JC Bowman Discusses the Components of a Successful Public School System

Friday morning on The Tennessee Star Report, host Leahy welcomed Professional Educators of Tennessee Executive Director and CEO J.C. Bowman in studio to discuss the factors that pertain to a successful public school system and national educational reports.

Read More

Independent Women’s Forum’s Angela Morabito on Poor and Minority Kids Trapped in Failing Schools

Monday morning on The Tennessee Star Report, host Leahy welcomed Visiting Fellow for the Independent Women’s Forum, Angela Morabito to the newsmaker line to explain how white Democratic liberals are trapping minority students in failing schools.

Read More

School Choice Research Director Corey DeAngelis: One-Size-Fits-All System ‘Not Going to Work’ for Diverse Population with Differing Child-Rearing Goals

Wednesday morning on The Tennessee Star Report, guest host Gulbransen welcomed Corey DeAngelis National Director of Research at School Choice to the newsmaker line to discuss the divide between parents and how they want to educate their children.

Read More

Commentary: Parents Are Catching On to the Goals of Public Education

A recent viral video from the YouTube channel Fleccas Talks showed several man-on-the-street interviews testing young people in New York City on their knowledge of basic facts. Some of the questions focused on American history and civics, while others were simple, numerical-based ones. The results were depressing, as the following samples demonstrate:

Read More

Review Board Approves Pennsylvania Charter School Regulations

Girl standing up in the middle of classroom

A regulatory review panel on Monday approved numerous new administrative rules imposed by Pennsylvania’s executive branch on charter schools, a move the institutions did not welcome.

Independent Regulatory Review Commission (IRRC) Chair George Bedwick, Commissioner Murray Ufberg and Commissioner Dennis Watson, all appointed to the board by Democratic state officials, voted in favor of the new regulations. Vice Chair John Mizner and Commissioner John Soroko, both Republican appointees, voted in opposition.

Read More

Commentary: Civics Education Is More Important Than Ever

At its founding, American K-12 public education was meant to prepare young people to be active participants in our democratic republic. That should still be its highest purpose, especially when it comes to teaching civics.

Historically, public schools held fast to the principle that effective education must be non-partisan. Knowing they had great power to influence young minds, teachers used to be careful to choose content and pedagogies that restricted their ability to impose their personal political views on schoolchildren.

Today, maintaining non-partisanship is more important than ever in classrooms. Sadly, it’s increasingly dishonored. Civics has become a hot-button issue of late, particularly after remote learning allowed more parents to see what their children were actually being taught. Many were not happy with what they saw, and the debate over civics education is symptomatic of the larger divide that has become such a looming threat to American society.

Read More

Commentary: Trump Knew How to Handle Putin, But Biden Has No Clue

Sometimes we need time to pass and distance to extend to gain fuller perspective on what we did not see contemporaneously from too close. Indeed, G-d tells Moses that no person can see His face (which I teach as meaning an up-close encounter) and live, but people can see the back of G-d’s head (which I teach as meaning a more distant previous encounter, growing ever more distant). See Exodus 33:18-23.

In their October 22, 2012, debate, Obama mocked GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney for expressing concern about Russia and Vladimir Putin:

Gov. Romney, I’m glad that you recognize that al Qaeda is a threat because a few months ago when you were asked what’s the biggest geopolitical threat facing America, you said Russia. The 1980s are now calling to ask for their foreign policy back because the Cold War’s been over for 20 years.

Read More

Teacher Shortages Nationwide Causing Public Education Crisis

Schools throughout the country are experiencing teacher shortages due to several factors. In some states, legislatures have responded by lowering substitute teaching standards. In others, schools are calling on parents to fill the gap or are simply closing schools because they don’t have enough staff.

School choice advocates say it’s time to start funding students instead of government-run public school systems.

Nationwide, according to Burbio.com’s school closure tracker, 7,164 schools were “actively disrupted (not offering in-person learning) on one or more days during the week beginning January 10th.” Accompanying the tracker is a map, which shows which schools nationwide are closed or are providing no in-person instruction by day and week. The site, an industry leader in aggregating school, government, library and community information, tracks school closures and mask policies.

