Do parents have the right to know what their children are being taught in public school?
Parents say yes; teachers say no.
Of course, it’s not quite that simple. The description of the latter party can be tweaked to “teachers unions” — although you don’t hear many individual teachers bucking the union line — but the dichotomy remains: parents want to know what’s going on in their kids’ classrooms, and teachers, administrators, and their union bosses would rather not tell them.
Last week, the U.S. Supreme Court heard oral arguments in a case that could reverse the 2003 Grutter v. Bollinger decision, in which SCOTUS asserted that the use of an applicant’s race as a factor in an admissions policy of a public educational institution does not violate the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment. The current case specifically cites the use of race in the admissions process at Harvard and the University of North Carolina. The plaintiffs, Students for Fair Admissions, maintain that Harvard violates Title VI of the Civil Rights Act, “which bars entities that receive federal funding from discriminating based on race, because Asian American applicants are less likely to be admitted than similarly qualified white, Black, or Hispanic applicants.”
American’s respect for teachers is high coming out of the pandemic, according to a new EdChoice poll — placing them among doctors and members of the military as some of the most respected professionals in the country.
A whopping 70 percent of Americans respect the men and women who teach our children — yet across the nation, teachers are prevented from making their own decisions when it comes to key aspects of their job: their membership in a teachers’ union.
American Federation of Teachers (AFT) President Randi Weingarten announced her endorsement of a federal “civics education” bill sponsored by Senator John Cornyn (R-TX), one that the National Association of Scholars (NAS) observed “is more an attempt to smuggle activist training into American K-12 classrooms than it is a good-faith effort to improve civic literacy.”
Weingarten began her column at Newsweek last week with a call for renewed civics education that is all entangled with her view that Donald Trump “and his cronies ran roughshod over the principles most of us learned in grade school.”
The American Federation of Teachers (AFT), the largest teachers’ union in the country, demonstrated its support for teachers maintaining a level of secrecy around students’ sexual behavior, such as their so-called “gender identity,” even if it includes going so far as keeping such information from their parents.
The National Education Association (NEA), the country’s largest teacher’s union, committed to spending more than $140,000 to research and target opposition groups at a convention July 3-6, according to Education Week.
NEA will research and create fact sheets on at least 25 organizations “that are actively working to diminish a student’s right to honesty in education, freedom of sexual and gender identity, and teacher autonomy,” according to a convention business item seen by the Daily Caller News Foundation. The resolution was approved for $140,625 at the NEA’s convention last week, and the fact sheets that will be distributed to NEA state affiliates, according to Education Week.
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.
American Federation of Teachers President Randi Weingarten shared an article that claimed parents do not have a right to shape what their children learn in school.
“Great piece on parents’ rights and #publicschools,” Weingarten commented on the article by The Washington Post. The piece describes movements by parents to influence what schools teach their children as “paranoid” and a “frenzy,” and it characterizes parental involvement as an obstacle of sorts to children “[thinking] for themselves.”
New Jersey teachers said they were instructed during a teachers union training to log conversations regarding the COVID-19 vaccine with parents and students, Fox News reported.
The training provided by Made to Save, a vaccine “equity” nonprofit, the National Education Association (NEA) and the American Federation of Teachers (AFT) directed instructors to “follow up and track” conversations with parents and teachers regarding the COVID-19 vaccine, Fox News reported. They were told to log their conversations into the Democrat campaign app, “Reach,” and were incentivized with gift cards to be active users.
Campaign operative Jake DeGroot devised Reach, which New York Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez utilized in her 2018 campaign, Fox News reported.
The Biden administration signaled its support for the teaching of “anti-racism” curriculum in public schools Friday, wading into an ongoing culture war over critical race theory playing out on cable news and in school board meetings across the nation.
Asked about a recent decision by the National Education Association to throw its weight behind controversial progressive teachings about race, White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki told RealClearPolitics that President Biden believes “kids should learn about our history” including the view that “there is systemic racism that is still impacting society today.”
Psaki continued that the president and the First Lady, who is also a life-long educator, believe that “there are many dark moments, and there is not just slavery and racism in our history.”
A handful of Senate Republicans sent a letter to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) on Wednesday demanding more information about the newly-announced school reopening guidelines, as reported by the Daily Caller.
