It’s easy to experiment on schoolchildren, because they are a captive and vulnerable audience. States require all children to attend school, and once there the kids can be forced to do all sorts of things, aided by the fact that parents are rarely in class to monitor what’s going on.
Joy Pullmann | All Articles
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Joy Pullmann ([email protected]) is a research fellow of The Heartland Institute and managing editor of School Reform News, a national monthly publication. In that capacity, she has interviewed and produced podcasts with many of the leading figures in school reform. She previously was the assistant editor for American Magazine at the American Enterprise Institute.
She is also the 2013 recipient of a Robert Novak journalism fellowship for in-depth reporting on Common Core national education standards.
Pullmann has been published by the New York Times, Washington Examiner, The Weekly Standard, Washington Times, Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel, Salt Lake Tribune, Ricochet.com, National Review Online, Real Clear Policy, and various other U.S. newspapers and outlets. Pullmann has written a series of Research & Commentary reports on the Parent Trigger, a new school reform idea sweeping the country, and is coauthor with Joseph L. Bast of “Design Guidelines for Parent Triggers” (Heartland Institute, 2012).
Every Christmas, schools make headlines by labeling their calendars for “holiday break,” “winter solstice,” and the like instead of “Christmas break.” The occasional Scrooge-like superintendent or teacher will inevitably punish some little six-year-old for bringing candy canes with a Bible verse to school or wanting to share the story of Jesus’ birth for a class presentation.
The Indiana Supreme Court ruled 5-0 Tuesday that the state’s voucher program is constitutional. Opponents had argued that it violates the First Amendment’s prohibition on the establishment of religion, since some of the education funds distributed through the program end up going to religious schools.
It’s a curious paradox that people and organizations professing concern for the poor often support the very policies that prolong their misery. A new Annenberg Institute paper attacking the Parent Trigger repeats this pattern.
The president is so interested in evidence-based policies, his administration has suppressed and ignored evidence that a new federal preschool program he proposed Tuesday will waste money the country doesn’t have while hurting children.
The Chicago Teachers Union’s strike has left 350,000 pupils out of school and caused turmoil for nearly every family in Chicago. The central problem is the union’s ability --- and willingness --- to hold city officials, taxpayers, parents, and students hostage.
Last week, a lawyer for a Louisiana teachers’ union wrote a letter to 95 private schools that have agreed to participate in the Pelican State’s new school voucher program. His message? That vouchers are unconstitutional and if schools accept them, “We will have no alternative other than to institute litigation against [you].”
What’s worse than the federal government distributing ground beef that may contain “pink slime” for school lunches? That the federal government has anything to do with school lunches.
With the New Year upon us, pundits are handing out their “best and worst” awards and gossip magazines their “top whatever” lists. Well, on my list, you won’t find Occupy Wall Street or No Child Left Behind drama, but something much more significant to taxpayers, parents, and citizens: the top five underreported education stories of 2011.