Commentary: Critical Race Promoters Are More Odious than Marxists

Of late, Fox News has been hosting a series called “The MisEducation of America” featuring gatherings of critical race theory’s critics—such as Carol Swain of Vanderbilt University—focusing on the danger of teaching racially divisive versions of American history. According to Swain, a black professor of political science at Vanderbilt, forcing kids to do things like play games called “privilege bingo” are “a prime example of how CRT, has seeped down to K-12 education, and it disturbs students.” Further: “All of these critical theories with Marxist roots are destroying American education, and parents have to save their children. But they also have to work to save other people’s children.”

Although the media and our universities may choose to ignore Swain’s complaint, she is actually understating the problem she and “MisEducation” host Pete Hegseth are featuring. I’m not sure I see “the Marxist roots” of the crusade against white people and their history in quite the same way Swain and Hegseth see it. We are indeed witnessing class warfare but not of the kind that Marx foresaw. It is a war being waged by white elites against the “basket of deplorables,” the predominantly white, working-class, and small-town Americans whom these elites hate and want to divest of human dignity. Similar conflicts are going on simultaneously in other Western countries, featuring equivalent social conflict.

In none of these cases do we find Marx’s appeals to the proletariat to rise up against those who control the means of production. In fact, we are witnessing exactly the opposite. An alliance of corporate capitalists, feminists, the LGBT lobby, and black race hustlers are directing their fire on the working class, which seems to be the least affected by the hegemonic ideology of wokeness. If anything, we are now looking at what Pedro Gonzalez has characterized as “the counterrevolution of the ruling class.” If Marxist theory, which supposedly is “seeping in” has any application, it would be as an analysis of how our elites are suppressing those they are stepping on and trying through increasingly vicious hate speech to isolate.

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State Senate Committee Votes to Expand Pennsylvania Education Tax Credits

Two popular school-choice programs for Pennsylvania students would get regular annual funding increases – expanding access to thousands of families – under legislation a state Senate committee approved yesterday.

Sen. Mike Regan’s (R-Dillsburg) bill would automatically raise allocations to the Educational Improvement Tax Credit (EITC) and the Opportunity Scholarship Tax Credit (OSTC) by 25 percent each year, provided at least 90 percent of obtainable scholarships have been utilized the year before. Regan estimated his funding rise would amount to $100 million more annually—about 0.3 percent of what the commonwealth spends on public education. His measure passed the Senate Education Committee by a party-line vote of seven to four and awaits a vote of the full chamber. 

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Missouri Legislators Remain Divided over Critical Race Theory Bill

Bob Onder and Nick Schroer

If criticism of two Republican members of the Missouri House of Representatives is any indication, a bill to ban critical race theory (CRT) will face challenges.

More than a thousand people filed digital testimony forms on the bill and the Elementary and Secondary Education Committee’s hearing lasted more than four hours.

State Rep. Nick Schroer, R-O’Fallon and a candidate for the term-limited Senate seat of Bob Onder, R-St. Charles, testified on HB1474 on Tuesday. State Rep. Doug Richey, R-Excelsior Springs, joined Schroer as they teamed to combine the banning of critical race theory with Richey’s “Parents’ Bill of Rights,” HB1995.

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State Superintendent Says She Won’t Approve Curriculum That Instructs Disabled Preschoolers to ‘Deconstruct Whiteness’

North Carolina Superintendent Catherine Truitt

The North Carolina State Superintendent walked back plans to implement a statewide curriculum that would teach disabled preschoolers to “deconstruct whiteness,” according to a report from Education First Alliance (EFA).

Catherine Truitt, North Carolina’s superintendent of public instruction, said she has not “will not sign” a contract proposal that would teach disabled preschoolers “we are all products of a racialized society” and that “Whiteness affects everything … inside and outside the classroom.”

“Instead, I will create a new contract proposal that has strict guardrails and new accountability measures to ensure the true needs of our youngest and most vulnerable learners are met,” she said. “As long as I am Superintendent, our pre-K classrooms will remain places of play and learning.”

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Analysis Shows Education Vouchers Saved Georgia Taxpayers Money

Georgia’s school choice programs saved taxpayers at least $605 million in fiscal year 2018, an updated analysis by EdChoice found.

