We know the nature of mass hysterias in history, and how they can overwhelm and paralyze what seem to be stable societies.
We know the roots and origins of the cult of wokeness.
And we know, too, how such insanity—from the Salem witch trials to Jacobinism to McCarthyism—can spread, despite alienating most of the population, through fear and the threat of personal ruin or worse. These are the dark sides of the tulip, hula-hoop, and pet-rock fads, the mass obsessions so suited to past affluent Western societies.
In a CNN interview with Anderson Cooper that aired in June, Barack Obama weighed in on perceived GOP anxieties. Instead of worrying about the economy and climate change, worries he thought appropriate for Republicans, “Lo and behold,” he told Cooper, “the single most important issue to them apparently right now is critical race theory. Who knew that that was the threat to our republic?”
I would argue that critical race theory, CRT for short, is not only a threat to the republic but also a threat to our families. Obama has already shown the damage that race can inflict on family, starting with this own. In March 2008, with his campaign floundering after the toxic Rev. Wright tapes surfaced, Obama played the CRT card to salvage his candidacy.
During a critical speech in Philadelphia, Obama reminded his audience that “so many of the disparities that exist between the African-American community and the larger American community today can be traced directly to inequalities passed on from an earlier generation that suffered under the brutal legacy of slavery and Jim Crow.” This was pure CRT. The fact that none of Obama’s relatives descended from slaves went unmentioned.
White privilege is a myth. A relic of a time that no longer exists and that none of us living and raising kids today have ever really experienced. There was once a time when legal and cultural advantages were offered to whites, but those days are gone and pretending otherwise is causing great damage to children and our society.
White Privilege Talk Harms Children Psychologically
White privilege is a concept which hurts both white and non-white children, albeit in different ways. For white children, you steal from them the ability to feel pride in who they are, their ancestors, and in their cultural inheritance. Certainly every nation and people can find stains in its history. The past was a violent and merciless place in which all sides are implicated.
White privilege requires that children of European descent are never allowed to feel deserving of what they, their parents, or their ancestors have achieved. They are never allowed to believe that they have rightfully earned anything. Consequently, they are pressured to actively give up what is theirs in penitence. This is obviously damaging and abusive for a child to endure.
The Biden administration called it an “error” to promote a critical race theory (CRT) activist group’s guide in a Department of Education (DOE) handbook meant for use in over 13,000 public school districts on reopening recommendations and policies, Fox News reported.
The activist group, Abolitionist Teaching Network (ATN) has connections to at least two high-ranking officials in the Biden administration’s DOE, Fox News reported. It is unclear why ATN was mentioned in the April 2021 handbook and who added the link.
The Biden administration DOE backtracked on the promotion and its link to the group in a statement to Fox News Wednesday which said, “The Department does not endorse the recommendations of this group, nor do they reflect our policy positions. It was an error in a lengthy document to include this citation.”
Critical race theory has now taken hold in the U.S. military. And I have to say, I find it perplexing. My father served for three decades in the U.S. Army. I grew up understanding that the military is about forming a bond, a unit, a team working toward the same goals and protecting each other while achieving them.
So, you can imagine my shock when I started to learn how seriously the leaders at the Pentagon were starting to integrate critical race theory (CRT) in their curriculua. In fact, a professor at the U.S. Air Force Academy, Lynne Chandler Garcia, wrote in a Washington Post op-ed, “I teach critical race theories to our nation’s future military leaders because it is vital that cadets understand the history of racism that has shaped both foreign and domestic policy.”
As Mark Davis opined in Newsweek, “Finding such warped content in today’s liberal college classrooms is not surprising. But finding it at the U.S. Air Force Academy is unacceptable.” I couldn’t agree more.
Ohio school districts are about ready to pull the trigger on a lawsuit against the state over the expansion of Ohio’s school choice voucher program.
The Ohio Coalition for Equity and Adequacy of School Funding is an association of over 500 Ohio school districts. Through its sister organization Vouchers Hurt Ohio, it has reportedly retained the law firm of Walter Haverfield, though the firm has not yet filed a legal challenge.
