Are Religious Schools in America Losing Their Religion?

In 2012, Pope Benedict XVI said, “The spiritual crisis overtaking the West is the most serious since the fall of the Roman Empire near the end of the 5th Century.” Two hundred years ago, 85 percent of the population regularly attended church. That number has dwindled to about 20 percent today. It doesn’t take a proclamation from the Pope to recognize the place we find ourselves as a nation. Our seemingly accelerated moral decay is no longer the elephant in the room no one wants to talk about. It’s the elephant in the room everyone (including some Christians) seems to

Will Congress Follow Trump’s Lead, Cut Back on Invasive Education Programs?

In a disappointing move, the U.S. House Education Appropriations Subcommittee made only minor cuts to the overall budget for the U.S. Department of Education (USED) and to numerous invasive and ineffective programs in their bill writing session held last week. The subcommittee also increased funding for some very worrisome programs. This is quite disheartening given the hope engendered by the Trump administration budget blueprint. The good news is that almost all of the requests for expansion of federal school choice programs — which have the strong potential to expand federal regulations like mandated Common Core-aligned testing to private schools or

2 Reasons Why DeVos’ Education Reform Plan Would Be a Disaster

Charter school and voucher expansion has been a hot topic across the nation at both the state and federal levels. Interest and grave concern about this expansion, especially at the federal level, has intensified from all points on the political spectrum in light of several recent developments: Florida’s bill serving as a trial run, the release of President Trump’s first federal education budget, Secretary DeVos’ recent testimony and speech, and the Jeb Bush-led promotion of these ideas. Betsy DeVos is very correct when she remarked in her prepared testimony about the federal education budget at the US House Appropriations Committee this

National School “Choice”: A Solution Worse than the Problem?

This piece was co-authored by Emmett McGroarty, a senior fellow at the American Principles Project. In her recent appearance before a House subcommittee, Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos again made the case for school choice (allowing some semblance of public funding for private education, whether through vouchers, tax credits, or other mechanisms). But the questioning she received from Democrats on the subcommittee illustrated the most serious danger of publicly funded school choice: that such programs open the door to government regulation of private schools. Rep. Katherine Clark (D-Mass.) cited a private school in Indiana that supposedly said it may not

Betsy DeVos’ Latest Speech Should Keep Conservatives on Edge

Conservatives have been waiting for Education Secretary Betsy DeVos to unveil how much federal muscle she’ll exercise to push school choice. In a speech Monday before the American Federation for Children (AFC), an organization she previously chaired, DeVos hinted at but didn’t lay out the plan. In fact, her messages were decidedly mixed. Throughout the Fed-Ed Era of the George W. Bush and Barack Obama administrations, most of what the feds did through No Child Left Behind and then the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) had no grounding in the Constitution. Education isn’t a constitutionally delegated power, so the opinion

Why Conservatives Should Rethink Their Support for School Vouchers

C.S. Lewis wrote, “Indeed the safest road to Hell is the gradual one – the gentle slope, soft underfoot, without sudden turnings, without milestones, without signposts…” Such is the gradual, nearly imperceptible edging of both federal and state government into private and parochial education. When the name of freshly-minted Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos is bandied about, the pendulum swings widely in both directions. As an advocate of private and parochial school vouchers, DeVos has disciples and detractors common to any hotbed issue. The division is largely partisan with predominantly progressive teachers and education associations opposed to the concept, and

Will Trump Finally End Common Core? These Activists Hope So…

Last week, The Huffington Post noted that, absent a strong intervention by President Donald Trump himself, his team is taking a pretty lackadaisical attitude to Common Core so far: During the campaign and in the weeks following his election, Trump’s pledge to end the Common Core, a set of education goals that has stirred controversy on both sides of the aisle, became a popular refrain, often greeted by thunderous applause. But since taking office, the president seems to have dropped the topic, anti-Common Core activists say. I decided to check back in with Heather Crossin, one of the two pioneering Common Core

Trump’s Education Budget Offers Good News for Parents

In last week’s column, I mentioned four things that President Donald Trump could do to keep his education promises. One had to do with the budget: 3.) Cut the Federal Education Budget Considering that there are so many invasive, ineffective, expensive, over-reaching, privacy-robbing federal education programs that include related social emotional standards tied to Common Core, President Trump should direct his Budget Director, former House Freedom Caucus member from South Carolina, Mick Mulvaney, to decrease the federal education budget and especially root out some of these more invasive programs. It appears that the president and budget director received this advice from multiple sources,