EdChoice examined the fiscal effects of 40 private educational choice programs in 19 states and the District of Columbia. The nonprofit found the Georgia Special Needs Scholarship Program and the Georgia Qualified Education Expense Tax Credit saved taxpayers between $605 million and $1.1 billion in fiscal 2018.

Each taxpayer saved money on the sum they would have paid in taxes for each student enrolled in the program to attend public schools. The programs saved each taxpayer between $4,355 to $8,013 per student, according to the report.

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Delegate Tim Anderson Commentary: A Legal Analysis of Executive Order Two – Masks in Schools

I have received many requests from you regarding how Gov Youngkin’s order applies to school masking requirements.

For private schools – the answer is easy. Private schools were ordered by the former health commissioner to require masking in schools. That order is rescinded. Private schools should rely on the parental choice option and create a policy allowing mask wearing to be optional.

Public schools: This is more complicated. Last year a law was passed (SB1303) that requires public schools (only public – not private) to be open for in-person learning 5 days weeks while requires “ii) provide such in-person instruction in a manner in which it adheres, to the maximum extent practicable, to any currently applicable mitigation strategies for early childhood care and education programs and elementary and secondary schools to reduce the transmission of COVID-19 that have been provided by the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.”

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As More Schools Start 2022 with Remote Learning, Advocates Say 2021 Was ‘Historic Year’ for School Choice

As school districts across the U.S. start 2022 in remote-learning settings or are considering doing so because of a rise in COVID-19 cases, parents now have more options as 22 states expanded or created school choice initiatives in 2021.

That’s a silver lining, advocates say, as parents grow more frustrated by ever-changing mandates, failed virtual learning outcomes and conflicting views with school boards over a range of issues.

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Commentary: Four Education Trends That Will Continue in 2022

There is a lot to be frustrated about as 2021 concludes. Some places are back in lockdown over rising coronavirus cases, while others are re-imposing previous restrictions and introducing new ones—including my city.

But at this joyful time of the year, I choose to be optimistic and focus on all the good things happening right now, particularly in the world of education.

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Commentary: Poll Reveals Education Quality, Curriculum Stoke Parents’ Concern

After a year in which parents across the country began exercising more political power at school board meetings and through activist groups, the COVID-fueled parent movement is unlikely to subside any time soon, a new poll released Monday found.

Even as some school districts in Oregon and other locales this year suspended math and reading proficiency graduation requirements, most Americans believe public school academic standards aren’t high enough.

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Florida Bill Could Expand Hope Scholarship Access

Florida Sen. Manny Diaz (R-FL-36) is sponsoring legislation that would expand opportunities for students to be able to attend a school of their choice through a voucher program. SB 506 would amend the Hope Scholarship program to permit students who attend school districts who are not complying with state law to apply for the program and receive a voucher.

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Commentary: The Path to ‘Racial Justice’ Runs Squarely Through Fixing Failed Schools

The Rittenhouse verdict has unleashed a torrent of stupidity and racist rhetoric from commentators across the country. The usual race peddlers seem to have kicked into high gear—even though everyone involved was a person of pallor.

But for me it only got my blood boiling. Let me explain.

In the course of my management consulting, I’ve been to some of the roughest neighborhoods in the country.

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Analysis: Teacher Unions, Parents Gird for 2022 Battles

Protestor with megaphone, talking

Over the last year, school board meetings have become ground zero for the country’s culture wars as irate parents have showed up in droves to decry school COVID closures, mask mandates, and critical race theory, as well as transgender policies.

After political analysts credited a parental uprising with helping Republican political newcomer Glenn Youngkin capture the Virginia governorship this month, these fights show no sign of easing. Both major political parties are already gearing up for next year’s midterm elections with Republicans sensing an advantage and Democrats digging in to defend beleaguered school boards, teacher unions, and the progressive policies they hold dear.

This week, conservative parents and their supporters are expressing new outrage over news that the FBI is placing “threat tags” on individuals accused of harassing or trying to intimidate school board members and teachers. For months, disgruntled parents have angrily targeted school board trustees for recalls across the nation, regularly denouncing union control of the schools as the crux of the problem. Recall attempts against school board trustees have tripled in 2021, targeting at least 216 officials, according to Ballotpedia.

