Friday, May 13, 2022

Exposing the Left’s Destructive Education Agenda: They’re ‘Coming for Your Children’

Beginning with the 2021 gubernatorial election in Virginia—in which Democratic candidate Terry McAuliffe for all practical purposes vowed to keep parents out of the classroom, saying, “I don’t think parents should be telling schools what they should teach”—parents began to realize the Democratic Party wanted to leave them behind.

President Joe Biden echoed that sentiment April 27 while speaking to a group of Teachers of the Year, when he told them: “They’re all our children. … They’re not somebody else’s children. They’re like yours when they’re in the classroom.”

Politics aside, the issue at hand is protecting our children from radical ideologies and preserving a parent’s right to be a parent. But the left wants to have a stranglehold on education, to keep parents on the sidelines, and to force them to co-parent with the government, while driving a wedge between parent and child.

When we push back on—and call out—those policies, its true motives are revealed.

To see that displayed firsthand, look no further than Florida, where a former House colleague, Gov. Ron DeSantis, recently signed a bill to reinforce parents’ fundamental rights to make decisions regarding the upbringing of their children because parents should be able to send their first grader to school without worrying he or she will be taught radical sexual orientation and gender identity ideology.

The “Parental Rights in Education” bill, which Democrats and the LGBT lobby falsely dubbed the “Don’t Say Gay” bill simply prohibits classroom instruction on sexual orientation or gender identity in kindergarten through third grade, prohibits classroom instruction that is not age-appropriate for students, and requires school districts to adopt procedures for notifying parents if there is a change in services from the school regarding a child’s mental, emotional, or physical health or well-being.

Florida’s new law exists to ensure parents’ rights and protect young children from being exposed to sexually explicit indoctrination, and contains nothing outside the realm of common sense, but the firestorm from the liberal media, Hollywood, leftists, and woke corporations like Disney (a company that profits from creating content for children) was astonishing.

Just as an aside: Why has Disney shifted from founder Walt Disney’s vision of providing family-friendly entertainment to essentially being the lobbying arm for the left’s LGBT agenda?

My question is: Do the opponents of the law really think children (ages 5 through 9) should receive sexually explicit instruction in school regarding sexual orientation and gender identity ideology and that parents should have no say in what goes on in the classroom?

If the answer is yes, then we really do have reason to be concerned.

Perhaps you remember the chilling lyrics of the San Francisco Gay Men’s Chorus’ “parody” song that made waves last year: “You think that we’ll corrupt your kids if our agenda goes unchecked. Funny, just this once, you’re correct. We’ll convert your children—happens bit by bit, quietly and subtly, and you will barely notice it. … We’re coming for your children. … The gay agenda is here.”

What’s scary is that the “coming for your children” song disguised as parody doesn’t seem as much of an outlier when you consider the left’s vitriolic reaction to the passage of DeSantis’ Parental Rights in Education law; a Disney executive producer’s admission of the company’s “not-at-all-secret gay agenda” released in a leaked video; the Biden administration’s push for mutilating “gender reassignment” surgeries and life-altering puberty blockers for minors; and the doxxing of the Libs of Tik Tok Twitter account created to expose the degeneracy of predators and the horrors of the LGBT agenda by reposting content posted by the radicals themselves.

The truth is, the Biden White House, liberal media, woke corporations, and Democratic elites are playing politics at the expense of children’s lives and well-being. Unfortunately, this is nothing new, as we saw during the COVID-19 pandemic, when Democrats and teachers unions forced young children out of the classroom to protect them from a disease that poses little or no risk for healthy young people and kids.

The number of children who have suffered mentally, physically, emotionally, and developmentally from the onslaught of these ineffective and unscientific COVID-19 policies is heartbreaking. But the left doesn’t seem to care.

From unscientific social isolation measures and unproven mask mandates in schools to exposure to sexually explicit material in the classroom and a pro-abortion agenda, children suffer the most from the woke ideologies of the radical Democratic elites.

We even see this with the Senate confirmation of federal Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson to the Supreme Court. Democrats—and some Republicans—hail her as a hero despite the fact that she has a long history of leniency in sentencing in child pornography cases. That should have raised a red flag on both sides of the aisle, not a speedy confirmation.

Where does it stop for progressives when it comes to promoting their radical ideologies? It doesn’t. Give them an inch, and they will take a mile, all at the expense of those who deserve the most protection.

The reality is this: Conservative policies are pro-child, pro-family, pro-parent, and most importantly, pro-life. Democrats, however, promote policies and ideologies that ultimately impair children in the long run, vilify concerned parents as “domestic terrorists,” and attack the most vulnerable.

Conservatives believe that parents, not the government, should have the primary say in their child’s life and that a child’s rights must be protected first and foremost. For conservatives, when it comes to protecting children, that is the hill to die on.


The NY Legislature’s hostage-taking on mayoral control of schools

With bare weeks left in the legislative session, state lawmakers are torturing Mayor Eric Adams by holding hostage the renewal of mayoral control of the city’s public schools, now set to expire June 30.

Chaos would ensue if the city actually had to re-establish the old Board of Education, potentially ousting Chancellor David Banks as the system’s boss and utterly derailing Adams’ and Banks’ efforts to repair the damage wrought in the de Blasio era, including all the ground lost during the pandemic.

It’s far more likely the Legislature will do an extension of two or three years, while also undermining mayoral control by adding new strings. The only winner will be the school unions (whose power grows as accountability is diffused) and the lawmakers eager to take Adams down a peg.

Meanwhile, it’s all just one more thing for parents to worry about. In a sane world, mayoral control would be permanent until lawmakers decided to replace it. But that would leave Albany powerbrokers less able to indulge themselves at the kids’ expense.

This, when the Adams-Banks agenda is so promising: Lose the woke ideology, support and expand the parts of the system that work (the test-in-only specialized high schools and Gifted & Talented programs), prune the bureaucracy and increase accountability, do more for kids with learning disabilities such as dyslexia and return to phonics as a proven method of teaching children how to read.

In a tell of who’s really calling the shots, Albany is aiming to demand smaller class sizes, requiring more teachers (the United Federation of Teachers’ perennial goal: more members) even as enrollment declines.

State Senate Education Committee chief Sen. John Liu (D-Queens) also wants to dilute City Hall’s influence on the Panel for Education Policy by adding another parent representative and making City Comptroller Brad Lander (a relentlessly pandering de Blasio-style progressive likely hostile to the interests of Liu’s own constituents) an ex officio member.

Mayor Adams held a rally with union leaders for mayoral accountability on the steps of City Hall on Monday, May 9.
Mayor Adams held a rally with union leaders for mayoral control on the steps of City Hall on Monday, May 9.
NYC Mayor's Office
Yes, Adams erred in failing to set up an effective Albany lobbying team, instead naively relying on the Legislature to simply do what’s right. As a former state senator, he should’ve known better. And relying on the weak reed of Gov. Kathy Hochul was another huge mistake.

But the major blame belongs at the door of Liu, Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie (D-Bx.) and others in the city’s Albany delegation whose first loyalty is clearly with the special interests, not the families they supposedly represent.


Australia: Seven surprising changes to the way Qld. children will be taught at school in 2023

Students will be taught about tax and superannuation, Australia’s women’s movement, domestic violence and how to “make active choices” as part of a curriculum overhaul being rolled out next year.

