation Division, is touting the idea of establishing new government performance measures. He discussed the topic during a recent briefing for state lawmakers. Much of the recent debate about American trade involves popular myths. Bryan Riley, director of the Free Trade Initiative at the National Taxpayers Union, rebutted some of those myths during a recent panel discussion in Raleigh. Riley touts the benefits of free trade. GenX dumped in the Cape Fear River has generated plenty of headlines. But there’s been much less publicity surrounding the presence of GenX and related chemicals in solar panels that dot the N.C. landscape. Dan Way, associate editor of Carolina Journal, reports that some policymakers are beginning to raise questions about solar panel composition and potential long-term environmental impacts.