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Commentary: Critical Race Theory Destroys American Justice

BLM protest signs

The George Floyd riots, conveniently shut off this past summer, were as much theater as reality. They were designed to associate Donald Trump with police abuses and disorder, while painting Democrats and their notions of “racial justice” as the path forward.

Ordinary citizens standing up for themselves interfere with this guerilla theater indoctrination; after all, there are a lot more normal people who do not want their towns burned down than there are maniacs willing to do street violence. This is why individuals like Kyle Rittenhouse and citizen self-defense groups are dealt with so harshly by the government and the media.

Government Did Not Protect Us Last Summer

Consider that there were dozens of fires and beatings and a significant number of killings in Minneapolis, Kenosha, Chicago, Portland, St. Louis, and Seattle in the summer of 2020. Hardly any Antifa and BLM rioters have been brought to justice. Federal authorities have made no significant effort to roll up these groups.

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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.

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Commentary: Parent and School Board Tensions Could Be Eased by School Choice

Young girl in pink long sleeve writing

Public education has been under the microscope lately, especially since many states shut down in-person learning last year during the COVID-19 pandemic. With children learning from home via technology, many parents had the chance to hear what their children’s teachers were saying—and they didn’t always like it. In fact, many were downright disturbed by what public schools were teaching their children.

Parents should not be forced to sit by and watch as their children get indoctrinated with progressive ideas they don’t agree with. Assuming it is legitimate for the government—that is, the taxpayers—to fund education, the government should distribute those funds directly to parents in the form of vouchers and allow them to choose where to educate their children. Not only would this allow for more choice in schools, but it would also reduce much of the conflict we are seeing today between parents and school boards across the country.

A common response to voucher proposals is that they would allow parents to use taxpayer dollars to send their children to private religious schools, thus violating separation of church and state. In other words, atheists and progressives argue that they should not have to financially support schools that teach students religious worldviews.

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Commentary: On Critical Race Theory, the Left’s Manipulations and Double Standards Are No Match for the Truth

"End Racism Now" sign and "Black Lives Matter" in a crowd

People old enough to remember the academic culture wars of the late 1980s and early ’90s have a special insight into this year’s controversy over critical race theory. I don’t mean insight into the identity politics of the old days and into the identity politics of 2021, though the basic features are the same whether we are talking about the English syllabus in college in 1989 or the equity lesson in elementary school this fall. I mean, instead, the particular way in which liberals have handled the backlash once the trends in the higher education seminar of yore and in the 6th grade classroom of today have been made public. 

Here’s what happened back then. In the 1970s and ’80s, a new political awareness crept into humanities teaching and research at elite universities, casting the old humanist ideals of beauty and genius and greatness as spurious myths, as socially constructed notions having a political purpose. We were told that they are not natural, neutral, or objective. No, they are Eurocentric, patriarchal, even theological (in that they presumed a transhistorical, universal character for select masterpieces). Shakespeare, Milton, Bernini, et al., were not on the syllabus because they were talents superior to all others. No, they were only there because  the people in control were institutionalizing their biases. This whole canon thing, the revisionists insisted, was a fake. As Edward Said put it in “Secular Criticism,” “The realities of power and authority . . .  are realities that make texts possible,” and any criticism that skirts the power and authority that put Shakespeare on the syllabus and not someone else is a dodge. 

They could diversify, then. That’s what the skepticism enabled them to do. They could drop requirements in Western civilization. They needn’t force every student through a “great books” sequence. The “classics” are just one possibility among many others. That was the policy outcome at one tier-one campus after another. 

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State Representative Mike Sparks First to Sign ‘Education Freedom Pledge’

State Representative Mike Sparks (R-Smyrna) was the first to sign the American Federation for Children (AFC) “Education Freedom Pledge” this week. The pledge seeks to unite lawmakers, candidates for office, and voters around the important issue of education freedom.

In a statement shared with The Tennessee Star, Representative Sparks said that “Parents should be in control of their child’s education, and they have the right to not only make their voices heard, but choose the best educational option that fits their child’s needs. I was proud to sign the pledge, and lend my support to this important cause.”

