Common Core fighter to speak to WLU econ club

WHEELING – As education reform continues to be a hot topic with America’s youth lagging behind their global peers, the West Liberty University Economics Club will welcome a nationally published researcher on the subject to speak in Wheeling.

Joy Pullman, a research fellow at The Heartland Institute and managing editor of School Reform News, will address the Economics Club’s luncheon at noon Thursday at River City Ale Works at 14th and Main streets downtown.

Pullman’s work has focused on opposing the Common Core national education standards adopted beginning in 2010 by 44 states and the District of Columbia – including West Virginia and Ohio – after the Obama administration announced states adopting the standards by a certain date would receive additional points on their applications for federal Race to the Top grants.

Common Core sets benchmarks for what students should know by the time they finish each grade level, but Pullman argues the standards have removed local autonomy in education, left students unprepared to compete on the international stage and incurred a high cost to implement despite research that suggests there is no link between education standards and student achievement.

She has been an advocate instead for “parent trigger” laws that force school districts to take actions such as converting underperforming schools to charter schools or replacing a school’s leadership if a majority of parents and guardians of children attending a particular school petition them to do so.

Pullman has taught history, literature and debate in middle and high school, and previously was an assistant editor for American Magazine at the American Enterprise Institute. In 2013, she received a Robert Novak journalism fellowship to focus her reporting on Common Core, and she has traveled the country to speak on education reform, including appearances on national talk shows.

The University Economics Club is sponsored by West Liberty’s Center for Economic Philosophy. The speaker series is funded through a grant from BB&T Bank.

Guests may pay at the door by cash or check payable to the WLU Research Corp. To RSVP, call Jeff Knierim, vice president for community engagement, at 304-336-8301 or email to