Editorial February 13, 2015

TheWeekinCongress.com

Editorial

This week, because of HR 5, we will use this editorial space to fill you in on Common Core defined by Corestandards.org  as such, “The Common Core is a set of high-quality academic standards in mathematics and English language arts/literacy (ELA). These learning goals outline what a student should know and be able to do at the end of each grade. The standards were created to ensure that all students graduate from high school with the skills and knowledge necessary to succeed in college, career, and life, regardless of where they live. Forty-three states, the District of Columbia, four territories, and the Department of Defense Education Activity (DoDEA) have voluntarily adopted and are moving forward with the Common Core.”

US News & World Report explains that “Forty-five states and the District of Columbia have already adopted the Common Core State Standards, which were released in 2010 by the bipartisan National Governors Association Center for Best Practices and the Council of Chief State School Officers.”

US News goes further regarding myths about federal involvement in the program;

“Confusion about what part the federal government plays in Common Core may stem from President Barack Obama’s Race to the Top initiative, which awarded more than $4 billion in federal grants to 19 states that demonstrated a commitment to education reform and innovation. Race to the Top applicants who agreed to adopt the Common Core standards had a small number of points (40 out of 500) added to their score, since the Core standards align with Race to the Top’s goals. While some right-leaning groups reject the standards, calling them an example of government overreach, other traditionally conservative groups such as the U.S. Chamber of Commerce support them.”

Read the full article at US News & World Report. For a decently balanced review of Common Core go here…

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Hamilton on Congress

Can We Have a Regular Congress?

By Lee H. Hamilton

Hamilton

Hamilton

You probably didn’t notice, but the Senate passed a milestone a couple of weeks back. Before 2015 was a month old, senators had already had a chance to vote up-or-down on more amendments than they did in all of 2014.

This is a promising sign that new Majority Leader Mitch McConnell might have meant it when he declared last year that he wants the Senate to return to the “regular order” of debate and amendments. For the last few weeks, a favorite inside-the-Beltway guessing game has been whether he’d be willing to stick with it in the face of demands, sure to come, to reduce debate and amendments and expedite approval of bills.   More…

Quotes on the issues
Authorization to use military force (against ISIS)
WASHINGTON- Rep. Mac Thornberry (R-TX), Chairman of the House Armed Services Committee,

Rep Thornberry (R-TX-13) HASC Chair

Rep Thornberry (R-TX-13) HASC Chair

today commented on the Authorization for the Use of Military Force proposed by the President:
“ISIL is at war with the United States and the civilized world. The President has taken the right step by requesting an AUMF. I have concerns about how the proposal the President has put forward will enable our military commanders to degrade and defeat ISIL.
“In making his request months after military action against ISIL has started, the President must tell the American people why an AUMF is necessary. More…

Foreign Affairs
Rush for Arctic Resources Heats Up
NORAD Head Says Russia Increasing Arctic Long Range Air Patrols
By: Sam LaGrone
Sam LaGrone

Sam LaGrone

SAN DIEGO, CALIF. – While Russian military aircraft have stepped up their activity everywhere from the North Sea to the Baltic to the Black Sea in the last year they have also been spotted more frequently closer to the U.S. territory in the Arctic, the head of U.S. Northern Command (NORTHCOM) and North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD) told USNI News on Tuesday.
In particular – flights of Tupolev Tu-95 Bear ‘H’ Bombers have increased recently NORTHCOM’s Adm. Bill Gortney said.
“They’ve been very aggressive – under my NORAD hat – for us in the Arctic,” he said to USNI News following a keynote address at the WEST 2015 conference. More…

Senate History
Churchill Addresses Congress
December 26, 1941
Winston Churchill

Winston Churchill

The date was December 26, 1941. Outside the U.S. Capitol Building, platoons of soldiers and police stood at high alert. Shortly after noon, British Prime Minister Winston Churchill entered the Senate Chamber to address a joint meeting of Congress. He took his place at a lectern bristling with microphones. Above his head, large, powerful lamps gave the normally dim room the brilliance of a Hollywood movie set. Motion picture cameras began to roll. More…