Read More

Nashville Public School Teachers and Amazon Partner to Generate Ideas for Schooling Changes

The Nashville Public Education Foundation (NPEF), a Vanderbilt University-based schooling-policy nonprofit, this week announced the creation of its first twelve-member “Teacherpreneur cohort” to consider solutions to what the organization sees as major challenges in education. 

NPEF—which aligns itself with progressive causes like “culturally relevant curricula,” higher teacher pay and increased public-school funding—is creating its new program with financial support from the ubiquitous online merchant Amazon, which also owns the information-technology-platform company Amazon Web Services (AWS).

Read More

Grant’s Rants: It’s Time We Start Giving Families Choice and Funding Students, Not Bureaucracy

Student raising hand in class

Tuesday morning on the Tennessee Star Report, host Michael Patrick Leahy welcomed official guest Grant Henry in studio for another edition of Grant’s Rants.

Read More

Karol Markowicz on the Politicization of Teacher’s Unions, Public Versus Charter Performance, and Parental Involvement Against CRT

Karol Marowicz

Monday morning on the Tennessee Star Report, host Michael Patrick Leahy welcomed New York Post columnist Karol Markowicz to the newsmakers line to discuss teacher union power over public school education and how parents are fighting back.

Read More

Ohio Teachers Pledge to Teach Critical Race Theory Even If Against the Law

A growing number of teachers across the state of Ohio have signed a pledge to continue to teach Critical Race Theory (CRT), even if the decision violates the law.

A petition published by the Zinn Education Project has collected over 5,000 signatures from teachers who commit to “teach the truth.”

Read More

State, National Groups Applaud Ohio School-Choice Expansion

Young girl sitting at a desk, writing

School groups throughout Ohio and around the nation have praised the recently signed Ohio state budget that expands education choice opportunities for parents and students.

The budget, signed late Wednesday night by Gov. Mike DeWine, increased the state’s voucher system, created a new tax-credit scholarship program and established the state’s first education savings accounts.

“Governor Mike DeWine has signed a budget that expands existing school choice options and creates Ohio’s first-ever education savings account program helping parents afford desperately-needed resources and giving them the flexibility necessary to improve their children’s educational outcomes,” said Rea Hederman Jr., executive director of the Economic Research Center at The Buckeye Institute and vice president of policy. “These bold reforms are some of the most significant that Ohio’s families have seen in a decade.”

Read More

Commentary: Twenty Billion Reasons to Take Homeschooling More Seriously

Boy in gray shirt on laptop at home

American public education is so hard to reform because of its great size. The economy of K-12 education here is bigger than some countries, and we’re not talking rinky-dink countries either.

“Federal, state, and local governments spend $720.9 billion, or $14,840 per pupil, to fund K-12 public education,” reports the website Education Data.

By contrast, the annual gross domestic product of oil giant Saudi Arabia in 2017 was only $687 billion, according to World Bank statistics. That same year, Switzerland, with its banks, watches, cheese, and army knives, raked in only $679 billion.

Read More

The Federalist Author Jenni White Discusses the Five Ways Parents Are Responsible for Public Education Failures

Wednesday morning on the Tennessee Star Report, host Michael Patrick Leahy welcomed author Jenni White at The Federalist to the newsmakers line to discuss her recent article which gives five examples of how parents are responsible for the failure of public education.

Read More

Commentary: Breaking the Progressive Union Monopoly on Public Education

It’s hard to imagine a worse time for public education in America. The COVID-19 pandemic has cost millions of K-12 students a year of education, and Joe Biden has been elected president. At a time when innovation in public education is needed more than ever, Biden has appointed Miguel Cardona to serve as Secretary of Education.

To understand why Cardona, who previously served as Connecticut’s education commissioner, is not going to improve schooling in America, just consider the endorsements he’s received.

Read More

Head of PJTN Laurie Cardoza-Moore Talks About Her New Appointment to the Tennessee Textbook Commission and Backlash She’s Received

Wednesday morning on the Tennessee Star Report, host Michael Patrick Leahy welcomed PJTN’s Laurie Cardoza-Moore to the newsmakers line to discuss her new position on the Tennessee Textbook Commission.

Read More

State Appeals School-Choice Program Ruling to Tennessee Supreme Court

State officials are asking the Tennessee Supreme Court to allow a school-choice program to move forward after being ruled unconstitutional by lower courts earlier this year.

Tennessee Attorney General Herbert Slatery III filed an appeal to the state Supreme Court on Tuesday afternoon, appealing decisions of district and appeals courts.

