Commentary: Teachers Also Think American Public Schools Are in Decline

Teacher

Eighty-two percent of teachers say that the general state of public K-12 education has gotten worse over the past five years. This is according to a new Pew Research Center survey conducted in October and November of 2023. That’s not the only shocking statistic from the survey, either, which overall offers a grim statistical map of the fault lines fracturing our education system. However, these trends may offer some insight into how to fix our schools.

First, the teachers. Most teachers (77 percent) find their job frequently stressful, and a large majority (70 percent) say their school is understaffed, which may contribute to the fact that over 80 percent of teachers say they do not have enough time in the work day to complete all necessary tasks.

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Teachers Across the Country are Quitting Due to Student Violence

All across the country, school teachers are beginning to resign due to a rising fear of violence from students, with many acts largely going unpunished by authorities.

As reported by the New York Post, student behavior has gotten progressively worse after the Chinese Coronavirus pandemic, with fights breaking out more frequently, and some altercations leading to teachers sustaining injuries in the process of trying to break up the fighting.

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Commentary: Teaching Your Child to Read Is the Gateway to All Learning

Father Reading to Son

When my husband and I decided we were going to homeschool, we puzzled over what might be his contribution. Our division of labor as a married couple included me as a stay-at-home mom and him as the primary breadwinner. Nevertheless, we wanted to find a way for him to be involved in the educational aspects of raising our children, despite his being gone all day at work. After giving it some thought, my husband decided on reading to our children at night as part of their bedtime ritual.

As soon as our first born could sit still enough to listen to a story, he began reading to her. As we added more children to the household, the bedtime ritual, already well established with our first, continued with each subsequent child. My husband sat and read his way through all of the books that had captured us as children, while our own children snuggled into their beds, listening attentively.

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Librarians Claim Civil Rights Violations over Book Bannings and Firings

Several left-wing librarians, teachers, and other school employees are trying to claim that the removal of inappropriate books from school libraries is a violation of their civil rights.

As reported by ABC News, three librarians who were recently fired have filed workplace discrimination claims with U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC). They all claim that they were discriminated against when they were fired for promoting controversial, far-left material to students, including Critical Race Theory and the LGBTQ agenda.

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‘Grade Grubbing’ Takes Root as Educators Capitulate to Students’ Pleas for Better Scores

More students are asking for better grades than earned — and a vast majority of educators questioned in a recent survey admit they’ve given in to those demands in a trend now dubbed “grade grubbing.”

Intelligent.com surveyed nearly 300 educators in late August, including high school teachers and professors who work with both undergrads and grad students.

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Judge Bans California School District from Muzzling Teachers on Students’ Gender Transitions

A federal judge best known for overturning California’s decades-old assault-weapons ban in 2021, a decision immediately stayed by the 9th U.S. Circuit of Appeals but returned to his court for reconsideration by the Supreme Court, is now making waves on schools, free speech and gender identity.

U.S. District Judge Roger Benitez issued a preliminary injunction that prevents California’s Escondido Union School District from enforcing its gender identity disclosure policy against teachers Elizabeth Mirabelli and Lori Ann West or taking “adverse employment actions” against them.

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Commentary: Almost Everything Is in the Hands of Teachers

Kids, go to school! It’s time to go back. Some will have already started. A ritual that we adults attend every year with a mixture of nostalgia and indifference: nostalgia because we remember the beautiful — or ugly — child we were, and indifference because at least this time the math teacher will not ask us to explain the lesson. However, both feelings can coexist naturally with something deeper and more important: We need the teachers, and we need the teachers to do their best work possible.

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Commentary: Students and Teachers Are Ditching Public Schools in Droves

In 1983, the National Commission on Excellence in Education released a report titled, “A Nation at Risk,” which was an important point in the history of American education. The document used dire language, asserting that “the educational foundations of our society are presently being eroded by a rising tide of mediocrity that threatens our very future as a Nation and a people.”

The report also stated: “If an unfriendly foreign power had attempted to impose on America the mediocre educational performance that exists today, we might well have viewed it as an act of war.”

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SPN Poll: Majority of Parents Say Teachers Regularly Stray from Course Curriculum

The vast majority of parents in a new State Policy Network poll say public school teachers regularly deviated from set school curriculum to interject their own personal views and feelings over the past year.

In all, two out of every three parents polled in the survey of 2,014 respondents said teachings strayed from what was supposed to be taught, and 25% said they actually had a problem with a public-school teacher on the issue over the last 12 months.

