A Philadelphia teacher accidentally set Twitter on fire when he publicly posted his form of admitting to what many parents have long been concerned about—indoctrination in the classroom away from the watchful and protective eyes of parents. He’s worried that parents (especially conservative parents) might “interfere” with what typically happens in his classroom when classes become largely or partly virtual this fall.
Translation: Parents are a threat to teachers who want to use the classroom to advance political agendas.
See his Twitter posts below:
What this Philadelphia teacher believes about parents is nothing new—he just made the mistake of admitting it publicly on Twitter.
Sadly, American public school classrooms have long been used by the radical left to advance political agendas, particularly when it comes to sex and sexuality, when parents aren’t around.
There are clearly two competing visions for American education today. One vision centers around parental rights and the family. The other is driven by a radical political agenda. Family Policy Alliance will always advocate for family-centered education policy.
That is why we invite you to participate in the first-ever one-day-only virtual “Protecting Children in Education Summit.” Family Policy Alliance will be co-hosting this event with The Heritage Foundation, Alliance Defending Freedom, Family Research Council, and many others.
This event is tomorrow, August 12th, starting at 10:00AM Eastern Time. The event is free, but you do need to register.
We hope to see as many parents and grandparents as possible online at this one-day event!
Vice President, Strategy
By Vince Torres, President & Executive Director
The COVID-19 global pandemic continues to impact every area of our lives, and as we approach the fall, parents with school-aged children are shifting their attention to education. In New Mexico, schools were closed in early-March and Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham recently announced that our public schools will not reopen for in-person learning until September at the earliest.
Even with the Governor’s announcement, tremendous uncertainly remains about whether schools will actually reopen this year and if another closing will quickly follow. Consequently, most New Mexico parents and families find themselves in the tough position of determining how to best continue their children’s education. While many parents will choose to utilize available online public education, a recent poll suggests that a record number of American families will homeschool their children this year. In either case, the new school year will commence much like the last school year concluded – with “home” as the classroom, and parents and guardians as the primarily responsible educators.
This reality begs the question – should New Mexico parents receive a partial refund of their children’s education dollars to support at-home learning?
According to the U.S. Census Bureau, New Mexico taxpayers spend almost $10,000 a year per student on public education. This amount does not include federal funding dollars.
With public schools buildings closed from March through at least September, and with many families in need of help to support educating their children at home, what if New Mexico parents received a reasonable tax refund to help purchase curriculum, computers, supplies, tutoring services, internet access, and other necessities?
Maintaining some level of continuity in our children’s education is of the utmost importance and we must provide parents, grandparents, and guardians with the means to support educational excellence in the home. In years past, our political leaders have stressed the importance of keeping “more money in the classroom.” And since “home” is the classroom for most New Mexico children right now, perhaps some of our tax dollars should come back home.
“Education funding should always be student-centered…rather than institutional.”
-Dr. Lindsey M. Burke, The Heritage Foundation
Family Policy Alliance of Wyoming believes in the family. If you wonder what it means to “believe in families” you would not be alone. Most people think, “Everyone believes in families, right?” Well. Not so much.
In June, a summit was scheduled Harvard Law School’s Child Advocacy Program and was organized around the topic Homeschooling Summit: Problems, Politics, and Prospects for Reform.
To understand the “problems” to be discussed, one only need to look to the article submitted to the Arizona Law Review by Professor Elizabeth Bartholet the faculty director of Harvard Law School’s Child Advocacy Program. In the article, Professor Bartholet recommends a “presumptive ban” on homeschooling. Her reasoning is found in the description of the article where it states, “Many homeschool because they want to isolate their children from ideas and values central to our democracy, determined to keep their children from exposure to views that might enable autonomous choice about their future lives. Many promote racial segregation and female subservience. Many question science. Abusive parents can keep their children at home free from the risk that teachers will report them to child protection services.”
In summary, the main complaint is that morally based education is abuse. With little evidence and in spite of overwhelming success stories, the article states, “Child abuse and neglect characterize a significant subset of homeschooling families.”
