The Center for American Progress recently held a joint meeting on education with the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. You can probably guess the rest.

Spencer Irvine of Accuracy in Academia reports.

Progressive Education Sans Data

Progressives always want conservatives to “move beyond ideology” but never budge from their own.

Last week, the Center for American Progress (CAP) and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, often opponents on major policy issues, held a joint four-hour conference on the importance of investing in early childhood education initiatives proposed by President Obama.

The panelists were Harriet Dichter from the progressive Delaware Office of Early Learning, Reyna Hernandez, Assistant Superintendent of the Illinois State Board of Education, Dr. Phyllis Hudecki of the Oklahoma Business & Education Coalition, and Lori Connors Tadros of Institute of Early Learning.

The progressives and liberals outnumbered the conservative by 3-to-1, but Hudecki gave them a run for their money. In her state’s privatized program, students and parents can opt-in to early childhood education. Oklahoma’s OKCEO (a business leader-driven policy effort) came up with a data-driven evaluation system called the “School Readiness Risk Index,” or SRRI, to measure education and social indicators for each county, she asserted.

Hudecki went on to say that, unlike several states, Oklahoma refused federal education funding because when “you live by federal funds, you die by federal funds.” Without this additional Race to the Top and Common Core funding, they still perform admirably well in accordance with their SRRI measures and continue to improve, she argued.

Tadros emphasized how “budget cuts” are threatening the future of education and especially early childhood education (or pre-K child care and education). She contended that research and science back up her claim on how crucial pre-K education can be to a child’s future. Yet, a common theme in the conference was how research was mentioned but not cited. Tadros said that the Great Recession makes this issue even more important today, but claimed that this issue makes it “important to move beyond ideology.” Nevertheless, the majority of panelists pushed federal funding and liberal education policies.