Tag: Common Core

Co-host Bob Bowdon talks with Joy Pullmann, executive editor of The Federalist, about the mediocre NAEP and PISA results, after a decade of the Common Core national education standards and the failed experiment with federal involvement in standards, curricula, and tests. They also discuss social emotional learning, parental involvement, and the media’s coverage of K-12 education policy issues.

Stories of the Week: The Denver Public School system is expanding its transportation options to enable more students to attend schools in different neighborhoods.  Will this innovation improve student outcomes? In Election 2020, presidential candidate and South Bend, Indiana Mayor Pete Buttigieg released a new $1 trillion education proposal for expanded access to childcare and early learning, teacher salary increases, Title I funding, workforce development, and more – can America afford this plan, and where’s the accountability?

Group Writing for June 11: Six Things to Love About the Common Core (English Language Arts)


There are two categories of opposition to the Common Core. One can oppose the Common Core on principle: it’s seen as a top-down imposition of standards that further burdens local districts, increases schools’ entanglements with the federal bureaucracy, and once again expands the government’s powers . Although the states’ process of adopting the Common Core was different from that of No Child Left Behind–the Common Core was not straightforwardly federally legislated–the objection to its adoption is consistent with conservative values.

Americans on both sides of the political spectrum have also opposed the Common Core (for English Language Arts) based on its content. However, often the proffered evidence of this damaging content do not hold up as effective indictments of the Common Core. These samples do not reflect the statements of the document usually for one of three reasons, all connected to implementation: 1.) publishing companies rushed to produce materials ostensibly aligning with the Common Core and some of the resulting textbooks and other materials lacked the quality we want to see in our schools; 2.) the resulting testing systems that were rolled out, again by private companies, had some defects that needed addressing by both the company and the schools administering them, forever creating an association in the minds of teachers, kids, and parents of Common Core with “awful days in the computer lab;” 3.) school districts could interpret the standards through their own lens of non-traditional instructional approaches, continuing to teach in the way they thought best no matter what the standards actually said, at times to the students’ detriment.

State Board of Education Ignores Pols, Parents; Rubber Stamps Common Core


After a raucous 2014 election year for Arizona’s office for Superintendent of Public Instruction, only 16,034 votes separated the outcome of the 2014 election results between Diane Douglas and David Garcia. One would like to suggest Douglas’ opposition to the top-down, federal, one-sized-fits-all standards helped ensure she was the victor. This was a coup for the parents who despised the unconstitutional federal outreach in their children’s classrooms – later only to learn the fox was in the hen house all along.

A quick history lesson on Common Core in Arizona. In 2010, the Arizona State Board of Education adopted Common Core standards for all public schools throughout Arizona. As these standards were being implemented, parents and practitioners alike started to have difficulty learning and teaching them.

This classroom battle came to a head in 2013 inciting a Republican primary challenge to then-Superintendent John Huppenthal who was fully engaged in implementing these standards that had to be rebranded to “college and career ready” due to public outcry.

What Trump’s First 100 Days Might Mean for Education Policy


School ChoicePresident-Elect Donald Trump has released his plans for his first 100 days in office. After outlining proposals for term limits, a trade war, and mass deportations, the plan includes the following paragraph on education policy:

School Choice And Education Opportunity Act. Redirects education dollars to give parents the right to send their kid to the public, private, charter, magnet, religious or home school of their choice. Ends common core, brings education supervision to local communities. It expands vocational and technical education, and make 2 and 4-year college more affordable.

The details are far from clear, but it appears that his education policy will focus on three areas:

Books as Christmas Gifts: The Story-Killers


Screen Shot 2015-12-18 at 8.11.47 AMYou have heard about the Common Core and no doubt know that it is controversial. If you want to know why or if you have a loved one who ought to learn why, I suggest the purchase of Terrence O. Moore’s book The Story-Killers: A Common-Sense Case Against the Common Core.

Terrence is a former Marine. He did his BA at the University of Chicago and later received a PhD from the University of Edinburgh for work he did on the Scottish Enlightenment. Thereafter, he was the founding principal of Ridgeview Classical Schools in Fort Collins, Colorado. After that, he did a stint teaching in my department at Hillsdale College, where he became (and remains) the principal adviser to the Barney Charter School Initiative. After a few years here, he went off to Atlanta to found another charter school. He’s a real scholar and knows just about everything that there is to know about K-12 education.

Terrence is acutely sensitive to something of vital importance — that the way we understand our past has a profound impact on the way we view the present — and he is aware that the history curriculum embedded within the Common Core is aimed at making young Americans ashamed of their country and at subverting the American regime. Early in this book, he poses a question: “What will be the results of this educational regime?” Then, he gives an answer:

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Here’s one I didn’t see coming, from Ashley Edwardson at Allen West’s site:  In what might be seen as purely coincidence, a program called Connect All Schools (which quotes Obama’s 2009 Cairo speech on its website) was creating a consortium of like-minded organizations with the goal of “connecting every school in the U.S. with the world by […]

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Jeb BushI am an admirer of Jeb Bush. He was a first-rate governor in Florida. Unlike Rand Paul, Ted Cruz, or Marco Rubio, he would not have to learn all that much on the job. He has executive experience. He has dealt with emergencies. He knows where the buck stops, and I am confident that he would handle foreign policy well.