The Australian Curriculum, Assessment and Reporting Authority on Tuesday unveiled its new “stripped back and teachable” curriculum coming in 2023.

Mathematics and STEM programs were given a vast overhaul while English and physical education programs will have sweeping changes.

A “Deep Time indigenous History” has been added to the curriculum as a compulsory component of Year 7.

The new curriculum will include the rollout of “making active choices” lessons in classrooms to probe Australian students to strategise how they can increase physical activity in their day-to-day lives as well as reduce sedentary behaviour.

The lessons around healthy choices regarding activity and inactivity will be introduced from Year 5 onwards.

The changes come off the back of alarming data in recent years by the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare which categorised 1 in 4 Aussie kids, 24 per cent, as being overweight or obese.

Here are seven surprising additions to the curriculum you may have missed.

Physical education

By the end of Year 1, students will have explored how to seek, give or deny permission respectfully when sharing possessions or personal space.

By the end of Year 8, students will examine how roles, levels of power and coercion and control within relationships can be influenced by gender stereotypes.

By the end of Year 10, students will have investigated how gender equality and challenging assumptions about gender can prevent violence and abuse in relationships.


By the end of Year 7, history students will understand more about the early First Nations Australians, their social organisation, cultural practices and their continuity and change over time.

By the end of Year 10, history students will have learnt about the significant events, individuals and groups in the women’s movement in Australia and how they have collectively changed the role and status of women.

Business and social science

By the end of Year 8, students will be taught about the importance of Australia’s taxation system and how it affects decision-making by individuals and businesses.

By the end of Year 10, students will have learnt about the importance of Australia’s superannuation system and how it affects consumer and financial decision-making.


Leading changes to mathematics and STEM, designed to prepare Aussie kids for the jobs of the future, was Year 1 students being taught to connect numbers to 20 – up from 10 – and order numbers 120, up from 100.

Percentages will also be introduced at Year 5 instead of Year 6 and line graphs will be taught in Year 5 science classes instead of Year 10.

But Year 1 kids will no longer learn to tell time on an analog clock, with fractions – including ‘time telling’ – pushed back to Year 2.


Under changes to the English components of the new curriculum, by the end of Year 10, students will no longer be required to “consolidate a personal handwriting style that is legible, fluent and automatic and supports writing for extended periods”.

By the end of Year 4, students will understand past, present and future tenses and their impact on meaning in a sentence.




Thursday, May 12, 2022

Proposal Aims to Bolster Student Privacy in California

At the beginning of the Covid pandemic, schools confronted new difficulties when they were tossed into remote learning due to prolonged lockdowns.

Resorting to online classes, schools relied on obtrusive software to proctor online tests. State Senator Dr. Richard Pan is recently advancing with a proposed revision to California’s Business and Professions Code relating to student privacy. The California Student Test Taker Privacy Protection Act aims to curb the invasive surveillance of remote students by their schools.

The proposal would direct schools to guarantee that their proctoring software minimizes unnecessary data collection of student information while also limiting the data’s retention and disclosure. Moreover, the Act gives students and their families the right to a private remedy if a proctoring software gathers data beyond what is needed to proctor the test.

Despite the slow return to in-person classes, online tests remain, but the pernicious software should not. Not only does the use of what is effectively malware constitute both an attack on privacy and a potential network safety risk, schools have overlooked better alternatives. Schools all too often did not adopt sensible and effective strategies like remote proctors that record the live screen sharings of students or turning off settings that show the correctness or incorrectness of answers. Instead, schools drove straight into invasive surveillance.

Some proctoring software monitors computer inputs, such as peripherals like monitors, mice, webcams, microphones, headphones, and USB, HDMI, DP, and Thunderbolt connections. Some access computer administrative controls, which opens up security vulnerabilities. Several proctoring services also possess and collect facial recognition and emotion detection, which scan other people in the environment. One vendor, which initially received notice for previous work with the Transportation Security Administration’s facial recognition efforts, uses an algorithm to monitor student behavior and categorize students as having high or low “integrity.”

Beyond privacy and security concerns, the wide net cast by proctoring software is also the cause of needless interruptions for both students and teachers. One student reported that crying during an exam activated the cheating eye tracker, saying, “My French prof had to watch 45 min[utes] of me quietly sobbing.” Another student was reported to be unable to take a math class because the sound of his laptop fans triggered the proctoring software.


Elementary school teachers brag about ignoring parents' requests to refer to their children by their given names and pronouns

Elementary school staffers bragged about outright ignoring parents' requests to refer to their children by their given names and pronouns late last month, during a virtual panel that saw speakers refer to parents as 'caregivers.'

The virtual 'Creating and Sustaining GSAs in Elementary Schools' meeting, held over Zoom April 26, saw moderator Katy Butler, a second grade public school teacher at Harvey Milk Civil Rights Academy in San Francisco, poise a question to her fellow panelists concerning pronoun use when it comes to their students.

The inquiry, sent to the group by another, unnamed educator, asked advice on how to deal with parents peeved over teachers' pronoun use.

‘What should we do if a parent requests that we refer to their child by the pronouns associated with their sex assigned at birth instead of their preferred pronouns, and that we use a legal name instead of a student’s chosen name?' Butler - who panel organizers billed as a white queer cisgender female teacher on social media - read.

Butler - the creator of Gender Inclusive Classrooms, the group that organized the panel - then gave way for the three other panelists, staffers at public schools across the country, to weigh in on the matter.

One panelist, fellow cocreator Kieran Slattery, a fifth grade teacher in Massachusetts, proceeded to provide his advice on the matter - proudly revealing instances where he ignored parents' requests to call their child by certain pronouns.

‘So, I can respond with something that I’ve done,’ Slattery, who teaches at Jackson Street Elementary, began.

‘This came up for me - it’s come up in a couple different ways - but it’s come up for me where caregivers asked.'

Slattery said: ‘I actually refer to their child’s name… using the name the name they asked to be referred to and their chosen pronouns, and caregivers reacted very strongly.'

The teacher then detailed how parents 'followed up with me and the principal, and said, like, “I know you were using a different name than my child’s given name at birth and the pronouns we gave them, and I’m respectfully asking that you use the name and the pronouns that we gave them.”’

Slattery - who panel organizers billed as a 'white, queer transgender man' - proceeded to warn the three other panelists of the legal concerns that come with rejecting parents' requests on how they refer to their children.

‘So the laws in every state are different, obviously, and I can’t speak to the laws in everyone’s particular state, but I will say - again, the resources that we’ll give you after this have some helpful sites where you can look up what the rules are for your state,' the Northampton elementary school teacher said.

'Before I responded to the caregiver, I made sure I ran it by my principal and my superintendent just to make sure that they had my back.'

The transgender teacher then revealed how he rejected the request of one pair of parents - or as he called them, 'caregivers' - touting the slight as a victory.

'And then I responded - and I chose my words carefully - and I said, “I hear you, I hear what you’re saying," Slattery said, adding that, 'I tried to really affirm what the caregiver was asking me, like in terms of, “I hear you saying that you’re feeling uncomfortable with me using the child’s preferred name and pronouns; I hear that you’re using different ones at home.'

He continued: 'But here at school, the expectation is that all of my students feel comfortable and welcome in my classroom.’

The assertion saw the educator put particular emphasis on the word 'my.'

