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.”

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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. 

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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.

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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.

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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.

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Fired for Accidentally Calling a Transgender Student ‘She,’ Teacher Takes Case to Court

Peter Vlaming has two great passions—teaching and French. 

But a Virginia school district stripped the French teacher of the ability to impart these passions in high school classrooms when it fired him for not using pronouns preferred by a transgender student.

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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. 

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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JC Bowman Commentary: Time to Separate PACS from Lobbying

dealmakers

Professional Educators of Tennessee will continue to lobby for public education.  However, we will never endorse political parties or candidates as an organization on behalf of our members.  We also do not have a PAC, nor do we plan to ever start one.  It would harm our effectiveness.  We must advance public education without the divisive tribalism of partisan politics, and we will only get involved in education related issues.

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