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  • Commentary posted May 1, 2015 by Lindsey Burke Anti-Common Core bill deserved veto: Letter

    So, the governor has killed the “Anti-Common Core Bill” (“Bryant vetoes Common Core bill…,” April 23). Good. It was pretty much a sham reform anyway. The surest way to accomplish nothing is to create a government commission — and that’s all the bill would have done. Yes, the Mississippi Commission on College and Career Readiness would have studied the Common Core…

  • Issue Brief posted February 18, 2015 by Lindsey Burke What Congress and States Can Do to Reform Education Policy

    Getting American education back on track will require federal and state action to achieve reforms in a number of areas. In both K–12 and higher education policy, federal reforms anticipate state action to advance conservative principles. For example, the Higher Education Reform and Opportunity (HERO) Act introduced by Senator Mike Lee (R–UT) and by Representative Ron…

  • Issue Brief posted February 11, 2015 by Lindsey Burke NCLB Reauthorization Proposals: Missed Opportunities for Conservatives

    The House Education and the Workforce Committee, and the Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions (HELP) Committee have each proposed reauthorizations of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA), known as No Child Left Behind (NCLB). House Education and the Workforce Committee Chairman John Kline (R–MN) has introduced the Student Success Act, and Senate HELP…

  • Commentary posted February 10, 2015 by Robert Rector Married to the welfare state

    Fifty-one years ago, President Lyndon B. Johnson launched the War on Poverty. Since then, taxpayers have spent more than $22 trillion fighting Johnson’s war, three times the cost of all military wars in U.S. history. Last year, taxpayers spent more than $920 billion on 80 different anti-poverty programs. Despite this spending, the percentage of Americans who are poor…

  • Commentary posted February 5, 2015 by Lindsey Burke Wanted: Uber-Ized Education

    Following a recent education policy conference, we shared a ride back to the airport. Hailing the driver via the Uber app, we could see his name, face, and rating; we could track his approach on the app’s map, and we paid the fare automatically through the app at ride’s end. In other words, getting to the airport was about as convenient and easy as possible, this side of…

  • Commentary posted December 17, 2014 by Lindsey Burke Now’s the time for bold alternatives to No Child Left Behind

    Lawmakers already are talking about reauthorizing No Child Left Behind — the George W. Bush-era education initiative. “I’d like to have the president’s signature on it before summer,” challenged Sen. Lamar Alexander, the Tennessee Republican who will assume chairmanship of the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) committee when Congress resumes in…

  • Commentary posted December 15, 2014 by Lindsey Burke, Rachel Sheffield The Preschool Mirage

    The Obama administration has just announced a new $1 billion initiative ($750 million in federal grants and the remainder from private funding) to enroll more children in government preschool programs. The new measure is being announced formally at the White House Summit on Early Education this morning. The push comes on the heels of President Obama’s speech on women and…

  • Issue Brief posted December 8, 2014 by Lindsey Burke Reauthorizing No Child Left Behind: Four Recommendations to Advance Federalism in Education

    In early 2015, Congress is likely to consider reauthorization of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA), currently known as No Child Left Behind (NCLB), presenting conservatives with an opportunity to advance bold reforms to federal education policy. NCLB reauthorization will take one of two paths: It will either maintain (and potentially expand) high levels of…

  • Commentary posted November 21, 2014 by Romina Boccia, Robert Rector Weakening an Asset Test Could Expand the Welfare State

    Before Congress recessed for the midterm elections, lawmakers announced plans to use the current lame-duck session to work on passing a bill called “The Achieving a Better Life Experience (ABLE) Act.” Supporters describe the bill as a way to eliminate “barriers to work and saving by preventing dollars saved through ABLE accounts from counting against an individual’s…

  • Issue Brief posted November 17, 2014 by Robert Rector How Welfare Undermines Marriage and What to Do About It

    Historically, marriage has played a critical role in the raising of children. In most cases, the economic benefits of marriage are substantial. Marriage among families with children is an extremely powerful factor in promoting economic self-sufficiency: the ability of families to support themselves above poverty without reliance on government means-tested welfare aid. The…

  • Backgrounder posted November 10, 2014 by Robert Rector, Romina Boccia How the ABLE Act Would Expand the Welfare State

    This summer, a 14-page bill with 379 co-sponsors (193 Republicans, 186 Democrats), which is little known outside the halls of Congress, was reported out of the House Ways and Means Committee.[1] The Achieving a Better Life Experience (ABLE) Act (H.R. 647) would establish tax-favored savings accounts, similar to “529” education savings accounts, for individuals with…

  • Commentary posted November 7, 2014 by Lindsey Burke Common Core Loses at the Ballot Box

    Sorry, Common Core. Last night just wasn’t your night. Voters resoundingly sided with candidates who rejected Common Core national standards and tests and promised to restore state and local control of education. Two races for state superintendent were particularly notable in this regard. In Arizona, Diane Douglas ran on an anti–Common Core platform during her campaign…

  • Commentary posted November 4, 2014 by Brittany Corona It's Time to Undo Common Core's Takeover

    If ever a motto expressed pride in state autonomy, it's Iowa's: "Our liberties we prize, and our rights we will maintain." That dedication to local control undergirds the growing opposition to Common Core — the latest effort to centralize education through national standards and tests that will define what is taught in every public school classroom in the Hawkeye…

  • Commentary posted October 21, 2014 by Brittany Corona One More Reason States Should Reject Common Core

    The reach of Common Core national education standards and tests has moved beyond public school walls. Last month a home-schooling family in New Jersey received a letter from Westfield Public School District superintendent Margaret Dolanthe. It outlined what she said was district home-school policy requiring families to "submit a letter of intent (to home-school) and an…

  • Commentary posted October 6, 2014 by Lindsey Burke ESAs Are Changing the Game

    "A blind student in Arizona gets about $21,000 a year,” says Marc Ashton, whose son, Max, is legally blind. That $21,000 represents what Arizona spends to educate a student such as Max in the public-school system. “We took our 90 percent of that, paid for Max to get the best education in Arizona, plus all of his Braille, all of his technology, and then there was still…