The coalition opposes Ohio’s EdChoice Scholarship program. That program currently provides vouchers to students who reside in school districts that meet certain conditions of poor academic performance and also to students in families whose income is at or below 250% of the federal poverty guidelines, according to the Ohio Legislative Service Commission.
A year ago, “defund the police” activists were having quite a time. Outlets like CNN and Vox were publishing fawning profiles. Social media sensations like Reps. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Ilhan Omar were leading the parade. Cities like Los Angeles, Minneapolis, and Austin even approved partial defundings. It was a juggernaut.
Now? A tough-on-crime former cop just won the Democratic mayoral nomination in Bill de Blasio’s New York. Former President Barack Obama is warning fellow Democrats, “You lost a big audience the minute you say [‘defund the police’].” Sen. Bernie Sanders has rejected calls for “no more policing.” And White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki, a few weeks ago, bizarrely claimed that it was not Democrats but Republicans who wanted to defund the police (because they opposed President Biden’s $1.9 trillion stimulus bill).
What happened? Intoxicated by a few policy wins in deep blue cities, enthusiasm in the left-leaning Twitter echo chamber, and their viselike grip on the national media, “defund” activists overlooked one important detail: Their agenda was deeply unpopular with most Americans. A summer 2020 YouGov poll found that just 16 percent of adults wanted to cut police funding — much less “defund” the police. Indeed, 81 percent of black Americans wanted police to spend as much or more time in their communities. During a year when major American cities saw an unnerving increase in homicides, after years of declines, that reaction was not just understandable, it was wholly predictable.
Critical Race Theory continues to permeate our classrooms and infect our children’s minds with outrageous ideas about their nation’s history. But a growing number of Americans are standing up to fight back against its false tenets and demand its removal from K-12 education. At the forefront of this patriotic effort is 1776 Action, an advocacy group committed to the vital work of restoring honest and unifying education in public schools throughout the nation.
The group’s Candidate Pledge has garnered national attention in recent weeks for its emphasis on America’s values and its vow to eradicate divisive race- and gender-based ideologies such as CRT from America’s schools. Political candidates who sign the pledge commit to restoring “honest, patriotic education that cultivates in our children a profound love for our country” and to promoting a curriculum that “teaches that all children are created equal, have equal moral value under God, our Constitution, and the law, and are members of a national community united by our founding principles.” The pledge also seeks to prohibit any curriculum that divides students by race and sex – or sets out to infuse harmful ideologies into course material.
In May, Gov. Kristi Noem (R-SD) became the first candidate to sign the pledge, declaring that CRT and similarly divisive theories are “shameful [and] must be stopped.” Other high-profile conservatives running for office, such as Republican nominee for Governor of Virginia Glenn Youngkin, also vowed to replace CRT with “a high-quality civics curriculum.” The two Republican candidates for Governor of Kansas, former Gov. Dr. Jeff Colyer and Kansas Atty. Gen. Derek Schmidt, have also signed the pledge. As more candidates sign this pledge, it will put pressure on teachers, principals, and school boards to declare their stances on CRT and other key educational matters. It will also hold them accountable for the materials they teach and ensure our children are not indoctrinated with malicious theories that seek to denigrate our country and reduce students to their sex or skin color.
Utah is one of many states in America considering banning critical race theory in public schools.
Republican State Representative Steve Christiansen sponsored a bill that takes direct aim at critical race theory concepts being taught in public education. The bill passed the Utah House and is awaiting the signature of the Speaker to move onto the state Senate.
That bill, HR901, calls on the Utah Board of Education for a re-evaluation of guidelines to weed out critical race theory in publicly funded classrooms.
Democratic Govs. Andrew Cuomo of New York, Gavin Newsom of California, and Gretchen Whitmer of Michigan shatter everything they touch. Ron DeSantis, conversely, seems to get everything right. The Florida Republican has emerged as America’s governor.
“We’re standing with our folks. We’re going to do the right thing. We leaned into it, and we stood strong,” DeSantis told Fox News host Tucker Carlson recently.
