Poll: Support for School Choice Increases After COVID Shutdowns

Classroom full of kids, that are being read a book

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.

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Commentary: Will Students Returning to the Classroom Remember How to Learn?

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…

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Minnesota Senate OKs COVID-19 Learning Loss Recovery Bills

Roger Chamberlain and Chuck Wige

The GOP-led Minnesota Senate recently approved several bills that aim to support families and teachers in recovering from learning loss suffered during COVID-19-related school closures.

Senate File 628 seeks to require the Department of Education to administer in-person statewide Minnesota Comprehensive Assessments during the spring of 2021, regardless of the current learning format. MCAs measure student progress in core academic subjects and were canceled last year.

“At this point, we are all familiar with the pain and hardship that school closures have caused students,” Sen. Roger Chamberlain, R-Lino Lakes, said in a statement. “The Senate is taking the smart steps necessary to help students catch their breath and recover from some of the worst side effects of COVID.”

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Commentary: Kentucky Gov. Andy Beshear is the Poster Child for School Choice Hypocrisy

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.”

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Census Bureau: Home-Schooling More Than Doubled in 2020, Higher in Some Regions

Student working on school work at home.

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.

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Commentary: Progressive Educators Dumb Down Education in the Name of Antiracism

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!

I wish I were kidding. I’m not.

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Teachers Union Boss who Fought to Keep Schools Closed Caught Dropping Kid off at in-Person Preschool

Remember the Chicago teachers union bigwig who defended school closures while wearing a bathing suit in Baja? We’ve got another one.

In Northern California, the same guy who has been claiming schools are too unsafe to reopen apparently doesn’t practice what he preaches.

A video posted by a Twitter account called “guerillaMomz” shows the president of the Berkeley teachers union dropping his daughter off at in-person preschool.

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Website Tracks Which Colleges Embrace Training in Critical Race Theory

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.

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Commentary: Teachers Unions Continue to Block School Reopenings Across America

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.

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Commentary: Education Professors Blast 1776 Report as ‘Better Fit for a Dictatorship’

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.”

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Commentary: Academics, Teachers Pounce on the Capitol Chaos Narrative

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.

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Commentary: The Last Time Bill Gates Helped America Was Common Core

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.

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While Unions Demand More Money, Unemployment Data Shows Increasing Layoffs in Education Sector

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.

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Politics, Competition With Religious Schools, Far Outweighed Science in School Shutdown Decisions, Analysis Found

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.”

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Report: Some Public Schools Obstructing Parents’ Efforts to Withdraw Children for Home-Schooling

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.

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San Diego School Districts Abolish Grades to Combat Racism

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.

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Ohio State Prof Says Clarence Thomas Not ‘Authentically Black’

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.

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Commentary: If Everyone is Behind, then No One is Behind

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.

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California Mothers Sue California Gov. Newsom, Saying His Partial Reopening of Schools Hurts Special Needs Students, Causes Anxiety Over Grades

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.

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Commentary: The New Maoists Bind and Gag Academics

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.

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Former Vanderbilt University Professor Carol Swain Weighs in on Constitution Question Scandal at Her Teaching Alma Mater

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.

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Liberty University Hires Outside Firm to Investigate Jerry Falwell Jr.’s Tenure

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.

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Commentary: How to Recognize a Bad Teacher

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.

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Tennessee Will Host The National Constitution Bee, Grand Champion Set to Win $25,000 Education Scholarship

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.

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Counselor in Texas School District Shares List of Marxist Literature as ‘Tool’

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.

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Carol Swain Tells Fox and Friends Weekend: Politics Underlies Everything We Are Doing With COVID-19

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.

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Trump Touts Education, Economic Opportunities for Hispanics

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.

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Majority of Minnesota Parents Say They Are Comfortable Sending Children Back to School in Fall

A survey conducted by the Minnesota Department of Education found that the majority of parents would feel comfortable sending their children back to school this fall.

Between June 15 and July 6, the agency collected more than 130,000 responses to the informal survey, which was offered in English, Hmong, Spanish, and Somali. A total of 64 percent of respondents said they would feel comfortable sending their children back to school in September. Of that 64 percent, 94 percent said they would send their children back to school full time.

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Jason Lewis Says Parents Should Be Refunded for Property Taxes If Schools Don’t Reopen

Republican Senate candidate Jason Lewis said parents should be refunded for property tax payments and tuition if schools aren’t allowed to reopen in the fall.

“The more we learn about COVID, the more it becomes apparent that we have done a huge disservice to our children in the way we have handled this virus. Research has proven that COVID presents minimal risks to young people. But what isn’t minimal is the toll this prolonged lockdown and social isolation has on our kids’ social, mental, and physical well-being,” Lewis said in a statement released Wednesday.

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Minnesota Schools Given Possible Scenarios for the Fall

The Minnesota Department of Education (MDE) and the Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) gave additional guidance for what school could look like in the fall.

The guidance recommended school districts plan for three possible scenarios: in-person learning for all students; hybrid learning with social distance and capacity limits; or distance learning only.

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Eden Prairie School Board Member Criticizes ‘Unacceptable’ Lack of Direction from Walz Admin on Upcoming School Year

An Eden Prairie School Board member broke his silence Monday after learning that the Minnesota Department of Education (MDE) won’t be releasing state guidance on the upcoming academic year until July 27.

