GOP Senate Fails to Protect Schoolkids from Big Brother

The U.S. Senate and House of Representatives are considering legislation to reauthorize No Child Left Behind (NCLB), the major federal K-12 education law.  The House and Senate leadership are intent on ramming through a reauthorization of NCLB.  They want to claim that they fixed the problems with the original bill.  However, these bills are horrible.  Here are just a few of the problems: They continue the federal testing mandates telling the states in what grades and in what subjects children must be subjected to standardized tests (assessments). Such mandates create the teaching-to-the test pressure on teachers.  Furthermore, they do not

Will Republicans Carry Obama’s Water on Common Core?

The most far-reaching federal education law—No Child Left Behind (NCLB)—has been up for reauthorization for eight years.  Now, with the Obama Administration waning, Sen. Lamar Alexander (R-TN) is in a rush to get the President a bill that he will sign. Earlier this year, when the first version of his bill did not garner the necessary support, Sen. Alexander went back to the drawing board.  And he reached across the aisle to Sen. Patty Murray (D-WA) to help re-draft the bill. There’s a lot wrong with his bill. Overall, the bill retains the master-servant relationship by which the federal government

Will Bush Skip Iowa, New Hampshire to Avoid Common Core Questions?

According to Buzzfeed, Jeb Bush has decided to skip the Iowa Straw Poll and may give up on Iowa entirely: Jeb Bush’s decision to forego this summer’s Iowa Straw Poll has roiled many conservatives in the state, but that snub might only be the beginning: According to three sources with knowledge of Bush’s campaign strategy, the likely Republican presidential candidate does not plan to seriously contest the first-in-the-nation caucuses — and may ultimately skip the state altogether. The Iowa Straw Poll, sponsored by the state GOP, is widely viewed as a dry run for the state’s first-in-the-nation presidential nomination contest. 

Liberal Comedian Mocks Standardized Testing, Common Core

Slowly, but ever so surely, those in the media are realizing that criticism of No Child Left Behind and the national Common Core system is not limited to the far right and the far left. It is a mainstream movement driven by parents, teachers, and other concerned citizens. Last weekend, on his HBO show Last Week Tonight, John Oliver spent eighteen minutes taking on standardized testing.  You can view the full video below (warning: NSFW language): Oliver pointed out President Obama’s contradictions on standardized testing.  When he had his eye on the Democratic nomination, then Senator Obama was quick on the

Corporations Push Fake Student Privacy Protections

When Reps. Jared Polis (D-CO) and Luke Messer (R-IN) announced the introduction of a “comprehensive” student policy bill, millions of parents hoped it would mark the end of the cradle-to-grave data mining that has characterized Washington’s education policy.  Sadly, we ended up with the Student Digital Privacy and Parental Rights Act, a flawed bill that fails to prevent the collection of personal data by government and, just as worryingly, corporations. While some parts of this bill, such as clauses allowing parents to access and remove some of their children’s data, are welcome changes, other parts of the bill allow companies

Will GOP Candidates Oppose the Bill That Gave Us Common Core?

Clearly, federal education policy is a presidential election issue.  As the candidates make their pitches to citizens in the coming months, we’ll see where they stand on the particulars.  But we already have a sense as to where things are headed. This past weekend, Mike Huckabee appeared at the Iowa Faith and Freedom Coalition Summit, and came out strongly in favor of ending the Department of Education, stating: Do you think they honestly can make a better decision about what happens in the classrooms in your community than the people who were elected as your local school board can? Ultimately

Student “Privacy” Bill Needs Immediate Rewrite

The proposed Student Digital Privacy and Parental Rights Act to be introduced by Rep. Luke Messer (R-Indiana) and Rep. Jared Polis (D-Colorado) is ineffective and needs to be rewritten with the students’ interests in mind. This bill puts corporate interests first and student privacy last. This isn’t a student privacy bill, it’s a license to divulge student data. Under this bill, parents will be unable to opt out of having their children’s data collected, and large, international corporations will have free reign to use the data how they see fit, even if that means disclosing it to unknown recipients without

Kasich Insults Ohio Common Core Moms?

Kasich, a Common Core supporter, has complained that only people running for something oppose Common Core.  Is it fair to conclude after his trip to South Carolina to campaign for a federal balanced budget proposal that he’s changed his mind about seeking the White House in 2016? He managed not only to reaffirm his own support for Common Core, but he also repeated all the tired, old talking points the Gates-funded media campaign uses and implicitly insulted the Ohio moms opposing Common Core (many because of what is happening right now in their children’s classrooms) as dunces: That is not

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