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School Board Politics Underlie Virginia Beach House Races

Virginia Beach has several competitive House of Delegates races where Republicans hope to make gains that will help power them to a House of Delegates majority.  GOP candidates are focusing on a mix of law-and-order and education policy in a city where school board politics underlie several of the local House races.

In HD 83, Attorney Tim Anderson is challenging Delegate Nancy Guy (D-Virginia Beach), a former school board member. In the past, Anderson has endorsed and legally represented School Board Member Victoria Manning, a member of a conservative minority faction on the school board. Manning herself has pushed for recalls of her fellow school board members, including Vice Chair Kim Melnyk, who is challenging Delegate Glenn Davis (R-Virginia Beach) in HD 84. Additionally, 2020 school board candidate Jeffrey Feld is challenging Delegate Barry Knight (R-Virginia Beach) in HD 81.

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Virginia Education Department Promotes Pro-Critical Race Theory Book, Despite McAuliffe’s Claims the Curricula Isn’t Taught in the State

Young girl in pink long sleeve writing

The Virginia Education Department promotes pro-Critical Race Theory books despite claims from state officials, including Democratic gubernatorial candidate Terry McAuliffe, that the curricula is not taught in its public schools.

The state’s Department of Education (DOE) promotes pro-Critical Race Theory (CRT) content on its “What We Are Reading” tab on its website, which compiles a list of resources from the Office of Equity and Community Engagement to recommend reading and develop its own work, Fox News first reported.

The list includes titles such as “Foundations of Critical Race Theory in Education” that “acts to further spur developments in education policy, critical pedagogy, and social justice, making it a crucial resource for students and educators alike,” according to its description.

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Minnesota School Board Bans Parents from Discussing Non-Approved Topics and Criticizing Board Members

Jodi Sapp of Minnesota School Board at meeting

The school board in Mankato, Minnesota, announced strict new rules that effectively prevent parents from criticizing board members.

The new restrictions were announced at a meeting held Oct. 18. “Effective tonight, open forum participants are prohibited from calling out or addressing any individual school board or school district staff member. If this occurs, open forum will be closed,” said School Board Chair Jodi Sapp. “Beginning at the Nov. 1 school board meeting, open forum will be limited to those individuals who wish to speak to an item on the board agenda.”

The effect of these two rules is that parents are not able to discuss anything but topics approved by the board in its agenda and all board members and schools administrators are protected from direct criticism.

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Majority of Americans Oppose FBI Investigation of Parents at School Board Meetings, Survey Finds

Merrick Garland

The majority of Americans oppose the Biden administration’s plans to monitor and investigate outspoken parents at school boards meetings, new polling from Convention of States Action reveals.

The poll found 57% of those surveyed do not support the announcement while 19.8% are in favor. The rest are not sure.

“…One can plainly see that those who are aware that Merrick Garland made this announcement oppose him by large majorities, while there’s a group who marked ‘not sure’ because they don’t know about his announcement or don’t know enough about it,” said Mark Meckler, president of Convention of States Action.

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School Choice Wisconsin: Enrollment Numbers Show More Families Adopting Schools of Choice

Wisconsin’s Department of Public Instruction on Friday released enrollment figures for this school year, and statewide enrollment once again fell.

“Wisconsin’s total school district headcount for the third Friday of September 2021 was 814,101, a decline of 0.5 percent from September 2020,” DPI said. “4K and preschool special education headcounts rebounded with a 7.0 percent increase from last year, and kindergarten headcount increased slightly by 0.7 percent . First through 12th grades — where Wisconsin’s mandatory school attendance laws apply — were down 1.1 percent.”

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Wisconsin School Choice Bill Would Allow Parents to Transfer Kids over Mask Policies

Wisconsin’s latest open enrollment suggestion would allow parents to send their kids to a new school based on whether or not the school enforced mask mandates.

The Senate Committee on Education on Thursday heard from lawmakers on Senate Bill 587, which would give parents the ability to send their kids to a new school based solely on a school district’s coronavirus policy.

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Parents Allege Arizona School Disregarded Opt-Out from ‘Gruesome’ Curriculum

The parents of a seventh-grade student in an Arizona school district claimed that a teacher disregarded an “opt-out” from an assignment while speaking before a school board Thursday.