Read More

Residents Sue Education Minnesota to Stop ‘Illegal Subsidy’ of Political Activity

Three residents sued the Anoka-Hennepin School District and the local chapter of Education Minnesota to stop the “illegal subsidy of union political activities through teacher union business leave.”

In a lawsuit filed Monday in Anoka County District Court, the plaintiffs assert that the “Working Agreement” between the district and Anoka-Hennepin Education Minnesota requires schools to provide teachers with 100 days of paid leave per school year to conduct work for the union.

Read More

Student Sues After School Suspended Her for Wearing Pro-Trump Clothing

A Pennsylvania high school student who claims she was sent home for wearing pro-Trump clothing filed a lawsuit against her school district in Federal court on Tuesday, accusing the district of violating her free speech rights, PennLive reported.

On October 1, the school district issued a new policy on clothing which banned students from wearing anything that contained political messaging.

Read More

Documents Show Tennessee Department of Education Misrepresented Intended Scope of Child Well-Being Checks

While the Tennessee Department of Education has said temporarily withdrawn guidance on child well-being checks was not intended to apply to every child, internal documents and emails sent in development of the guidance show officials have misrepresented the intended scope of the initiative in response to public outrage.

A guidance toolkit outlining statewide Child Wellbeing Checks was developed by the COVID-19 Child Wellbeing Task Force and released Aug. 11. Within three days, the department had withdrawn the program after uproar over perceived big-brother style government overreach.

Read More

Commentary: Teachers Unions Are More Powerful Than You Realize, But That May Be Changing

Teachers unions throughout the US claim to be looking out for the best interests of teachers and students, but they are deeply political organizations with significant influence over what, how, where, and with whom most children learn.

While the nation’s largest teachers unions have long been deeply connected to the Democratic Party and left-wing ideology, this political affiliation has become increasingly apparent in recent months. From hinging their support for reopening schools on outrageous policy demands to launching court battles, threatening strikes, and openly supporting disturbing actions during recent protests, today’s teachers unions are more powerful and dangerous than many parents may realize.

Read More

Detroit Public Schools Strike Deal to Return to School Safely

The state’s largest school district has struck a deal with the Detroit Federation of Teachers (DFT) union to return 51,000 students to school safely.

The four-page agreement lays out safety precautions for face-to-face instruction at the Detroit Public Schools Community District (DPSCD), including a 20-person cap on classes and desks separated by six feet.

Read More

Commentary: Gallup Poll Shows Homeschooling Rate Doubles as School Satisfaction Plummets

Results of a new Gallup poll released this week may give us the sharpest look yet at how the COVID-19 pandemic has disrupted American education and what may lie ahead. According to the poll, parents’ overall satisfaction with their child’s education dropped 10 percent over last year, while at the same time the number of parents saying they will choose homeschooling doubled in 2020 to 10 percent.

Read More

Commentary: The Practice of Schools Using Empty Classes for Expensive Day Care, and Charging Parents Twice Needs to End

Normally when a business shuts its doors, it doesn’t still get to charge its customers for a product they can no longer access. It certainly doesn’t get to charge its customers twice for the privilege.

Yet, that’s exactly what we’re seeing from some public school districts. They refuse to open their doors for in-person learning—citing safety risks—but they are able to open these same school buildings to charge overworked and tired parents for day care. 

Read More

Police Officers Were Compared to Slave Owners and KKK Members in an Assignment Given at a Texas School

An assignment given to students at a Texas school included a political cartoon comparing police officers to slave owners and Klu Klux Klan members, the Fort Worth Star-Telegram reported.

The cartoon reportedly depicted five scenes, allegedly starting with a slave ship officer who was kneeling on a black man’s neck and ended with a police officer kneeling on a black man’s neck with text saying “I can’t breathe,” the Star-tribune reported.

Read More

Scholar Urges More Parental Choice in Pandemic-Era Schooling, Criticizes Fairfax County

Some scholars argue more parental choice could provide the best value for students as public schools across Virginia offer virtual learning or a combination of in-person and virtual schooling to curtail the spread of COVID-19.

Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam will allow schools to reopen with a phased-in approach, which can lead to in-person schooling, but only if schools can maintain social distancing. Because of limited space, many schools are unable to provide in-person schooling for every student five days a week.