‘So, in my classroom, I will refer to your child by whatever name and pronouns that they’ve told me they feel most comfortable with,' Slattery then said, with his fellow panelists nodding in approval.

The teacher went on to equate conveying that concept to parents to teaching children in his classroom.

‘Just have that be it,' he said - 'almost like the guidelines I try to use when I’m, like, explaining hard topics to my students. Like, less is more.'

The other panelists again nodded in approval.

Slattery continued: ‘I just say, like, “That sounds like it works really well for you at home, and you can absolutely choose to do whatever you like at home.

'In my classroom – and I even say, like, every year I start out my year by sending home information to caregivers that says, like, “Just so you know, this is an affirming class – the way that I affirm students is I call them by the names they ask to be called by and use their correct pronouns.'

The teacher then reiterated how he denied the parents' request.

'I just told them – maybe that’s not helpful – I just told them, “No,”' seemingly conceding the contentious nature of his assertion.

‘Respectfully, no.’

The assertion again garnered more impassioned nods from the other panelists.

'And because I had my principal and my superintendent’s support, there wasn't much they can do,' Slattery then said.

'And they eventually, kind of like, found another topic to squawk about,’ he added, before letting out a laugh.

‘And they left that alone.’

The remaining panelists all seemed to agree with the educator's assertion, with Butler in particular nodding affirmatively throughout her contemporary's spiel.

Another panelist, 5th grade Spanish teacher Daniel Alonso, echoed Slattery's sentiments, describing a similar incident between him and a set of parents at Chavez Elementary in Yonkers, New York.

‘Similarly to what Kieran said,' said Alonso, referring to Slattery, 'in my school district, LGBTQ+ students have a bill of rights - and the fourth one is that they have the right to be referred to by their gender pronouns and a name that fits their gender identity.

‘And so, similarly, there was a situation where a parent felt that the school was not doing what they wanted them to do, and we – I don’t even know if we were respectful about it – we were just like, “No, sorry. Like, our district-wide rule is that the student determines that, not you,”' he said, while offering a smug smile.


Confusion about Australia's Anglican [Episcopal] schools

In what sense is an Anglican school that rejects Anglican teaching in order to keep non-Anglican families happy still an Anglican school?

That’s the question Sydney Anglicans are wrestling with as opposition to Christian teaching on sexuality and gender grows.

The Sydney Morning Herald reported at the weekend that alumni and parents from Anglican schools had issued a letter complaining the Anglican church was ‘imposing its social conservatism on classrooms’.

In other words, they were worried that the Anglican church was instructing Anglican schools to be, well, Anglican.

Specifically, parents were upset about guidelines for schools on dealing with students struggling with gender identity.

The Anglican Diocese of Sydney has advised its schools to show compassion, reject bullying and abuse, and note that nobody was immune from ‘brokenness’, but to also tell students to ‘honour and preserve the maleness or femaleness of the body God has given you’.

All of which sounded a little too much like Anglicanism for Anglican school parents.

‘I feel awful for any student who has to endure this senseless attack on their identity,’ a transgender woman (who identified as an Anglican parishioner) told the Sydney Morning Herald.

Another parent told the Herald that most families at his daughter’s Anglican school were not religious, and that he worried ‘socially conservative’ forces were pushing the school ‘in a different direction’.

By ‘socially conservative’ he presumably meant Anglican. And by ‘different direction’ he evidently meant Christian.

If only those Anglicans wouldn’t be so Anglican, their Anglican school would be less Anglican so that non-Anglicans could enjoy it!

Judging by the reported comments of disaffected parents, it will likely come as a surprise for them to learn that Anglican leaders don’t take their cues from Libs of TikTok.

Church leaders base their doctrine on the teaching of Jesus who, among other things, told his followers: ‘Surely you have read in the Scriptures: When God made the world, He made them male and female.’

Jesus’ words align with science, but not with the new-fangled gender transformation fetish.

The Anglican Diocese has essentially reminded its Anglican schools – which include some of the most exclusive colleges in the country such as The Kings School and Abbotsleigh – that they are Anglican.

Sydney Archbishop Kanishka Raffel said the guidelines:

‘Emphasise care and compassion for those who experience gender dysphoria and give schools wide discretion to respond to individual situations while holding to a Christian view of the inherent goodness of our bodies, as each has been created by God.’

But parents are threatening to withhold fees if the guidelines – including that school principals and board members must endorse the Christian view of marriage – are not rescinded.

A gay parent whose daughter attends St Catherine’s asked: ‘How do you explain to a girl that the leader of your school is opposed to your way of being?’

Imagine his surprise when he discovers there are literally hundreds of state schools in Sydney that endorse LGBTQ+ ways of being. And his daughter can attend any of them for free!

Upset non-Anglican parents don’t want their children to go to non-Anglican schools. But nor do they want their children’s Anglican schools to be Anglican.

So they are determined to leave their children in Anglican schools where they will oppose Anglicanism until the Anglican school is Anglican in name only such that it becomes a non-Anglican Anglican school.

The angry parents have found some support among senior school staff.

One Anglican school principal was said to be ‘livid’ at being asked to endorse the Christian view of marriage.

Others said the requirement would reduce the already small pool of potential candidates for principals and compromise the quality of school leadership.

A ‘high achieving woman with a public profile’ reportedly withdrew from the board of an exclusive Anglican school rather than sign a statement of faith endorsing the biblical view of marriage.

The Herald reported this as a problem. I suspect the Sydney Anglican Diocese may view it differently. The statement of faith had the intended effect of weeding out a board member not committed to Anglican doctrine.

The woman told the Herald: ‘It’s going to limit new principals – you’ll end up with a whole set of socially engineered principals across Anglican schools in the Sydney diocese.’

If by ‘socially engineered principals’ she means Bible-believing Christians (can there be any other kind?) then she is right. And the Sydney Anglican Diocese, along with Anglican parents who sent their children to Anglican schools because they are Anglican, will be delighted.

The woman continued: ‘Restrictive ideas about sexuality should not be tied up in the statement of faith and the fact that they are speaks to something deeply concerning about the Sydney Anglican Church right now. To me, this is not Christ-like.’

I imagine Christ, who taught that marriage was between a man and a woman, would be greatly amused to hear that He is not Christ-like.

The Sydney Anglican Diocese is not laughing.

After all, what is an Anglican school if it is no longer Anglican? What value are grand sandstone buildings if they sit on nothing but cultural quicksand?




Wednesday, May 11, 2022

Biden Says Kids Belong to Their Teachers

Schools are becoming indoctrination factories, trying to turn children against their country and their own parents’ values. It’s what the teachers unions intend.

Amazingly, that’s just fine with President Joe Biden, who told a gathering of teachers and union bigwigs on April 27 that the kids are “yours when they’re in the classroom.” That wasn’t just a Biden stumble. He repeated it for emphasis: “They are all our children …. They are not somebody else’s children.”

Sorry, Joe. But parents have a right to know what their children are being taught, and to set limits. State legislators in at least 12 states have introduced bills requiring teachers to post teaching materials, including books and videos, on a website for parents to inspect before their kids see them.

Good teachers will have no problem with that. But ideologically driven teachers, as well as the unions, are fighting back. That includes Randi Weingarten, head of the American Federation of Teachers. As she launched Teacher Appreciation Week—and most teachers do deserve our appreciation—Weingarten smeared classroom transparency requests as the work of political “extremists.”

