Withdrawing from Smarter Balanced: Q&A

SOUTH CAROLINA MAY WITHDRAW FROM THE COMMON CORE-ALIGNED CONSORTIUM KNOWN AS SMARTER BALANCED. WHAT DOES THAT MEAN? With the recent move by the South Carolina Department of Education to remove South Carolina from the Smarter Balanced consortium, there’s a lot of understandable confusion about standards and assessments in state schools. What follows is a brief, […]

Category: Education · Tags: ,

Educational Freedom: How to Achieve It

HOW TO THINK DIFFERENTLY ABOUT EDUCATION IN S.C. It’s no secret that South Carolina has some of the worst public schools and some of the lowest levels of student academic achievement in the country. The most important factors generating this failure are these: (a)  a strong reluctance to experiment in education, combined with (b) an unthinking […]

Study: More Money, No Improvement

AS EVER, THE EASY ANSWER IS THE WRONG ONE A new study by the Cato Institute reinforces the findings of SCPC and other researchers: more money doesn’t produce better results. The Cato study examines SAT scores from 1972 to 2012 in each state. Student SAT participation rates and demographics are controlled for using an improved […]

Stopping Common Core: Is It Too Late?

LAWMAKERS SHOULD  END IT – WITHOUT EQUIVOCATION AND WITHOUT DELAY When it comes to Common Core’s adoption in South Carolina, there is plenty of blame to go around. The federal government could be blamed for bribing states to adopt Common Core through Race to the Top (RTT) grants. At the state level, current and former executive branch officials, […]

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The Ways & Means Budget Is Here

  SHORT VERSION: MASSIVE HIKES FOR THE USUAL SUSPECTS The House will begin debate on another record high budget today. At $25.4 billion (assuming a $1.5 billion food stamp item for some reason no longer listed in the budget), the Ways and Means Committee’s proposed budget is over $1 billion higher than last year’s ratified […]

Lawmakers Meet on Common Core – 3.5 Years Too Late

WHY NOW? On Wednesday February 5, the Senate Education K-12 Subcommittee heard six short presentations on Common Core – three for and three against – in a packed room full of mainly Common Core detractors. What was peculiar about the meeting is two-fold, and has nothing to do with what actually happened at the meeting […]

Category: Commentary · Tags: ,

Gov. Haley’s Education Plan: More Money

THE TROUBLE IS: MORE MONEY ≠ BETTER PERFORMANCE Last week Governor Haley unveiled her K-12 Education Reform Initiative for South Carolina. The governor’s new plan is consistent with most education improvement plans introduced in South Carolina in recent decades: it ignores the single most effective reform that could be enacted, school choice. Rather than pushing for […]

Rejecting Common Core – and the Structure that Made It Possible

  ‘NULLIFYING’ COMMON CORE WON’T MAKE IT GO AWAY, BUT A BILL NOW IN THE LEGISLATURE WOULD GIVE TAXPAYERS SOME SAY IN THE MATTER The first step toward removing Common Core requirements from the South Carolina education system – strangely enough – would have nothing directly to do with Common Core. A bill prefiled for […]

Can Common Core Be Stopped?

MAYBE, BUT IT MAY TAKE MORE THAN PASSING A LAW Opponents of Common Core, the nationalized set of academic standards currently being imposed on South Carolina public schools, are wondering how to stop it – or indeed if it’s too late to stop it. While four states refused to implement these standards in the first […]

What Will Our Children Learn Under Common Core? – Part II

DOES THIS SOUND LIKE A CURRICULUM YOU WOULD CHOOSE? In Part I of our analysis of Common Core-based curriculum material, we discussed some problematic lesson plans disseminated by Student Achievement Partners, a nonprofit organization founded by three contributing authors of Common Core State Standards. In the present analysis we discuss Common Core-aligned Homework/Test Questions and […]