Rather than snip a tax, kill a regulation, and then doze off, as too many Republicans have done, DeSantis is a tireless, full-spectrum conservative. He has authorized a host of economic, cultural, and law enforcement initiatives that are buoying Florida and transforming him into the Great Right Hope.
Nicole Solas was surprised to find her name listed on the meeting agenda of her local school board, especially since it said the board was considering taking legal action against her in response to her many requests for public records.
The Rhode Island mother of two began filing records requests with the South Kingstown School District several months ago, when she learned that teachers were incorporating critical race theory and gender ideology in the curriculum.
But she didn’t expect the school board to talk about suing her.
“I was shocked,” Solas, 37, told The Daily Signal in a recent phone interview. The school board, she said, “did not tell me that [the requests were] a problem.”
School groups throughout Ohio and around the nation have praised the recently signed Ohio state budget that expands education choice opportunities for parents and students.
The budget, signed late Wednesday night by Gov. Mike DeWine, increased the state’s voucher system, created a new tax-credit scholarship program and established the state’s first education savings accounts.
“Governor Mike DeWine has signed a budget that expands existing school choice options and creates Ohio’s first-ever education savings account program helping parents afford desperately-needed resources and giving them the flexibility necessary to improve their children’s educational outcomes,” said Rea Hederman Jr., executive director of the Economic Research Center at The Buckeye Institute and vice president of policy. “These bold reforms are some of the most significant that Ohio’s families have seen in a decade.”
Ohio Governor Mike DeWine (R) signed the state’s budget into law in the early hours of Thursday morning — but not without vetoing several components of the bill.
The budget, which will find the state’s operations for two years, including key provisions such as tax cuts and the funding of public K—12 schools.
As disruptive as the 2020/2021 academic year was, it led to many positive educational changes that will be transformative and long-lasting. Most notably, parents have been re-empowered to take back the reins of their children’s education from government bureaucrats and teachers unions. Frustrated by school closures and district “Zoom schooling,” families fled public schools in droves over the past year, and there are several signs that these families won’t be returning this fall.
According to an analysis by Chalkbeat and the Associated Press, public school enrollment fell by an average of 2.6 percent across 41 states last fall, with states such as Michigan, Maine, Vermont, and Mississippi dropping by more than 4 percent. These enrollment declines far exceeded any anticipated demographic changes that might typically alter public school enrollment.
How many of these students will be back in a public school classroom next year? Not as many as public school officials hoped.
A majority of voters support school choice, a new poll from Echelon Insights shows.
Among more than 1,100 registered voters surveyed, 65% support school choice compared to 19% who oppose it, while 16% remain unsure.
The findings were consistent across party lines, with 75% of Republicans, 60% of independents, and 61% of Democrats saying they strongly or somewhat support school choice. Most voters in both parties agree parents should control all or some of the tax dollars they pay for education.
A black man went on a multistate shooting spree recently. The suspected gunman, Justin Tyran Williams, said he specifically targeted white men in his rampage that left five wounded. “Basically, [Williams] explained throughout his life, specifically white males had taken from him, and also what he described as military-looking white males had taken from him,” Columbus (Georgia) Police detective Brandon Lockhart testified Monday.
A racially motivated mass shooting would be the number one news story on CNN . . . were the races reversed. But a black man intentionally shooting white men is just not that interesting to those outside of conservative media.
A parent-led rebellion against Critical Race Theory is storming school boards across the country and demanding accountability for what is being taught to American children.
At least 165 local and national groups have formed to combat Critical Race Theory (CRT) instruction in schools across the U.S., an NBC analysis found. Many of these groups were founded by parents appalled to discover what was being taught to their children. Their advocacy has launched small town CRT debates onto the national stage, spurring far-left activists and establishment media outlets to accuse conservatives of ignorance and in some cases, racism.
“Parents are right to revolt against critical race theory in the classroom,” senior fellow at the Manhattan Institute and anti-CRT writer Christopher Rufo told the Daily Caller News Foundation. “Children are not inherently ‘oppressors’ and should not be implicated for historical crimes on the basis of their race. That’s the kind of propaganda that belongs in a Soviet history museum—not American K-12 classrooms.”