Concerned parents are not political extremists, but Biden is joining the attack against transparency, parroting the unions. He and most Democrats in Congress are teachers union flunkies. Democrats delivered hundreds of billions in COVID relief to school districts, including $46 billion to teach critical race theory. By the way, that included $9 billion for CRT in New York schools.

Biden also kowtowed to the unions to prolong school closings and masking, and then allowed the unions to dictate what the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention would require to reopen schools.

As a candidate, Biden vowed to end federal support for charter schools, and his new regulations have that obvious intent—another obsequious gesture to the unions.

Weingarten and National Education Association President Rebecca Pringle probably have more power in the Biden administration than any senator or cabinet member. That would be fine if they were wielding their clout to ensure children acquire strong reading and math skills. But that’s not their agenda.

The American Federation of Teachers website shows the union is more committed to political activism than reading and STEM instruction. The site urges visitors to “take action” on student debt, voting rights and passing the Equality Act. But it never mentions that fewer than half of New York City’s third to eighth graders can read at grade level. Or that, overall, students in the U.S. rank behind many other countries in math. No call to action there.

The AFT website also declares that the U.S. is facing health, economic and racial challenges “all made worse because of Donald Trump.” How can the 74 million people who voted for Trump in 2020 entrust their children’s education to an organization so politically biased?

Joining the unions to fight a parent’s right to know is none other than the Democratic Party. No surprise. The unions give 94 percent of their money to Democratic candidates and parties, according to data-tracking nonprofit Open Secrets.

Tit for tat. Democrats are demonizing Republicans who support curriculum transparency. Sen. Chris Murphy (D-Conn.) calls them “mean, hateful and spiteful.” Washington Post columnist E.J. Dionne Jr. says Republicans will be forced “to own the meanness.” Meanness for what? Keeping discussions of sex out of elementary school classrooms?

Murphy lamely predicts Republicans backing curriculum transparency will lose because “it’s just not true that it’s popular to pick on gay kids. That’s a willful distortion.

Truth is, no one advocates bullying gay kids. All children deserve kindness. But that doesn’t mean kindergarteners should be instructed in how boys can transition to become girls, or vice versa. Nearly half of teachers agree these issues don’t belong in the classroom, according to an Education Week poll.

Biden often jokes that he sleeps with a teachers union member—the same one—every night: First Lady Jill Biden. Cute, but he shouldn’t sell out to the rest. Parents care more than anyone else about their own children. They should decide what schools teach, not the far-left ideologues running the teachers unions.


Men Drop Out of College But the Gender Pay Gap Persists

The Wall Street Journal reports that three-fourths of the pandemic-driven college dropouts in the United States were men. These numbers would seem to depict a crisis for men that predicts lower future earning power. If the earnings for men are going down, does that mean the gender wage gap will close? For many reasons, the answer appears to be no. Kevin Carey of the New York Times explains some of the reasons why the gender wage gap persists -and why men in the United States, in general, are not in a pandemic-driven education crisis:

The gender imbalance in college enrollment and graduation is not new. Carey notes that women’s enrollment in college surged during the 1970s, but “women have outnumbered men on campus since the late 1970s. . . . The numbers haven’t changed much in recent decades.”

Male enrollment in public and private nonprofit four-year colleges dropped more from 2018 to 2019-before the pandemic-than from 2019 to 2020.

The raw numbers do not take into account that some college degrees are worth more than others. For example, men still dominate in fields like technology and engineering, which offer some of the highest salaries.

There are still some good-paying jobs available to men without college degrees, but there are relatively few for women. Many female-dominated jobs don’t pay well. As women overcome obstacles and move into male-dominated fields, the pay usually goes down in those fields.

Data reflects a class difference: students from higher socioeconomic classes are less likely to drop out of college.

Last year, women were less likely than men to leave community college despite their disproportionate responsibility for caregiving and domestic work during the pandemic.

There is structural admissions discrimination by selective colleges that do not want a gender imbalance in their enrollment. While women apply to colleges in larger numbers than men, their applications are often rejected to maintain a gender balance. Carey cites a dean of admissions at Kenyon College as saying, “Once you become decidedly female in enrollment, fewer males and, as it turns out, fewer females find your campus attractive.”

Carey points out that the gender pay gap has been persistent despite the higher levels of enrollment and graduation from college by women for decades. Obviously, the problem is not just about whether or not you have a college degree. The problem is about societal attitudes about work and family, discriminatory policies and procedures that limit women’s access, and the lack of affordable childcare.

Just today, my cousin called to tell me how surprised she was when a woman plumber showed up at her door today to fix a plumbing problem in her house. The fact that it is still so unusual to see a woman plumber says a lot about what we consider “women’s work” versus “men’s work.” We still have a long way to go to even this playing field.


Texas Governor Calls for School Choice for Every Child in Lone Star State

The image of Lucy yanking away the football from Charlie Brown has been invoked for years as a metaphor for Texas’ relationship with school choice.

But is the Lone Star State finally about to connect?

On Monday night, Texas Gov. Greg Abbott called on the Legislature to allow education dollars to follow children to learning options of their parents’ choice, including to private schools.

“Empowering parents means giving them the choice to send their children to any public school, charter school, or private school with state funding following the student,” the governor said, adding that school choice “is going to give all Texas children a better chance to succeed.”

Abbott’s leadership on this important issue is a major, positive step for educational freedom in Texas. The state’s policymakers should now heed the call and establish universal education savings accounts for all Texas children.

Every child should have the opportunity for a great K-12 experience—and the chance to succeed in school and in life. Education savings accounts can offer this on-demand education experience for children from all walks of life.

The governor’s proposal has come at the right time.

Parents are already signaling that assigned public schools are not meeting their children’s needs. Like state and school district officials around the country, the Texas Education Agency reported a marked decrease in public school enrollment statewide during the 2020-2021 school year.

Curiously, while some districts, such as Fort Worth, are reporting historic enrollment decreases, others, such as Liberty Hill, northwest of Austin, saw sharp increases as families moved to more popular areas within the state.

At the same time, the Texas Homeschool Coalition reports that the number of homeschooling families increased by almost 300% in 2021. That means Texans are watching a shift in how and where families choose to live and raise their families.

Providing more education options to families couldn’t come a moment too soon. Just one-quarter of Texas eighth graders are proficient in reading, significantly lower than the national average.

Among black and Hispanic students, the percentages who can read proficiently drops to 11% and 19%, respectively.

Currently, fewer Texas students can read proficiently than could do so in the late 1990s. Mathematics outcomes don’t fare any better.

Where district schooling has failed, education choice holds promise.

Education choice improves academic achievement and attainment, increases access to safe schools, has positive fiscal effects, improves civic outcomes, and, critically, enables families to select learning environments that align with their values.

It should come as no surprise, then, that school choice also increases parental satisfaction.

The small but disproportionately vocal minority that still opposes education freedom in Texas is largely confined to the halls of the Texas Education Association, the state teachers union.

Unions are out of step with Texas families, 74% of whom support education savings accounts. With an account, the state deposits a portion of a child’s funds from the state K-12 formula in a private account that parents use to buy education products and services.

