Opinion / Politics

Parents Empowered – Is Next Great Revolution in Education Upon Us?

AMAC Exclusive – By The Gallic

One of the few positive outcomes of the COVID-19 pandemic was that parents, for the first time, were able to have a true inside look into their children’s education – and what they saw shocked them. Now, parents and legislators are pushing back against the failures of the current education system in a number of ways, from demanding more accountability from public schools to imagining entirely new educational models that best fit the needs of individual students. Given the scope and energy of this movement, we may well be witnessing a budding revolution in the way we approach education in this country.

It’s no secret that the American education system has failed to achieve its central mission of educating our youngest generations in recent years. Consider this: in 1912, one of the questions on an 8th-grade graduation test (yes, they had to take a test to graduate 8th grade) was “name the states that border the Ohio River.” Another asked, “what is the role of the liver in the body?” and “how many parts of speech are there? Define them.”

These, of course, were in addition to basic questions about American history and culture, all things that many 8th grade students today – and even most adults – know nothing about. In 2019, even before the learning loss brought on by the pandemic, a study from the Woodrow Wilson National Fellowship Foundation found that only four in ten Americans under the age of 45 could pass a basic U.S. history exam. Only 15% could correctly name the year the U.S. Constitution was signed. Only 25% knew freedom of speech was guaranteed under the First Amendment. Another poll from this year found that two in three Gen Z Americans don’t know who America declared its independence from on July 4, 1776, and only a third could even correctly spell “independence.” The list goes on.

Yet astonishingly, the average high school GPA has been on the rise for more than a decade. Even during the pandemic, which had a devastating effect on student achievement when it came to standardized testing, high school graduation rates and grades in class remained more or less the same. The alarming conclusion from these data points is that as student knowledge is slumping, schools are simply lowering their standards to create the illusion of progress instead of addressing the fact that the state of American education is in a steep decline.

At the same time, the pandemic afforded parents a window into their kids’ classrooms thanks to virtual learning, exposing a related but far more sinister problem – politicized curriculum like “Critical Race Theory” and gender ideology replacing traditional instruction in core subjects like reading and history. From the concept of “racist math” to the denigration of the founding fathers, it quickly became clear that many schools had run far astray from their mission.

In response to these twin crises, parents began taking action. Many started by attending their school board meetings and speaking out. Particularly passionate parent remarks from places like Loudoun County, Virginia, made national headlines, even as the Biden Department of Justice labeled these parents with a “threat tag.” Recent election cycles have seen a wave of success for school board candidates promising to get CRT out of classrooms and provide more transparency and accountability to parents.

For those who can afford private school, many have switched away from the public school system entirely in recent months. This trend was seen throughout the country, and not just in red states; in California, private school enrollment jumped by 5.7% last year. In Minnesota, it grew an astounding 23% in some areas. Nationally, the number went up by 2.3% for Catholic private schools alone, and this year it seems that the enrollment trend remains strong.

The growing charter school movement has also provided another option for parents. More than 3.4 million students now attend charter schools, up from 2.2 million a decade ago. In Virginia, Republican Governor Glenn Youngkin – who was elected last year largely on a platform of fixing the education system and expanding choice for parents – succeeded in getting $100 million set aside in the state budget for “lab schools,” a charter school-like alternative to public schools.

Many Republican legislators are also taking action to both restore integrity to public schools and increase accessibility to private and charter schools for thousands of families. Just last week in Arizona, Governor Doug Ducey signed what is likely the most expansive school choice bill in American history, which allows families to redirect funds from their child’s public education to a private school or homeschooling.

At the same time, the school choice movement is facing some headwinds. Just a day prior to Ducey signing the Arizona law, a circuit court judge in West Virginia struck down a law allowing a similar voucher program.

At the community level, groups of parents and families have also developed innovative new ways to homeschool kids. Some neighbors have banded together to form learning “pods,” sharing duties among several households. In other cases, retired or part-time educators have created “micro-schools” for a few students in their neighborhood. In each case, parents have been able to have a great deal more input into what their children are learning and how they are learning it, ensuring that it aligns with their values and beliefs.

Change is always difficult – particularly when it comes to kids. But with these recent developments, the country may be entering a new era where parents and students, not faceless bureaucrats and unaccountable school administrators, are empowered like never before.

The Gallic is the pen name of an educator with over 30 years of experience, who spends his time helping schools get better at teaching their students and parents happier at sending them to those schools.


We hope you've enjoyed this article. While you're here, we have a small favor to ask...