“After being made aware of inappropriate racial and political content being taught in our daughter’s seventh-grade social studies class, we reached out to the teacher, then the principal, then the curriculum department, and finally the superintendent to obtain curriculum for us to review ahead of time,” Amy Souza told the Peoria Unified School District Governing Board in a video posted to Twitter by Free to Learn.

After relating how she and her husband finally obtained the curriculum following “exhaustive efforts to get it,” they determined an upcoming lesson would be “gruesome, violent, and inappropriate” for their daughter.

They emailed their concerns to the teacher, announcing they would “opt out” of that lesson. They stated in the video that the teacher emailed back, agreeing to an alternate assignment.

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Dr. Carol Swain on New Job, New Book, Lack of Leadership from the Republican Party, and How Tennessee Doesn’t Look Like a Red State

Carol Swain

Friday morning on the Tennessee Star Report, guest host Grant Henry welcomed political commentator, speaker, distinguished fellow and author, Dr. Carol Swain to the newsmakers line to give her take on Tennessee’s response to CRT and parents’ right to make educational choices for their children.

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Virginia House District 66 Profile: With No Incumbent, Mike Cherry Must Keep Katie Sponsler from Flipping the District

Virginia Republicans only need to flip six seats to retake the majority in the House of Delegates, but to do that, they must protect a handful of vulnerable Republican districts like House District 66. Former Speaker of the House Kirk Cox (R-Colonial Heights) is retiring after assuming office in 199o, and the urban, suburban, and rural district leans Democratic. It’s one of a handful of seats that survived Trump-era Democratic waves in greater Richmond in 2017 and 2019. GOP candidate Mike Cherry is running against Democrat Katie Sponsler in a battle of turnout and name recognition.

“This is an open seat so for the first time in decades, voters have the opportunity to learn about and choose between two new candidates, without the weight of incumbency skewing the election,” Chesterfield County Democratic Committee Chair Sara Gaborik told The Virginia Star.

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Commentary: Critical Race Theory Is Being Taught in Public Schools

Group of young students at table, reading and wearing masks

The National School Boards Association (NSBA), which according to its website serves about 51 million public school students nationwide, made headlines recently when it requested that President Biden use federal terrorism statutes and issue other “extraordinary measures” against those pushing back against school boards that are indoctrinating children in critical race theory (CRT) and gender ideology. Much has already been written about this, and for good reason. In our Constitutional Republic, the federal government has no authority over education. As James Madison famously stated in Federalist 45, “The powers delegated by the proposed Constitution to the federal government are few and defined. Those which are to remain in the State governments are numerous and indefinite.” A quick scan of the Constitution reveals that the people and states have delegated no educational power to the federal government. Because all power originates in the people and the states, all powers not delegated to the federal government remain in the states and the people. The Tenth Amendment states this principle explicitly.

Instead of leaving educational policy (and challenges to it) to state and local governments, however, President Biden is using the power of federal law enforcement to quell debate and intimidate parents from exercising their First Amendment rights. Using federal law enforcement to chill debate on what is and should be a truly local issue is totalitarianism at its zenith. All totalitarian states centralize educational control in the federal government for the purpose of indoctrinating children in their preferred ideology.  The Nazis, Soviets, and Communist Chinese all did (or still do) it, and now, following in their footsteps, the Biden administration is giving it a try, albeit in an indirect, more nuanced manner.

But this piece is actually about a second, more subtle point. A key presupposition underlying the NSBA’s request — and the Biden DOJ’s response — is that parental protests against school boards are completely unfounded. As the NSBA letter notes, “many public school officials are [] facing physical threats because of propaganda purporting the false inclusion of critical race theory within classroom instruction and curricula.” The letter then states that “[t]his propaganda continues despite the fact that critical race theory is not taught in public schools and remains a complex law school and graduate school subject well beyond the scope of a K-12 class” (emphasis added).

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Commentary: New Group Equips Parents with Seven Tools to Combat Wokeness in K-12 Education

Captured in a metropolitan Atlanta, Georgia primary school, seated amongst his classmates, this photograph depicts a young Asian-American school boy, who was in the process of creating a drawing, and was choosing from a box of crayons, the colors he’d use in order to bring his ideas to life. It is important to know that these objects are known as fomites, and can act as transmitters of illnesses.

It’s no secret that the far left has infiltrated higher education with its radical ideas. But now, woke ideology has come for K-12 classrooms across the country. 