School-choice advocates are calling the recently passed Ohio Senate budget proposal as a step in the direction toward more options for parents.
The Senate’s version of the budget includes differences negotiators still must work out with the House’s budget, but it includes a provision that allows parents to create an education savings account for afterschool care. Negotiations begin this week.
“While the new Afterschool Child Enrichment Education Savings Account program is limited, its inclusion in the budget is an important step in helping parents afford desperately-needed resources giving them the flexibility necessary to improve their children’s educational outcomes,” said Rea Hederman, executive director of the Economic Research Center at The Buckeye Institute, a Columbus-based think tank.
A new poll shows that the majority of American voters are deeply opposed to having critical race theory (CRT) principles being taught in schools.
The survey, conducted by Competitive Edge Research for Parents Defending Education, also shows that people overwhelmingly prefer Capitalism to Socialism (61.8% to 31.4%), frown upon “cancel culture,” (62.7% to 10.6%) and believe the United States is headed “on the wrong track” (60.7% to 32.8%).
Additionally, more respondents had a negative opinion of Black Lives Matter, than had a positive opinion (48.1% to 44.4%).
Throughout America, a very important – and highly racialized – conversation is taking place about overcoming injustice. Here in Florida, that conversation has often gone in a markedly different and very promising direction. And schoolchildren of color are among the greatest beneficiaries.
The conversation in Florida, at least as it pertains to education, has focused on what might be called “systemic privilege.”
If you are unfamiliar with this (de-racialized) mash-up term, try this: Go to a public forum and suggest that all families should be treated fairly – that all parents should have access to the per-pupil funds for their children even if they choose to educate them outside the public school system.
Despite being abolished by the Biden administration, the 1776 Commission established by President Trump to develop a patriotic education curriculum lives on.
The commission’s executive director, Matthew Spalding, told Just the News that the panel is staying operational despite losing its federal charter and shifting its focus to state and local education. A Web site and new social media presence are forthcoming.
“You can abolish a commission, you can take a report off the website, but you can’t erase history,” Spalding told the John Solomon Reports podcast in an episode that aired Wednesday.
Tennessee’s highest court heard arguments on a disputed school choice program.
Tennessee’s Education Savings Accounts (ESA) pilot program, approved by the state Legislature in 2019, would provide state-funded scholarships of about $7,100 to low-income students in Nashville and Memphis – home to the state’s two lowest-performing school districts. Students would be able to use the funds to attend nonpublic schools of their choice.
A district court ruled the program unconstitutional when the two counties sued the state to stop the program. The state Court of Appeals upheld that ruling, and the state Supreme Court agreed to hear the case.
Just four weeks ago, I wrote about the rising resistance to the woke craze and critical race theory, and much has transpired since then.
Here in California, even Disneyland has not been spared the wrath of the crazies. On May 7, the incomparable Christopher Rufo reported that “The Wokest Place on Earth” now includes employee trainings on systemic racism, white privilege, white fragility, and white saviors, and also launched racially segregated “affinity groups” at the company’s headquarters.
But just five days later, Rufo disclosed that Disney “has removed its entire antiracism program from the company’s internal portal, effectively scrubbing it out of existence.” Rufo added, “This is a major victory in the war against ‘woke capital,’” and noted that a “significant backlash from the public” was responsible for the shift. While some skeptics suggested that the policy was being “tweaked or rebranded, not scrubbed,” Rufo responded, “Possibly, but small victories start to add up. We’ve set the precedent—and forced a $329 billion company to back down.”
The highest-ranking prosecutor in the state of Montana has declared Critical Race Theory to be a violation of state and federal law, and has banned the far-left theory in Montana’s schools, as reported by ABC News.
Attorney General Austin Knudsen (R-Mont.) made his announcement on Thursday, after he was asked for his opinion by the state’s Superintendent of Public Instruction Erise Arntzen (R-Mont.). His declaration bans the concept not only from Montana’s schools, but from employee training as well.
