4 Likes, 2 Dislikes from Trump’s First 50 Days

Generally, the first 50 days of the Trump Administration have been an absolute joy to watch. The media and the Left have been apoplectic as President Trump largely honors his campaign promises and does exactly what he said he would do. Truthfully, Trump has been everything we hoped he would be and more. Still, that’s not to say there haven’t been some disappointments. Here are four things I like and two things I dislike from the first 50 days: Like: Supreme Court Nominee Neil Gorsuch When the late Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia passed away last February, many conservatives understandably

Schools Ditch Academics for Emotional Manipulation

This summer the Collaborative for Academic, Social and Emotional Learning (CASEL) announced it had chosen eight states to collaborate on creating K-12 “social emotional learning” (SEL) standards. All students, from kindergartners through high-school seniors, would be measured on five “non-cognitive” factors: self-awareness, self-management, social awareness, relationship skills, and responsible decision-making. Under such a system teachers become essentially therapists, and students become essentially patients. Supposedly this will clear away the psychological deadwood that obstructs a student’s path to academic achievement. But less than two months later, two of the CASEL states (Tennessee and Georgia) have withdrawn from the initiative. Parents have begun

USED Remains Hopelessly Committed to Standardized Testing

Leaping from triumph to triumph, the U.S. Department of Education (USED) has announced a new assessments grant program to follow its failed assessments grant program from six years ago.  Ed Week reports that USED will allow states to compete to get back a small chunk of money that was theirs in the first place (a total of $8.6 million), which cash can be used to “bolster their assessment systems.” Reminiscent of the infamous Race to the Top scheme, these competitive grants will be called Enhanced Assessment Grants. Last fall the Obama Administration tried to tamp down the boiling furor over

The Latest Big Education Fad, Social-Emotional Learning, Is As Bad As It Sounds

The U.S. Department of Education (USED) longs to plumb the psyches of our children (as its own reports reveal – see here and here), and it enjoys the eager complicity of state education establishments. As reported by Education Week, the Collaborative for Academic, Social, and Emotional Learning (CASEL) recently announced that eight states will “work collaboratively to create and implement plans to encourage social-emotional learning in their schools.” These states are jumping on a bandwagon that threatens to roll over innocent children and their privacy. CASEL is the big gorilla in the zoo of social-emotional learning, or SEL. Having proved

Democrats Wage War on Themselves Over Opt-Out Movement

An unintended consequence of the Common Core standards-and-assessments scheme is dissension among liberal interests over the testing. The “opt out” movement comprises essentially two categories: parent activists seeking to protect their children from the useless or even harmful Common Core computerized testing, which is designed less to assess academic content knowledge than to collect psychological data on students; and the liberal, no-accountability, never-test crowd, who object to students’ taking any standardized tests, even validated academic tests not aligned to Common Core. But a powerful liberal cohort also resides in the Common Core education-establishment universe, which pushes more and more computerized

Clinton-Kaine Education Views Might Make You Rethink Public School

We know what Hillary Clinton wants for public K-12 education. She wants universal government preschool, despite the well-documented failure of government preschool to deliver even a fraction of what the Hillaryites promise. She wants federal “education SWAT teams” to “help” struggling schools (that idea creates interesting visuals). She wants more federal control over school discipline to enforce “school climates” of which she approves. And all education should be geared toward a sweeping, centralized, government-controlled system of workforce-development. We probably won’t hear much from Clinton about Common Core, given that (as Missouri Education Watchdog reports), the leaked emails of the Democratic

Grassroots vs. Establishment Battle Evident in GOP Education Platform

Although present in many other areas of the Republican Party Platform, the struggle between parents/grassroots activists and corporate education reform/data overlords is no more evident than in education. That fight is between parents who are demanding their inherent right to control the educational destinies of their children and the corporate titans, politicians of both parties, and bureaucrats that have imposed Common Core, invasive testing, psychological profiling, and data mining. Grassroots Wins Jane Robbins has already done an excellent job noting many of the same grassroots and parental wins. I heartily agree with her list of wins for our side (a

Local and State Officials “Just Say No” to the Department of Education

Piercing the gloom of the current educational and political landscape are a few glimmers of hope. One promising development is that some state and local education officials are now openly discussing what previously was never uttered aloud for fear of being struck down by the gods of lucre – the possibility of relinquishing federal funding to regain autonomy over education. An early sign of light appeared in response to the unlawful decree issued by the U.S. Department of Education (USED) concerning transgender students. After USED threatened public schools if they didn’t open up all restrooms, locker rooms, sleeping quarters, and