New Report: Winners and Losers of Common Core

Teresa Mull of the Heartland Institute writes about a new report analyzing the enormous funding of the Common Core national standards — where the money came from, what it was used for, and especially, who benefited from the entire endeavor. Hint: It wasn’t the students. The report, “Smart Money? Philanthropic and Federal Funding for the Common Core,” was produced by scholars at Penn State University. Unlike many academic discussions of Common Core, it recognizes that the national standards are designed for technical, data-driven outcomes rather than genuine education. It also recognizes the dearth of evidence that the Common Core-type of

Obama Administration Wants to Kiss Your Local Schools Goodbye

If the Obama administration and its supporters have their way, the suburban neighborhood school could be headed for extinction. In a veritable symphony of bureaucratic coordination, the administration has figured out how to recruit three cabinet departments, liberal non-profits, and deep-pocketed foundations to this effort. It can be tough even to follow the sophisticated strategy for accomplishing this (and the president prefers it that way), but if we value our liberty, it’s worth a bit of effort to understand this scheme. The administration is maneuvering to replace local control in education (and in other areas) with school systems that extend

Massachusetts Court Thwarts Parent-Led Effort to Put Common Core on Ballot

Last week the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court (SJC) threw out an initiative petition signed by over 130,000 Massachusetts citizens to challenge the adoption and implementation of the Common Core national standards and assessments scheme in Massachusetts. The petitioners sought to overturn the decision of the Massachusetts education establishment to ditch the state’s stellar K-12 standards in exchange for $250 million in federal money. After the petitioners gathered the signatures necessary to place the question on the ballot, the state attorney general certified the petition and cleared the way, finally, for citizens to vote on the usurpation of the state’s education system. The SJC

Gates Foundation: If At First Common Core Doesn’t Succeed, Try Again!

The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation is demonstrating its grit, tenacity, and perseverance — character traits much in vogue among the progressive-education set — by refusing to admit defeat in the face of overwhelming odds. On Monday, Gates announced it’s “doubling down” on making the Common Core national standards work in American schools. Yes, students’ scores on the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) have actually been declining since Common Core was fully implemented (see here and here). Yes, college-readiness, as measured by NAEP, is sliding downhill as well. Yes, college math professors are complaining that incoming freshmen are increasingly less prepared for

Gates Admits that Education Efforts “Really Haven’t Changed Outcomes”

Progressive educrats tell us that the onset of the 21st century changes everything about how we educate children. What worked for little boys named Thomas Jefferson and Winston Churchill is now passe. In its place must be installed sophisticated technological systems for “personalized learning,” which will transform education. It’s becoming clear, though, that the new orthodoxy comes with major drawbacks, so much so that even High Priest of Education Technology Bill Gates finds it necessary to concede a few problems and give the congregation a pep talk. Recently Gates admitted to a convention of ed-tech entrepreneurs and investors that education

Jeb Bush’s Friends Spend Big to Support Student Data Grab

Just as the Common Core pushing textbook publishing giants like Houghton Mifflin Harcourt and Pearson have had financial incentive to support Jeb Bush and his now former organization, the Foundation for Excellence in Education (FEE), corporate cronyism is also alive and well via those companies involved in Big Data. The Data Quality Campaign (DQC) is a corporate-backed front group that spends all its time trying to portray the ugly and invasive womb-to-tomb data grab and psychological profiling of our children as helpful, necessary, and the government’s right. They strongly support the incredibly invasive Strengthening Education Through Research Act (SETRA) which sadly

The Push For H-1B Visas And The Common Core Math FAIL

The debate rages about whether the H-1B visa system brings in too many or too few skilled foreign workers. But the discussion overlooks a critical fact: Regardless of the current answer to that question, the national Common Core standards will most assuredly lower the number of qualified American workers. The stated purpose of H-1B visas is to allow American employers to employ foreign workers who have education or skills unavailable in sufficient supply in the local workforce.  The idea is that a worker-deficient employer petitions the federal government for a visa on behalf of a specific individual.  Currently, Congress caps

Did Slanted Questions Skew Latest NBC Common Core Poll?

A new NBC poll shows that 50 percent of the parents surveyed favor the Common Core national standards (61% of Democrats but only 26% of Republicans).  These results contrast with a Gallup poll from last fall that showed only 33 percent of parents with a positive view of Common Core, as opposed to 35 percent with a negative view (32% unsure).  How to explain the discrepancy? Obviously, the phrasing of poll questions can substantially affect the response. “Do you favor Common Core,” preceded or followed by a description of the standards such as “rigorous standards designed to improve your child’s