Three scenarios are possible for the 2020-21 school year, including continued distance learning, the resumption of in-person instruction, or a mix of the two.

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GOP Bill Would Withhold Funding from Schools That Don’t Reopen by September

Republican lawmakers introduced a bill Thursday meant to incentivize schools to reopen from coronavirus closures by September 5.

Republican Reps. Jim Banks of Indiana and Tom Tiffany of Wisconsin introduced the Reopen Our Schools Act Thursday, which would withhold federal funding from schools that don’t open in the fall for in-person learning.

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Commentary: The Media-Education-Entertainment-Tech Complex’s Latest Victim

The History Channel premiered a three-part miniseries about Ulysses S. Grant Monday. Produced by the arch-leftist and globalist Leonardo Di Caprio, with commentary by left-wing reparations activist Ta-Nehisi Coates, the show is based on Ron Chernow’s 2017 biography. This is the same Chernow who excoriated President Trump at the 2019 White House Correspondents’ Dinner and says Alexander Hamilton would have supported Trump’s impeachment.

But I am not interested in revisiting the endless spurious assertions we’re sure to hear from the people who produced what is sure to be another tired, this-is-who-we-are jeremiad pushing progressive liberalism. 

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Commentary: We Are All Homeschoolers Now

What does education look like in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic?

At the K-12 level, you’ve got problems. At the collegiate level, you’ve got existential problems.

School is out for the year in most locales. More innovative districts are retooling like crazy and trying to do online classes. Parents are looking for cheap or free resources to do the job and keep their kids occupied during our enforced isolation.

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Judge Warren Commentary: Electronic Learning During the Times of the Coronavirus

With the coronavirus, schools across America are scrambling to put together a hodgepodge of solutions to continue teaching for learning while their buildings are closed.  Many are valiantly attempting to leverage technology to create on-line and virtual learning opportunities. Unfortunately, weaknesses in technological infrastructure, teacher preparation shortfalls, inequities among students, and ill-equipped students and parents are barriers to success.  The information highway has more than one virtual flat tire.

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Trump Praises Education Freedom Scholarships and Opportunity Act During State of the Union Address

President Trump voiced support during his State of the Union Address earlier this week for the Education Freedom Scholarships and Opportunity Act, which would create a $5 billion annual tax credit for donations to state-based, locally-controlled scholarships. The act aims at giving one million children the opportunity to attend their school of choice.

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Commentary: Ninety Three Vermont Towns Have No Public Schools, But Great Education

In just a couple of weeks, 50 boys with learning disabilities will take to a stage in Vermont, one after the other, to recite the Gettysburg Address from memory. It’s a daring experiment undertaken each February at the Greenwood School and its population of boys who’ve struggled in public schools. Diagnosed with ADD, dyslexia, and executive function impairments, Greenwood’s boys stand before an auditorium full of people (and once even a Ken Burns documentary crew) to recite powerful words many adults would struggle to retain.

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Minnesota ‘Teacher of the Year’ Kneels During Anthem, Skipped Meeting with Trump

Minnesota’s 2019 “Teacher of the Year” took a knee during the national anthem when she and her fellow honorees were being recognized at Monday night’s college football championship game.

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Commentary: ‘We’ Should Not Regulate Homeschooling

The desire to control other people’s ideas and behaviors, particularly when they challenge widely-held beliefs and customs, is one of human nature’s most nefarious tendencies. Socrates was sentenced to death for stepping out of line; Galileo almost was. But such extreme examples are outnumbered by the many more common, pernicious acts of trying to control people by limiting their individual freedom and autonomy. Sometimes these acts target individuals who dare to be different, but often they target entire groups who simply live differently. On both the political right and left, efforts to control others emerge in different flavors of limiting freedom—often with “safety” as the rationale. Whether it’s calls for Muslim registries or homeschool registries, fear of freedom is the common denominator.

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Child Protection League Denied Booth Space at Minnesota School Boards Conference

A Minnesota nonprofit seeking to protect children from “exploitation, indoctrination, and violence” was denied booth space at the Minnesota School Boards Association’s (MSBA) annual “Leadership Conference.”

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Dip in Test Scores Correlates with Enactment of Common Core

Fourth and eighth grade students in the U.S. again showed no to little improvement in their average reading and mathematics scores, according to a report released this week, a decrease that correlates with the enactment of the Common Core.

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The Star News Digital Media Statement of Principles on K-12 Education

Star News Digital Media is a Nashville-based company that owns and operates five online news sites–The Tennessee Star, The Ohio Star, The Minnesota Sun, The Michigan Star, and Battleground State News–and publishes textbooks for secondary school students.

Our reporting on K-12 education is based on our philosophical perspective, which is reflected in our statement of principles.

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Commentary: The Self-Indulgent Ignorance of Today’s Education Establishment Prospers at the Expense of America’s Children

classroom

The 2020 elections will afford us the chance to pass judgment on the immediate threat to our democracy posed by the intelligence agencies, the Democratic party, and the media in their grab for power through a bastardized impeachment process. But no such opportunity exists for us to deal with the most serious, most fundamental threat to our way of life, namely our thoroughly rotten educational establishment.

The problem has been festering for decades, and keeps getting worse.

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