Pioneer Institute

ALEC Votes Down Anti-Common-Core Resolution

The latest news is that on Nov. 19, after several discussions over the past year and at least one postponed vote, ALEC’s legislative board of directors has voted not to adopt the resolution opposing the common core, the group announced in an email. ALEC stated that it will remain “neutral” on the common core, “but will continue to oppose any efforts by the federal government to mandate curriculum.”

…On one side of the debate that went back and forth at ALEC were officials like Indiana Superintendent of Schools Tony Bennett and former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, Republicans who said the standards are not a federal K-12 takeover but an important way for schools to raise the bar for students. On the other side were policy mavens at places like the Pioneer Institute, the Boston-based think tank, who said that in addition to the political problems the common core posed, the standards themselves did not deliver as advertised in areas like college readiness. As you might expect, the Pioneer Institute was very keen on emphasizing the idea that Bennett’s support for the common core was a big contributor to his defeat in the Nov. 6 election, when he lost to Democrat Glenda Ritz.

Voting down the anti-common-core language isn’t inherently an expression of support for the standards, as ALEC stressed. At the same time, Bennett’s defeat doesn’t appear to have had a chilling affect on other elected state lawmakers when it comes to how they approach the common core. (Incidentally, ALEC’s national chairman, who leads the board of directors that just took the common-core vote, is Rep. Dave Frizzell, a state lawmaker in Bennett’s own Indiana.)

To read this entire article at EDUCATION WEEK, please click here

If Republicans hate government so much, why do they so desperately want to run (and own) ours?

Author’s note: Next week the Republicans will have their Presidential Convention, and if you listen to the Republican Politicians and the pundits, you can expect to hear a lot of talk about “Small Government”, “Limited Government”, “Low Taxes”, “Deficit Reduction” and the like. This is the first of a series that is intended to examine Radical Right Republican rhetoric vs reality, their talk versus their behavior. I believe the two are at polar opposites.

Ever since Ronald Reagan’s pronouncement that “Government is the Problem”, Republicans have been running against the government, and at the same time, they desperately want to run, or own the government.

I’d like to explore this dichotomy, and try to analyze why it exists, and try to determine if the Republican behavior matches their rhetoric. I suspect it won’t, but will provide my argument and you can decide for yourself.

It seems far more likely to me that Republicans, and radicalized far-right Republicans see maintaining their hold on the levers of government, with its unparalleled ability to organize capital at all levels through the taxing power, is a fine means to redistribute wealth from the general citizenry, you and me, to the wealthy and the power elites, from which they come. In case you’ve never seen President Reagan’s pronouncement, here it is:

More →

National Board for Professional Teaching Standards Cuts Ties to ALEC

This is a lot more than the standard ColorOfChange/Common Cause “get out of jail free” card.  This is very significant not only of the action itself, but if you follow the links to some of the individuals who will be taking over this task force…Watch Out!

“The national certifying body for teachers in the United States, the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards (NBPTS), participated in the Education Task Force of the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) until April 2012.

“New members of ALEC’s Education Task Force as of the upcoming Spring Task Force meeting in Charlotte, North Carolina this month are the James Madison Institute (JMI) of Florida and the Pioneer Institute of Massachusetts, both members of the Koch-funded State Policy Network of right wing state think tanks. JMI has partnered with the Foundation for Excellence in Education (FEE), another ALEC member whose chairman is former Florida Governor Jeb Bush. In 2008, FEE and JMI co-hosted a “national summit on education reform” in Florida focused on increased testing, school privatization, and charter schools.”

This is a very important article to read and think about what it means for us.  Please click here for the link.