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  • 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…

  • Commentary posted November 13, 2013 by Lindsey Burke, Israel Ortega Don’t Look to the Feds for Pre-School

    You’d think that the Obamacare rollout debacle would give one pause before asking the federal government to start running another mega-program. Yet Senator Tom Harkin (D., Iowa) and Representatives George Miller (D., Calif.) and Richard Hanna (R., N.Y.) are doing just that today. Accompanied by Hollywood actress Jennifer Garner, they are unveiling “a bipartisan proposal…

  • Commentary posted October 15, 2013 by Lindsey Burke The Education Debit Card

    ‘The public-school system has no ability to handle Shawn’s sensory needs,” says Jennifer Doucet, mother of the Arizona fourth-grader. “We needed a program that understood him, that [we] could gear toward his needs, instead of him having to fit into someone else’s box.” So the Doucet family enrolled Shawn in Pieceful Solutions, a private school in Chandler, Ariz., with…

  • Special Report posted October 7, 2013 by Lindsey Burke, Brittany Corona, Jennifer A. Marshall, Rachel Sheffield, Sandra Stotsky Common Core National Standards and Tests: Empty Promises and Increased Federal Overreach Into Education

    Americans who cherish limited government must be constantly vigilant of pushes to centralize various aspects of our lives. Government intervention is a zero-sum game; every act of centralization comes at the expense of liberty and the civil society institutions upon which this country was founded. Education is no exception. Growing federal intervention in education over…

  • Commentary posted September 20, 2013 by Lindsey Burke, Brittany Corona A new way to fund education

    Nathan Howard likes “Star Wars” and Legos, proudly recites the names of all 50 states, and proclaims his favorite “subject” is recess — although his mother would tell you his math skills have skyrocketed the last couple of years. Nathan is, in many ways, a typical 7-year-old boy. But when it comes to his educational needs, Nathan requires a little more support than…

  • Commentary posted September 11, 2013 by Andrew Kloster, Lindsey Burke DOJ uses decades-old accusations of racism as a club again

    Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr.’s Justice Department is stuck in the past. And now that predilection is threatening to keep thousands of disadvantaged children in Louisiana from the decent education they so desperately want and need. What makes the Justice Department’s obsession with “sins of the past” doubly wrong-headed is that it repeats an error recently…