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Commentary: It’s Time to Acknowledge America’s Education Crisis

The recent Supreme Court ruling regarding college admissions has once again thrust America’s educational system into the spotlight. A major question that has come from this ruling is whether America’s children are being intellectually and academically prepared to even enter or succeed in these colleges and universities. The tragic answer is that America’s public education system is failing to equip our youth with the tools necessary to succeed in higher education and in their future professional lives. We are failing America’s most valuable asset—our children.

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Florida Pays $100 Million to ‘Hometown Heroes’ Who Relocate to State

Florida has provided over $100 million in down payment and closing cost assistance for nearly 7,000 veterans, active-duty service members, nurses, teachers, first responders and law enforcement officers as more Americans continue to relocate to the Sunshine State.

Gov. Ron DeSantis and the Florida legislature created the Hometown Heroes Housing Program to help those who serve their country and their communities to be able to afford to live where they serve.

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Group Re-Introduces Bill to Help Teachers, First Responders Buy Homes

A bipartisan group will try again to pass a bill to help teachers and first-responders buy homes in the communities they serve.

U.S. Sens. Jon Ossoff, D-Ga.; Sherrod Brown, D-Ohio; and Marco Rubio, R-Fla., reintroduced the Homes for Every Local Protector Educator and Responder (HELPER) Act. The bill would create a first-time homebuyer loan program under the Federal Housing Administration for teachers and first responders who have served at least four years.

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Appeals Court Guts Religious Accommodations for Teachers That SCOTUS May Soon Strengthen: Lawyers

A week before the Supreme Court heard arguments in a case that could force employers to more freely grant religious accommodations, a federal appeals court determined that calling all students by their last names for the sake of religious conscience was a fireable offense.

A three-judge panel of the 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled this month that Indiana’s Brownsburg Community Schools Corp. had a “legitimate, nondiscriminatory reason” for firing music teacher John Kluge: He caused “emotional harm” and disrupted the learning environment by not addressing transgender students by preferred names and pronouns.

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Nation’s Highest-Paid Teachers Are Shutting Down Schools to Demand Higher Pay

Teachers of a Massachusetts school district are striking for a second day over higher pay, according to Boston 25 News.

Woburn Public School District canceled classes for a second day on Tuesday as teachers continue to strike for a 14.75% raise, an increase in salary for paraprofessionals and smaller class sizes, according to Boston 25 News. Massachusetts‘ teachers are among the highest paid teachers in the country, averaging more than $88,000 for a full time salary, according to World Population Review.

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Commentary: ‘Restorative Justice’ Endangers Students and Teachers

As millions of children settle into an uninterrupted academic term, widespread classroom disorder is undermining efforts to reintroduce students to in-person learning. This increased disorder corresponds with an increase in district-approved “restorative justice” programs, which address classroom dysfunction through nonpunitive measures. Though these programs have existed for decades, they are gaining momentum nationwide.

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Commentary: Teachers Don’t Want to Tell Parents What’s Going on in Classrooms

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.

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CDC Pressures Teachers to Increase ‘LGBTQ Inclusivity’ in Classroom Instruction

The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) has been forcing teachers across the country to follow certain guidelines demonstrating their commitment to “LGBTQ inclusivity” in their classroom instructions.

As reported by Breitbart, the CDC-issued “assessment tool” asks teachers numerous questions about school employees and their loyalty to the concept of “queer theory,” and forcing sexual education teachers to use gender-neutral language, forbidding them from using terms such as “boy” and “girl.”

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Florida School Board Meeting Reveals ‘Everyday’ Violence, Chaos in Schools as Teachers Flee

Dozens of teachers have fled a Florida school district amid startling reports of ongoing student violence and chaos there, a contentious school board meeting revealed this week.

Brevard County’s lengthy school board meeting on Thursday revealed what one teacher called “an everyday basis” of violent and disruptive behavior from students in the district’s schools. 

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Commentary: Trust Teachers to Make Their Own Decisions Regarding Union Membership

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.

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Florida Pushes to Recruit Military Veterans for Teaching Jobs

Gov. Ron DeSantis is encouraging military veterans interested in teaching at Florida public schools to consider applying through a new program.

“Florida is leading the way by bringing some of the best, the brightest and the bravest among us into our classrooms through a new program that helps military veterans become teachers,” he said in a video announcement Thursday. “If you served in the military for at least four years, were honorably discharged, have taken 60 college credits, and pass a subject area exam, we want you to be able to teach Florida students.

