The Common Core State Standards Initiative was unpopular with many Americans when states began passing it five years ago. The initiative details what K-12 students should know in English and math at the end of each grade level, and has since been adopted in 42 states. Now, the results are beginning to come in. While outcomes are trending positive in many states, the tests revealed that California has been performing poorly – worse than previously known under more relaxed standards. Robert Pondiscio is vice president of the Thomas B. Fordham Institute, where he writes about education and education-reform issues. Pondiscio recently wrote an op-ed in the San Diego Union Tribune, arguing that we shouldn’t shoot the messenger, i.e., blame the new standards. Having spent time both in the classroom and the policy arena, Pondiscio is positioned to see how it functions and how it falls short. He joins Bob this Sunday to discuss how California is failing to prepare many of its students for the future, and how increasing educational choice through charter schools can help.
Early this year, Cathy Young, author of two books and a columnist for The Boston Globe, the New York Times, and the Wall Street Journal (to name merely a few news outlets) caught Bob’s attention with “Guilty Until Proven Innocent.” Her thoroughly researched article, which appeared in Reason Magazine, tells the story of how the government encourages kangaroo courts for sex crimes on campus. Young men are tried (if you can call it that) in quasi-judicial proceedings, with none of the safeguards Americans would expect. If found “guilty,” the damage to the accused is often greater than it would be in a criminal proceeding. This a feminism gone wild, or as Cathy identifies it, an uncontrolled and abusive “rape culture” crusade which damages both young women and young men. College should be an environment where the rules of civil society are taught and reinforced, not abused and ignored. Even worse, this loss of civil liberties takes place with the express encouragement of Washington, with none other than Joe Biden leading the charge. Who would have thought that sex could become an issue to be exploited for political gain? Will we become a nation of geldings (look it up)?
By popular demand, John Rothmann joins Bob once again to cross rhetorical swords on the issue of school vouchers which has become particularly timely in light of the House Republican bill to fund vouchers. The teachers unions are up in arms. This is a wedge issue that separates parents of minority kids from the Democrats. Interesting, and fun.
Bob examined federal involvement in education policy and interviewed Andrew Coulson from the Cato Institute about the need for any federal involvement in education. Parents and teachers should control education, not civil servants who are thousands of miles away.