Archive for the 'Federal Government' Category

April
11th 2014
Testing, Data Issues around Common Core Alive and Kicking in Colorado

Posted under Federal Government & Grades and Standards & Parents & State Board of Education & State Legislature

Four weeks ago I posed the question: Are the wheels starting to come off Common Core in Colorado? It seems no less to be the case now than it did then. As I’ve stated before, the real concern comes down to limiting federal influence in our K-12 schools. On the other side of the equation, we need a reasonable, equitable, transparent, but minimally intrusive system of testing and accountability.

The current trajectory has some parents, educators, and others upset, and at least in some cases, for very good reasons. The problem is the term “Common Core” has become so inclusive of so many issues, and it’s so difficult even to get agreement on some basic facts, that a little guy like me sometimes just throws my hands up and sighs. Continue Reading »

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March
13th 2014
Whoa… Are the Wheels Starting to Come Off Common Core in Colorado?

Posted under Federal Government & Grades and Standards & Parents & Public Charter Schools & School Accountability & State Board of Education & State Legislature

The more the pro-Common Core crowd doubles down, the more traction the opposition gains. And I can’t say I’m terribly disappointed. Snarky online quizzes that studiously avoid the term “Common Core” aren’t helpful for making the case to back national standards.

On the other hand, Rick Hess’ clever and insightful satire (I hope that debating federal policy with a UFO is indeed satire) sheds some real light on why their effort is spinning its wheels at best, and more likely starting to spin out of control: Continue Reading »

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February
25th 2014
Choice Media: Experts Set President Straight on School Voucher Research Claims

Posted under Education Politics & Federal Government & Private Schools & Research & School Choice

I know it’s kind of a cute novelty to have a little kid talk to the leader of the free world. It’s not surprising, though, that when I joined the Wall Street Journal‘s Jason Riley a few weeks ago in asking President Obama if he would set the record straight on how school choice has helped kids, I received no answer.

The President is a very busy and important person, and we’re just hanging out here in one of those little flyover states. No important elections are pending. Still, when the U.S. Chief Executive declares on national television that “every study that’s been done on school vouchers…says that it has very limited impact if any,” it merits a clear response. Choice Media TV interviewed three of the leading national experts on the topic: Continue Reading »

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February
6th 2014
Will President Obama Set Record Straight on How School Choice Has Helped Kids?

Posted under Education Politics & Federal Government & Journalism & Research & School Choice

I guess being president means you get to say whatever you want. Now let’s be clear: Most of the big-people politics goes over my head, and I don’t bother to get into all that. But when the leader of the free world chimes in on school choice, it can’t help but capture my attention.

(H/T Choice Media) Cue Jason Riley’s Wall Street Journal political diary from yesterday, highlighting Bill O’Reilly’s recent exclusive interview with President Obama: Continue Reading »

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January
29th 2014
Students, Families Need Less Mandate, More Education Freedom from Feds

Posted under Federal Government & Grades and Standards & Parents & Private Schools & School Choice

If you think the federal government has a benign effect on Colorado education, then you’re just not paying attention. Look at all the fuel it’s thrown onto the fire of the Common Core debate — here in Colorado and elsewhere.

The U.S. Department of Education’s work of linking Common Core to the federal Race to the Top grant program raised a lot of red flags. But according to a new Education Week story, a number of school districts now are rejecting the funds for other reasons: Continue Reading »

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January
22nd 2014
Dougco Collision on Testing and Accountability Could Rattle Reform Debate

Posted under Education Politics & Federal Government & Grades and Standards & Innovation and Reform & School Accountability & School Board & State Legislature & Suburban Schools & Teachers

Have you ever watched a scene in an action movie (in my case, one that’s obviously edited for younger viewers to enjoy) where two cars, or trains, or planes are on a collision course? The characters in the movie may not realize what’s coming, but everyone watching in the theater or at home can sense that they are about to crash into each other. Then 3-2-1…

BOOM!!! Bent metal, broken glass, and explosions… cool stuff.

I exaggerate just a little to say that’s kind of how I feel today. Minding my own business at Chalkbeat Colorado, I’m directed to a Denver Post story with the headline “Douglas schools seek to opt out of federal, state standardized testing.” This is the super-conservative school board that’s transforming education, right? Continue Reading »

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November
22nd 2013
Thankful for the (Mostly) Good News for Louisiana School Choice Families

Posted under Courts & Federal Government & Parents & Private Schools & Research & School Choice

‘Tis the season for expressions of gratitude. So I’m glad to say this week that the U.S. Department of Justice has dropped its hollow and shameful attack against a Louisiana school choice program and the parents who benefit from it. So if you see little Eddie smiling and muttering a few extra Thank-You’s than normal, now you know why.

Back in August Eric Holder’s Justice Department launched a legal assault against the Louisiana Scholarship Program (LSP), claiming that it was undermining desegregation orders. Last week Commentary magazine writer Seth Mandel explained how the Feds’ phony case had completely broken down under the weight of new evidence. Continue Reading »

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October
3rd 2013
Louisiana Choice Reduces Segregation: Why Is Justice Department Attacking It?

Posted under Federal Government & Independence Institute & Parents & Research & School Choice

Tomorrow my Education Policy Center friends are hosting a Brown Bag lunch with special guest speaker Clint Bolick. He’s a big time pro-school choice attorney who right now is helping low-income families in Louisiana whose educational civil rights are under attack by the U.S. Department of Justice.

Why the attack? The Feds say the program that empowers them to choose a more suitable school somehow violates federal desegregation orders. Huh? That’s all ancient history to a little kid like me, but the idea they say is that these students’ choices are keeping kids of different races apart. The problem with that claim? New research published in Education Next shows the Louisiana Scholarship Program actually has the opposite effect: Continue Reading »

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October
1st 2013
Repeat: Federal Education Data Freeze Is No Reason for You (or Wonks) to Panic

Posted under Education Politics & Federal Government & Independence Institute & Innovation and Reform & Just For Fun & Research

I have some ideas of what to blog about. In fact, you can probably count on more fresh and insightful commentary tomorrow. But with the initial shock of the partial government shutdown, this young and sometimes naive edublogger is trying to keep composure and not panic.

But I think the situation might even be worse for policy wonks like my friends in the Education Policy Center. Try heading over to the federal government’s National Center for Education Statistics to download the latest spending and enrollment data, or to run research queries on state NAEP scores, and this is what you encounter: Continue Reading »

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August
26th 2013
Back-to-Back Anti-Choice Lawsuits Make Me Want to Scream and Pull Out My Hair

Posted under Courts & Education Politics & Federal Government & Research & School Choice & Tax Credits

I don’t have a lot to write about on this manic Monday. But after venturing over to Jay Greene’s blog and finding not one, but two, closely related news stories that make me want to pull my hair out. Well, how could I not share the experience with you? Irony reigns, the world is spinning out of control, and vulnerable kids bear the brunt of it all.

The first story, which takes us back to last week’s developments in Alabama’s new scholarship tax credit program, makes me want to scream in frustration:

The Southern Poverty Law Center filed a federal lawsuit Monday contending that low-income students attending failing public schools are being hurt by a new state law that provides tax credits to families that transfer their children to private schools.

Are you kidding me? Of course not. As Jay Greene blogger Jason Bedrick notes: Continue Reading »

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