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Two Studies Raise Concerns About Public School ‘Serious Violence Incidents’

At a time when school shootings are a concern for many Americans, serious violence incidents are also up in schools across the nation, reports two recent studies.

One study, from the National Center for Education Statistics, shows a 35% increase in serious violence incidents in K-12 public schools from the 2015-16 school year to 2019-20. Serious violence incidents include rape, attempted rape, sexual assault other than rape, threatened rape, physical attacks, fights with a weapon, threat of physical attack with a weapon, and robbery with or without a weapon.

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More Teachers, Fewer Students Nationwide Despite Claims of Teacher Shortage

The number of teachers in the U.S. has increased from 2013 to 2020 while the number of students has decreased, according to data from the National Education Association, the nation’s largest public-school union.

While total enrollment has dropped 1.4% over those seven years, there has been a 2.3% increase in the number of public-school teachers.

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Teachers Explain How They Push ‘Gender Lessons’ on Young Children

Teachers across the country revealed the strategies they use to teach young children about gender ideology in a Friday article published by The Washington Post.

Teachers discussed the various ways they are injecting gender-related discussions into their lessons, including comments about using hormones to stop menstrual periods and declining to state that sexual anatomy is gender-specific, according to The Washington Post. One transgender teacher makes a point of telling students about the process of gender transitions, including with personal testimony.

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Larry Sand Commentary: American Federation of Teachers President Randi Weingarten Needs to Get a Grip

My Dearest Randi,

What is going on! It has been a year since my last missive, and I have not heard a peep from you. This is not the first time you have snubbed me, however. When I tried to say hi to you outside the Supreme Court after the Janus oral arguments in 2018, you refused to even look at me, and then turned to a newsman and launched into a kooky rant, insisting that unions “actually make communities safer and…the right-wing is threatened by that.”

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‘Cynical Symbolism’: Biden’s Education Department Issues New Rules to Crush Charter Schools

President Joe Biden’s administration is pushing new policies that make it harder for charter schools to survive while strengthening the power of teachers unions, experts told the Daily Caller News Foundation.

The newly proposed rules, which apply to the Department of Education’s (DOE) 2023 budget, will make it more difficult for charter start-ups to qualify and receive funding from a $440 million federal charter school program by requiring charter schools to prove there is a demand for education not being met by other institutions like public schools. The guidelines will consequently give teachers unions more control over education, experts told the DCNF.

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Commentary: Parents Can Fight and Defeat Critical Race Theory

Critical Race Theory sign with a table of books

Five years ago, hardly anyone knew what Critical Race Theory (CRT) was, but now the phrase is a common one in American households. The Marxist-based theory advocating a race-essentialist approach to education, law, public policy, and even health care, seeks to deconstruct the foundations of society and rebuild it as “antiracist,” while discriminating against whites along the way. Many people are overwhelmed with both the pervasiveness of the doctrine and the large task of fighting it.

Parents in Loudon County, VA, have tackled the issue head on, making national news by loudly criticizing CRT and electing school board members opposed to it. Such efforts, however, have been piecemeal nationwide.  

Momentum in fighting this hate-doctrine is growing, though, and many parents want to know how they can protect their children and eradicate such teaching from their local schools. Catrin Wigfall, a Policy Fellow with the Center of the American Experiment, offers some practical ways parents can fight CRT.

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Christian Student Sues Florida School, Alleges He Was Mocked By Students and Teachers for His Faith

A Florida student has sued his school over what he alleges is religious discrimination by his teachers and fellow classmates.

Nicholas Ortiz, a freshman at Miami’s Mater Academy has filed a lawsuit claiming he “was discriminated and retaliated against by his high school … because he is a Christian,” according to the complaint. Ortiz said he regularly brings his bible to school to read, which he alleges has made him a target for “disparaging comments” from other students, as well as school staff and administrators.

The complaint also outlines what it calls false and defamatory statements that circulated among students claiming Ortiz was planning a school shooting. Screenshots of communications between students show them discussing the rumored shooting and details their plans to physically assault Ortiz as a result.

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Commentary: Revitalizing K-12 Education with 10,000 New Charter Schools

The American K-12 education system has been failing too many students for too long. And the problem has only gotten worse amid pandemic-era school closures and remote learning.