“As parents, we send our kids to school to learn to think critically, to figure out how to solve problems, and to respectfully discuss and resolve differences of opinion,” Ashley Jacobs, executive director of Parents Unite, said Friday during the new organization’s first conference. 

“But,” Jacobs said, “our educational systems are not enabling these skills, and in some cases, [they are] stifling them.” 

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Georgia Students’ Average ACT Score Rises, Beating National Average and Bucking National Trend

Nationwide, American College Test (ACT) scores are down, but Georgia high-school students are defying the trend and scoring higher than the national average, according to new data.

Peach-State students’ average composite score on all components of the college-entrance examination in 2021 is 22.6, compared with a 20.3-point average U.S. score—the lowest national mean in more than a decade. (The highest score someone can achieve on the ACT is 36.) This is the fifth year in a row when Georgians exceeded the national average ACT score.

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Ohio Lawmakers Propose School Choice for All Students

Two Ohio lawmakers want to give all Ohio students the option of school choice and create K-12 education competition, which they say would raise the level of public and private education throughout the state.

The Ohio Backpack Bill, originally introduced in May and updated with a sub-bill to House Bill 290, would allow all parents to send their children to public school or establish an education savings account. The state would send the money earmarked for that student to the public school or into the parent’s account, allowing it to be used for private school tuition or other education expenses.

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Parents Sue Georgia’s Largest School District over Mask Requirement

Parents in Georgia’s largest school district are suing the superintendent and school system over its mask mandate, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported.

Four parents are seeking an injunction against the mask mandate at Gwinnett County Public Schools (GCPS), which serves around 180,000 students, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution (AJC) reported. The requirement was implemented at the end of July when the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommended indoor masking for schools amid the rise of the delta variant.

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Guest Host Ben Cunningham and All Star Panelist Crom Carmichael Discuss Putting Education Dollars Back into the Hands of Parents

Wednesday morning on the Tennessee Star Report, guest host Ben Cunningham and all-star panelist Crom Carmichael express putting educational dollars back in the hands of parents.

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Commentary: Christian Schools Vastly Outperforming Public Schools During COVID-19, According to New Survey of Parents

Among last year’s other lessons, none may be more important than this: Our taxpayer-funded education establishment cares more about adults than children.

Consider the evidence: public school union bosses pressured officials to close schools and keep them shuttered beyond what medical authorities recommended. In spite of the obvious harm to children of school closures, unions throughout the country lobbed threats and issued demands. In Chicago, the union went so far as to sue the Mayor to keep schools closed; in San Francisco, the city had to sue its school board.

A public education system that failed to do right by our children has kept union bosses empowered and politicians cowed. Thankfully, our country offers an alternative—one that proved its mettle this past year. In a recent survey of public school and Christian school parents, the Herzog Foundation found that parents of children who attended a Christian school were vastly more satisfied with their school experience.

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Biden’s Education Department Won’t Enforce a Key Due Process Protection for Students Accused of Sexual Assault

The Department of Education announced it would stop enforcing a Trump administration rule designed to protect those accused of sexual assault on college campuses.

A district court in Massachusetts upheld most of the Title IX 2020 amendments in a July ruling, maintaining new regulations related to public institutions managing allegations of harassment, assault, violence, and more. Although, the court struck down one procedural regulation related to what evidence a “Decision-Maker,” or the employee who is designated to adjudicate the case, may consider in making rulings.

Following the court ruling and a letter from the Department of Education on Tuesday, the chosen adjudicator can now consider emails and texts between the parties and witnesses, police reports and medical reports, regardless of cross-examination status at the live hearing.

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Program Offering Low-Income Families up to $7k for K-12 School Choice over COVID Measures Begins

Governor Doug Ducey’s program offering up to $7,000 in grants for low-income K-12 parents wanting to relocate their students due to their current school’s COVID-19 protocols began Friday. Eligible families have a total household income at or below 350 percent of the Federal Poverty Level, and show proof that their current school has COVID constraints, including: mask mandates, quarantines, vaccine mandates, or discrimination based on vaccination status. The grant funds may be used for a variety of education-related expenses beyond tuition like transportation, online tutoring, and even child care.

