On Nov. 16, the Ethics and Public Policy Center in Washington, D.C., the James G. Martin Center for Academic Renewal in North Carolina, and the National Association of Scholars in New York City (I serve on the board) will host online, Recentering our Universities, to release to the public The General Education Act. The GEA is a detailed model bill directing the establishment of Schools of General Education at public universities. Written by EPPC’s Stanley Kurtz, the Martin Center’s Jenna Robinson, and NAS’s David Randall, the model legislation sets forth guiding principles, basic courses, institutional structure, funding exigencies, and a timetable for implementation of centers of true liberal education.Read More
A lawmaker is urging his colleagues to back a bill he is sponsoring to ensure Pennsylvania parents get notified when sexually explicit content is distributed in their children’s K-12 schools.
State Representative Russ Diamond (R-Jonestown) announced he will introduce a companion bill to a Senate measure authored by Senator Ryan Aument (R-Lititz). The legislation would mandate that schools note sexually explicit texts and other media assigned or displayed as part of students’ coursework. The bill would further instruct schools to tell parents when a book their child accesses from their school library features sexually frank content.Read More
Two Pennsylvania State House members are preparing to introduce a bill to facilitate parents’ and taxpayers’ access to K-12 school curricula.
In a memorandum asking colleagues to cosponsor their measure, Representatives Kristin Marcell (R-Richboro) and Jill Cooper (R-New Kensington) argue current school transparency requirements are inadequate. While state law mandates that school boards post policies governing curriculum review, district officials need not publish the actual syllabus or name the instructional texts. Districts must provide residents access to course outlines and texts, but that usually entails an interested party visiting the school.Read More
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.Read More
Schools on American military bases, educating almost 70,000 children of service personnel, push the same anti-racism curriculum found in America’s most liberal school districts, with the goal of preparing these students for lives dedicated to a global citizenship meant to displace American citizenship and the American way of life.Read More
When Elon Musk created a small school for his children and some of his SpaceX employees on the company’s California campus, he created a spark that could just now be catching on in other workplaces across the country.
In a 2015 interview about the school, the billionaire inventor said: “The regular schools weren’t doing the things that I thought should be done. So I thought, well, let’s see what we can do.” A year earlier he had pulled his boys out of an elite private school in Los Angeles and launched Ad Astra, a project-based school with no grade levels, no mandatory classes, and an emergent curriculum.Read More
The Iowa House voted 60-30 in favor of passing a bill that would require Iowa public and charter schools to post their curriculum and books online for parents to review.
Some educators have argued that the bill (HF2577) will limit their ability to “adapt and meet the individualized needs of their students.”
The bill will give parents the ability to review instructional materials and request that their children opt out of certain reading materials. If the schools materials do end up changing, teachers will be required to update the information online by week’s end or be subject to a fine between $500-$5,000.Read More
Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf (D) this week vetoed legislation that would have directed school districts to publish their curricula online.
State Rep. Andrew Lewis (R-Harrisburg) sponsored the bill to provide a “standardized, simple and user-friendly” means for residents to review the general lesson plans and the titles of textbooks to which children in their districts are subject. New or revised plans would have had to appear online within 30 days of their approval. The representative has observed that many parents have publicly voiced frustration about their inability to ascertain their kids’ curricula ahead of time, with some speaking to him directly about the issue.Read More
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.Read More