If you like your federal ed policy …

If You Like Your Federal Education Policy, You Can Keep It!, writes Andy Smarick on Education Next.

The Obama Administration, certain that it knows the “right thing to do,” boldly overturns decades of policy and institutes its own vision of a brave new world. Gradually, it appears that toying around with longstanding policies and practices has all kinds of unintended consequences, including producing policy potholes, causing implementation snags, and stirring up lots of political hornets nests. The administration is then forced to bob and weave with explanations for what’s gone wrong and then attempts an oscillating variety of micro policy fixes to patch up a growing number of cracks.

He’s talking about the Education Department’s reversal of its own policy on No Child Left Behind waivers, a sign that federal “hubris on standards, testing, and accountability” has caused a mess.

Duncan “doubled-down” on central planning, responds Ze’ev Wurman in the comments. Now he’s run out of bribe money and the administration has run out of credibility.

See the way California told him to go and fly a kite when it cancelled annual testing this year. After huffing and puffing, EDs tone suddenly cooled-off when it realized it has not much power — or credibility — left.

“Hubris always gets you” in the end, he concludes.

Sociologist Aaron Pallas sees hubris in Duncan’s claim that “white suburban moms” don’t like the Common Core because it shows their kids aren’t all that smart. It was “wrong-headed and insulting,” writes Pallas on the Hechinger Report.

Keep in mind that there is no evidence that implementing the Common Core on a national scale will improve the learning outcomes of anyone’s children. The effects might be positive, but we won’t know for some time. And in the meantime, the rollout of the Common Core, and ways of assessing mastery of the standards, has been uneven and unsteady—sort of like another federally supported initiative we’ve been reading a lot about lately.

Anthony Cody is ready to give up on Common Core, he writes in Education Week Teacher. “Common standards, if crafted in a democratic process and carefully reviewed by teachers and tested in real classrooms, might well be a good idea. But the Common Core does not meet any of those conditions.”

CCs cancel cheap health insurance

“Community colleges in New Jersey used to offer cheap health insurance for hundreds of dollars a year” but cancelled coverage because the new federal health care law bans barebones policies, reports CBS New York. Students are struggling to navigate the Obamacare web site in hopes of qualifying for subsidized coverage.

Colleges cut work hours to duck Obamacare

More colleges are limiting adjuncts’ work hours to avoid Obamacare’s insurance mandates. Some colleges now require adjuncts to report the hours they spend preparing for lessons and grading papers. Those who go over the 29-hour weekly limit risk losing their jobs.

College cuts work hours to duck Obamacare

To avoid paying for health insurance, a Pittsburgh community college will cut the work hours of 400 adjunct instructors and support staff. Under Obamacare, employers don’t have to provide insurance for employees working less than 30 hours a week. Community College of Allegheny County will save $6 million.

“It’s kind of a double whammy for us because we are facing a legal requirement [under the new law] to get health care and if the college is reducing our hours, we don’t have the money to pay for it,” said adjunct biology professor Adam Davis.