The far-left American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) released a statement criticizing Knudsen’s decision, falsely accusing him of attempting to “impose an alternate version of American history – one that erases the legacy of discrimination and lived experiences of black and brown people.”
Williamson County? Never heard of it. What’s the big deal?
Well, a lot.
Williamson County, Tennessee is what you might call “Republican Heaven.” Just south of Democrat-stronghold Nashville, much of it is a gorgeous suburb, home to the likes of country star Luke Bryan of “American Idol” fame – on an 150 acre estate – and Senator Marsha Blackburn.
Its county seat, Franklin, has a downtown straight out of an updated version of Norman Rockwell, the kind of place you can get both great barbecue and haute cuisine.
That small city and county are growing like crazy in large part because they are also supposed to have one of the best public school systems in the country.
Throughout his campaign and his presidency so far, Joe Biden has focused his message on fostering unity in the country. Newsflash: it’s not working.
Despite the president’s stated goal of ending the “uncivil war that pits red against blue,” as he called it in his inaugural address, issues including health care, immigration, racial justice, and even Covid-19 continue to divide the American electorate. Ostensibly, few issues remain on which Republicans and Democrats can find common ground.
That’s where school choice should come into the picture. Recent polling suggests that school choice may be the issue where a majority of Americans see eye to eye. If Biden really wants to unify, he should pick up the mantle of choice.
Earlier this year, an Aiken County teacher wrote to South Carolina state Rep. Bill Taylor in alarm about critical race theory emerging in public schools.
“I know full well the insidiousness of the so-called critical race theory that aims to resegregate society, discriminate against those who are white, victimize those who are black, and render America a nation of identity groups rather than Americans,” the teacher wrote.
Hardly a day goes by, Taylor said, that he doesn’t hear from a constituent on the issue.
With widespread school closures due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the debate over school choice has once again taken center stage.
For the past seven years, approximately two-thirds of Americans have consistently supported school choice. Additionally, support is largely bipartisan, with 82 percent of Republicans, 69 percent of Independents, and 55 percent of Democrats in favor of school choice.
The positive impact of access to quality education is clear. As President Donald Trump said during his State of the Union Address on February 4, 2020, “The next step forward in building an inclusive society is making sure that every young American gets a great education and the opportunity to achieve the American Dream.”
Florida Governor Ron DeSantis has signed an education bill that allows for greater school choice in his state.
The new law, which streamlines Florida school choice scholarship programs and expands eligibility, was touted by DeSantis at a May 11 news conference at Jacksonville Catholic School.
Children in families of four that earn less than $100,000 will be eligible for a fully funded K-12 education at the school of their choice.
A Christian nonprofit legal group has sent a letter to the University of Alabama-Birmingham after the public university blocked a student from registering for classes because she would not take vaccines.
The letter from First Liberty Institute asks university officials to follow the religious exemption it granted Jackie Gale for her first year at school. The university does not currently mandate the COVID-19 vaccine.
“Due to Ms. Gale’s religious beliefs, she cannot receive the childhood immunizations UAB requires under its immunization policy,” Christine Pratt, counsel for First Liberty, wrote in a May 13 demand letter.
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.”
Legislation to expand Ohio’s school choice eligibility was signed into law by Gov. Mike DeWine on Friday.
Senate Bill 89 will expand the state’s EdChoice Program, which allows students to apply for vouchers for private schools if they are in low-performing schools or low-income districts. Supporters say this bill provides more opportunities for students and parents, but opponents say it diverts potential public resources away from public schools and toward private schools.
A RealClear Opinion Research poll of 2,020 registered voters in August saw a 10-point increase in support of school choice policies since its last poll in April, from 67 percent to 77 percent.
The American Federation for Children describes school choice as the right for parents to use the tax dollars designated for their child’s education in a school of their choice. The tax dollars would follow the child, not be tied to a nearby school system. Funding could be used for public, private, charter, or homeschool education, whichever method the parents believes provides the best learning environment for their child.