Ducey announced the $7,000 booster on Tuesday. The governor’s office cited Yale University research that found COVID-based school closures disproportionately harm low-income students. More affluent students reportedly didn’t exhibit any significant impairments.

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Biden’s Education Secretary Voices Support for Schools That Force Mask Mandates

Miguel Cardona

Joe Biden’s Secretary of Education, Miguel Cardona, admitted to having spoken directly with faculty members from school districts that are defying the law and forcing mask mandates on their students, even if their states have banned such mandates, ABC News reports.

Cardona said that some such schools fear repercussions from the state governments if they continue defying the bans, including in Texas and Florida. “I have had the conversations with superintendents,” Cardona said in an interview on Tuesday. “And they have asked, if this goes in that direction, how do we get support? My message is, open the schools safely; we got your back.”

Cardona had previously sent a letter to several school districts in Florida promising that the federal government would fund the schools directly in the event that Governor Ron DeSantis (R-Fla.) follows through on his promise to suspend the salaries of all superintendents who force such mandates onto their students in defiance of state law.

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School Board Recall Attempts Spike Amid Concerns About COVID Closures, Critical Race Theory

Group of young students at table, reading and wearing masks

School board recall efforts are sweeping the country, with many driven by parents claiming Critical Race Theory (CRT) is infecting schools, demanding schools reopen in person, and arguing that boards are consumed by virtue signaling.

According to Ballotpedia, 58 such efforts against 144 board members have taken place in 2021. Those are both all-time highs since it started tracking school board recall efforts in 2006, and far above the next highest year, 2010.

Only one school board member has been removed in 2021, however, while three resigned and seven were retained in elections. One is scheduled for a November recall vote in Kansas for upholding a mask mandate.

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Memo Reveals University of North Carolina Plan to Sideline ‘Diversity of Thought’ Ahead of Nikole Hannah-Jones Appointment

Nikole Hannah Jones

A memo obtained by Campus Reform reveals that the UNC Hussman School of Journalism and Media considered “diversity of thought” to be in conflict with its efforts to achieve social justice objectives.

Hussman Dean Susan King wrote the August 1, 2020 memo to university Chancellor Kevin Guskiewicz. She stated, “There is a fundamental conflict between efforts to promote racial equity and understandings of structural racism, and efforts to promote diversity of thought. These two things cannot sit side by side without coming into conflict.”

King wrote the memo in anticipation of Nikole Hannah-Jones joining the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill faculty and teaching a class based on the “1619 Project.” 

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Commentary: School Choice Is Not Enough

Young girl wearing black headphones, smiling

If there is a public policy silver lining to this past year, it is the increased support for school choice. Most public schools went online during lockdowns and parents, dissatisfied with the results, sought out other solutions, including private schools, pods, charter schools, online learning, and homeschooling. The last more than doubled with 11.1 percent of households homeschooling, up from 5.4 percent the year before.

Many state legislatures improved school choice options in their states. This is to be celebrated and continued.

School choice by itself, however, will not save students from a failing education if charter and private schools adopt the same curriculum and practices as the most woke schools. Without a focus on the right subjects and lessons, students will be unprepared for personal or professional success. 

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Michigan University Among Universities Training Future Teachers to Push Critical Race Theory and Social Justice

School bus with "use your voice" on the windshield

As the controversy over Critical Race Theory rages across the country, several prominent teacher preparation programs are training future teachers to use Critical Race Theory in the classroom.  Several of the nation’s largest teacher preparation programs are training future teachers to use Critical Race Theory in the classroom.

Campus Reform reviewed course descriptions for upcoming classes in college teacher training programs at several major universities. Many intentionally prepare students to use progressive ideology in their own classrooms. Several use Critical Race Theory and social justice as a starting point for learning how to teach.

Among those courses are the University of North Carolina education department’s class, “”Critical Race Theory: History, Research, and Practice.” The course will cover how Critical Race Theory connects to “LatCrit Theory, AsianCrit, QueerCrit, TribalCrit, and Critical Race Feminism,” those terms being more recent areas of study that draw heavily from Critical Race Theory.

