Maryland Drops School from State Voucher Program over Christian Beliefs

In the immediate aftermath of the Supreme Court’s 2015 landmark decision in Obergefell v. Hodges, it concerned some jurists that institutions favoring traditional marriage might receive heavy-handed treatment from the government as a result of the ruling. Conservative justices on the court strongly dissented and raised concerns about the implications of the case on wide-reaching elements of American society. Notably, Justice Samuel Alito was worried about the effects it would have on people of faith, when he said that Obergefell “will be used to vilify Americans who are unwilling to assent to the new orthodoxy.”  While the Left had argued

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

New Evidence Shows Common Core Has Been a Total Disaster

This article was originally posted at Townhall. Most public schools are still afflicted with the Common Core national standards. Paid advocates such as the Thomas B. Fordham Foundation continue to push Common Core despite overwhelming evidence of the slow-motion train wreck that has resulted – reduced student achievement by almost every metric. Fordham refuses even to acknowledge the bad news, much less try to rationalize it. That’s why it was refreshing to hear the blunt truth proclaimed at a Heritage Foundation event last week entitled “Rethinking Federal Intervention in K-12 Education.” At this program the authors of a new Pioneer Institute study, “Common Core, School Choice and Rethinking Standards-Based Reform,”

2018 Midterms Could Have Wide Impact on Education Issues

The 2018 midterm elections are (almost) now in the books. Here is a brief review of the education outcomes relating to Common Core, Congress and FedEd, school funding, and school choice: Common Core There is much new data and analysis coming out about falling ACT scores under Common Core, the twin dangers of Common Core and school choice, and Joy Pullman’s excellent piece on the overall failure of Common Core: Common Core sucked all the energy, money, and motivation right out of desperately needed potential reforms to U.S. public schools for a decade, and for nothing. As discussed in September,

New Report Reveals the Twin Dangers of Common Core and School Choice

A thorough new white paper from the Pioneer Institute titled “Common Core, School Choice and Rethinking Standards-Based Reform” expertly discusses the mountain of evidence showing the flaws and failures of the Common Core standards and their aligned curriculum, as well as how damaging the centralized standards reform movement is to school choice. The report is authored by Neal McCluskey, director of the Cato Institute’s Center for Educational Freedom; Theodor Rebarber, head of the nonprofit AccountabilityWorks; and Patrick J. Wolf, Distinguished Professor of Education Policy at the University of Arkansas. With regard to the quality and success of the Common Core standards,

New Report Exposes Serious Problems with Charter Schools

About a year ago, I wrote about the stunningly precipitous (but deserved) 13-percentage point drop in support for charter schools nationwide. Although these alternative public schools have gained back a modest 5 percentage points this year, other concerning data is coming out showing that charter schools, especially the corporate chain model, are not particularly effective in helping struggling students or turning around poorly performing public schools in neighborhoods where many other factors are in play. Just yesterday, the non-partisan government watchdog group Integrity Florida released a report about charter schools. The report contains a long list of very significant findings, but

Congress Explodes Deficits, Expands Nanny State with Disastrous Omnibus Bill

Tragically for our children’s futures and freedoms — but predictably, as we warned here and here — Congress heeded very few general principles or President Trump’s good ideas about preserving freedom and privacy, decreasing the federal footprint in education, supporting programs that work, or maintaining fiscal discipline. The House yesterday passed the $1.3 trillion omnibus-spending bill — that will only fund the government for six months — by a vote of 256-197. The Senate followed early this morning with a vote of 65-32. The damage this bill will do the nation’s fiscal health and to issues outside of education is well discussed

Trump’s Budget Cuts Fed Role in Education — But Will Congress Follow His Lead?

The Trump administration’s fiscal 2019 education budget contains many reductions and eliminations that should give hope to parents and privacy advocates. But sadly, congressional appropriators seem almost as genetically incapable of eliminating ineffective, invasive, or harmful programs — despite mountains of data clearly documenting these programs’ uselessness — as they are of exerting any sort of fiscal discipline, as documented by the budget deal discussed last week that will only increase the $21 trillion deficit. So unfortunately, this budget will likely be dead on arrival in Congress unless citizens act. Here are some highlights that activists can use as starting

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