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Common Core, School Choice and Rethinking Standards-Based Reform

While U.S. academic performance has declined since the broad implementation of Common Core, school choice programs are increasingly hamstrung by regulations that require private schools to adopt a single curriculum standards-based test as a condition for receiving public money, according to a new study published by Pioneer Institute.

Federal Fig Leaf or Flexibility? (by Ted Rebarber)

As the fight over the national Common Core academic standards continues to heat up in the states, it’s worth taking another look at the Obama Administration’s claim that they are absolutely, positively not using federal power to coerce states into adopting the Common Core. For those who haven’t been following the ins and outs of this particular federal soap opera, states are now in the position of pleading with federal officials for waivers from unworkable provisions in federal law. In 2002, Congress and the Bush Administration passed the No Child Left Behind Act (NCLB), which mandated that by the spring of 2014 (next year!) fully 100% of all public school students in America must meet grade level standards in English […]

Beyond Demographic Destiny

This report analyzes achievement gaps for African-American and Hispanic minority students in selected Massachusetts school districts. It examines the gaps in English Language Arts and Mathematics achievement on the state assessment, MCAS, between each minority group and White students.

Closing Springfield’s Achievement Gap

Business leaders, educators, policy makers, and civil rights advocates are increasingly dedicated to fundamental reform to close the achievement gap that limits hope and opportunity for students from historically disadvantaged groups. Substantial gaps in academic achievement between groups of students based on race, ethnicity and similar factors should have no place in American society in the 21st century.