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Ohio Public Schools Plan Lawsuit to Challenge EdChoice Program

A coalition of about 70 public school districts in Ohio plans to file a lawsuit challenging the state’s use of public money to fund private schools, saying Ohio’s EdChoice voucher program pulls money from public schools and limits the state’s ability to provide fair funding for those schools.

The lawsuit, which the Ohio Coalition for Equity and Adequacy of School Funding Executive Director Bill Phillis said will be filed soon, calls for the end of the EdChoice program.

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Commentary: Politically Correct Ideology Is Masking and Contributing to the Widespread Failure of Our Institutions

close up of green masks on a table

We know the nature of mass hysterias in history, and how they can overwhelm and paralyze what seem to be stable societies.  

We know the roots and origins of the cult of wokeness.  

And we know, too, how such insanity—from the Salem witch trials to Jacobinism to McCarthyism—can spread, despite alienating most of the population, through fear and the threat of personal ruin or worse. These are the dark sides of the tulip, hula-hoop, and pet-rock fads, the mass obsessions so suited to past affluent Western societies.  

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Minneapolis Cites Critical Race Theory as a ‘Framework’ for New Ethnic Studies Requirement

Thomas Edison High School

Minneapolis Public Schools explicitly lists critical race theory as a “framework” for its new ethnic studies graduation requirement.

According to left-wing critics, critical race theory is strictly a legal theory developed 40 years ago and since it isn’t explicitly referenced in some K-12 course catalogs, it therefore isn’t taught in the classroom at all.

But “ethnic studies” courses seem to be a popular vehicle for delivering CRT-inspired ideas to young students.

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Commentary: Critical Race Theory and the Threat to the American Family

Barack Obama and family

In a CNN interview with Anderson Cooper that aired in June, Barack Obama weighed in on perceived GOP anxieties. Instead of worrying about the economy and climate change, worries he thought appropriate for Republicans, “Lo and behold,” he told Cooper, “the single most important issue to them apparently right now is critical race theory. Who knew that that was the threat to our republic?”

I would argue that critical race theory, CRT for short, is not only a threat to the republic but also a threat to our families. Obama has already shown the damage that race can inflict on family, starting with this own. In March 2008, with his campaign floundering after the toxic Rev. Wright tapes surfaced, Obama played the CRT card to salvage his candidacy.

During a critical speech in Philadelphia, Obama reminded his audience that “so many of the disparities that exist between the African-American community and the larger American community today can be traced directly to inequalities passed on from an earlier generation that suffered under the brutal legacy of slavery and Jim Crow.” This was pure CRT. The fact that none of Obama’s relatives descended from slaves went unmentioned.

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Commentary: White Privilege and the Layers of False Ideology that Support Its Concept

Group of kids playing with a rainbow parachute cloth in a field

White privilege is a myth. A relic of a time that no longer exists and that none of us living and raising kids today have ever really experienced. There was once a time when legal and cultural advantages were offered to whites, but those days are gone and pretending otherwise is causing great damage to children and our society.

White Privilege Talk Harms Children Psychologically

White privilege is a concept which hurts both white and non-white children, albeit in different ways. For white children, you steal from them the ability to feel pride in who they are, their ancestors, and in their cultural inheritance. Certainly every nation and people can find stains in its history. The past was a violent and merciless place in which all sides are implicated.

White privilege requires that children of European descent are never allowed to feel deserving of what they, their parents, or their ancestors have achieved. They are never allowed to believe that they have rightfully earned anything. Consequently, they are pressured to actively give up what is theirs in penitence. This is obviously damaging and abusive for a child to endure.

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REPORT: Biden’s Education Department Has Closer Ties to Critical Race Theory Group Than They Admit

Young girl in pink long sleeve writing

The Biden administration called it an “error” to promote a critical race theory (CRT) activist group’s guide in a Department of Education (DOE) handbook meant for use in over 13,000 public school districts on reopening recommendations and policies, Fox News reported.

The activist group, Abolitionist Teaching Network (ATN) has connections to at least two high-ranking officials in the Biden administration’s DOE, Fox News reported. It is unclear why ATN was mentioned in the April 2021 handbook and who added the link.

The Biden administration DOE backtracked on the promotion and its link to the group in a statement to Fox News Wednesday which said, “The Department does not endorse the recommendations of this group, nor do they reflect our policy positions. It was an error in a lengthy document to include this citation.”

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