These accounts allow families to customize their child’s education by selecting textbooks and personal tutors, paying for private school tuition if they choose, and even saving money from year to year, to name just a few options.

In fact, research from North Carolina found that more than 60% of participating families are using an account to access more than one learning option at the same time.

For some parents and students, they may want a private school that aligns with their personal beliefs. Others may need an education therapist and individualized technology to help a child with special needs.

Families across Arizona and Florida, along with children in North Carolina, Tennessee, and Mississippi, are using the accounts, and lawmakers in West Virginia, Kentucky, Missouri, New Hampshire, and Indiana have approved proposals in recent years to create similar account options.

Some have argued that school choice would be difficult for families living in rural areas of Texas. Yet, those concerns are overblown. Nearly 70% of Americans living in rural areas have a private school within 10 miles of their home, and 34% of those families have a private school within 5 miles of their home.

Furthermore, supply is sure to meet demand once families can control their share of education funding. New schools will spring up and existing private schools may add additional campuses.

Other claims that parents will misspend money have also been debunked by research. In Arizona, an auditor general’s report found that misspending amounted to just 1% of account funds—and some of this misspending was attributed to the state Department of Education’s poor guidance for families on allowable expenses.

Officials in other states, such as North Carolina, have adopted new tools to help prevent inappropriate spending before it takes place.

Texas is a popular destination for families looking to move, and state education trends are shifting. State officials should follow the governor’s lead and make Texas a popular destination not just for families looking for a new home, but also for more quality learning options.




Tuesday, May 10, 2022

Kids’ book ‘Our Skin’ in NYC schools blames racism on white people

In a world gone mad, elites keep peddling untruths

An “inflammatory” children’s book being distributed to New York City schools teaches kids as young as 2 that the concept of race was created by white people who claimed they were “better, smarter, prettier, and that they deserve more than everybody else.”

The book “Our Skin” was penned by Harlem activist Megan Madison and Brooklynite and library worker Jessica Ralli, and published last year. It begins with a simple discussion of skin tones — then launches into a screed that blames the idea of race on white people along with an illustration of scary-looking human skulls encased in glass and sitting on shelves.

“A long time ago, way before you were born, a group of white people made up an idea called race. They sorted people by skin color and said that white people were better, smarter, prettier, and that they deserve more than everybody else,” the book declares.

It goes on to say “That isn’t true or fair at all!” with a picture of a “Caucasian” man holding up the “Most beautiful skull.”

The book, aimed at those ages 2 to 5, has been distributed to at least one Manhattan kindergarten, one on Staten Island as well as a school in Brooklyn and appears to be part of the Department of Education’s new “Universal Mosaic Curriculum.” The DOE announced the plan under former Mayor de Blasio to standardize instructional materials and “better reflect” the system’s demographics. It is to begin in 2023.

The tome is on a suggested reading list parents can access through the website TeachingBooks. It is part of the “Universal Mosaic Independent Reading Collections” for kindergartners created by the DOE’s Library Services, the site says.

Brooklyn parent leader Vito LaBella called the text “inflammatory.”

“That page alone in my mind is just preaching hate,” he said, referring to the text about sorting people by skin color.

LaBella said at least one school in southwest Brooklyn’s District 20, where he’s a member of the Community Education Council, received the books. The principal had been told by former Schools Chancellor Meisha Porter they would be coming. They were to be delivered to kindergarten classes, but the principal was holding off, he added.

“There were no instructions or curriculum guide with them,” said LaBella, who is seeking the Republican nod to challenge state Sen. Andrew Gounardes.

He said he planned to discuss his concerns about the book at Wednesday’s CEC meeting.

A Manhattan parent of a kindergartener saw the book in his son’s school this week in a box marked “Mosaic curriculum.”

The dad said he looked through the book and stopped cold at the page saying white people invented race.

“The book itself is fine and a lot of what is said in the book is productive and I think very helpful in a discussion of race,” he said. “However, there’s just an excerpt from it that I think is so damaging that it should disqualify the whole book.”

He said he would address his concerns with the principal.

“Racism should be talked about, but it should be talked about correctly,” he said. “I think that telling 5- and 6-year-olds that white people are all responsible for all racism is not helpful. It’s going to be very traumatic for many 5- and 6-year-olds who are going to blame themselves and blame their parents.”

The book’s narrative adds that “racism is also the things people do and the unfair rules they make about race so that white people get more power.”

There is no discussion that groups other than whites might be racist.


The Left Finally Admits Remote Learning Was a Total Failure

A newsletter from The New York Times breaks down the disastrous effects school closures had on kids during the pandemic sparked by the Wuhan coronavirus.

When news of the virus first broke, schools were ultimately the first to close. And they tayed closed for nearly two years, causing kids to fall behind educationally and socially.

According to a Harvard study, students lost on average the equivalent of about 50 percent of a typical school year’s math learning between 2020 and 2021.

Even kids who went back to school in 2021 still lost about 20 percent of their typical math curriculum learning.

Ultimately, the research found remote learning was the primary driver for these learning gaps. Evidence suggests that these problems were completely preventable.

It is clear remote learning did more harm than good.

Additionally, the article notes that many administrators could have recognized this as early as the fall of 2020.

Fast forward to what we know now, children are at a very low risk of severe illness or death caused by the Wuhan coronavirus. Studies also show that in-school transmission between kids is extremely rare.

According to The New York Times, the schools that did re-open early on did not see a substantial spread compared to schools that remained closed.

An interesting take to point out is that low-poverty schools (many of which are run by Democratic officials) stayed closed longer than in Republican-run states. Evidence shows this is because Democrat-run districts were more likely to have unionized teachers advocating for remote learning.

Research indicates that children in schools who did re-open earlier rather than later, thrived in and out of the classroom.

Furthermore, two years of disruption from a normal routine, from being around peers, and from engaging with other kids proved to be catastrophic. The road to recovery for children’s social, mental and learning capabilities may difficult.


Australian PM says schools not expelling gay students, doubles down on religious discrimination act

Prime Minister Scott Morrison says gay students are not being expelled from religious schools, doubling down on re-introducing the failed religious discrimination act (RDA) without extra protections for gay and transgender students.

The government attempted to pass the legislation earlier this year but shelved it after five of its own MPs crossed the floor to vote with Labor and the crossbench on amendments that bolstered the sex discrimination act (SDA) to give transgender students extra protections.

Mr Morrison had promised extra protections for gay students to accompany his religious discrimination bill but has since walked back from the pledge.

Today he said if the Coalition won government, he would introduce the religious discrimination act on its own and amend the sex discrimination act "sequentially".

"We've been having this conversation for about the last four years, and on each occasion it has been presented that apparently students are being expelled each and every day, each and every week, or each and every year," Mr Morrison said.

PM remains firm over religious discrimination bill
The Prime Minister says a re-elected Coalition government would push ahead with its long-promised religious discrimination law without making changes to protect LGBTQI children at the same time.

"There is no evidence [of that] because the religious schools themselves don't wish to do that. They don't wish to do it. This is an issue that is actually not occurring in these schools."

When pressed to reveal how much time there would be between the two bills, Mr Morrison would not specify. "They are different issues and that is my view," he said. "They're both important issues and the government's position is they'll be dealt with sequentially."

Earlier this year, just before the legislation was introduced to parliament, a Brisbane school was criticised for sending a letter to parents demanding they sign a contract affirming students identify as their birth gender and that homosexuality was "sinful".

