The education of our children has traditionally been a topic focused on by those in the Democrat Party. A significant emphasis has been centered on school funding, especially teacher pay. The National Education Association (NEA) donates significant amounts of money to Democrat candidates and causes.
Recently, however, the Republican Party candidates have been laser focused on education, not in the way Democrats are but in what is being taught in public schools.
Many parents are alarmed at this form of teaching, feeling that such teaching approaches are an attempt to indoctrinate children rather than teach them basic reading, math and science
The education debate is multifaceted. Several larger elements are in focus right now.
During the COVID shut-down, parents were required to help their kids get online to connect with their teacher and classmates and to help them with their school work. In some areas, parents were alarmed at what they saw. In some classrooms, a teaching method called Critical Race Theory (CRT) was being used. It is not a subject to be taught but a philosophy used in what is taught. The fundamental principle of CRT is that all things are looked at through the lens of race and focusing on the impact of racism on the experiences of people of various races. In a classroom setting, children are taught that those in the dominate race (white) have and continue to suppress those of other races. The goal is to teach children to look at things through this same racial lens and change the structure of just about every organized system, be it government, business, or whatever, so that whites are held back in order to give other races power. Through this lens, most of the history of the United States is viewed negatively and the important historical figures are berated and whites are made to feel guilty for their race’s past deeds. Many parents are alarmed at this form of teaching, feeling that such teaching approaches are an attempt to indoctrinate children rather than teach them basic reading, math and science.
Another significant part of the debate is sexualizing the children at a young age. Introducing transgenderism, homosexuality and other sexually focused topics to children at a young age. Many on the left are not just talking about raising a child’s awareness of these topics but encouraging children to reconsider their own gender. Parents may not even be brought into the conversation. Other children are expected to change the way they do things in order to accommodate transitioning students. As an example, a boy wishing to transition to a girl may be allowed to use the girl’s restroom and locker room even if the non-trans girls are uncomfortable with it. Again, the majority is expected to forgo their rights to those in the minority. Most parents wish schools would focus on basic subjects and allow parents to decide what and when their children should learn about sexuality.
The root of the debate, for most parents is that of control. Many believe that schools are attempting to take parents out of the loop with regard to what children are being taught. They believe that fundamental teachings that may well relate to faith, morality and the like should be left to the parents. Yet those on the left side of the debate believe they know better than parents about what children should be taught.
...the national average reading scores dropped 5% since COVID closed schools. Math scores dropped 9%...
There is clear evidence that our children’s education is at risk. The National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) conducted an assessment of nine year olds in 2022. They found that the national average reading scores dropped 5% since COVID closed schools. Math scores dropped 9%, the first time scores declined since assessments began. While controversies in education may or may not be responsible for the decline, most parents just want to see schools focusing on fundamental subjects in order to catch kid up.
A politically seismic event took place in the Virginia Governors’ election in 2021. Though generally viewed as a Democrat controlled state, a Republican candidate won the race, significantly because he focused on the education debate. Parents in both parties, came to trust the Republican to take legislative action that would give them the authority to determine what children are taught in schools.
The age-old Republican platform issue that has been boosted by the most recent education debates is that of school choice. Many parents are learning what is being taught in schools and wishing they had options for choosing a different school for their children. Some states have actually passed laws that require education funds follow the student, whether parents want them in public schools, charter schools, private schools or schools where children are taught from a religious perspective.
While there is a national uproar about these issues, local elections are the most important if people want to see change. School Board elections, local political races and state races will put people into positions where most of these decisions are made.
What are your views? Do you believe that an entire generation is at risk due to the current state of public schools? Do you know the views of candidates running in your city and state? Decisions are being made now that will have a significant impact on this generation of students, and future generations as well. Find out what is happening in schools near you, study the issues, and where candidates stand. Then vote your conscience.