Increasingly, parents are venting their frustration at local government bureaucracies and teachers’ unions that they believe have too often failed to put the interests of kids first — and some are voting with their feet.

Throughout Covid-19, traditional public school enrollment has dropped by 3.3% (1.45 million students) while charter school enrollment has increased by 7.1% year over year (237,000 students). Families are increasingly taking advantage of other non-traditional schooling options as well: according to the U.S. Census Bureau, the rate of homeschooling nationwide increased by 5.6 percentage points between April and October 2020.

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Commentary: Mike Rowe Scholarship Highlights the Lost Virtues of Hard Work and Sweat

Tracy Wilson is sitting in the cutest little ranch house in this Calvert County town. It is her dream house—literally her dream house, she explains, as she has had the image of this very home in her mind, down to the color scheme of the exterior.

It is 4 o’clock in the afternoon, and the single mother of two just got home from another dream—her job. She spends her days working as an instrumentation technician in the flight test program at Boeing.

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Taxpayer-Funded Federal Program Trains Teachers in Critical Race Theory

Newly uncovered federal grant documents show that the U.S. Department of Education awarded roughly $2.5 million in taxpayer dollars to a Florida-based education program that trains future teachers and other professionals in, among other things, critical race theory.

The funding came through two grants, one in 2017 and another in 2021. Both grants went to faculty at Florida State University, which has partnered with Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University.

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Commentary: Shutting Down Parents Does Not Help Public Education

As school districts start dropping the mask mandates, removing pornographic books from their libraries, and explicitly prohibiting critical race theory, it’s clear that the parent protests are working. School boards, even in progressive bastions like San Francisco, are currently being cleaned out and replaced by more pro-parent members. Moreover, politicians like the governor of Oklahoma are openly instituting a school choice model that would allow for different schooling models and have education dollars follow the student, not automatically go to the school.

Naturally, these developments invite more pushback (sometimes literally so) from those who believe they’re supporting public education. It was fine in the past to let various kooky parents carry on about the evils of teaching Harry Potter or sex ed; school boards and district leaders could simply yawn and carry on as before. However, now that it actually threatens their authority and influence, they can no longer ignore parents’ concerns..  

In general, opponents of protesting parents make the same points over and over. They deny that public schools have problems, play semantic games with critical race theory (“it’s just an abstract legal theory taught in law school,” etc.), and accuse angry parents of being misguided racists. In their view, parents who demand a more wholesome and academic experience for their children are actually demanding an exclusively white and privileged experience. And for good measure, they will add an anecdote about a heroic public school teacher changing lives, proving beyond any doubt that public schools are still doing noble work and are essential for a healthy, diverse society.  

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Petition Vowing to Teach Critical Race Theory Regardless of Law Tops 8,000 Signatures

Young girl in pink long sleeve writing

A petition by teachers nationwide pledging to teach Critical Race Theory (CRT) to students regardless of whether states pass laws against the practice has reached more than 8,000 signatures.

“From police violence, to the prison system, to the wealth gap, to maternal mortality rates, to housing, to education and beyond, the major institutions and systems of our country are deeply infected with anti-Blackness and its intersection with other forms of oppression,” the Zinn Education Project’s petition page says. “To not acknowledge this and help students understand the roots of U.S. racism is to deceive them — not educate them.”

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National School Boards Association Executive Reportedly Knew About Attorney General’s Memorandum Targeting Parents Before It Was Published

A National School Boards Association (NSBA) executive reportedly knew about Attorney General Merrick Garland’s memorandum targeting concerned parents before it was published, according to new information obtained by Parents Defending Education.

Chip Slaven, then-interim executive director of the National School Boards Association (NSBA) knew about Garland’s memorandum that called on the FBI to “use its authority” against parents who threaten or use violence against public school officials, according to an email obtained by Parents Defending Education (PDE) through a public records request.

“I understand Chip knew about the U.S. AG Directives before they were published,” Alabama NSBA member Pam Doyle told Florida NSBA member Beverly Slough in an Oct. 5, 2021 internal email exchange. “So much for communicating with the BOD,” she added.

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Commentary: The Outcome if Government Unions Get Control of an Entire State

Chicago Teachers’ Union protesting

Chaos. Disruption. Uncertainty.

The Chicago Teachers Union provides a real-world example of what happens when a government union has too much power.