The contract was withdrawn a few days later after backlash from parents and the wider community.

At the time, the Prime Minister said he did not support the controversial contract and reiterated his promise to protect gay children from discrimination.

Moderate Liberals want the government to pursue the religious discrimination act and changes to the sex discrimination act at the same time to protect vulnerable students.

Labor leader Anthony Albanese today pointed to a letter in which Mr Morrison promised to protect gay students at the same time. "I'm astonished he has walked away from that," Mr Albanese said. "We need to protect people from discrimination, whether its religious discrimination or on the basis of sexuality.

"If people don't think some young people are discriminated against and vilified, then that just does not reflect reality."

While being questioned by journalists today, Mr Morrison took aim at Labor for not supporting the legislation in its original form, rather than admitting his own party was split on the issue.

"I'm quite determined," Mr Morrison said. "People have learnt that about me. I don't give up on things. "I had hoped to pursue these issues in a bipartisan way. I'd very much hoped to do that. "But the issue was hijacked and the outcome was thwarted … it was hijacked by the Labor Party and the crossbench."

The Prime Minister was asked if he thought the moderate Liberal MPs who crossed the floor had changed their minds, or if he had written them off because they were under threat in their seats from independents and Labor.

"The issues that they were addressing were not related to the religious discrimination act; they were related to the sexual discrimination act, and we should be able to see those, we should be able to pursue them sequentially, as we set out," Mr Morrison said. "That's the government's policy. There's no change to the government's view here."

Moderate Liberal MP Katie Allen, who was one of the five Liberals who crossed the floor earlier this year, today would not rule out doing the same again, if there was no protection for gay and transgender students. "I will be very clear: I have a very strong view on this and I will not be changing my position," she said. "I believe that you can protect religious freedom and protect gay and trans students at the same time."

"That's the thing about political negotiations, it is always a negotiation and I will stick with my position, because I believe in the protection of gay and trans students."

Federal Labor supports new religious discrimination laws but Mr Albanese has not given a specific time frame for any accompanying protections for gay and transgender students.




Monday, May 09, 2022

UK: Oxbridge discriminating against grammar schools 'could unfairly impact black and minority ethnic pupils', warns education thinktank

Grammar schools are State-funded selective schools

Britain's leading universities have been warned not to discriminate against grammar schools as it could unfairly impact black and minority ethnic youngsters.

The warning comes after the Vice-Chancellor of Cambridge, Professor Stephen Toope, faced accusations of ‘social engineering’ for saying that enrolling more grammar school pupils would not help to widen ‘participation goals’.

Canadian-born Professor Toope told the Times Education Commission: ‘We have to keep making it very, very clear we are intending to reduce over time the number of people from independent schools.’

Now, the head of a respected think-tank, the Higher Education Policy Institute (HEPI), has waded into the row. Research from HEPI has shown that grammar schools send more ethnic minorities students to Cambridge than all other state schools in the country combined.

It also indicated that children from the most disadvantaged 20 per cent of households are more than twice as likely to get an Oxbridge place if they live in an area with grammar schools.

HEPI’s chairman, Nick Hillman, said: ‘If Oxbridge sets limits on grammar school recruitment, we may see the number of UK students with minority ethnic backgrounds drop.’

Dr Mark Fenton, chief executive of the Grammar School Heads Association, said: ‘Professor Toope should also be aware that in counties with a wholly selective system, virtually all the most academic students attend selective schools regardless of social background. If Cambridge was to reduce admissions from grammar schools, this would be manifestly unfair on large swathes of the country.’

Education Secretary Nadhim Zahawi said: ‘Grammar schools are a valuable part of our system, and universities must have a fair, transparent application process. Discriminating against a child because of their background or which school they went to is never acceptable.’

Mr Zahawi added: ‘I am proud we have more 18-year-olds from disadvantaged backgrounds at university than ever before and I want a system that continues to equip those students with the skills and knowledge they need to progress, whether to a top-tier university, an apprenticeship or the world of work.’

A Cambridge University spokesman said: ‘We do not discriminate against any applicant. If society is serious about offering opportunities to everyone, universities like ours need to reach beyond traditional recruiting grounds to very talented pupils who wouldn’t necessarily have considered applying.’


Adams, Banks face a huge task in forcing NYC schools to focus on teaching all kids to read

Reading is fundamental — or so you might think. But, as The Post’s Cayla Bamberger reported last week, parents and education advocates across the city are demanding that the Department of Education do more to help all students learn how to read.

In 2019 (the last full pre-COVID school year), less than half of all Grades 3-8 students were proficient in reading. Then the debacle of remote learning set back all kids, leaving Mayor Eric Adams and Chancellor David Banks a lot of damage to undo.

Adams’ own struggle with long-undiagnosed dyslexia informs his approach: His budget plan earmarks $7.4 million for dyslexia screening and support programs, plus launching two new schools for students with reading disabilities in Harlem and The Bronx.

Banks, meanwhile, wants to rethink the DOE’s approach to literacy by stressing phonics at an earlier age. That’s a huge win for kids and common sense over the ideologues who dominate the education establishment.

Sadly, that includes the State Education Department and Board of Regents, who in recent years have focused on dropping standards across the board to conceal rather than heal the system’s failings. That’s produced rising high-school graduation rates even as remote learning left all too many kids actually learning far less.

The SED’s new “alternative pathways to graduation” serve to confer diplomas on functional illiterates. Teens (especially ones with learning disabilities) get steered into paths where the system doesn’t have to address their problems learning to read.

Since they’re disproportionately minority kids, it’s a kind of racial segregation — the very sort of “inequity” that such progressives supposedly despise.

Adams is spot-on when he laments that the DOE’s $37 billion a year in taxpayer money isn’t buying a whole lot of learning success for the great majority of city students, especially black and Hispanic ones, who don’t perform at grade level in reading or math.

There’s no greater social-justice cause than helping poor and minority students learn to read. It’s a shame the mayor and chancellor need to fight not only the DOE’s inertia and the misbegotten policies of the last mayor but also the state education authorities as well as the ideologues and special interests who’d rather cover up the injustice than truly confront it.


Australia: Activists masquerading as educators

The recent news from the Australian Mathematical Sciences Institute (AMSI) that fewer and fewer students are choosing to study higher mathematics at Secondary school is yet another black mark against our education system.

Unfortunately, things are hardly better in Literature.

Victoria, which leads the way in progressive education, has seen students ditching literature in their droves. Over the last three years, the subject has dropped outside of the top 20 VCE subjects, with students preferring to study arguably less useful subjects such as ‘Food and Technology’ and ‘Media’.

This isn’t surprising given that the VCE’s booklist for literature in 2022 is heavily weighted toward modern texts that reveal a thoroughly unhealthy obsession with Marxism, Identity Politics, and Critical Race Theory. One-third of all texts on offer were published within the last 20 years, neglecting the remaining 5,000 years’ worth of literary history.

