As recently as last summer, few people outside academia had heard of critical race theory, whose central claim is that racism, not liberty, is the founding value and guiding vision of American society. Then, President Trump issued an executive order last September banning the teaching of this “malign ideology” to federal employees and federal contractors.
Trump’s ban was blocked by a federal judge in December and immediately revoked by Joe Biden upon occupying the White House in January. Since then, federal agencies and federal contractors have resumed staff training on unconscious bias, microaggressions, systemic racism and white privilege – some of the most common but also most disputed concepts associated with the four-decade-old academic theory.
Now critical race theory is about to face a major real-world test: a spate of lawsuits alleging that it encourages discrimination and other illegal policies targeting whites, males and Christians. But unlike Trump’s executive order, which ran into First Amendment problems by prohibiting controversial speech, the lawsuits name specific policies and practices that allegedly discriminate, harass, blame and humiliate people based on their race.
With classrooms finally reopening and hundreds of billions of federal dollars earmarked for public schools, the issue of teacher pay will soon re-emerge. Before the pandemic, public school teachers were fighting against a widely perceived “teacher salary penalty.” President Biden vowed to “correct this wrong,” promising a dramatic increase in federal education funding to “give teachers a raise.” But what causes these pay differences? New Census Bureau data suggest that most teachers are paid roughly what they’d receive in other jobs. But if public schools wish to attract the best-qualified graduates to teaching, they need to stop paying the physics teacher the same as the gym teacher.
The Economic Policy Institute, a teacher-union-affiliated think tank, reports that public school teachers receive salaries about 20 percent lower than non-teachers with equal levels of experience and education.
But what does it mean for education to be “equal”? College graduates attended different institutions, majored in different fields, and received different GPAs, leading to different salaries later in life. That’s why parents encourage their children to attend more competitive colleges and, increasingly, to favor STEM fields over liberal arts majors.
A leading medical journal terminated an editor who questioned the existence of structural racism. His fellow medical professors expressed approval of the firing.
The American Medical Association wrote in a statement that it was “deeply disturbed” and “angered” by a recent Journal of the American Medical Association podcast that “questioned the existence of structural racism.” Though the organization claimed that “JAMA has editorial independence from AMA,” the statement added that “this tweet and podcast are inconsistent with the policies and views of AMA.”
After states shut down schools and forced families into virtual learning, parents and families found new ways to provide K-12 education to their children. While doing so, support for school choice options soared, a new poll from Real Clear Opinion Research found.
Among those surveyed, 71% said they support school choice, which is defined as giving parents the option to use the tax dollars designated for their child’s education to send their child to the public or private school that best serves their needs. Across all racial and ethnic demographics, an overwhelming majority expressed support for school choice: Blacks (66%), Hispanic (68%), and Asian (66 percent).
These results “were the highest level of support ever recorded from major AFC national polling with a sample size above 800 voters,” the survey states.
A surge in COVID-19 cases in Michigan has prompted Gov. Gretchen Whitmer to promote a two-week, voluntary lockdown of indoor dining, suspension of school sports and a full return to remote education.
Although she noted more than five million doses of COVID-19 vaccine have been administered, the governor added the pandemic continued to wreak havoc in the state.
For example, Michigan hospitals reported 3,508 COVID-19 patients on Thursday. The federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention also released data on Thursday that revealed the state’s COVID-19 positivity rate was 492.1 cases per 100,000 people, the highest positivity case rate in the nation.
Senate Minority Leader Jim Ananich, D–Flint, and state Rep. Julie M. Rogers, D–Kalamazoo, are sponsoring bills aimed to allow high schoolers earn their diploma without Algebra II.
Senate Bill 318 and House Bill 4595 were introduced Wednesday with bipartisan support.
Currently, Michigan students must complete Algebra I, Geometry, Algebra II, and a math elective to graduate. Bill proponents argue these math requirements are often excessive for students who don’t plan to enter a field requiring advanced math and will instead need to understand interest, student loan payments, and how to complete taxes.
by Larry Sand According to the Burbio school tracker, 53 percent of schools nationwide are now fully open for business. With the new Centers for Disease Control guidelines having determined that three-feet is a safe distance for students, one would think the other 47 percent would embrace the chance to…
Last week, Kentucky was the first state legislature to pass a new program to fund students instead of systems this year. The proposal, House Bill 563, would allow eligible students to access scholarships to use at approved private education providers of their families’ choosing. But the Bluegrass State’s Democratic governor, Andy Beshear, blocked educational opportunities for thousands of children by vetoing the bill on Wednesday.