CTU has gone on strike three times in three school years. In the latest work stoppage, over 330,000 schoolchildren missed five days of school. Parents were notified of the walkout after 11 p.m. on a school night, leaving them just hours to develop a back-up plan after the union decided not to show up.

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New Iowa Bill Would Allow Parents to Watch Kids’ Classrooms

An Iowa representative introduced Tuesday a bill that would allow parents to watch live footage of their children in public school classrooms.

“I think we need to showcase the great work our teachers do,” Rep. Norlin Mommsen, R-DeWitt, a farmer, told The Center Square in a phone interview Tuesday.

He said that through the COVID-19 pandemic, parents learned they wanted to be more involved, and this is a mechanism of facilitating parental involvement.

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Missouri Considers Pension Changes to Solve Teacher Shortage

Man standing in front of a room, giving a lecture with a presentation

Legislators are considering changes to Missouri’s teacher and non-certified school employee pension plans to alleviate pandemic-related teacher and staff shortages.

HB2114, sponsored by Rep. Rusty Black, R-Chillicothe, will reduce restrictions on pensions if a retired public school teacher returns to the classroom or to a non-teaching position in a public school. The legislation also increases from two to four years the length of time a retired teacher or retired non-certified public school employee can work while still receiving their pension.

During testimony before the House pensions committee, Rep. Black, the committee vice chairman, said similar legislation was passed by the House and died in the Senate last year as the legislative session ended in May. He said the legislation simplifies and improves the amount retirees can earn before their pensions are restricted.

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Commentary: Critical Race Promoters Are More Odious than Marxists

Of late, Fox News has been hosting a series called “The MisEducation of America” featuring gatherings of critical race theory’s critics—such as Carol Swain of Vanderbilt University—focusing on the danger of teaching racially divisive versions of American history. According to Swain, a black professor of political science at Vanderbilt, forcing kids to do things like play games called “privilege bingo” are “a prime example of how CRT, has seeped down to K-12 education, and it disturbs students.” Further: “All of these critical theories with Marxist roots are destroying American education, and parents have to save their children. But they also have to work to save other people’s children.”

Although the media and our universities may choose to ignore Swain’s complaint, she is actually understating the problem she and “MisEducation” host Pete Hegseth are featuring. I’m not sure I see “the Marxist roots” of the crusade against white people and their history in quite the same way Swain and Hegseth see it. We are indeed witnessing class warfare but not of the kind that Marx foresaw. It is a war being waged by white elites against the “basket of deplorables,” the predominantly white, working-class, and small-town Americans whom these elites hate and want to divest of human dignity. Similar conflicts are going on simultaneously in other Western countries, featuring equivalent social conflict.

In none of these cases do we find Marx’s appeals to the proletariat to rise up against those who control the means of production. In fact, we are witnessing exactly the opposite. An alliance of corporate capitalists, feminists, the LGBT lobby, and black race hustlers are directing their fire on the working class, which seems to be the least affected by the hegemonic ideology of wokeness. If anything, we are now looking at what Pedro Gonzalez has characterized as “the counterrevolution of the ruling class.” If Marxist theory, which supposedly is “seeping in” has any application, it would be as an analysis of how our elites are suppressing those they are stepping on and trying through increasingly vicious hate speech to isolate.

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Las Vegas Says It Will Offer Teachers up to $2,000 to Stay in the Classroom Amid COVID Surge

The school district that oversees public education in Las Vegas said it will offer teachers and other employees up to $2,000 in bonuses if they stay on amid the current COVID-19 surge and concurrent employment crisis.

Clark County School District said in a statement this week that the CCSD Board of School Trustees had “approved an agreement with all five employee bargaining units to provide eligible regular and full-time employees employed as of January 1, 2022 with a $1,000 COVID retention bonus.”

“CCSD will also pay an additional $1,000 bonus to eligible regular and full-time employees who are employed on May 25, 2022, for a total of $2,000,” the statement added.

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Commentary: Americans Believe Damaging Sleep Myths

Woman sleeping

A new survey suggests that at least half of Americans fall for a number of sleep myths, some of them quite damaging for sleep health.

Assistant Teaching Professor Elizabeth Pantesco and Associate Professor Irene Kan, both in the Department of Psychological & Brain Sciences at Villanova University, spearheaded the research, which was recently published to the journal Sleep Health.