Read More

One in Five Students May Defer Upcoming Academic Year, Axios Poll Shows

Over 20 percent of college students may defer the upcoming academic year, according to a recent Axios poll.

The deferment data comes as prominent universities across the country move from in-person to online classes in response to campus-wide outbreaks of the coronavirus. Of the 21% of students who may not return, most are working full-time in the interim, Axios reported. The statistic comes as 27% of students lost their summer internship, according to the poll.

Read More

Remote Learning Is Leaving Working Parents with Few Options, Big Bills

Many public school districts across the country have shifted from offering some in-person learning options for students to offering only remote learning at the start of the school year.

The change in plans sent many working parents rushing to find either a place for their kids to go while they work or to find a caregiver they could pay to supervise remote learning at home. Either option could end up costing parents thousands of dollars. 

Read More

White House Calls on Congress to Fund Another $105 Billion to Help States Reopen Schools

At a forum held at the White House Wednesday, the Trump administration said it is calling on Congress to authorize another $105 billion in funding to help states reopen schools.

“We believe many school districts can now reopen safely, provided they implement mitigation measures and health protocols to protect families, protect teachers, and to protect students,” President Donald Trump said.

Read More

Some Parents Turn to Micro-Schooling as Back-to-School Debate Rages

As states and school districts continue to change their back-to-school policies due to the COVID-19 pandemic and the national debate rages over in-person or virtual learning for instruction, some parents have taken their children’s education into their own hands.

A new form of quasi-homeschooling, called micro-schooling, is emerging. In this not-so-new format, neighboring families have decided to educate their children in a modern version of the 19th century era one-room schoolhouse.

Read More

Commentary: Could COVID-19 End the Government Monopoly on Education?

by Daniel J. Mitchell   The coronavirus has been horrible news, most obviously because of death and suffering. But the disease has also wreaked havoc with the economy and given politicians an excuse to push counterproductive policies. But if you want to find a silver lining to that dark cloud, the virus may be putting…

Read More

Survey: Private, Charter Schools More Likely to Provide Meaningful Education During Shutdowns

Several reports and national surveys indicate that private and charter schools provided more meaningful educational services during state shutdowns than public schools did, and more parents are choosing nontraditional educational options this fall.

A nationally representative survey conducted by Education Next found that while there was “a lot of lost ground on learning” during coronavirus shutdowns in the spring semester, there was “a more robust response in the charter school sector and in the private school sector” among respondents.

Read More

Newt Gingrich Commentary: Cheating the Children or Empowering the Parents

The United States is gradually grinding to an educational collapse as the giant bureaucracies and extraordinarily powerful teachers’ unions ignore children and education in pursuit of power.

Many of the wealthiest school systems have decided that they simply will not go back to school this fall. They will offer virtual classes even though the evidence is overwhelming that for younger children virtual classes are dramatically less effective than in person instruction.

Read More

Teachers Unions Sue DeSantis for Trying to Open Schools

The nation’s largest teachers unions filed a lawsuit Monday against the State of Florida over a department of education emergency order, which demanded schools reopen in August.

The Florida Education Association was joined by the American Federation of Teachers and the National Education Association in suing Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis and Richard Corcoran, commissioner of the Florida Department of Education, according to a press release. DeSantis’ emergency order, issued on July 6 by the department of education, ordered all brick and mortar schools to open at least five days a week in August.

Read More

Commentary: School Board Elections May Be Your Most Important Decision This Year

Our late friend Phyllis Schlafly, the First Lady of the Conservative Movement, was fond of saying that the most important election wasn’t President, it was Republican Precinct Committeeman, because that was the gateway to the Republican Party organization, and through it the ability to endorse candidates and set the GOP Platform.

Read More

Health Professionals Advocate for School Reopening Despite Coronavirus Pandemic

Health professionals nationwide released statements in a Tea Party Patriots Action Second Opinion Project email on Thursday that they believe schools should reopen and that it is the safest option for kids.

The consensus among the physicians, that kids would benefit academically, socially, and health-wise from schools reopening this fall, echoes a statement from the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) released on July 10 addressing the issue of schools reopening in the fall.

Read More

State Could Approve $300 Million More for Ohio Schools

State leaders, including Gov. Mike DeWine, want the Ohio Controlling Board to approve $300 million in federal funding for schools across the Buckeye State.

