A Positive Path Forward
We’re at an inflection point in American K-12 education, brought on by decades of inaction as Ed schools became more militant and radicalized and classrooms subsequently became increasingly politicized. As additional instances of shocking and even unethical instruction come to light, dumbfounded and sideswiped citizens are shaking their heads, asking themselves how this all could have happened.
Both benign and malign actors, and many sins of omission and commission, brought us to this lamentable point, but now that so much intolerable pedagogy has been revealed and so many suspicions confirmed, we need to focus first on fixing the problem rather than assigning blame. There are innocent and impressionable children who are becoming collateral damage in this culture war, and for their sake, we must move swiftly and firmly to restore balance, integrity, quality, and legitimate, appropriate oversight to their classrooms.
As difficult as the problems facing American K-12 education are, they are far from unsolvable—particularly by determined people full of resolve. This is a multi-pronged problem, so solutions will need to come from multiple angles as well.
Parents and Students
Righteously angry parents are organizing and comparing notes. They’re targeting wayward school board members for recalls and running for school board seats themselves. They’re scrutinizing lesson plans and submitting Freedom of Information Act requests to find out which sorts of consultants their children’s schools are hiring and how much they’re being paid. They’re showing up at public meetings and finding their voices, hopefully modeling for the next generation both how the democratic process works and how reasoned rhetoric, persuasive oratory, and passionate effort can be used to influence cultural direction and change the conversation.
Families must commit to ongoing participation in the democratic process governing our schools—from paying closer attention to candidates for local office to keeping up with the learning standards and ethical guidelines governing the practice of education where you live. (You can find these at your state’s department of education website. You will also find procedures there for reporting recalcitrant or unscrupulous educators engaging in misconduct.)
As the battle for the direction of K-12 education heads to state legislatures, it’s essential to know which bills are being proposed in your state and to be alert for and ready to oppose slanted legislation that treads on students’ rights to think and learn freely, according to the dictates of their own consciences. You may not be used to paying such close attention to what’s going on in your state capital, but
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