Public Colleges Don’t Need More of Your Money

ONE BLOATED COMPENSATION PACKAGE IS ONLY A TINY PART OF THE PROBLEM Late in 2013 University of South Carolina (USC) President Harris Pastides was making hat in hand entreaties to the legislature for more General Funds for the school. Pastides insisted that the University administration didn’t wish to raise tuition yet again, but they would be […]

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Common Core: It’s Bigger Than You Think

COMMON CORE IS EVERYWHERE – BY DESIGN. REJECTING IT WILL TAKE MORE THAN A BILL. Across the country, parents and teachers are waking up and forcing their states to reject the nationalized standards system, Common Core. This year in South Carolina, a large grassroots effort forced the General Assembly to pass legislation forcing new standards to […]

Why Common Core Fails Special Needs Students

ONE-SIZE-FITS-ALL IS GREAT, UNLESS YOU’RE THE WRONG SIZE Common Core, whatever else may be said about it, is a one-size-fits-all standards regime. Parents of special needs children therefore have every reason to oppose its implementation, whether by name or in some other “Common Core-aligned” form. Although the standards provide for some accommodations for special needs students, […]

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The Fight to Stop Common Core Starts Here

IT WON’T BE EASY, BUT IT’S WINNABLE To our allies in the fight against Common Core: We understand that yesterday’s election may have been disappointing to you. Rest assured, however, that the South Carolina Policy Council is pushing ahead in the fight to remove Common Core entirely from South Carolina schools. We’ve argued for months that […]

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Why Teachers Should Hate Common Core

IN A WORD: INFLEXIBILITY “Common Core has nothing to do with curriculum, instruction, or testing.” No matter how many times Common Core’s most prominent supporters make that claim, it’s still false. Like any set of strict academic standards, Common Core standards directly affect these areas – and thus remove the ability of teachers to use […]

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Sadly, Common Core Is Not Dead

IT’LL ONLY GO AWAY WHEN LAWMAKERS LEARN TO TURN AWAY FEDERAL CASH On several recent occasions we’ve heard pundits or public officials – and in one case a candidate for Superintendent of Education – claim that South Carolina has gotten rid of Common Core. If only. Now it’s true that the state Department of Education […]

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The Problem(s) with Common Core

WILL COMMON CORE PREPARE YOUR KID FOR SUCCESS? UNFORTUNATELY, NO. Over the last year, we’ve seen a number of pro-Common Core publications that ask and purport to answer some variation of this question: “Will the Common Core State Standards best prepare students for success in college, career, and life?” The answer is No. Standards themselves can’t […]

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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, […]

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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 […]