Last week Oklahoma joined Indiana and South Carolina as the third state to repeal the Common Core State Standards. Not only is Oklahoma withdrawing from Common Core, but the new law also specifies that the new state standards, implemented by August 2016, must be adequately different than the Common core standards in order to prevent the re-adoption of Common Core under a different name.
"Common Core was intended to develop a set of high standards in classrooms across the nation that would ensure children graduated from high school prepared for college and a career in an increasingly competitive workforce. It was originally designed as a state-lead – not federal – initiative that each state could choose to voluntarily adopt,"Gov. Mary Fallin saidupon signing the bill. "Unfortunately, federal overreach has tainted Common Core."
In her testimony before the Oklahoma Interim Committee on Common Core, Joy Pullmann, a Heartland research fellow, urged state legislators to abolish Common Core testifying "America’s economy and education system worked well when both largely allowed individuals and communities to follow their own plans".
Several other states are also considering legislation to suspend the enactment of the standards or do away with them completely. In Missouri, Gov. Jay Nixon is considering a bill passed by the legislature last month to have working groups come up with new content standards over the next couple years while lawmakers in North Carolina have also passed bills concerning Common Core.
The Heartland Institute – which also publishes School Reform Newsand other publications you may recognize – is happy to send an expert to your state to testify or brief your caucus, help organize an event in your state, or distribute further information on Common Core or any other issue. If you have any questions or comments, please contact Heartland firstname.lastname@example.org or 312/377-4000.or 312/377-4000.
Supporters of Medicaid expansion under the Affordable Care Act argue they can get “free money” from the federal government if they expand. However, that is simply not the case. In this Research & Commentary, Senior Policy Analyst Matthew Glans notes, “Without significant reforms, Medicaid will remain fiscally unsustainable. States that haven’t yet expanded Medicaid should require legislative approval for any future expansion. It is undemocratic to allow a governor to unilaterally expand the largest category of state budget expenditures.” Virginia should enact legislation that would prevent this from happening. Read More
The Clean Air Act is the fifth most burdensome mandate to states and the private sector according to the Goldwater Institute. With tighter controls on greenhouse gas emissions being proposed, Policy Analyst Taylor Smith examines a way states can escape the heavy-handedness of EPA and the Clean Air Act and take greater control over how the environmental quality gets regulated in their states. Read More
In an article appearing in the Heartlander digital magazine, Heartland policy advisor Seton Motley describes the issues surrounding the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) Title II proposal to further regulate the Internet. Commenting on the current system, Motley notes, “If ever there was an example of ‘if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” – this is it.’” Read More
Act 10, the law that brought labor unions to near riot at the Wisconsin state capitol and launched the effort to recall Gov. Scott Walker, is continuing to work and benefit students even now, writes Research Fellow Joy Pullmann. Read More
Right-to-work laws give employees the freedom to choose whether to join a labor union and pay union dues as a condition of employment. In this Research & Commentary, Government Relations Coordinator Alex Monahan examines the impact that these laws have on the economic landscape of states. Monahan notes, “States with right-to-work laws experience growth in both economic performance as well population.” Since 1947, the year the Taft-Hartley Act was adopted, 24 states have enacted right-to-work laws, including Indiana in 2012 and Michigan in 2013. Missouri is the latest state to consider such a policy. Read More
An economic policy research brief from the Cato Institute discusses what "new rewards and penalities" the Affordable Care Act presents to employers. Casey Mulligan, a professor in the Department of Economics at the Univeristy of Chicago and Cato contributor suggests that the ACA "may reduce employment by 3 percent on averge and have a range of positive and negative effects on average hours worked. Read More
The May issue of School Reform News reports the Arizona state supreme court refused to take up an appeal of a lower court’s decision in favor of the state’s education savings account (ESA) program. By allowing the lower court decision to stand, the state supreme court may have paved the way for other states to take up the innovative program. “The life cycle of school choice programs is almost predictable,” notes Jonathan Butcher, education director of Arizona’s Goldwater Institute. “It gets passed into law, the union sues, the court decides, and if the decide favorably, other states start doing it.”