N.H. Takes Action to End Common Core Mandate, But Feds Still a Threat

Common Core took a hit in New Hampshire this month. Although the state adopted the Common Core standards, Republican Governor Chris Sununu signed Senate Bill 44 into law, which “prohibits the department of education and the state board of education” from requiring schools to implement Common Core. The bill will go into effect September 16. Education Commissioner Frank Edelblut also said he plans an informal review of the Common Core standards, despite the state Board of Education voting against a formal review. Edelblut campaigned against Common Core in his unsuccessful run for governor last year. Common Core is a set

Man Up, State Leaders! It’s Time to Declare Independence on Education!

With implementation of the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) under the U.S. Department of Education (USED), objections are flying to this or that policy (to the extent policy can be discerned). Conservatives criticize continued USED heavy-handedness and mixed signals, particularly by Secretary DeVos’ Democratic lieutenant Jason Botel, with respect to critiquing state plans. Liberals fear funding cuts and relaxed requirements related to certain subgroups of students. Both sides decry the apparent confusion emanating from USED. But it’s worth asking why USED deserves such attention in the first place. ESSA was sold (duplicitously) as restoring the constitutional requirement of state and

Alabama Wants Local Control over Education. Will President Trump Deliver?

During the 2015 fight over the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA), over 200 parent and conservative organizations and leaders denounced the bill due to its extension of tight control over state and local education by the federal government — features it retained from its No Child Left Behind predecessor. One of the strongest concerns was the law giving the education secretary veto power over state plans. Although the authors and proponents of ESSA have constantly spewed forth propaganda that the Common Core Standards are gone at the federal level and that state and local control have returned for the first time

Betsy DeVos’ Latest Speech Should Keep Conservatives on Edge

Conservatives have been waiting for Education Secretary Betsy DeVos to unveil how much federal muscle she’ll exercise to push school choice. In a speech Monday before the American Federation for Children (AFC), an organization she previously chaired, DeVos hinted at but didn’t lay out the plan. In fact, her messages were decidedly mixed. Throughout the Fed-Ed Era of the George W. Bush and Barack Obama administrations, most of what the feds did through No Child Left Behind and then the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) had no grounding in the Constitution. Education isn’t a constitutionally delegated power, so the opinion

Did Betsy DeVos Just Steal Jeb Bush’s Common Core Talking Points?

Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos just can’t seem to avoid making misleading statements on Common Core. After suggesting — falsely — on a couple occasions that Common Core is no longer an issue, she repeated this claim yesterday, along with a statement which appeared to imply states which have moved away from Common Core may be setting the bar too low: “Well, with the implementation of the Every Student Succeeds Act [ESSA], in essence, Common Core is not a national program or mandate anymore,” said DeVos. “Power has been returned to state and local entities to be able to decide

ATTENTION Parents: “Social Emotional Learning” Creeping Into Education Plans

Last month, I reported on invasive social emotional learning (SEL) surveys which are being added to Common Core-aligned tests in many states. While that news alone is alarming, it is unfortunately only the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the rapid expansion of SEL across the country. In a recently published brief, the Collaborative for Academic, Social and Emotional Learning (CASEL) boasted about how many states are now adding SEL into state accountability plans mandated under the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA). With schools having a hard enough time teaching academics due to the inferior Common Core standards

Why Does Betsy DeVos Keep Making False Claims About Common Core?

Monday, in an appearance on Fox News, Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos once again asserted that “[t]here isn’t really any Common Core anymore” and that the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA), passed last year by Congress and signed by an enthusiastic President Obama, “essentially does away with the whole argument about Common Core.” You can watch DeVos’ full interview below: BILL HEMMER: When it comes to Common Core, will the administration withhold funds for states that pursue Common Core education, in order to get them to change their mind? DEVOS: Well as you probably know, the Every Student Succeeds Act, which

Will Trump Finally End Common Core? These Activists Hope So…

Last week, The Huffington Post noted that, absent a strong intervention by President Donald Trump himself, his team is taking a pretty lackadaisical attitude to Common Core so far: During the campaign and in the weeks following his election, Trump’s pledge to end the Common Core, a set of education goals that has stirred controversy on both sides of the aisle, became a popular refrain, often greeted by thunderous applause. But since taking office, the president seems to have dropped the topic, anti-Common Core activists say. I decided to check back in with Heather Crossin, one of the two pioneering Common Core

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