FROM Deborah Sigman
Common Core: For Better or Worse As the father of children in New York public schools, comedian Louis CK has become a poster-parent for protest against Common Core . That's the new federally approved program of educational standards designed to produce the critical thinking and analytical skills required for success in the global economy. Louis CK says, "My kids used to love math. Now it makes them cry." California has adopted the Common Core standards for public schools but not for everybody. Tests are being given this year in grades three through eight and 11 — but no results will be made public. In fact, the tests themselves are being tested.
Is High-Stakes Testing the Ruin of School Reform? In Atlanta, 35 teachers and administrators were indicted this week for conspiring to raise student scores on standardized tests. In El Paso, a former superintendent’s in prison for putting kids in the wrong grade, pushing them out of school or preventing them from enrolling—so that test scores would meet high standards of accountability. Texas spends more on standardized testing than any other state. It’s where George W. Bush got the idea for “No Child Left Behind,” which evolved into “Race to the Top” under Barack Obama.
Does 'hire American' mean fire a foreigner? US companies are allowed to hire employees from other countries with highly developed skills that can't be found here. President Trump says it's being abused as a way to find cheap foreign labor. We hear about the benefits—and the risks—of changing the H-1B program.
Mixed Messages from US diplomats on the new hard line on Syria Since President Trump's surprise retaliation against Syria's use of chemical weapons, Bashar al-Assad has used the same airport to launch conventional attacks on his own people. It's not clear what the US, its allies — or Vladimir Putin's Russia -- plan to do now.