Why Ohio Should Reject “Social Emotional Learning” Standards

A committee of the Ohio State Board of Education is scheduled to vote on advancing a proposal to the full state board to implement statewide social emotional learning (SEL) standards this coming Tuesday, May 14th. This is part of a national movement to psychologize education, falsely advertised as improving academic achievement and preventing violence and suicide. The problems with this approach are myriad. They include the following points (with more information available from the Pioneer Institute, as well as this list of concerns for Ohio and numerous writings in this space, such as here): SEL would further erode the fundamental

New Law, Same Story: Fed Ed Tyranny Continues Under ESSA

The Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) passed Congress in 2015 despite the strong protests of more than 200 organizations and leaders after claims by leadership about the legislation: “Prohibiting the Secretary of Education from forcing, coercing, or incentivizing states into adopting Common Core” “Ending the era of federally mandated high-stakes tests” “Eliminating the federally mandated one-size-fits-all accountability system” All of these claims were false then and continue to show themselves false now. Even though ESSA prohibits the secretary of education from incentivizing or coercing Common Core, that is closing the barn door after the horse is already gone. There is

Does America Really Want a Federalized School Choice Program?

During last week’s State of the Union speech, President Trump spoke briefly on education by stating, “To help support working parents, the time has come to pass school choice for America’s children.” This may include Senator Ted Cruz’s Student Empowerment Act, which would expand tax-free 529 college savings plans to include K-12 education expenses for public, private, religious, and home education. While appreciating this concern and compassion for poor and underserved children who need a good education, there are many dangers with a school choice program, especially at the federal level. The biggest and most obvious concern is the further

Should Trump Merge the Education and Labor Departments? Grassroots Say No.

The dream of economic central planners as outlined in Mark Tucker’s infamous letter to Hillary Clinton “to remold the entire American system” into “a seamless web that literally extends from cradle to grave and is the same system for everyone” took another step forward recently as corporate and government establishment insiders in the Trump administration rolled out plans to merge the U.S. Departments of Education (USED) and Labor (DOL). The proposed agency will be called the Department of Education and the Workforce. Anthony Carevale, a board member of Tucker’s National Center for Education and the Economy at the time of

Big Business and the Administrative State: A Match Made in the Swamp

This article was originally posted at The Hill and co-authored by Jane Robbins, an attorney and senior fellow at the American Principles Project. “The swamp” has become a catch-all term for what’s wrong with Washington. The word — also known as the administrative state — evokes images of arrogant bureaucrats enforcing their preferred policies regardless of the desires of the voters. But a key component of the swamp isn’t housed in the granite jungle of D.C. but in corporate boardrooms across the country. A leftist professor once claimed that “the myth of individual greatness is a myth.” The same could be said of the

One Thing President Trump Can Do Now to Make Schools Safer

The School Safety Commission ordered by President Trump that will discuss and recommend ways to keep schools safer after the tragic Parkland, Fla., school shooting in February is set to hold its first series of roundtable discussions this Wednesday, April 4th. This commission, chaired by Education Secretary Betsy DeVos, also includes Attorney General Jeff Sessions, Secretary of Health and Human Services Alex Azar, and Secretary of Homeland Security Kirstjen Nielsen. The commission held an organizational meeting last week. The first topic to be discussed under this new commission will be the possibility of rescinding the school discipline guidance issued by

Florida “School Safety” Bill Would Make Schools Anything But Safe

Sadly, the great wisdom contained in Ben Franklin’s maxim, “Those who would give up essential Liberty, to purchase a little temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety” was entirely lost on the Florida legislature. After much political posturing and theater, on March 7th, they passed the Marjory Stoneman Douglas School Safety Act that I warned about in my recent column. This legislation pleases no one. Liberals wanted much more gun control and a ban on “semi-automatic assault weapons” and did not want to give trained teachers and school staff the option of volunteering to be deputized to carry concealed weapons

The Department of Education Is Ruining US Schools. It’s Time to End It.

There is a bill awaiting the 115th United States Congress, H.R. 899, which calls for an end to our dreadful U.S. Department of Education. The elegant simplicity of this bill is obvious. H.R. 899 is stated in its entirety as: “The Department of Education shall terminate on December 31, 2018.” If brevity is indeed the soul of wit, then this is amongst the wittiest of bills. H.R. 899 is a bill whose condition is devoutly to be wished, for the constitutionality of the Department of Education is more than just a little questionable; it is unconstitutional by definition. A vital