Support AMAC Action. Our 501 (C)(4) advances initiatives on Capitol Hill, in the state legislatures, and at the local level to protect American values, free speech, the exercise of religion, equality of opportunity, sanctity of life, and the rule of law.

Donate Now

If You Enjoy Articles Like This - Subscribe to the AMAC Daily Newsletter
and Download the AMAC News App

Sign Up Today Download

If You Enjoy Articles Like This - Subscribe to the AMAC Daily Newsletter!


Subscribe
Notify of
39 Comments
Newest
Oldest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
ADoryble TB
23 days ago

I just started reading Pete Hegseth’s new book, “Battle for the American Mind” and can’t put it down! The teachers unions are the powerhouse behind all this corruption. Pete identifies “the most powerful weapon of Western civilization that was stolen from America’s classrooms.” This is a must read if we are to focus on the key solution to taking back American education.

Homeschooler
23 days ago

Yes, the simple concept of having the money follow the student is long overdue. Let the parents decide what’s best for their children. And let’s not forget, it’s in the University where the poison seeds of wokism are planted and nurtured in future educators. What do we do about that?

John Rademacher
23 days ago

Among many other systems in this country, If we don’t take our educational system back from the Communists (also firmly planted in our current government) we will continue to live in a fools paradise and believe the United States of America still exists! We live in the country of America currently being run by an elected or previously elected people who want our government and our freedoms destroyed. They have made unbelievable strides in our educational, judicial, and media systems. If the voting public doesn’t see it then we get what we accept‼️

HocasPocas
21 days ago

Don’t forget what they have done to our medical community

tika
23 days ago

that’s MY MONEY they are pissing away. i have a grandson fighting for his life and needs every penny i’ve got. FU Dept of Ed! this warrants the complete closing of the Dept. of Ed. and full dismissal of every staff member. this should NEVER HAVE BEEN PERMITTED by anyone in the Department.

john
23 days ago
Reply to  tika

Democrats……… All of them ‼️ , might as well be Communists as they clearly want the destruction of this country, it’s freedoms, its constitution and it’s money. We can no longer accept the equality of love for this country by Democrats and Republicans. For the most part Republicans love this country dearly. For the most part Democrats hate and despise this country because it endorses a work ethic that doesn’t embrace lazy people!

HocasPocas
21 days ago
Reply to  john

Take a look at where the majority of these democrats came from. Not the USA

Cheryl
23 days ago
Reply to  tika

Absolutely!

Chet
24 days ago

I’m so tired of Wokeness in our schools. I watched an you-tube video of college graduates in their caps and gowns, being asked grade schools questions of history, and geography questions that no one could answer.
Went to a fast food restaurant the other day, and my bill was $19.05. I gave the employee a $20 bill and a nickel. The employee was very adamant that I gave him too much money, and insist I take the nickel back. I explain to him I don’t want all that change back, just a dollar bill back. He went to his manager, and the manager told me the same thing that I was paying too much money! I remember working at a restaurant years ago, and we didn’t have cash registers that told you how much change to give back! This old system of registers would totally freak out kids, and most young adults adults today!
God bless us all.

edward
24 days ago

Get the bureaucrats out of education. I just got a newsletter indicating “community priorities drive the district”. If that isnt marxism speak indicating rats in the woodpile I dont know what is. It talks about “strategic plans and administration retreats with board member and teachers. So called educators need to be educating/teaching; reading, writing, arithmetic, havent really changed in the last 100 years to the point of needing “retreats” to figure out how to teach. What did these people go to college for and what did they learn if they dont know the subject matter they are supposed to be teaching? Quit WASTING taxpayer dollars and raising property taxes every year on BULLSHIT and get back to basics!

Kyle Buy you some guns,and learn how to shoot
24 days ago

Get rid of the teachers union, Get the feds out of education. Let the states run th4ir own schools. Need to be back in the 40’s and 50’s again. School work was school work. We didn’t set around and discuss some transgender crap. Hell we didnt even know what a trans. ws. Kyle L.

Will
23 days ago

I’m with you on all that. Get the school back under local control.

Michael J
24 days ago

Parents involved with their children’s education, how novel. First start with removing draconian school boards who fail to recognize they serve the parents. Remove agenda driven curriculum and give children the ability to read, write, reason and the true history behind their national heritage.
Teach students how to be productive in society instead of whiners who fail or succeed on their own merit. Finally remove agenda driven lifetime bullet proof tenure in favor of educational excellence.