They want $200 million from the Coronavirus Relief Fund for higher education and $100 million from the fund for K-12 schools. The money would help schools pay for safety measures brought on by COVID-19.

Read More

Gov. DeWine Unveils New Guidelines for Schools Reopening in the Fall

Gov. Mike DeWine announced Thursday new guidelines schools will follow when they open up again in the fall.

According to the guidelines, schools will have to assess symptoms, wash and sanitize hands to prevent spread, thoroughly clean and sanitize the school environment to limit spread on shared surfaces, practice social distancing, and implement a face coverings policy.

Read More

Minnesota Schools Given Possible Scenarios for the Fall

The Minnesota Department of Education (MDE) and the Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) gave additional guidance for what school could look like in the fall.

The guidance recommended school districts plan for three possible scenarios: in-person learning for all students; hybrid learning with social distance and capacity limits; or distance learning only.

Read More

Commentary: Liberal Group ‘Veterans Education Success’ Seeks to Re-Instate Obama-Era Education Policy Targeting Private Colleges

A new TV ad campaign seeks to overturn a key reform of the Trump administration. In the name of veterans, the campaign attempts to lure President Trump into breaking his word, endangering educational institutions in a difficult time.

In an ad by “Veterans Education Success,” we see servicemembers in uniform, overseas, and hugging their children, and shaking hands with President Trump. The images remind me of the strong support the President has had among active and retired military, who voted for him by 60-34 percent in 2016.

Read More

Commentary: The CDC’s Guidelines for Back-to-School Under COVID Sound Traumatizing

When schools reopen in the US amidst the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, they will be even more restrictive than they already were. Schools have long controlled students’ movements and imposed constraints on where they can go, when, and with whom. With virus concerns, those controls will increase in quantity and intensity.

NPR recently proclaimed that “disruption from the pandemic constitutes an ‘adverse childhood experience’ for every American child.” While many children are sad to be away from their friends and activities, being home with their family members for a prolonged period of time is hardly an “adverse childhood experience” for most American children. Returning to schools with extreme virus control and social distancing measures, however, could very well be traumatic for many kids.

Read More

Poll: 40 percent of Americans More Likely to Home-School, Enroll Children in Virtual Schools After Lockdown

A new RealClear Opinion Research poll of 2,122 registered voters found that a strong majority surveyed support school choice and 40 percent are more likely to pursue homeschooling opportunities after COVID-19 restrictions end.

Slightly more than 40 percent polled said they are more likely to home school or virtual school after lockdowns. Before the coronavirus shutdown, roughly 4 percent of K-12 students were in home education settings.

Read More

Commentary: Educators Should Learn from Homeschoolers, Not Antagonize Them

The editors at Harvard Review must be surprised at the reaction they provoked with their magazine’s recent article, “The Risks of Homeschooling.” For an issue that concerns “roughly 3 percent to 4 percent of school-age children,” the great profusion of responses from every corner of the internet would convince a person that it is really 96 percent to 97 percent who are homeschoolers—which might currently be the case since nearly every school has closed down for the year to prevent the spread of the Wuhan virus.

Read More

Commentary: That Americans Were Poorly Educated Before Mass Government Schooling Is a Myth

Parents the world over are dealing with massive adjustments in their children’s education that they could not have anticipated just three months ago. To one degree or another, pandemic-induced school closures are creating the “mass homeschooling” that FEE’s senior education fellow Kerry McDonald predicted two months ago. Who knows, with millions of youngsters absent from government school classrooms, maybe education will become as good as it was before the government ever got involved.

Read More

Commentary: Harvard Magazine Is Wrong When it Called for a ‘Presumptive Ban’ on Homeschooling

As a Harvard alum, longtime donor, education researcher, and homeschooling mother of four children in Cambridge, Massachusetts, I was shocked to read the article, “The Risks of Homeschooling,” by Erin O’Donnell in Harvard Magazine’s new May-June 2020 issue. Aside from its biting, one-sided portrayal of homeschooling families that mischaracterizes the vast majority of today’s homeschoolers, it is filled with misinformation and incorrect data. Here are five key points that challenge the article’s primary claim that the alleged “risks for children—and society—in homeschooling” necessitate a “presumptive ban on the practice”:

Read More