Kentucky requires a constitutional majority in both the House and Senate to override Beshear’s veto, and that vote is expected to happen Monday.
During his press conference announcing the decision, Beshear said that the bill “would greatly harm public education in Kentucky by taking money away from public schools and sending it to unaccountable private organizations with little oversight.”
Faced with ongoing state lockdowns and changing school restrictions last year, frustrated parents increasingly pulled their children out of public schools nationwide and found other educational options for their children, one of which was home-schooling.
According to a new U.S. Census Bureau Household Pulse Survey, a substantial increase in the number of parents who chose to home-school occurred in 2020 compared to 2019. The survey is the first data source to offer both a national and state-level look at the impact of COVID-19 on homeschooling rates, the report states.
Using a large, nationally representative sample of U.S. households, the survey found that home-schooling was notably higher than national benchmarks. It was conducted in phases to assess parental choices over different periods of the school year.
Some progressive educators are calling on their peers to go easy on students when grading their essays or math homework, all in the name of antiracism.
Don’t mark them down too much, you might hurt their feelings, the argument goes.
Or, it’s white supremacy to actually grade students using traditional, objective standards. Who are you to tell them they’re wrong? As long as they try, let’s not break their hearts or bruise their egos!
It takes only a few clicks to see that critical race theory is influencing hundreds of college campuses and universities across America.
A new website called Critical Race Training in Education allows users to quickly access information about more than 230 schools and the ways in which those schools are instituting critical race theory on campus.
Critical race theory holds that whites use their social status or their legal and economic advantages to create or maintain power over people of color.
As district school closures enter their 11th month, many parents are frustrated and angry. They may see private schools that have been open for in-person learning since the start of the academic year and wonder why their own children are forced to endure remote schooling indefinitely. They may ask why in some parts of the country district schools have been open for in-person learning for months.
It really says something when an effort as intellectually vacuous as the 1619 Project is venerated by educators, but the 1776 Report is viewed contemptuously.
As former President Trump said back in September, the 1776 Commission’s task was to teach students about “the miracle of American history and make plans to honor the 250th anniversary of our founding.”
A nigh-perfect example of why so many believe America’s public schools are filled with progressive ideologues is featured in this Education Week report about Wednesday’s U.S. Capitol mob riot.
Ed Week is little different from other mainstream media; certain terminology and narratives often are utilized despite ridiculous hypocrisy.
And that’s the issue with what happened in Washington, DC: The vast majority of right-leaning folks and Trump supporters do not support what transpired at the Capitol. They do have an issue with the media treating the incident like the apocalypse while every possible excuse was utilized in commentary about last summer’s Black Lives Matter/Antifa protests.
Twenty years ago, No Child Left Behind (NCLB), the legislation intended to save American children from stupidity and the “soft bigotry of low expectations,” became law. Ten years later, Common Core came to the fore. They both failed. Like all liberal ideas, they started with good intentions and government intervention and ended in cheating, lying, and wasted taxpayer money.
Remarks made by Michigan State Board of Education Vice President Pamela Pugh last month provoked fiery responses Tuesday from the state’s charter school community.
In her controversial comments, made Nov. 23 before the Michigan Civil Rights Commission, Pugh advocated cutting state funds for Michigan’s charter schools by 25%. The recommended cut also is included in the MCRC’s “Education Equity in Michigan” report issued on Sept. 30.
In April, several education groups, including two national teachers’ unions, urged Congressional leaders to allocate more than $200 billion to education in addition to the CARES Act and federal relief through which Congress had just allocated nearly $31 billion in March.
In response to state and local government shutdowns reportedly designed to prevent the spread of the coronavirus, schools districts and local governments implemented different reopening guidelines and timelines – but did so more because of politics or competition with private schools than because of science, a new report published by Brown University found.
The EdWorking Paper published by The Annenberg Institute at Brown University authored by Michael T. Hartney from Boston College and Leslie K. Finger from the University of North Texas found that “the most critical decision facing the nation’s school boards – whether or not to re-open in person and to what degree – appears to be closely related to the partisanship of a local school district.”
