Trump’s Leading VP Candidates Are Not Strong on Common Core and Fed Ed

Donald Trump is set to announce his vice-presidential choice sometime this week, before the Republican National Convention in Cleveland begins on Monday. Despite occasional stumbles, such as identifying education as one of the core functions of the federal government and his dizzying policy switches, Trump has been relatively stable in opposing Common Core and claiming he wants to “make education local.” Although he has no record in public-education policy, he would be more likely than Hillary “It Takes a Village” Clinton to decrease the federal role in education. But some of the major contenders for the VP slot do have public

Why Did a Liberal Teachers’ Union Honor This GOP Senator?

Sen. Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.) must be very proud. Along with Sen. Patty Murray (D-Wash.), he has received the National Education Association (NEA)’s “highest honor,” the Friend of Education award. The NEA bestowed this award for Alexander’s “bold leadership” in passing the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) as a replacement for No Child Left Behind. Previous award-winners include well-known conservatives Lyndon Johnson, Jimmy Carter, Bill Clinton, Ted Kennedy, Linda Darling-Hammond, and Nancy Pelosi. As one of the two major teachers’ unions in the U.S., the NEA has a much-deserved reputation for lavishly funding liberal candidates and causes. George Will has noted that

Clinton Doubles Down on Common Core, Faults “Roll-Out” for Problems

Although the progressive education establishment (which includes Republicans such as Sen. Lamar Alexander) insists that the Common Core issue is fading and won’t affect the election, the question of the national standards — with all its ancillary issues — refuses to die. For her part, Hillary Clinton continues to declare her fealty to the idea of uniform national standards. In an interview with Newsday, Clinton reiterated, “[W]hat I want to do, again, just like you were talking about Common Core and to set some standards, we need to have a common set of standards by which we judge all the

Debate “Fact Checker” Ignores the Real Facts About Common Core

The day after the confirmation of New York Common Core enforcer John King as U.S. Secretary of Education has brought about a flurry of commentary about Common Core and the election. The most parallel-universe analysis comes from Michelle Ye Hee Lee at The Washington Post, who “fact checks” Ted Cruz, Donald Trump, and John Kasich on their statements on Common Core during last Thursday’s debate. Lee sets the stage for her mistaken discussion by swallowing whole the Common Core talking points — the national standards were “crafted by a bipartisan group of governors and state school chiefs representing most states,” states and localities

Big Brother Wants to Be “Engaged” with Your Family. Here’s How . . .

As the pro-Common Core Republican candidates get winnowed out, the remaining combatants should be quizzed in greater detail about federal education policy — particularly, the many troubling provisions of the new Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA). We’ve recently written about the Big Brother aspects of ESSA, including “21st-century community learning centers” and “full-service community schools.” (See here and here to learn how your House member and senators voted.) Part of the intrusion into parental rights is cloaked under the benign term “family engagement.” If you think that means encouraging parents to attend PTA meetings, think again. The family-engagement provisions of

How a GOP Congress Quietly Imposed Common Core on the Entire Country

After a long absence, education policy has reclaimed a prominent role in the national and state campaign discourse.   What’s more, parents — not a particular party or candidate — are driving the debate. For their part, the GOP presidential candidates are struggling to grasp what’s going on. Apparently, understanding that numerous governors and ex-governors (e.g., Mike Pence, Chris Christie, John Kasich, Scott Walker, Mike Huckabee, Jeb Bush) doomed their presidential aspirations by failing to push back against Common Core and the federal government, these candidates now routinely denounce Common Core in their stump speeches. But do they really understand how federal

Tampa Bay Times Examines Rubio’s Involvement in Common Core

Alex Leary of the Tampa Bay Times discussed Common Core’s role in the campaign of the two Florida presidential candidates, Marco Rubio and Jeb Bush. The article, titled “Rubio may oppose Common Core but has supported the ideas behind it,” lists several ways that Marco Rubio has supported the components of the Common Core system: …while Rubio never advocated for Common Core, he was a proponent of the building blocks. Bush on Thursday noted that Rubio had supported Race to the Top, the federal program that incentivized states to adopt Common Core. “I think that’s a good idea,” Rubio said in

Six Reasons Jeb’s Plan Fails to End Federal Tyranny in Education

Former Florida Governor and presidential candidate Jeb Bush released his education plan on January 18th.  In it, he tries hard to sound like he cares about and supports local control and parental autonomy. In fact, the document, on pre-K through grade 12 issues, is merely a kinder, gentler form of federal tyranny that continues unconstitutional government involvement in pre-K, high stakes testing, data mining, and K-12 education in general. The plan fails on multiple important fronts: 1.) Federal Involvement in Education Since its creation in 1979, the U.S. Department of Education (US DOE) has done untold damage to academic excellence, state