Students should be reading books by world-renowned authors like Charles Dickens, Leo Tolstoy, and George Orwell. Instead, they are reading about ‘power, gender, and obsession’ in Jeanette Winterson’s racy novel The Passion. Oscar Wilde is overlooked in favour of Shelagh Delaney’s exploration of ‘sexuality, homophobia, and racism’ in her production A Taste of Honey. Then there is Suzan-Lori Parks’ play Father Comes Home from the Wars that challenges ‘binary understandings of power’. Books like Fyodor Dostoevsky’s Crime and Punishment, which plumbs the depths of the human condition, have been replaced with Emile Zola’s The Ladies’ Paradise denouncing the ‘abuses of capitalism’.

When great books manage to make the cut, they are taught through an ideological lens. For instance, students studying Jane Austen’s Northanger Abbey will look at the ‘obsessions of Georgian England’ and the ‘emergence of consumer culture’. In Tim Winton’s non-fiction work The Boy Behind the Curtain, ‘colonisation, capitalism, and politics’ are emphasised as key themes alongside ‘masculinity, gender, and family’.

Literature should not be used to send a political message to students. When learning is replaced with ideology, it undermines education. The study of literature should be about teaching students to think critically, not indoctrinating them with a progressive worldview.

Australian literature is notably absent from the 2022 VCE booklist.

While one-third of the texts were written by Australians, only half were actually set in Australia and the majority of these were poems. This reflects a dubious trend in education in which the idea of a global identity is promoted while the idea of an Australian identity is actively questioned.

Students should be reading classics like The Harp in the South by Ruth Park, A Town Like Alice by Nevil Shute, or one of Banjo Paterson’s famous poems. Ethel Turner’s Seven Little Australians, which looks at the birth of a distinctly Australian identity in the lead-up to Federation, also deserves to be on the list. Even films such as Ladies in Black are of value because they address the rich cultural impact of immigration from Europe in the wake of the second world war. These works are all listed on the Institute of Public Affairs’ Australian Cannon and are classic pieces of literature that construct a vivid picture of the Australian way of life.

The problem is far greater than the booklist itself. Activists masquerading as educators have infiltrated Australian schools. They have successfully been destroying the pre-existing model of education and imposing their own. The choice of texts in this year’s booklist for Victorian students is an undisguised exercise in social engineering which robs students of their cultural heritage.

Victorians are being sold short.

Students from Queensland and New South Wales will read many of the great books missing from Victoria’s VCE program. For instance, the QCE literature booklist offers texts like Bleak House, Wuthering Heights, and The Picture of Dorian Gray. Queensland students have a much broader range of top-quality works that does not include pointed summaries pushing a progressive agenda like in Victoria. The New South Wales HSC English program, which also involves the study of literature, looks at Nineteen Eighty-Four by George Orwell, Short Stories by Henry Lawson, and Pygmalion by Bernard Shaw. This comes after a concerted effort in New South Wales to overhaul the Year 11 and 12 English syllabuses to include more ‘classic’ texts in 2017.

The solution for Victoria is simple. Give students the opportunity to read works of substance that look at the universal human experience rather than focusing solely on the issues faced by minority groups. More students would study literature if more classics with relatable life lessons were on the booklist, as is the case in New South Wales and Queensland.




Sunday, May 08, 2022

How Randi Weingarten is actually undermining trust in public schools

In Randi Weingarten’s florid telling, far-right activists are resorting to unchecked propaganda and “Big Lies” to mislead parents, undermine trust in teachers and financially cripple public schools in hope of replacing them with a universal, unregulated voucher system. In a breathless essay for Time magazine, Weingarten, head of the nation’s second-largest teachers union, blames “dark money-funded extremists” for an orchestrated campaign to weaken public education, “undermining our democracy and further eroding America’s middle class.”

In New York, we call this chutzpah.

American Federation of Teachers chief Weingarten has ample reason to be concerned about the decline in trust in America’s public schools, which have lost more than 1 million students in the past two years. But no one bears greater responsibility for that hemorrhage than Weingarten herself.

My AEI colleague Nat Malkus just released an exhaustive set of student-enrollment data covering the vast majority of US public-school systems. It shows that nearly 1.2 million children exited public-school systems in the 2020-21 school year, including more than 80,000 in New York City.

This year some districts recovered while others continued to shrink. The difference was not due to a right-wing campaign to undermine public schools, as Weingarten claims. It was how those districts responded to COVID.

Districts that returned to in-person instruction more quickly have seen enrollment recover; those that stayed remote the longest continued to lose students. “I thought we’d see a relationship with in-person learning, but I didn’t think it would be this strong,” Malkus notes.

If Weingarten wants to talk “Big Lies,” there’s none bigger than her own bald-faced lie, repeated endlessly in interviews and on social media, that she “worked to reopen schools safely since April 2020.”

Never mind that the union’s affiliate in Washington, DC (enrollment down 4% since the 2019-20 school year), held a sickout strike to stop schools from reopening. Never mind that the AFT’s affiliate in Chicago (down 7%) claimed demands to reopen schools were “rooted in sexism, racism and misogyny.” Never mind that the union in Los Angeles (down 9%) insisted “reopening safely” included union demands for a moratorium on charter schools, wealth taxes and Medicare for All.

Never mind that Weingarten noisily insisted that she wanted kids back in school even while lobbying the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention behind the scenes to slow-walk a return to full-time, in-person instruction.

The full cost of this calamity is becoming clear. A Harvard study released Thursday concluded that shifts to remote or “hybrid” instruction during 2020-21 had “profound consequences for student achievement,” especially for those attending high-poverty schools, where they were “a primary driver of widening achievement gaps.” The report ominously concluded: “If the achievement losses become permanent, there will be major implications for future earnings, racial equity and income inequality, especially in states where remote instruction was common.”

I’m not unsympathetic to Weingarten calling out the rhetorical excesses of conservative activists and culture warriors. But she’s doing public education and teachers no favors with her refusal to take parent discontent over critical race theory and gender ideology in schools seriously, attributing it to disinformation and saying almost blithely that “this is how wars start.”

Her new “Big Lie” is painting a picture of parents as mere dupes of extremists and ideologues, which she claimed in a recent interview is a “base vote strategy” by Republicans.

Weingarten is either misreading the moment or in deep denial. For decades, polls have consistently shown Americans trust Democrats to do a better job on education than Republicans. But a new NPR/Marist poll finds parents with children under 18 in their households — those with the clearest view and skin in the game — now favor Republicans over Democrats for Congress by an almost a two-to-one margin: 60% to 32%.

Teachers, too, have good reason to be concerned about Weingarten’s tin ear and habit of stepping on rakes. For nearly half a century, Gallup’s “honesty and ethics” survey has shown grade-school teachers among the most trusted professionals. At the pandemic’s start in 2020, trust in teachers had jumped to 75%. Today, it’s 64%: still strong but a troubling all-time low.

As long as a majority of our children attend traditional public schools, it’s in the interest of every American for them to perform well and to be trusted by parents. For reasons known only to her, Weingarten appears determined to drive faith in public education into the ground.


Parent groups react to Biden admin's upcoming Title IX changes: 'Blurring and in effect erasing women'

Parent groups predicted the Biden administration's upcoming changes to Title IX sex discrimination rules would spell danger for students.

Former Education Secretary Betsy DeVos written that Title IX’s sex-based protections were sticking by the definitions of "biological sex, male or female." However, in March 2021, President Biden signed an executive order outlining plans to review Title IX regulations related to gender identity. The administration's reforms include rolling back some due process protections put in place by the Trump administration, and changing the definition of "sex" to include "gender identity."

