Education Freedom: An Update

Over the last few weeks, several issues relating to education reform and freedom have made the news … here is a recap of a few of these items!

The Nanny State Strikes Again – Parents Miss Class, Students Don’t Advance
In what should be a shocking move, but isn’t because it’s New York, NY State Senator Ruben Diaz has introduced legislation^3 that would require parents to take four of twelve parenting courses (yes, require) in order for their children to advance to the seventh grade.

Citing an issue with parents not attending parent teacher conferences, Diaz believes this will help bridge the gap between parent/teacher communication. Talk about guilty until proven innocent – the state of New York has decided that Nanny Bloomberg had the right idea and now wants to penalize parents for doing absolutely nothing wrong. Last I checked, New York has a few things it should be concerned with that have a lot more to do with local debt and a lot less to do with the private family matters of its’ citizens.

Missouri Legislature Takes Important Step in Stopping Common Core
Last week, the Missouri State Senate passed HB 1490^1, a bill returning control over curriculum back to local school districts and forming work groups to create state-based education standards to replace common core. The bill now heads to a conference committee to ensure that any of the differences between the original four page House version and the final forty-four page Senate version are worked out. It’s final stop is with Governor Jay Nixon for signature, which is where this gets really interesting because Governor Nixon has been a firm supporter of Common Core State Standards and was part of the initial push to implement them^4. Stay tuned for an important action alert in the coming days.

The U.S. House of Representatives Pass Charter School Bill
As ABC News reported^2, the House passed H.R. 10, the Success and Opportunity through Quality Charter Schools Act, on Friday. This is exceptionally frustrating. As a passionate supporter of school choice, I find it odd that anyone examining the Department of Education finds it smart to expand their role in and federal influence on Charter Schools and state based choice programs.

The school choice movement works to expand parental options and free local communities from the confines of federal mandates and intervention into local classrooms. Several provisions of this act expand federal oversight of charter schools rather than leave the programs up to state and local accountability measures. Good intentions gone wrong.