Imagine trying to navigate the challenging waters of fourth, fifth and sixth grade science, social studies, and English unable to read. Unfortunately, this is the case for too many Palmetto State children, who are “socially promoted” based on seat time alone rather than proficiency. So how do we help ensure students have this fundamental tool
Many feel-good policies are ultimately disastrous. One of these, the concept of a government-mandated minimum wage, is particularly counterproductive. On the face of it, what could be so bad about guaranteeing the poorest workers in society receive wages high enough to ensure a minimum standard of living? (Especially since it only comes at the cost of “immoral corporate greed”?) The answer is: a lot.
In the history of civilization, income tax policies designed primarily to soak the rich have always failed. Why? Because of a basic concept of economics called elasticity. Imagine the price of gas goes up by $4 per gallon (to say, the European price). If you routinely buy 20 gallons of fuel a week for your “fun” car (maybe a BMW M3 or Chevy Corvette), would you, after this price hike, be likely to add an extra $80 a week to the coffers of the gas company? The answer is, of course, no. You observe the price of gas going up and cut your consumption.
Over the last few months the Forum has been heavily focused on education issues like Read to Succeed and pushing back on Common Core’s federal overreach. But we’ve still been keeping an eye on what may be the biggest threat to state autonomy: Medicaid expansion. As we shared in our Fast Fact sheet Top 10 Reasons Medicaid Expansion is Bad Medicine for South Carolina is Bad Medicine for South Carolina, expanding Medicaid to able-bodied adults would overwhelm an already broken program, harming the very people it was created to serve: poor children, the elderly and people with disabilities.
50 years of growing federal involvement in education has not led to better outcomes for students. A recent Daily Signal article lays out the disturbing trend: “According to the National Assessment of Educational Progress long-term-trend assessment, 17-year-old students today perform no better in reading and math than 17-year-olds did in the 1970s. According to the main NAEP assessment, often referred to as the nation’s “report card,” only 26 percent of 12th graders are proficient in math; just 38 percent of high school seniors are proficient in reading.”
The ability to read is a primary gateway to success in school and life-long learning. A child who does not master this fundamental skill faces daunting odds. Consider these sobering statistics from the Annie E. Casey Foundation: Children who are not reading proficiently in 3rd grade are 4 times more likely to not graduate high school. Below basic readers are almost 6 times more likely than proficient readers to not finish high school on time. Poor, Black, and Hispanic students who are struggling readers are about 8 times more likely than proficient readers to drop out of high school.
Common Core is just the first step down a long road of government control and intervention. Though Common Core promises to be a one size fits all fix for America's education system, in reality it is a bureaucratic nightmare that would only further undermine American education.
This OpEd appeared in The Greenville News on February 2, 2014. Liberal Democrat Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee and conservative Republican Senator Ted Cruz. Newt Gingrich and Al Sharpton. What agenda could possibly unite these political odd couples? Support for the rapidly expanding world of education options. Each of these leaders is part of a bipartisan
“Not my son,” Marilyn calmly whispered as she listened to the local news regarding the deterioration of the neighborhood public schools. Though outwardly silent, she made a thunderous inner vow. Her son would acquire an education and break the cycle of housing projects, violence, broken homes, and hopelessness. It would end here.
Like it or not, the actions of the South Carolina General Assembly can have a powerful impact on the pocketbooks of families like yours…on your freedom to work, access health care and educate your family. The legislature usually takes the summer and fall off and returns in January. To get ready to return for their January through June session, members of the Senate and House started putting bills in the stream in December. In the waning days of 2013 some interesting legislation was filed that could have a significant impact on your life. As always, we will be watching these bills to protect you and your family.