If the Obama administration and its supporters have their way, the suburban neighborhood school could be headed for extinction. In a veritable symphony of bureaucratic coordination, the administration has figured out how to recruit three cabinet departments, liberal non-profits, and deep-pocketed foundations to this effort. It can be tough even to follow the sophisticated strategy for accomplishing this (and the president prefers it that way), but if we value our liberty, it’s worth a bit of effort to understand this scheme.
The Obama administration’s campaign to force schools to open up restrooms, locker rooms, overnight sleeping accommodations, and probably sports teams to students of either sex is not going well. The latest opposition comes from several brave students in Minnesota’s Virginia Public Schools, who are reminding the administration that they, too, have rights.
The Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF) has filed a lawsuit on behalf of these students and their parents, alleging the U.S. Departments of Education (USED) and Justice (DOJ) and the Virginia Public Schools are endangering student privacy and safety by instituting the DNA-denying policies. Continue Reading
The Washington Times and HotAir.com report that parents in Maryland’s Anne Arundel County Public School District will be kept in the dark when their daughters are forced to share sleeping quarters with boys. A training video entitled “Supporting Transgender Students in School,” posted in July (video contained in the HotAir.com article — see about the 27-minute mark) shows the district’s chief communications officer lecturing teachers that boys who identify as girls are allowed to share sleeping quarters with girls on overnight field trips — and that parents of the girls should not be warned. Continue Reading
Opponents of the progressive-education elitists on issues such as the Common Core scheme are routinely accused of spouting paranoid conspiracy theories. This smear is particularly common in discussing technology-driven “digital learning.” It’s ridiculous, educrats say, to suggest that schools — meaning the government —and their corporate ed-tech allies will be probing the psyches of our children. Track children’s eye movements or scan their brains? That’s crazy talk!
Except that federally funded researchers now brag about doing just that.
Leaping from triumph to triumph, the U.S. Department of Education (USED) has announced a new assessments grant program to follow its failed assessments grant program from six years ago. Ed Week reports that USED will allow states to compete to get back a small chunk of money that was theirs in the first place (a total of $8.6 million), which cash can be used to “bolster their assessment systems.” Reminiscent of the infamous Race to the Top scheme, these competitive grants will be called Enhanced Assessment Grants. Continue Reading
An unintended consequence of the Common Core standards-and-assessments scheme is dissension among liberal interests over the testing. The “opt out” movement comprises essentially two categories: parent activists seeking to protect their children from the useless or even harmful Common Core computerized testing, which is designed less to assess academic content knowledge than to collect psychological data on students; and the liberal, no-accountability, never-test crowd, who object to students’ taking any standardized tests, even validated academic tests not aligned to Common Core.
We know what Hillary Clinton wants for public K-12 education. She wants universal government preschool, despite the well-documented failure of government preschool to deliver even a fraction of what the Hillaryites promise. She wants federal “education SWAT teams” to “help” struggling schools (that idea creates interesting visuals). She wants more federal control over school discipline to enforce “school climates” of which she approves.
Education Week reports that former Education Secretary William Bennett is leading a new education-policy group called Conservative Leaders for Education (CLE). The goal is to take advantage of the demise of No Child Left Behind to push state policy-makers to implement “school choice, local control, ‘transparent’ and ‘timely’ accountability, and ‘high academic standards’ chosen by states.” CLE is currently made up of lawmakers who chair state education committees in Alabama, Arizona, Colorado, Kentucky, Michigan, Ohio, Utah, and Wisconsin, and the group hopes to expand to other states. Continue Reading
Now that most sane Californians who are not billionaires have fled the state (and God bless the intrepid remnant who remain to fight!), the Left faces little opposition to its radical agenda. A recent illustration is the state board of education’s approval of the new K-12 social science and history framework.
Sober commentators have warned about the extreme leftist slant of the framework. A glaring example is that some lessons will now focus on individuals solely because of their sexual behavior. Continue Reading
Piercing the gloom of the current educational and political landscape are a few glimmers of hope. One promising development is that some state and local education officials are now openly discussing what previously was never uttered aloud for fear of being struck down by the gods of lucre – the possibility of relinquishing federal funding to regain autonomy over education.