New Report: 50 Years of ‘Fed Ed’ Has Failed to Close Achievement Gap

New data continues to confirm what has been obvious for decades: federal interference in education since 1965 has failed to improve the academic achievement of poor children. This difference between students from higher and lower income families, dubbed “the achievement gap” by experts and policy makers, has remained stubbornly persistent for fifty years. A History of Fed Ed: From ESEA to Common Core That federal interference started with the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA), which began compensatory grants for poor children in K-12, and Head Start, the federal preschool program, both passed in 1965. Both laws, plus the General

Betsy DeVos Just Delivered a Promising Speech. Will Her Actions Back It Up?

Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos gave an interesting speech to the American Enterprise Institute last week. In some parts, it contained rhetoric that skeptical conservatives have been waiting to hear. Yet, other parts toed the corporate-establishment, ed-tech, education-as-workforce-prep line that previous administrations of both parties have pursued. Here is a brief review. The Positives First, we commend Secretary DeVos for unabashedly stating the obvious — that the unconstitutional federal control of education has been an utter failure: The bottom line is simple: federal education reform efforts have not worked as hoped. That’s not a point I make lightly or joyfully. Yes, there

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

The GOP’s Corrupt Obamacore Bargain

The success of Donald Trump, Ben Carson, and Ted Cruz this year is a great and anguished shout from Republicans voters to the powers-that-be in Washington: The system is broken; it’s not working for us. If you want to know why Republicans voters hate their party in Washington, pay close attention to what massive GOP majorities in the House and the Senate just did: Extend and give new life to the failed No Child Left Behind Act. They did it the way Washington politicians do such things, by renaming it — No Child Left Behind is now called the Every

Republican Leadership Prepares to Ram Massive Education Bill Through Congress

Just a few weeks ago, Speaker Ryan promised not to ram through thousand-page bills without allowing realistic public analysis and input. But with the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA), which would reauthorize the failed No Child Left Behind, Speaker Ryan is already breaking his promise. The House and Senate bills that resulted in the ESSA “compromise” were rushed through those chambers with little allowance for public input. Then, a hastily appointed conference committee rushed through its rubber-stamping in a matter of hours. Now ESSA is being put to a House vote — only two days after the 1,061-page bill that

Speaker Ryan, No Head Fakes on ‘No Child Left Behind’ Please!

What does it take to make it clear that the American people are fed up? The Republican grassroots are in open revolt against the “establishment” presidential candidates. Speaker John Boehner lost his job because of his dismissiveness toward the more conservative members of his caucus. In response, new Speaker Paul Ryan promised a return to “regular order” and to greater consultation with all members of his caucus. But the last two days’ events with respect to reauthorizing the despised No Child Left Behind (NCLB) statute demonstrate that nothing has changed. The insiders still control, the American people are shut out,

Nanny State Preschool Expansion — Another Reason the ESEA Rewrite Should Be Voted Down

This post was co-authored by Jane Robbins, an attorney and senior fellow at the American Principles Project. Congressional leadership has decided to ignore grassroots Americans yet again and give President Obama an education bill he’ll accept. Among the numerous reasons parents are dismayed by this news is that the “compromise” bill will expand federal involvement with preschool programs. Many parents instinctively reject the idea of sending their toddlers off to a government school, and the bulk of research validates their concerns. Why do Congress and the behemoth U.S. education establishment ignore the research and push expanded government control over the

Dear Speaker Ryan: It’s Time to End ‘No Child Left Behind’

This post was co-authored by Jane Robbins, an attorney and senior fellow at the American Principles Project. To no one’s surprise, political elites have apparently crafted a bill (behind closed doors in the dead of night) to reauthorize the despised No Child Left Behind (NCLB) statute. Business as usual – working, everyday Americans are quietly ignored while the powerful education establishment and its elitist allies get their way. But new House Speaker Paul Ryan could alter this trajectory. He has expressed unwillingness to send President Obama legislation that he can use for mischief. Education legislation should fall squarely into that

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