3:47 PM, Aug 20, 2014 • By GEOFFREY NORMAN
As Michelle Maitre at EdSource reports, when people learn more about the Common Core educational standards, they like them less. The Common Core is the latest attempt to apply universal standards of instruction and performance across American schools. It has the support of big names like Bill Gates and big money like, well, Bill Gates.
The resistance comes from teachers who believe that its implementation will result in their being pushed into “teaching to the test,” and also, increasingly, from people who suspect that the Common Core is a false flag for further – and possibly complete – takeover of education by Washington. To which, of course, backers say, “Oh wherever could you get such an idea. Never in a million years.”
As Terry Holliday, the state commissioner of education in Kentucky – the first state to adopt Common Core – says in Ms. Maitre’s piece, the public tends to associate:
"… the Common Core with somewhat of a federal overreach into education.”
And suspects, understandably, that a vastly empowered federal education bureaucracy might operate something like another celebrated Washington outfit – the VA.
(For the best overview of Common Core and the arguments about it, read Andrew Ferguson’s delightful report on the matter.)
1:32 PM, Jul 14, 2014 • By GEOFFREY NORMAN
One of the Democratic party’s most loyal and powerful interest groups is, evidently, falling out of love with the Obama administration. As Peter Sullivan of The Hill reports:
Haven’t we seen this movie before?Jul 21, 2014, Vol. 19, No. 42 • By ANDREW FERGUSON
It has been five years now since America got the news, or was supposed to: Henceforth our children would enjoy a revolutionary new approach to learning in the public schools, in the form of national educational standards. They’re called the Common Core State Standards, or Common Core for short—or if you’re in a particular hurry, CCSS. Why national standards should bear the official title “State Standards” is one of the many peculiarities that make Common Core interesting to think about.
10:26 PM, Jun 28, 2014 • By DANIEL HALPER
Peter Berkowitz, writing in RealClearPolitics:
Dear Members of the Board:
I read with a mixture of anticipation and trepidation the unexpected announcement earlier this month that President Rebecca Chopp is departing Swarthmore to become the chancellor of the University of Denver.
6:01 PM, May 12, 2014 • By JAY BERGMAN
Support for the decision of Brandeis University not to award Ayaan Hirsi Ali an honorary degree, after previously announcing it would do so, has coalesced around the notion that while Islamic radicalism can be criticized, even condemned, one cannot criticize Islam itself. By condemning both, and by implying strongly that Radical Islam and Islam are indistinguishable, Ms. Ali—so the argument goes—not only does not deserve an honorary degree; she is, in fact, a bigot.
3:56 PM, May 7, 2014 • By GEOFFREY NORMAN
It is the “Cubs Fail to Reach World Series” of news stories. American students are found to be doing poorly at their job which is, of course, learning.
Another federal education boondoggle?Feb 10, 2014, Vol. 19, No. 21 • By MARY GRABAR
As the nation observed the 50th anniversary of President Johnson’s War on Poverty in early January, the 2014 Georgia Family Engagement Conference here drew over 1,200 participants, up from 800 at the inaugural state conference in 2012. About a dozen states have held such confabs, pursuant to the “Parental Involvement” section of Title I of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965, an arm of the War on Poverty that sends federal funds to low-income-area schools in hopes of “equalizing” so-called educational outcomes.
2:05 PM, Jan 23, 2014 • By GEOFFREY NORMAN
In school, the intense pressure to do well on tests creates a temptation to cheat. And in Philadelphia, it seems that teachers and their supervisors succumbed to it. As Stephanie Banchero of the Wall Street Journal writes:
9:01 AM, Dec 11, 2013 • By DANIEL HALPER
A Missouri school district faces a $150,000 bill for Obamacare, according to a report on KMIZ-MO:
"The Affordable Care Act could cost the Jefferson City public schools more than a $150,000," said the news anchor.
"This came to light at last night's board meeting when district officials told board members they would have to pay health insurance for substitute teachers," says the other anchor.
Misreading reading scores.
9:14 AM, Dec 3, 2013 • By ETHAN EPSTEIN
We’re going to hear a lot in the coming days about how the “Chinese” education system is superior to America’s. That’s because the results of an international exam were released today, and American students fared predictably poorly. And it was “Asian nations [who] dominated the test,” reports the Associated Press. “The top average scores in each subject came from Shanghai, China,” says the AP.