The duo surveyed 1,120 adults residing in the United States via CloudResearch’s Prime Panels. Participants were queried about their demographics, then asked whether they agreed or disagreed with twenty statements about sleep, for example, “Watching television in bed is a good way to relax before sleep” and “For sleeping, it is better to have a warmer bedroom than a cooler bedroom.” Unbeknownst to them, the statements were all widely recognized as myths by sleep experts.

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Teachers Get Raises, Bonuses From Federal COVID Relief Funds Meant to Reopen Schools Safely

This week’s Golden Horseshoe once again goes to the U.S. Department of Education for allowing school districts to use pandemic relief funds for pay raises and bonuses for teachers despite the funds being appropriated to reopen schools safely.

Schools nationwide received $190 billion through three relief packages passed. Of that total, the largest sum, $122 billion, was from President Biden’s American Rescue Plan.

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Analysis: Teacher Unions, Parents Gird for 2022 Battles

Protestor with megaphone, talking

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.

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Democrats Boast That Their Donors’ Most Common Profession Is Teacher

The Democratic National Committee (DNC) tweeted that the most common DNC donor-reported occupation in 2021 is teacher.

The tweet sparked widespread mockery online, with commentators pointing out that teachers’ widespread alignment with Democrats is a root cause of conservatives’ distrust in public education.

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Missouri Teachers Told ‘White Supremacy’ Includes ‘All Lives Matter,’ Calling Police on Blacks

Sign that reads "What happened to all lives matter?"

Training materials for the Springfield, Mo., school district told teachers they could be engaging in white supremacy simply by insisting the English language be used or calling police on a black suspect, according to records released under a freedom of information request.

The materials, provided to Just the News, include a 40-plus slide training deck that proclaimed its goal was to train teachers on how to address “systemic racism and xenophobia” in the school district and to understand the difference between oppressors and the oppressed. Critics say the slide deck is part of a larger Critical Race Theory curriculum that parents are increasingly rejecting.

It included an “oppression matrix” that identified privileged social groups capable of oppression as including “white people,” “male assigned at birth,” “gender conforming CIS men and women,” “heterosexuals,” “rich, upper-class people” and “Protestants.”

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Ric Grenell and Gloria Romero Commentary: A Plan to Deliver Equal Opportunity to Every Student in California

Group of young students working in classroom

When students are armed with a world class education, they can break down barriers and achieve their deepest dreams. However, in America today, big government and big unions are preventing students from receiving a quality education by forcing American kids to attend the school closest to them, even when it is totally failing. There is no school competition for kids who can’t afford to opt-out of the shoddy school they are forced to attend. This policy and practice especially impacts poor and minority children. But in our home state of California, we’ve had enough of failing government monopolies. We are launching a ballot initiative that will deliver educational freedom to every child in the state, regardless of where they live or how much income their parents earn.

We have all seen government schools that transition from safe havens for learning and hope into depressing institutions that fall short of educating tomorrow’s leaders. Parents are mad, taxpayers are frustrated, and our teachers are not supported by their union bosses. Nowhere is that reality truer than in states where big unions—like the California Teachers Association—control political decision makers with massive campaign war chests seized from their members’ obligatory dues. That’s why Fix California has launched a project to put a ballot initiative in front of voters in 2022—to emancipate students from the government monopoly on education.

Currently, in California, residents are taxed exorbitantly at every turn, with the ruling party’s promise that those dollars will ostensibly be spent on improving the state. That’s a lie on many fronts, but it’s especially untrue in education where failing government schools continue to be rewarded by more tax dollars and virtually no accountability. Tax dollars are siphoned off in the form of required union dues and are funneled straight into the coffers of corrupt unions financing campaigns of politicians who ensure the gravy train keeps flowing. It is a crooked cycle that has destroyed government education across the country.

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Commentary: On Critical Race Theory, the Left’s Manipulations and Double Standards Are No Match for the Truth

"End Racism Now" sign and "Black Lives Matter" in a crowd

People old enough to remember the academic culture wars of the late 1980s and early ’90s have a special insight into this year’s controversy over critical race theory. I don’t mean insight into the identity politics of the old days and into the identity politics of 2021, though the basic features are the same whether we are talking about the English syllabus in college in 1989 or the equity lesson in elementary school this fall. I mean, instead, the particular way in which liberals have handled the backlash once the trends in the higher education seminar of yore and in the 6th grade classroom of today have been made public. 