TOMASD
24 days ago

The destruction of the American education system happened because the government decided that it was more important to be “inclusive” than to hold people responsible for learning the material. Children that did not meet standards were simply moved up a grade. When so many kids continued to fail the government decided that it was easier to simply lower the standards to the point that our children are now learning basic reading, some math and some writing. If we are truly all the same, why were the standards lowered? We have to stop lowering standards simply to have more people move on to the next grade, and instead, hold the children and their parents responsible for learning the material. The average college degree is not as difficult as graduating high school was 60 years ago.

Chuck
24 days ago

unless the federal Dept of Education and the teacher unions are abolished–the only solution to saving your children is Get Them Out. if your house is on fire, you don’t wait around for help. Get the kids out first! Beware of vouchers. Its just a subtle, longer term way of finally controlling again. He who funds; controls. The whole system has to be driven back down to the family responsibility level as soon as practical. Our country started out with the parents and churches being responsible for their education and not funded from outside that. But socialism is tempting, of course, and someone else should help pay for my children’s education. It can be done. I paid for all my children’s (4) and most grandchildren’s non-govt. education on a modest forester’s income.
Your final exam question– Which state is round on the sides and high in the middle? …..OhiO!
Thomas Jefferson might even have missed that one!

Michael Lewis
24 days ago

Rebuilding the America, I grew up in begins with the schools and churches.

Cheryl
23 days ago
Reply to  Michael Lewis

AMEN!

Carol
24 days ago

The Education department of too many universities are cranking out “woke” teachers that then join the Teacher’s unions! School choice might just be the answer to forcing these areas to change! If “woke” teachers can’t find work and the teacher’s unions are stripped of their power over schools, maybe we can start educating children instead of indoctrinating them! If we want to keep America free and prosperous, we need an educated citizenry! What we got now is just activists robots who haven’t a clue how reality really works or an appreciation for God, freedom, American history and our Constitutional republic!

Adonis
24 days ago

If one good thing came out of blue Democrat run States during Covid lockdowns and school closings is that the parents were able to see all the radical stuff being shoved into their kids minds. This was the great awakening. Even most certified leftists want good education for their kids. This issue now is not going away.

Centurion
24 days ago

There is a simple solution to the problem. That is to do what Sweden does. Every child gets a voucher to attend any school of the parents choice. Public schools, their unions and teachers must improve or they will wither and die.

Darrel
24 days ago

I am a retired public school teacher. I retired in 2016 before most of the crapola descended on the children and their teachers. My wife stayed home and homeschooled our two children. As a teacher in science, I was able to deliver some truth about life and climate outside of the evolution and global warming nonsense and ideology.

pete
24 days ago

Need t return to teaching phonics for reading and teach basic math.. It’s a travesty that for years kids have graduated that can’t make change as a cashier. This stuff is ridiculous–math is cut and dried–it’s right or it’s wrong; no ifs, ands or buts about it. and teach cursive!!!! How c an people make decisions about life, when they don’t have a mind trained for any sort of discipline, or logic?

mark
24 days ago

Things have been going to hell in our schools long before GOD and prayer were removed ,, that was just one of the first major steps ,, as its been stated on here the problem not is how to deprogram students and teachers to get back on the normal pattern ,, that was going on before this ,,, get out and vote people ,,, PLEASE

mark
24 days ago
Reply to  mark

remove not ,,, lol ,, ive got to learn to reread ,,DOE ,,

BAE
24 days ago

The left destroys everything it touches! Parents must make changes to the education system or watch it get worse. The teachers unions DO NOT CARE about your kids. The truth is out!

Darrel
24 days ago
Reply to  BAE

True teachers need to leave the unions.

William C Smith
25 days ago

Citizens should demand instruction in basic subjects required to be successful, productive, contibutive young citizens to carry on the excellent traditions of the nation without all the social engineering apparently predominant in current curricula. Those who have cannibalized the educational system need to be bodily ejected from any contact with students and their instructors. Return to the qualities evident in those folks who were members of Tom Brokaw’s Greatest Generation, who had vision, pupose and were focussed on their missions to teach basic principles of American citizenship. Investigate the teacher’s unions. Let’s have some public trials and castigations.

Deb Rockwell
25 days ago

Vouchers for parents to use where they please. It is OUR tax money after all. DOE needs total overhaul along with all the other three letter useless & corrupt agencies.

HocasPocas
25 days ago
Reply to  Deb Rockwell

DOE is unconstitutional

Old Papa
24 days ago
Reply to  HocasPocas

Agreed. There should not be a federal Dept. of Education. Another thing that should go to the states.

39
0
Would love your thoughts, please comment.x
()
x