Some public schools are telling parents they can’t withdraw their children to home-school or aren’t following the TEA guidelines for withdrawal, according to a new report published by the Texas Home School Coalition Association (THSC).
The largest statewide advocacy organization for home educators in the state sent a written notice to 9,500 school administrations in August, clarifying the Texas Education Agency policy for student withdrawal.
In an effort to combat racial discrimination the San Diego Unified School District last week announced plans to abolish the traditional grading system, Fox News reports.
According to the data, black students received D or F grades 20 percent of the time and hispanic students received them 23 percent of the time, while white students received them 7 percent of the time and asian students received them 6 percent of the time from the first semester of the last school year, the San Diego Union-Tribune reported.
A report recommending expanded government oversight of Michigan’s charter schools has prompted a rebuttal from the Mackinac Center for Public Policy (MCPP).
“Improving Oversight of Michigan Charter Schools and Their Authorizers” was issued on Feb. 25 by the Levin Center at Wayne State University Law School, which had commissioned the study from the Citizens Research Council of Michigan (CRC), a Michigan-based think tank.
At a symposium hosted by Texas A&M University at Commerce, titled, “What the Truth Sounds Like,” Professor Donna Ford argued that one of the significant problems in education is White females. She also noted that diversity of “skin color” is not enough, considering that she wouldn’t want “Clarence Thomas teaching my damn kids.”
“There is a monopoly on education, where White females being about 85 percent of the teaching force, and then you know pretty much the same thing with white administrators. So White females I’m speaking to you, and I’m saying you’ve got to get your sh- stuff together,” said Ford during her lecture.
In early September, researchers Corey DeAngelis and Christos Makridis released the results of a study they spearheaded, which found that “school districts in places with stronger teachers’ unions are much less likely to offer full-time, in-person instruction this fall.” The authors stress that the results are remarkably consistent after controlling for differences in demographics, including age, race, population, political affiliation, household income, COVID-19 cases, deaths per capita, et al.
Four mothers have filed a lawsuit against California Gov. Gavin Newsom over his coronavirus education plan, claiming adverse effects including anxiety over poor grades and lack of special education access.
The lawsuit was filed Sept. 10 in Shasta County Superior Court by the Freedom Foundation on behalf of the northern California families. The complaint is available here.
The plaintiffs allege the plan that requires students to be in classes part-time denies them their constitutional right to a quality education as enshrined in the California Constitution.
The resident assistants at University of Michigan have joined protests over the school’s coronavirus regulations, announcing earlier this week that they would be striking.
More than 100 residential advisers voted to strike in demand of increased coronavirus protections, hazard pay and additional communication about coronavirus statistics at the school, according to reporting by The Michigan Daily, the student newspaper for the University of Michigan. The strike began Wednesday morning and mostly impacts mailroom operations and lock-out services. Participating resident assistants will also not perform duty shifts, although they will informally enforce COVID-19 safety regulations.
The graduate student union at the University of Michigan has voted to go on strike beginning Tuesday, the group announced on Monday.
The Graduate Employees’ Organizations represents Graduate Student Instructors and Graduate Student Staff Assistants at Ann Arbor-based University of Michigan.
The four-day strike is protesting the university reopening for in-person classes during the coronavirus pandemic and has the potential to be reauthorized for a longer work stoppage. The union called the strike a “historic moment.”
Recently I spoke with a teacher at an exclusive private school, tuition $40,000 per year, located in Northern Virginia. He described the ongoing deterioration of the school’s standards, including a dumbing down of academics, more cheating, parents demanding higher grades for their children, and a pervasive climate of political correctness.
Dr. Carol M. Swain appeared on Fox News Channel’s Fox and Friends Weekend Edition to discuss the recent backlash facing Vanderbilt University for asking a quiz question suggesting the Constitution may perpetuate White supremacy by protecting the institution of slavery.
Michigan schools should not anticipate waivers to allow schools to skip statewide testing for the upcoming school year, according to a letter sent by U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos to State Superintendent Michael Rice.
Rice and State Board of Education President Casandra Ulbrich had, in light of the continuing coronavirus pandemic, requested waivers from DeVos that would allow Michigan schools to skip student assessments typically required federally.
Michigan will begin identifying K-12 schools that have coronavirus outbreaks beginning on September 14, a state spokesperson told BridgeMI on Tuesday.
Up to this point, the state has been confirming the regions in which the outbreaks are occurring, but have not provided more specific information, such as the specific school districts in which the outbreaks are located.
