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  • Commentary posted July 17, 2014 by Lindsey Burke Breaks do Nothing to Cut College Costs: Front Burner

    Federal lawmakers have been trying for decades to reduce the burden of paying for college. Congress has significantly expanded lending, lifted caps on borrowing, and cut interest rates on federal student loans. Parents even became eligible to take out loans to pay for children's college in the 1980s through the Parent PLUS program.  The Obama administration recently used…

  • Commentary posted July 8, 2014 by Lindsey Burke Tenure Creates the Wrong Incentives

    “Nothing is so permanent as a temporary government program,” quipped Milton Friedman. The same could be said of teachers with tenure. Last year, just two – that’s right, two – teachers in California were dismissed because of performance issues, according to Parent Revolution’s Ben Austin. While it’s likely only a small minority of teachers is grossly ineffective, tenure…

  • Commentary posted June 9, 2014 by Lindsey Burke Elizabeth Warren Leaves Taxpayers on Hook for More Student Loan Subsidies

    Congress has long tried to help students afford a college education. It has cut interest rates on federal student loans, vastly expanded federal lending and lifted caps on borrowing. In the 1980s, it even let parents borrow directly from the feds — through the Parent PLUS program — to pay for their children’s college. None of this has reduced college costs. Indeed, some…

  • Testimony posted June 4, 2014 by Lindsey Burke Student Loan Servicing: The Borrower’s Experience

    Testimony before The Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs Financial Institutions and Consumer Protection Subcommittee United States Senate My name is Lindsey M. Burke. I am the Will Skillman Fellow in Education Policy at The Heritage Foundation. The views I express in this testimony are my own, and should not be construed as representing any official position…

  • Commentary posted May 13, 2014 by Lindsey Burke Our National Report Card: No Education Progress Since 2009

    Last week the U.S. Department of Education released the 2013 results of math and reading achievement for 12th graders on the National Assessment of Educational Progress. It’s hard to say what’s been achieved. According to the NAEP — a standardized test often referred to as the nation’s “report card” — just 26 percent of the country’s 12th graders are proficient in math.…

  • Issue Brief posted March 18, 2014 by Lindsey Burke The Value of Parental Choice in Education: A Look at the Research

    Over the past decade, a growing body of empirical research examining the impact of school choice has emerged. Education researcher Greg Forster, PhD, conducted an analysis of all existing empirical evaluations of school choice programs to date. According to Forster, 11 out of 12 random assignment studies found that choice improved the academic outcomes of participants;…

  • Commentary posted March 13, 2014 by Lindsey Burke Common Core and the New SAT

    The hugely controversial Common Core initiative is at least partly responsible for the latest revamp of the SAT college entrance exam. This puts great pressure on non-Common Core states, private schools, and homeschoolers to comply with national standards to keep students from doing poorly on the new Common Core–aligned SAT. There have been many changes made to the SAT…

  • Commentary posted March 12, 2014 by Lindsey Burke Choosing to Learn

    Americans face a choice between two paths that will guide education in this nation for generations: self-government and central planning. Which we choose will depend in large measure on how well we understand accountability.   To some, accountability means government-imposed standards and testing, like the Common Core State Standards, which advocates believe will ensure…

  • Issue Brief posted March 7, 2014 by Lindsey Burke, Rachel Sheffield New Preschool Spending an Unnecessary Burden on American Taxpayers

    President Obama has proposed spending $75 billion over the next 10 years to create a new federally funded preschool initiative. His fiscal year (FY) 2015 budget proposes spending billions to expand access to “high quality preschool” for every four-year-old child in the country. Legislative proposals in the House and Senate mirror the President’s plan. Proposals to…

  • Commentary posted February 22, 2014 by Lindsey Burke Common Core by Any Other Name Is Still Common Core

    What's in a name? that which we call a rose By any other name would smell as sweet; -- Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet As Juliet reminds us, changing the name of something doesn’t change its nature. Yet, in an apparent effort to placate parents, teachers, and taxpayers concerned by the effort to mandate national standards and tests for what every child will learn,…

  • Commentary posted January 28, 2014 by Lindsey Burke Obama's Education Plans: Little Evidence, Lots of Big Government

    The State of the Union touched on education from pre-K through higher education, with one overriding theme: more intervention from Washington. President Obama’s call for billions in new federal spending on a massive preschool program — a Race to the Top for four-year-olds — should be approached with caution. Policymakers at every level of government should be aware that…

  • Issue Brief posted January 27, 2014 by Lindsey Burke, Brittany Corona Federal Preschool Proposals Will Cost Billions and Have Limited Impact on Participants

    In November, Senator Tom Harkin (D–IA) and Representative George Miller (D–CA) introduced the Strong Start for America’s Children Act (S. 1697 and H.R. 3461), which would create a federal preschool program for all four-year-old children from low- to moderate-income families in the country. It mirrors President Obama’s call for a new $75 billion federal preschool…

  • Commentary posted January 24, 2014 by Lindsey Burke Universal pre-K may not be as good as it sounds

    Mayor Bill de Blasio has made no bones about his desire to create taxpayer-funded government preschool for every 4-year-old in New York City. Obama administration officials and some in Congress are also beating the drums to do the same for every 4-year-old in America. But New Yorkers - and parents and taxpayers across the country - should be wary of Nanny State…

  • Commentary posted November 25, 2013 by Lindsey Burke, Virginia Walden Ford GAO fails to account for success of school choice

    Only dug-in Washington bureaucrats would criticize the District of Columbia’s successful local school choice program for — wait for it — failing to offer enough information about choice. A quibbling new report from the Government Accountability Office, the investigative arm of Congress, faults the administrator of the D.C. Opportunity Scholarship Program for not…

  • Backgrounder posted November 14, 2013 by Lindsey Burke How the A-PLUS Act Can Rein In the Government’s Education Power Grab

    No Child Left Behind (NCLB), a reauthorization of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965, has been slated for its own reauthorization since 2007. Since that time, Congress has considered various proposals to rewrite the 600-page education law, without reaching a consensus, leaving NCLB to continue to operate as it has since 2002. While policymakers agree No…