1. Can we accept an educational program as a truly solid academic education that will serve our children and their futures well, if our children graduate from high school or college with the attitudes, values, beliefs, behaviors, and a worldview that we oppose, which has been presented by teachers trained to believe it is their responsibility to be the devil’s advocate, and who teach our children to question and even oppose the foundational beliefs of our families?
2. Is it more important for our children to receive college credits in high school, or more important to establish and protect their minds and souls?
3. If your child graduates from college and attains a great, high paying job, but no longer respects – much less believes – that they are worthy of a strong marriage, a free and prosperous country, and that by the grace of God anything is possible – have we done our best to give our children a strong foundation for a happy, joy filled life?” Alice Linahan ... See MoreSee Less
Will Educational Choice Come to America without Washington’s Heavy Hand?
President-elect Trump’s nomination of Betsy DeVos has set high expectations in the world of education reform potentially breaking the Washingtonian bureaucratic monopoly, their obsessions with closing gaps, and returning control to parents and districts, which was at the heart of Mr. Trump’s campaign.
How will the new administration promote educational choice and steer away from the grip of Common Core, or of national standards and mandates that inevitably weigh down on the states and districts and cause student's delayed development and parents' hostility?
If a market system forced on everybody would not provide an egalitarian, high quality education for all, then in state provisions must be shown to provide a more egalitarian and higher quality education to all.
Regrettably billions have been spent through USDoE and results are flat, if not negative. Opportunities to have true parental education choice have, up until now, been non-existent.
The charter models some activists now refer to as "vulture charters," a term coined by Michelle Moore Earle, are not the only models to force students and parents into compliance with edicts formulated by third parties. We know from long experience now that the Common Core standards do restrict math learning and culminate in a weak Algebra 2 as well as restrict any critical exposure of essential texts from the Anglo-American traditions and the Western culture at large. They are incompatible with true educational choice to benefit students and citizens rather than offer workers’ options to students and corporate entities.
Recognizing true parental educational choice should present “classroom choice” for instruction entirely free of computers or in class Internet research, as well as offer single sex or co-ed classes. Just like some charter schools offer a curriculum that targets interests of locally available adults and some children, vocational schools as well as higher education institutions in each state should be part of the conversation and decision-making process to provide educational choice to parents.
True choice is not limited to charters but includes parochial education as evidenced by Sacred Heart that teaches classical curriculum and are in support of Betsy DeVos in Michigan including some independent Christian schools that also support DeVos.
We have reason to be cautiously optimistic. If a Trump platform is fulfilled by dismantling USDoE and eliminates federal coercion to the state mandates of Common Core, then hope can spring anew.
A large number of parent activists have made inroads with the in-coming administration. A letter has been delivered to President-elect Trump on behalf Stop Common Core parents from across the nation.
We eagerly await a detailed agenda from the Trump administration to which we can slice and dice details to ensure true parental choice becomes reality sans federal ball and chain. There is much work ahead.
Most Parent activists are interested in keeping the very separate parent voice to continue in dialogue rather than risk being mixed in with current Union progressive opposition and their viscerally hostile responses to the nomination of Betsy DeVos.
Having educational choice will require that the Secretary provide a broad description of her intent. Her recent expression "national standards" is frightening but it remains ambiguous.
Activists need to ask, What does it mean? It could and should be restricted to a guidance document for States. They need to ask if she rejects federal mandates that dictate testing from an extraneous source and are performed by third parties.
Would she agree to writing guidance documents pertinent to American history, literature, grammar, and efficient traditional algorithms of higher math, science, as well as comprehensive civics, not just social justice theory?
Does she agree that educational excellence is achieved when we elevate all in their educational choices, not when we seek to force them to narrow the gaps? ... See MoreSee Less