After rounding out this vitriol, the article closes by attacking private schools claiming they lack regulation and indoctrinate children. The irony is that many parents who place their children in Christian schools do so precisely because of growing concerns with the radical leftist indoctrination their children were exposed to in the public-school system. Professor Bartholet must have forgotten every parent has the fundamental right to provide their child with an education that respect their religious and moral beliefs.
Standing for families means standing for family values in education. Moms and dads know their children best and care more for their intellectual growth than anyone else on earth. That’s why parents are best at tailoring their child’s educational opportunities to meet their child’s unique needs. To claim the alternative is to claim that large governmental bureaucracies will always do it better. But the facts show America’s public education system is increasingly driven by ideology at the expense of teaching the classic subjects that once made American education a beacon to the world. School choice is proven to improve academic outcomes for our children while also saving taxpayers money. For these reasons it is even more important Wyoming families have the ability to choose excellent educational opportunities for their children to excel.
While homeschools are growing in Wyoming, there is much work to be done to encourage the growth of charter schools and private schools across the state so more families can benefit. Family Policy Alliance of Wyoming® will continue to stand with parents, even if Harvard is against them.
“Train up a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not depart from it.” – Proverbs 22:6
As schools closed to COVID-19, homeschooling has swept across America. I have been wondering how many parents have taken well to it and will continue homeschooling after COVID-19. I know many families who were sold on homeschooling long before the current crisis. Their children have validated them by going on to be very successful and productive.
That’s why last week I was taken aback by Harvard Law professor Elizabeth Bartholet’s statement that homeschooling should be banned! As the faculty director of Harvard Law School’s Child Advocacy Program, her comments carry weight. Why would someone from such a prestigious school say something so radically wrong? For a learned educator she is woefully or willfully ignorant of the facts.
Jim Daly of Focus in the Family called her statement outrageous and noted, “the fact is that children who are schooled at home perform academically better than their public schooled counterparts by a degree of 30 percent. They also have higher SAT/ACT scores as well as better grade point averages in college… they represent a powerful force to help save and serve not only the next generation but also preserve and protect many of the ideals upon which this country was built… [including] our first freedoms …life and religious liberty.”
And we haven’t heard the last of her. She will be promoting her prejudice at a Harvard Law Symposium this summer, geared solely for those who oppose homeschooling.
Daly called out the professor’s real agenda: her opposition towards parents giving their children an education that is in keeping with their religious values. Conservative Christians were among the first to embrace homeschooling and Bartholet says, “that in itself, is reason enough to discredit homeschooling as an educational model.”
Fortunately, the law provides that parents not only have the responsibility to care for and protect their children, but the right to guide and educate them also.
It’s not a given that public schools will share your moral or spiritual values. Parents in neighboring Massachusetts are finding this out. Check out Mary Ellen Siegler’s Facebook page: Massachusetts Informed Parents. In our own state, Family Policy Alliance has found that RI School Districts were told to implement a disturbing Obama mandate, despite President Trump’s executive order overruling it. The mandate requires that teachers and counselors validate gender dysphoria without the parent’s knowledge. That same mandate would allow a minor to change the gender on his school records without parental notification.
With policies like these in place, it’s no wonder some parents prefer to educate their children at home!
If you are thinking about homeschooling post COVID-19 check out Focus on the Family for resources. You may also check the Home School Legal Defense Association, aimed at “Making homeschooling possible.”
Chairman, Board of Directors – Rhode Island
Bare shelves. Closed stores. Self-isolation. It sounds like the start of a scary movie, but as you and I both know, in 2020 it just means one thing: COVID-19.
As America puts life on hold, here are three things to be grateful for:
- More time with your family. Schools are closing, and businesses are converting many employees to temporary work-from-home arrangements. This is a great opportunity to invest in quality time with your family that you might not otherwise get! If you’re wondering how to make school work for your newly-homeschool kiddos, check out these resources.