The letter, signed by five Senate Republicans including Ron Johnson (R-Wisc.), Rand Paul (R-Ky.,) and Rick Scott (R-Fla.), is addressed to CDC Director Rochelle Walensky, as well as Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Xavier Becerra. The letter asks both officials to provide explanations for why the CDC has ultimately decided to reopen all American schools by June 2nd.
In the letter, the senators point to recently-unearthed emails, first uncovered by Americans for Public Trust, which reveal that the CDC communicated directly with the nation’s top teachers’ unions, including the American Federation of Teachers (AFT) and the National Education Association (NEA), to discuss drafting the reopening guidelines.
The teachers union in the middle of a scandal for influencing the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s official school reopening guidance gave nearly $20 million to Democrats in the 2020 election cycle, filings show.
Federal election filings reveal that the American Federation of Teachers and its local affiliates spent $19,903,532 on political donations during the 2020 cycle, with nearly all of the funds going to Democrats and liberal groups.
Last year’s AFT donations include $5,251,400 for the Democrats Senate Majority PAC and $4,600,000 for the Democratic House Majority PAC, according to data compiled by The Center for Responsive Politics’ Open Secrets database.
The pandemic has made it clear to parents that teachers’ unions don’t represent the interests of students. And while, in theory, the union should serve the interests of teachers, in practice they have another master: the Democratic Party. When these interests don’t align, the result can be fascinating political contortions – as when Florida teachers’ unions fought against pay raises provided by the state’s Republican governor, Ron DeSantis.
In October 2019, DeSantis declared that 2020 would be the “year of the teacher.” Despite the massive budgetary uncertainty presented by COVID, in March 2020 DeSantis requested $600 million for teacher raises and $300 million for teacher bonuses. The legislature delivered $500 million for raises and $100 million for bonuses, which Jacob Oliva, chancellor of the Division of Public Schools in the Florida Department of Education, described as “the single largest compensation increase ever in Florida and a statement to the nation that Florida is elevating the teaching profession.”
One might expect teachers’ unions to applaud DeSantis and call on other governors to follow his lead. Instead, some local teachers’ unions actually fought against the raises, effectively keeping money out of their own members’ pockets.
The Los Angeles teachers union said Monday California’s school reopening plan is a “recipe” for propagating racism and will unfairly punish minority communities.
United Teachers Los Angeles (UTLA) representatives argued that teachers are being asked to make up for the leadership failings of elected officials “from Washington DC to Sacramento to LA” during a press conference Monday. Since California’s plan calls on schools in communities with low infection rates to reopen, the union said reopening funding will only go to white communities since they have less transmission.
President Joe Biden campaigned on his strong union ties, but some of the policies his administration has adopted — ones he promised he’d adopt during the election — have outraged those that supported him.
Biden pledged throughout his campaign that he would scrap the Keystone XL pipeline if elected, and his doing so angered trade, labor and pipefitter unions, some of whom have already lost jobs as a result. But while Biden has called for nearly all schools to reopen within the first 100 days of his presidency, his administration has sided with teachers unions across the country, some of which have refused to revert to in-person learning despite recent studies that show it is safe if proper precautions are followed.
The Chicago Teachers Union approved a deal with city officials that ensures an immediate return to in-person instruction, the union said Wednesday morning.
The teachers union approved the Chicago Public Schools’ (CPS) proposed plan to return to in-person classes in a 13,681-to-6,585 vote Wednesday morning, the union announced. In-person instruction was supposed to begin on Feb. 1, but was delayed after the Chicago Teachers Union (CTU) voted to defy the city’s plan in January.
For all their devastating, long-term side effects, the various failed remedies to COVID-19 have been clarifying.
The “expert” class, in case it was still unclear to anyone, is overrun not with critical thinkers devoted to scientific inquiry but hyperpartisan hacks with a hive mind no better than that of a typical seventh-grade cheer squad. The scientific method is dead; in its place is a multitiered campaign to bully, silence, and cancel anyone who dares to challenge their unchallengeable expertise.
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.
Tennessee Star Political Editor Steve Gill was flabbergasted on Monday’s edition of The Gill Report – broadcast on Knoxville’s 92.3 FM WETR – regarding the repeated incompetence displayed at the Tennessee Department of Education. Gill commented, “The Tennessee Department of Education has stepped in it again.” He continued: One of…