The Common Core Report Card: Rand Paul Gets an A-

In our Common Core report card, we graded Rand Paul and all of the GOP candidates based on the three following criteria: fighting the Common Core, protecting state and local decision-making on education, and defending child and family privacy. Then we averaged the three grades together for one final grade. What does each grade mean? A … Champions the issue, e.g., offers legislation, makes it a centerpiece issue. B … Professes support, but has not provided leadership or otherwise championed it. C … Has neither helped nor hurt the cause. D … Has an overall negative record on the issue. F … Robustly and consistently works against the

House Republicans Betray Common Core Moms

The Republican leadership in the U.S. House of Representatives has worked a tremendous disservice on its members and the American children, parents, and taxpayers.  Yesterday, after heavy wrangling by Republican leadership, the House of Representatives passed H.R. 5, the reauthorization of No Child Left Behind (NCLB). By failing to eliminate or even curb the federal testing mandates, the bill instead serves the testing industry rather than the people.  Under NCLB, that industry has grown to a $2 billion per year enterprise. As reported by PR Watch: School testing corporations have spent at least $20 million on lobbying along with wining

GOP Senate Fails to Protect Schoolkids from Big Brother

The U.S. Senate and House of Representatives are considering legislation to reauthorize No Child Left Behind (NCLB), the major federal K-12 education law.  The House and Senate leadership are intent on ramming through a reauthorization of NCLB.  They want to claim that they fixed the problems with the original bill.  However, these bills are horrible.  Here are just a few of the problems: They continue the federal testing mandates telling the states in what grades and in what subjects children must be subjected to standardized tests (assessments). Such mandates create the teaching-to-the test pressure on teachers.  Furthermore, they do not

Will Republicans Carry Obama’s Water on Common Core?

The most far-reaching federal education law—No Child Left Behind (NCLB)—has been up for reauthorization for eight years.  Now, with the Obama Administration waning, Sen. Lamar Alexander (R-TN) is in a rush to get the President a bill that he will sign. Earlier this year, when the first version of his bill did not garner the necessary support, Sen. Alexander went back to the drawing board.  And he reached across the aisle to Sen. Patty Murray (D-WA) to help re-draft the bill. There’s a lot wrong with his bill. Overall, the bill retains the master-servant relationship by which the federal government

NCLB Rewrite Fails Again

An op-ed from APIA Senior Fellow Jane Robbins and Ohio mom activist Heidi Huber in Townhall.com: Parents across the nation are in open revolt against the testing mania that has seized public schools under No Child Left Behind (NCLB) and the Common Core national standards. In some states, thousands of students — 200,000 in New York alone — are refusing the “mandatory” assessments. One would think the Washington politicos who are writing the NCLB reauthorization bill would take note of this widespread rebellion and would ease — or better still, eliminate — the federal testing requirements. But unlike the repentant

Fiorina Campaign Explains Past Support for Race to the Top, NCLB

Former Hewlett-Packard CEO Carly Fiorina’s presidential campaign explained her past support for Race to the Top and No Child Left Behind today.  Sarah Isgur Flores, Fiorina’s communications direct, sent Caffeinated Thoughts the following email: Carly does not support Common Core. As she has said, there is absolutely no evidence that the work of a big, centralized bureaucracy in Washington makes things better. In fact, there’s loads of evidence to the contrary. The Department of Education has been growing in size and budget for 40 years and the quality of our education continues to deteriorate. Carly has always believed that choice

Was Fiorina For Common Core Before She Was Against It?

In the last few months, Carly Fiorina has steadily attempted to stake out a position as a unique conservative voice within the Republican field.  This effort has included drawing a contrast between herself and other candidates, such as Jeb Bush, whom she has chided for his support of Common Core on more than one occasion.  On education policy, she has also been critical of the “heavy-handed” methods of “federal bureaucracies,” implying she would support a more decentralized, states-oriented approach. However, what has seemingly been overlooked is that Fiorina has not always been so skeptical of federal education programs.  As Alyson Klein

Liberal Comedian Mocks Standardized Testing, Common Core

Slowly, but ever so surely, those in the media are realizing that criticism of No Child Left Behind and the national Common Core system is not limited to the far right and the far left. It is a mainstream movement driven by parents, teachers, and other concerned citizens. Last weekend, on his HBO show Last Week Tonight, John Oliver spent eighteen minutes taking on standardized testing.  You can view the full video below (warning: NSFW language): Oliver pointed out President Obama’s contradictions on standardized testing.  When he had his eye on the Democratic nomination, then Senator Obama was quick on the