Eighty-six percent of school districts in Michigan will offer some or all in-person instruction at the beginning of the school year, according to a study conducted by Michigan State University (MSU).
The study, released Friday, showed that 59 percent of Michigan school districts will be offering in-person schooling five days a week and 27 percent will be offering it at least two to three days a week.
Liberty University says it is conducting a forensic investigation of Jerry Falwell Jr. a week after he resigned as president.
Falwell resigned last Tuesday after amid conflicting claims about a sexual relationship his wife Becki Falwell had with a business partner, The Associated Press reported. Falwell reportedly participated in some of the liaisons as a voyeur.
The sign of a good music teacher, I was told as a teenager, is a willingness to allow parents to sit in on lessons. A teacher willing to have parents observe their lessons demonstrates that she has nothing to hide, is open to critique or comments, and is one who partners with parents in helping students succeed. Having witnessed this policy firsthand with my own piano instructor, a woman whose students won competitions and entered world famous music schools, I followed suit when I began teaching myself.
Both children and staff are required to wear face coverings while at child-care centers and day camps, according to a new executive order signed by Gov. Gretchen Whitmer on Thursday.
The order requires all staff and children ages 2 and up to wear a face covering on a school bus or other transportation. It also requires staff and children ages 4 and up to wear a face covering in all indoor common spaces. Staff and children ages 12 and up are required to wear a face covering in classrooms, homes, cabins, or other indoor small-group settings.
The Star News Education Foundation announced Wednesday the first ever National Constitution Bee competition will take place on Saturday, October 24 in Brentwood, Tennessee, where the Grand Champion will be awarded an unprecedented education scholarship of $25,000.
In addition to the announcement, organizers have launched a new website, GuidetotheConstitution.org, where Bee contestants may review the new podcast series of the groundbreaking book, The Guide to the Constitution and the Bill of Rights for Secondary Students.
A lengthy email from a counselor in Plano Independent School District (PISD) sent to colleagues contained three attachments including, among other things, a list of overtly Marxist media for use in classrooms, and a study guide for those “trying to become better allies.”
The attachments highlight materials like The 1619 Project (which claims America’s history is based on racism and slavery), talking points concerning the deaths of George Floyd; Breonna Taylor; and Ahmaud Arbery; and suggested reading lists including Marxist and Communist literature.
Sen. Gary Peters (D-MI) sent a letter to the Federal Emergency Management Agency on Monday asking the agency to help fund schools in Michigan as they prepare to open during the coronavirus.
In the letter, Peters pushed FEMA to allow schools in Michigan and nationwide to access to funding from the Disaster Relief Fund to help pay for public safety trainings, adapting classrooms and acquiring personal protective equipment for students and staff.
Dr. Carol M. Swain appeared on Fox News Channel’s Fox and Friends Weekend Edition with hosts, Jedediah Bila and Pete Hegseth Sunday to discuss how the coronavirus has been politicized and schools have become indoctrination camps of an anti-American agenda.
A Michigan high school is receiving backlash after it fired a teacher shortly after he tweeted “Trump is our president.”
Varsity baseball coach and social studies teacher Justin Kucera said that Walled Lake school district gave him the option of being fired or resigning after he had tweeted his support of President Trump and for reopening schools, according to the Washington Free Beacon.
President Donald Trump signed an executive order Thursday creating a program aimed at improving Hispanic Americans’ access to education and economic opportunities.
“We will expand our efforts across all of the federal government to create educational and economic opportunity for Hispanic Americans,” Trump said to applause in the Rose Garden, describing the White House Hispanic Prosperity Initiative.
Gov. Gretchen Whitmer released a set of health and safety guidelines on Tuesday for schools returning to in-person classrooms among the pandemic.
The “MI Safe Schools Return to School Roadmap” outlines safety protocols for schools in each stage or reopening and includes information on the proper use of personal protection equipment, disinfecting, spacing in classrooms and identifying symptoms, among other things. Guidance is distinguished by phases and includes both required and recommended protocols.
Michigan schools will be allowed to reopen and hold in-person classes in the fall, Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer announced on Wednesday.
Schools will be required to follow strict safety measures. Whitmer said she plans to release an executive order and a “Michigan’s Return to School Roadmap” on June 30 that will contain the requirements and recommendations for schools. It is currently unclear what those requirements may be.