- We don’t live in a country with government-run health care. Some politicians, such as presidential candidate Bernie Sanders, are using COVID-19 as an opportunity to call for government-run health care. But in countries that have these systems, the virus may reveal underlying problems.Take the UK, for example, where the National Health Service has cancelled all elective (non-urgent) operations, in order to free up hospital beds. While some US hospitals are beginning to take similar approaches, this is a more unusual measure in our country and reveals how seriously we are taking the virus. In the UK, this is commonplace: the government has cancelled tens of thousands of operations in a single flu season.Meanwhile, in Italy, the government recently began making tough calls: who gets treatment, and who doesn’t? In a close call, the person with the longer life-expectancy will win out. This could mean denying care to those who are especially sick, elderly, or weak. Yet this is not what we are called to do as Christians: Scripture commands us to “defend” the cause of the weak (Psalm 82:3).News reports reveal that part of Italy’s rationing comes down to a lack of equipment, including ventilators that are critical in treating COVID-19. This is unsurprising for a government-run system: such systems often have fewer medical devices on hand in comparison with our own system. For example, while the US has around 170,000 ventilators available, the UK has only 5,000. Putting that in perspective, the US has just over 1 ventilator per 2,000 people, while the UK has just less than 1 ventilator per 13,000 people.
You may hear we still don’t have enough capacity. That’s why we can be grateful for the precautions our officials have already taken. Self-isolation is a chance not only to protect ourselves from illness, but to limit the impact on the health system, and – importantly – to protect those most susceptible to the virus.
- We serve a good God. At a time that may feel uncertain, we can be grateful that we serve a God who is in control at all times and who works all things together for the good of those who love Him, and are called according to His purpose. We can rejoice in His goodness, pray for wisdom for those in authority, and defend the weakest in our community by following health guidelines. Rather than being a time to fear, this is a time to celebrate the opportunity to love our neighbors as ourselves, and to rest in God’s goodness.
Here’s to a joyful self-isolation!
Policy and Communications Strategist
“And my God will meet all your needs according to the riches of his glory in Christ Jesus”—Philippians 4:19.
The spread of COVID 19 has impacted the lives of just about every American family. As of Monday, many of us have already experienced the strain of schools being shut down, and daycares could be next. Currently, the majority of states have shut down their entire school systems, impacting a minimum of 30 million public school students who receive not only education but two meals a day. We know many families might be anxious about what their children will do during the day or even if they’ll be able to provide food for their children. There are many resources available to help families during this difficult time.
Currently, the federal government is working hard to partner with school districts to ensure students continue to have access to breakfast, lunch and even weekend meals. School districts are setting up food distribution centers to provide food for all children, whether that’s through a daily or weekly pickup by students (or their family members), and some school districts are even setting up delivery routes. With parents encountering increasingly sparse shelves at their local grocer, this option can offer even more peace of mind for families.
Local food pantries and churches across the nation are also receiving large food donations to meet the increased demand. Check your school district website or local news to find out if free food resources are available in your area.
In addition, many private educational companies are stepping in to provide immediate free educational resources to families who find themselves with children at home during the day and little educational guidance. Our national partner, Focus on the Family, has a very large library of resources, books, and DVD’s for parents providing home education. National Geographic Kids and Scholastic have videos, articles, books, and educational games and experiments for kids covering a variety of topics including science, math, and history. The New York Times has also promoted resources families can take advantage of like outschool.com (that provides free online classes), prodigygame.com (which provides free math lessons and skill boosting activities), and khanacademy.org (which provides free personalized courses covering all the core subjects from first grade to high school and .)*
As we all press forward during this challenging season, the White House Corona Virus Task Force led by Vice President Pence has urged all Americans families to join together in its “15 Days to Slow the Spread” campaign which includes avoiding gatherings of over ten people, following all CDC guidelines (like frequent handwashing), and listening to state-wide recommendations, like avoiding restaurants and bars.
We hope and pray during these uncertain times you and your family remain safe and healthy and that you are not anxious for anything, but are filled with the peace of God knowing He will meet all your needs according to the riches of His glory in Christ Jesus.
*Disclaimer: The educational resources mentioned in this article do not indicate an official endorsement of Family Policy Alliance.