Here’s what happened back then. In the 1970s and ’80s, a new political awareness crept into humanities teaching and research at elite universities, casting the old humanist ideals of beauty and genius and greatness as spurious myths, as socially constructed notions having a political purpose. We were told that they are not natural, neutral, or objective. No, they are Eurocentric, patriarchal, even theological (in that they presumed a transhistorical, universal character for select masterpieces). Shakespeare, Milton, Bernini, et al., were not on the syllabus because they were talents superior to all others. No, they were only there because  the people in control were institutionalizing their biases. This whole canon thing, the revisionists insisted, was a fake. As Edward Said put it in “Secular Criticism,” “The realities of power and authority . . .  are realities that make texts possible,” and any criticism that skirts the power and authority that put Shakespeare on the syllabus and not someone else is a dodge. 

They could diversify, then. That’s what the skepticism enabled them to do. They could drop requirements in Western civilization. They needn’t force every student through a “great books” sequence. The “classics” are just one possibility among many others. That was the policy outcome at one tier-one campus after another. 

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‘What Were You Thinking?’: State National School Boards Association Members Slammed Letter to White House About Domestic Terrorist Parents

National School Boards Association meeting

State members of the National School Boards Association slammed the organization following its letter addressed to President Joe Biden’s administration that compared parental concern at school board meetings to actions of “domestic terrorists,” according to emails obtained by Parents Defending Education through a public records request.

Emails between Delaware, Florida and Ohio school board officials and National School Boards Association (NSBA) leadership showed the discontent its state members had with how the national organization handled the letter and the claims it made. The NSBA sent a letter on Sept. 29 that asked President Joe Biden’s administration to use federal legislation, such as the PATRIOT Act, to stop threats and violence in public schools toward school board members over actions that could be “the equivalent to a form of domestic terrorism and hate crimes.”

On Oct. 10, Devin Sheehan, a regional director for the NSBA, sent a letter to executive directors to “compile any concerns, thoughts or recommendations” from its northeast region state board associations, according to the emails.

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Colleges Offer ‘Social Justice’ Math Classes for Students, Future Teachers

This school year, colleges around the country will teach students to use math to drive a “social justice” agenda. Campus Reform has found several courses, aimed both at math students and future teachers, that will teach math through social justice and social justice through math.

Central Washington University’s “Mathematics for Social Justice,” identified by Twitter user @OrwellNGoode, purports to teach students how, and why, to use math for social justice activism. The course description says, “The overarching goal of this course is for students to develop the ability and inclination to use mathematics to understand, and improve, the world around us, exploring social, political, and economic justice.” Students will use math and analysis to “draw conclusions concerning social justice issues,” “make and evaluate assumptions in a social justice context,” and “analyze and critique social justice claims and arguments.”

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Commentary: The Data Mining of America’s Kids Should Be a National Scandal

As U.S. Attorney General Merrick Garland sat down for his first hearing before the House Judiciary Committee, denying a conflict of interest in his decision to investigate parents for “domestic terrorism,” there is a mother in the quiet suburb of Annandale, N.J., who found his answers lacking. And she has questions she wants asked at Garland’s hearing with the Senate Judiciary Committee this Wednesday.

On a recent Saturday night, Caroline Licwinko, a mother of three, a law school student and the coach to her daughter’s cheerleading squad, sat in front of her laptop and tapped three words into an internet search engine: “Panorama. Survey. Results.”

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Attorney General Garland Grilled by GOP Senators over Department of Justice Memo Targeting Parents at School Meetings

Attorney General Merrick Garland on Wednesday faced a litany of hard-edged Senate questions about agreeing to allow federal law enforcement to investigate alleged incidents of outspoken parents at school board meetings.

Garland, in a memo, agreed to responded to a Sept. 29 letter from the National School Board Association to President Biden asking that the FBI, Justice Department and other federal agencies to investigate potential acts of domestic terrorism at the meetings. Parents across the nation have been voicing their concerns about the curricula being taught to their children, in addition to instances like the one currently playing out in northern Virginia, in which there was an apparent coverup of the sexual assault of a female student in a bathroom.

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Consultants Are Raking in Millions Promoting Critical Race Theory in Schools, According to Conservative Advocacy Group

Diversity, equity and inclusion consultants are getting paid millions of dollars by public schools “to push divisive ideologies” to transform American schools “from institutions of education to places of woke indoctrination,” according to a conservative education advocacy group. 

Parents Defending Education (PDE) spent four months compiling data for its “Consultant Report Card” released Thursday, which investigates 543 public school districts and agencies across all 50 states and the District of Columbia.

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