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Blog

Delaware Passes Testing Opt-Out Bill

Last week, Delaware became the latest in growing number of states to push for the ability of parents to opt their children out of the Smarter Balanced Assessment tests. These tests were implemented as part of the increasingly unpopular Common Core education standards, but parents and teachers alike have been dissatisfied with the amount of time and focus going into test preparation as opposed to more traditional teaching, involving individualized interaction between teachers and students.

5 days ago
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Op-ed Placement

Education spending isn’t working: Let’s try something else

In early June, the U.S. Census Bureau issued a report on the state of public education finances in the United States. Among the reports many interesting charts and graphs is the tracking of per-student spending in elementary and secondary schools from 1992 to present. In all but one year, spending has increased, topping out at $10,705 per student. With a trend like that, most reasonable people would expect to see dramatic results reflected in student performance. Otherwise, what are we paying for?

06/25/2015
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Blog

Oregon Governor Signs Testing Opt-Out Bill

Governor Kate Brown of Oregon has just signed a bill (HB 2655) that would allow parents to opt their children out of the standardized tests that have come as part of the Common Core education standards in the state. Parents can cite any reason they choose for their opt-out decision, and the state is required to inform them ahead of time of their options.

06/23/2015
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Blog

Feds Bullying Oregon over Testing Opt Out Bill

There’s nothing more frustrating than when state legislatures try to do the right thing, only to be stopped by the intrusive federal government, sticking its nose where it has no business being. The latest example comes from Oregon, where a bill that would allow parents to opt their children out of Common Core-aligned standardized tests is set to be passed by the State Senate, only to face aggressive pushback from U.S. Department of Education.

06/09/2015
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Blog

Walker's Budget Makes Important Education Reforms

As Scott Walker tours the country on his campaign for the presidency, he has not forsaken his state, turning in a budget that would make important reforms in education policy. It’s beyond the scope of this piece to analyze the budget in full - it contains rather more spending and borrowing than most conservatives would like - but in the area of education reform it takes some pretty important steps forward.

06/08/2015
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Blog

Common Core Update: State and Federal

As the Senate prepares to reauthorize the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA), a bill which could have big implications for the American education system, state legislatures and governors have been busy tackling their own reforms to Common Core education standards. Here’s what’s been going on in several key states.

06/03/2015
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Blog

Better Late than Never: Christie Turns on Common Core

Say what you will about Republican governors, eventually they catch on. Well, most of them do, anyway (I’m looking at you, Jeb.)The latest addition to the ever-expanding number of governors turning against Common Core education standards is New Jersey’s own Chris Christie

05/29/2015
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Blog

Ohio Budget Defunds Common Core Testing

The Buckeye state is fighting back against the intrusive federal testing mandates that come with Common Core education standards. A House version of the state’s budget contains provisions defunding and blocking the use of PARCC, the set of Common Core aligned assessments that have students in tears all over the country.

05/04/2015
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Blog

Another West Virginia County Cracks Down on Testing Opt Outs

A couple of weeks ago, I wrote about a county in West Virginia was trying to intimidate students who wanted to opt out of the standardized testing mandated under Common Core standards. Despite assurances from the State Superintendent of Education that there were no consequences to students for opting out, schools were fearing a loss of funding, and therefore overreacting to parents exercising their rights by singling out and pressuring students to comply.

04/27/2015
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Blog

Tennessee's Common Core Repeal Bill Is Weak, but an Encouraging Start

It appears that Tennessee will be next state in line to repeal the increasingly unpopular Common Core education standards, joining South Carolina, Missouri, and Oklahoma. This week, the state House passed HB 1035 unanimously, a bill that calls for Common Core standards to be repealed and replaced with standards designed by the state. The state Senate followed shortly thereafter, passing the bill by a vote of 27-1.

04/21/2015

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