Rotten to the Core

Common Core rests on the faulty premise that one centralized entity knows what's best for all 55 million students nationwide.

The Hour of Code initiative expects to reach more than 2.3 million students worldwide by providing basic computer programming instruction.

Common Core's standards are no more rigorous than the average state standards were.

By + More

[Read the U.S. News Debate: Are College Rankings a Good Thing?]

These are compelling findings, especially since students participating in parental choice programs are overwhelmingly from low-income families and had previously attended underperforming or failing public schools.

Importantly, private schools get results without the inflexibility of a cookie-cutter system. They offer an array of curricular choices, from Montessori to back-to-basics. Not only do most private schools administer standardized tests and report results directly to parents, they also report information that's most important to parents, including student-teacher ratios, course descriptions and college acceptance rates.

Regardless of the particular academic program offered, private schools must continue offering rigorous academics children need and parents think are best – or risk losing students to other schools.

Washington doesn't make schools accountable. Parents do. Washington doesn't improve school performance. Competition for students does. Parental choice ensures high standards and encourages the customization students need to succeed in school and beyond – without all the cost, compromised rigor or political agendas.

  • Read Sheila Bedi: We Can't Arrest Our Way to Safer Schools
  • Read Kelly Riddell: Obama's Minimum Wage Increase Will Do Nothing to Reduce Poverty
  • Check out U.S. News Weekly, available on iPad