The Supreme Court ruled against a ban on taxpayer funding of religious schools Tuesday in a monumental win for school choice.
Chief Justice John Roberts joined conservative justices in a 5-4 ruling backing a Montana tax-credit scholarship program that gives residents credit if they donated to private scholarship organizations, according to Fox News, which would help the students pay for the private school of their choice.
by Mary Margaret Olohan President Donald Trump said Tuesday that school choice is the “civil rights statement of the year.” “School choice is the civil rights statement of the year, of the decade and probably beyond,” he said at a White House press conference. “Because all children have to…
Greg R. Lawson, a research fellow at The Buckeye Institute, testified Wednesday before Ohio legislators looking at solutions to the problems facing Ohio’s EdChoice program.
Ohio Democrats seized on an opportunity to blame Republicans for what they call an inability to fix the EdChoice school voucher program and for delaying the start of enrollment for two months.
Last week, state lawmakers signed off on a plan to move the start of the enrollment period for the Educational Choice Scholarship Program – colloquially known as EdChoice – from Feb. 1 to April 1. The program “provides students from designated public schools the opportunity to attend participating private schools.”
I am a glass-half-full kind of person, so while we could focus on the criticisms and some of the setbacks related to expanding educational freedom to more families, there is much more to celebrate than to lament. As National School Choice Week ends, it’s a great time to spotlight the growing variety and abundance of education options available to parents and young people.
Most of us have our own life experiences to draw from when thinking about school, but things have changed a little (or a lot!) since we were last in a classroom.
The U.S Supreme Court is heard a case on Wednesday that could open doors to public money paying for religious private schools in Montana.
Changes to the law for the EdChoice voucher program in this year’s state budget resulted in a dramatic increase in the number of school buildings whose students are eligible for the state-funded scholarship to attend participating private schools. State Board of Education President Laura Kohler plans to push lawmakers to “revisit” the issue. One Legislator already agreed it is a concern – Republican Senate Education Chair Peggy Lehner (R-Kettering).
Assistant Secretary of Elementary and Secondary Education Frank Brogan, who was raised in Cincinnati, came back to Ohio Monday for the Ohio Christian Education Network’s InspirEd Conference. Brogan was one of the keynote speakers. He also participated in a press conference announcing Senate Bill 199, Sen. Matt Huffman’s (R-Lima) legislation which will allow families to participate in a federal tax credit program called Education Freedom Scholarships that has been introduced, but not yet passed, at the federal level.
Democratic Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren is pledging to crack down on school choice if elected, despite the fact that she sent her own son to an elite private school, publicly available records show.
by Bruce Walker School choice is overwhelmingly supported by likely Democratic primary voters nationwide, according to a recent poll conducted on behalf of Democrats for Education Reform (DFER). Education analysts interpret the poll results as a rebuke of current Democratic Party strategies nationwide in general and, specifically, Michigan Gov.…
The American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) has issued its 23rd Report Card on American Education. They ranked and graded all 50 states and the District of Columbia. The report card released Thursday reveals Ohio ranks 27th with a C- based upon 2018 data. ALEC grades education on six factors:…
U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos said that it is no surprise “families want more control” over their children’s education.
More than three in four Americans think that parents should be able to decide which public school their child attends, according to a new poll.
COLUMBUS, Ohio – Students and parents will have more educational opportunities thanks to the budget bill legislators just passed and Gov. Mike DeWine signed. The law makes closing charter schools more difficult, expands the EdChoice Scholarship program, and increases the time frame for signing up for the Cleveland Scholarship.…
by Derek Draplin The U.S. Supreme Court will hear a wide-reaching Montana case dealing with school choice and the First Amendment. The Supreme Court announced Friday that it will take up the case Espinoza v. Montana Department of Revenue, which is being litigated by the Institute for Justice, a…
by Joshua Nelson Elisha Doerr would not have had an opportunity to attend Wisconsin Lutheran High School, a Milwaukee-based private boarding school, if it weren’t for a school choice program. The school’s excellent curricula and the religious community were valuable to Doerr, 18, who now attends Harvard University and…