This is no small matter. Foreign-policy competence is the sine qua non for everything else. Defending the national interest is the main reason we have a federal government. Paul, Cruz, Rubio — none of them has ever run anything larger than a medical practice. They would make freshman mistakes, and you and I would pay dearly for their blunders.

That having been said, I am wary of Jeb. He is too close to the Chamber of Commerce. He is too sympathetic to illegal immigrants. I would not trust him to put an end to the mass influx into the United States from abroad, and I do not like his stance on Common Core. He is a big-government Republican who is perfectly happy to encroach on state and local prerogatives. There is no way that he would cut back on the administrative state. With the right folks running the show, he would think, all will go well.

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Here is an excerpt from a common core 9th grade mathematics textbook, from the chapter  Modeling and Using Exponential Functions: It can be amazing how many different historical events are connected in one way or another. For example, there are some environmentalists who claim that the increase in the world’s population has led to an […]

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Why the Export-Import Bank Was My Deal-Breaker


Screen Shot 2015-03-05 at 2.54.09 PMOur last poll here at Ricochet asked our members what policy position would be most likely to be a deal-breaker for them if held by a Republican presidential candidate. Despite the fact that there were 10 options, supporting citizenship for illegal aliens nearly commanded a majority (49 percent), with a pro-choice stance on abortion coming in a distant second (24 percent). All of the other options were in the single digits, with support for NSA surveillance or raising the federal minimum wage tied for third at 6 percent.

I’m apparently way outside of the Ricochet mainstream on this one, as my choice — supporting the reauthorization of the Export-Import Bank — garnered only one percent of the vote, tying with marijuana legalization and sending U.S. troops to fight ISIS for dead last. Now, I can anticipate the response that some of you will have, because I heard it in a few private conversations about this survey: how on earth could you prioritize Ex-Im over the life of the unborn or combatting terrorism? Well, I don’t. But let me offer you a theory: which issue is most important to you shouldn’t necessarily be the same as which one is most disqualifying.

Let me explain: I knocked four of the 10 issues out of contention from the start because they don’t bother me. As a Republican with a conservatarian bent, I’m basically fine with marijuana legalization and gay marriage, although I wish both would be handled at the state level rather than through the non-enforcement of federal law or activism from the federal judiciary, respectively. I’m also largely (though not entirely) unbothered by NSA surveillance and pretty set on the idea that dealing effectively with ISIS will eventually necessitate some sort of American presence on the ground.

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Many of you probably watch Fox News Sunday with Chris Wallace.  If you did not here is a link to the video of the Bennett/Abbot common core segment.  Governor Abbot (my governor) argued against common core as a one size fits all, top-down policy which is antithetical to local control of schools.  Bill Bennett (former […]

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Education Standards: Government or Free Markets?


So yeah — there has been some chatter on Common Core around here and elsewhere. 

Let’s say that there is a widget that is the best in the world. It’s really, really good. It is a magical widget that makes life easy for everyone who possesses it. It is clearly the best widget in the world. It has great American tech support and comes in every color. You never have to wait for Europeans to come online to get issues with this widget fixed. I think the Ricochet community gets the value of this widget. Would making the widget mandatory for all humans be the right thing to do then?

Conflicted on Common Core


Recently, Troy Senik suggested that Common Core has the potential to be the sleeper issue in the 2016 Republican presidential primary race. Common Core, which effectively establishes uniform educational standards for English and math on a national level, is deeply unpopular among elements of the Right and it certainly has the potential to be a major factor in the selection of the next Republican presidential candidate.

Honestly, I haven’t paid a great deal of attention to the issue until now. I don’t have children, my own education was largely private, and is, in any case, completed. That said, Common Core is going to be a major issue facing our nation as a matter of both politics and policy. Consequently, I’ve been trying to determine my own position on the matter.

What’s the Conservative Sleeper Issue of 2016?—Troy Senik


I may have mentioned this before here on the site — I was recently reminded that I’ve been hanging around these parts for nearly three and a half years, matching herpes for both persistence and intrusiveness —but I’ve never forgotten a piece of trivia Ed Gillespie (then Counselor to President Bush) shared with a group of us speechwriters during the 2008 campaign: the single biggest fundraising issue for the RNC during that cycle — the one that could inevitably galvanize conservative checkbooks — was the Law of the Sea Treaty.

Despite the fact that it was virtually unknown to the press and the wider GOP establishment, the underlying issue of surrendering a chunk of national sovereignty lit a fire under the base. It’s forgotten now, but Mike Huckabee’s emphasis on the issue during the pre-primary period was one of the factors that shifted his campaign into high-gear. There was a limit, of course, to how far Huckabee could ride that one issue, but let us not forget that the feelings stirred up during that campaign would ultimately block the treaty’s adoption four years later.

Using Common Core Principles, Teacher Computes 32 Minus 12 … in Five Steps


In theory, Common Core is a reasonable and non-controversial policy: Sponsored by the National Governors’ Association, it is a set of consistent educations standards intended to be adopted by the states.

However, its implementation somehow involves more than that reasonable goal. It includes new techniques for teaching math, which, at times, are ridiculous and are becoming the butt of jokes.