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Here are some news stories and articles which might be of interest to you. I've posted the opening section, and if you want to read more, you can click on "Read the whole article" to go to the original item. You'll find a variety of things here -- current news, political analysis, opinion pieces, articles about religion -- things I've happened to read and want to share with you. It's your Reading Room, so take your time. Browse. You're certain to find something you'll want to read.

Friday, May 9, 2014

Common Core: Bad Program, Bad Politics

By Michelle Malkin

All politics is local. That means Republican politicians with national ambitions had better pay attention to what grassroots parents are saying and doing about the federal education racket known as Common Core. In bellwether Indiana this week, anti–Common Core activists won a pair of pivotal electoral victories against GOP governor Mike Pence.

Pence’s attempt to mollify critics by rebranding and repackaging shoddy Common Core standards is fooling no one.

Tuesday’s Republican primary elections in the Hoosier State resulted in the landslide defeat of two establishment state representatives running for reelection. Pence had endorsed Kathy Heuer over challenger Christopher Judy, and Pence’s lieutenant governor, Sue Ellspermann, had endorsed Rebecca Kubacki over challenger Curt Nisly. The incumbents enjoyed the support of the Common Core–promoting U.S. Chamber of Commerce.

These same big-business elites backed Pence’s ploy to stave off grassroots parental opposition by “withdrawing” from Common Core — and then immediately adopting “new” standards that recycle the same old rotten ones. As Hoosier mom Erin Tuttle put it, Pence’s stunt “gave the appearance of voiding the Common Core, while the Indiana Department of Education and the Center for Education and Career Innovation walked it through the backdoor.”

Challengers Judy and Nisly made their opponents’ refusal to help end Common Core in the state a central issue. Hoosiers Against Common Core, led by moms Tuttle and Heather Crossin, endorsed the dark-horse challengers. With little money and scant press attention, they beat Pence’s machine by astonishingly wide margins: Judy ousted Heuer 57–43; Nisly defeated Kubacki 65–35.

Well before the horrors of Common Core had penetrated cable TV and late-night comedy shows, Indiana parents led the lonely charge. They were at the vanguard of challenging the program’s constitutionality, costs, substandard academic quality, and privacy invasions, as well as the special-interest lobbyists fueling Fed Ed. In 2012, Hoosiers Against Common Core spearheaded the stunning ouster of Tony Bennett, the Indiana GOP’s scandal-plagued former state education secretary who fled to Common Core–peddling former governor Jeb Bush’s Florida for another educrat job.

The way Pence is going, his 2016 ambitions may soon face the same fate. Pence’s hero Ronald Reagan advocated abolishing the federal Department of Education, yet Pence is busy emulating the bureaucratic behemoth. In addition to embracing the expedient “cut and paste” rewrite of Indiana’s academic standards overseen by D.C. Common Core operatives, Pence is now pursuing the construction of a statewide student database. It looks and sounds a lot like the federal data-tracking warehouse championed by Common Core advocates.

[Read the whole article here.]


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Fr. Phillips is the founding pastor of Our Lady of the Atonement Catholic Church, the first Anglican Use parish, established on August 15, 1983. Not that there is any confusion, but he is on the left, shown in his younger, less gray-headed days.