Twenty-seven parents' rights organizations claiming to represent almost 400,000 members across the country recently sent a letter to Education Secretary Miguel Cardona urging him to heed their concerns about the changes. Many agreed that those alterations could threaten student safety.

"We represent parents, grandparents, and concerned citizens across the country who are worried that the forthcoming rule changes are a politicized effort to placate activists," the organizations, spearheaded by Parents Defending Education, wrote in a letter to Cardona on Tuesday. "In fact, the sweeping changes to Title IX that you are reportedly set to announce would erode the very rights that protect all students – regardless of sex – and ensure a safe and equitable learning environment."

Several of the signatories expanded on their concerns in exclusive interviews with Fox News Digital.

"We see that this idea of identifying students in general by identity than by biological is concerning to us," Moms for Liberty co-founder Tiffany Justice told Fox News Digital. "We’re seeing sexual harassment claims, or harassment claims as language is violence, being used by students who accidentally misgender a child in the classroom. Sometimes genders are fluid. Instances where a child was being told to kill themselves and being bullied by a group of students who were literally changing their gender every day and then the school was looking at harassment violations or harassment claims against that child, which was not the case. These are 11-year-olds."

Miguel Cardona speaks after President-Elect Joe Biden announced his nomination for Education Secretary at the Queen theatre on December 23, 2020 in Wilmington, Delaware.
Miguel Cardona speaks after President-Elect Joe Biden announced his nomination for Education Secretary at the Queen theatre on December 23, 2020 in Wilmington, Delaware. (Joshua Roberts)

"We don’t see any reasons why it needs to be changed," she continued. "We think it really is the erasure of women in general. And as mothers we are women, adult human females, who are not birthing people."

"We want to protect women’s rights," she concluded. "We believe the Biden administration is blurring and in effect erasing women in a lot of different ways."

Elicia Brand, Army of Parents president and co-founder, similarly said the main reason that her group signed on to the letter was to safeguard female students.

"Title IX under Obama, and now under Biden, is being twisted and used as a weapon against girls and women, that Title IX was actually written to protect us. And we will suffer the most, particularly our girls who are in sports.

"We don’t want this to be weaponized under Biden while his executive order doesn’t carry the full weight of the law as Trump’s did," she continued. "It is still very dangerous because it gives the Department of Education the ability to bring lawsuits against schools and in that way they have to comply because they can’t lose the money. So the people that will be suffering will be girls and women."

The 1972 Congress, she added, likely had "no idea" that Title IX would be "manipulated to expand from just sex to gender identity."

Local father Benjamin Orr credited the original Title IX language with opening opportunities for his kids, especially for his daughter. Those opportunities were available not just in athletics, he said, but also in the form of academic scholarships.

"When you look at Title IX, it ensures that there’s equity between the sexes for anything related to educational purposes, whether that’s resources, scholarships, or athletics, of course," Orr told Fox News Digital. "And when you change this rule to make it about gender identity, which really can’t be defined…it just opens the door for potential abuse and changes."

"This is really kind of that tipping point that just kind of opens the floodgates to further interpretation, further understanding, and it’s a gray area, there’s no black and white perspective here on right versus wrong," mother Dawn Lang agreed.

Ashley Jacobs, Executive Director and cofounder of Parents Unite, another signatory, also suggested that the reforms would negative impacts both in terms of restroom safety and athletics.

"And it’s an issue because it has everything to do with bathrooms and dorms, and sports teams," she added. "Athletics we can go into that too. If you’re a lacrosse goalie, for example, on a girls’ team and a person who identifies as a girl and is going against you in lacrosse, which is a pretty brutal sport to begin with.

I mean there are just physical differences and we’ve acknowledged that I think mostly. But it’s complicated, and so we just felt that, you know in K-12 this is such a complicated issue, and we’re making it harder, I think, to let schools do what’s best for them, for their students, and we’re making it harder for parents to do what’s best for their kids."


Making Sense of the Student Loan Scam

Today’s college students often complain about skyrocketing tuition, and they rightly blame those same higher-ed institutions for saddling them with debt. After all, many of them are now the proud owners of bachelor’s degrees that cost more than $100,000, and they’re bussing tables at a local bar to chip away at the balance.

But in defense of these predatory schools, they merely took advantage of a student loan scam put into place by the very same politicians claiming to be on their side today. That’s why these debt-strapped students shouldn’t be marching against college administrators. Instead, they should be pounding on the doors of Democrats in Washington.

Colleges know that every single undergraduate student walking through their doors is guaranteed more than $50,000 in federal loans, with graduate students able to borrow nearly $140,000. Unsurprisingly, then, tuition rates have soared as this corrupt cycle keeps repeating itself: More loans enable higher tuition, which enables more loans, which enables higher tuition. Now, some Democrats are floating the awful idea (again) of forgiving up to $50,000 of student loan debt.

The Biden administration, however, recently suggested a number closer to $10,000, while adding that loan relief would be limited to those borrowers making less than $125,000.

The idea that the president can simply wipe out student debt is a fantasy, mainly designed to give false hope to young voters whom they hope will be motivated to vote “D” on November 8. But polls currently show that Biden is losing this key demographic.

That’s why Biden is pitching the false idea that he can wipe out student debt on his own. Not even Biden’s own Department of Education believes he has the authority to do so, nor does House Speaker Nancy Pelosi.

Even if Biden tries, he faces many obstacles. For example, as The Washington Times reports, “Mr. Biden hasn’t publicly confirmed that pledge, but acting unilaterally to cancel student loans would stir division within the Democratic Party, invoke Republican opposition and likely face legal challenges.” The Wall Street Journal details some of these legal concerns, but suffice it to say, the Journal notes even Barack Obama’s former top Education Department lawyer says Biden “would be on shaky legal ground.”

To push it over the finish line, the Democrats are — surprise! — making it about race by claiming that alleviating student debt will help black and Hispanic students, as well as boosting the economy and helping the working class. But according to The Wall Street Journal, “The borrowers Democrats really want to help are white-collar workers with advanced degrees who account for 56% of the $1.6 trillion in federal student debt.”

Regardless of whether Biden actually pulls this off, what might a future Republican Congress do about student debt? As political analyst Charles C.W. Cooke suggests: “The first step for the GOP to take would be ending the student-loan program completely. Given the obvious political temptations that program was always going to create, the federal government should never have gotten into the student-loan business in the first place. But it did, and so here we are.”

Good point. And a Republican Congress and president should apply the same principle to countless other government programs that need to be put on the chopping block. Cooke adds, “If President Biden goes through with his threat, we will have been shown once and for all that the government cannot be trusted to issue these loans on behalf of America’s taxpayers, and that it must not be allowed to do so again.”

Of course, Republicans have held the reins of power before and failed to fix things, so one wonders what they’d do if given another chance. For now, Democrats are proposing an outrageous plan that lets some college students off the hook while insulting others who worked hard to pay back their loans in good faith. Oh, and it makes inflation worse.

There’s another group of Americans, though, that’s largely ignored in this conversation about student loan forgiveness: the millions who didn’t go to college. Should their taxes go to fund such an ill-conceived giveaway?

On a reassuring note, the nearly 60-year-old student loan scheme is another textbook case of the failure of progressivism. Next time those on the Left propose another government program, we can remind them of this and other failures.