What has happened to universities and colleges, school that once identified themselves as sanctuaries for free speech, tolerance, and diversity? Why did they abandon that excellent goal as an open market place for thought and ideas, to become instead institutions of indoctrination to a specific political viewpoint?
Controversy continues over the adoption of new schoolbooks in Texas, as environmental lobbyists fight to have sound science concerning global warming removed from the curriculum. With the ability to influence millions of schoolchildren regarding climate change, environmental alarmists are trying to ensure their message is the only one heard.
On October 29, a group of Amherst College faculty members sent an open letter to the president of the college and the chairman of the board of trustees urging them to “move toward divesting the college of holdings in those corporations that are committed to fossil fuel extraction to the exclusion of making serious investments in renewable energy.” Regrettably, the faculty members’ letter made several false and malicious claims about The Heartland Institute, which we reply to in the letter below.
The Texas State Board of Education (TSBOE) is in the process of adopting new social studies and history textbooks. Once approved, the books will likely be used in schools for more than a decade, and because Texas is a huge market for textbooks, other states often adopt the choices Texas determines, thus making this decision particularly influential.
Only one week after Election Day, Washington, DC’s focus has shifted from furious campaigning to National Education Week and the Thought Leader Summit (held from Nov. 10–13), “a gathering of the leaders from education, business, and government who define and shape trends in public and private education.”
Education, business, and government leaders are gathering this week in Washington, DC to discuss the future of American education at the Thought Leader Summit (held from Nov. 10–13), an event held as a part of the National Education Initiative. Among the many topics that will be discussed is the advancement of online education, a technological gift that could save conservatism in America.
With election season in full swing, one of the most widely used political attacks is for candidates to accuse their opponents of wanting or having already committed “cuts to education” resulting in “teacher layoffs.”
The ongoing struggle between parents and the Missouri government over the state’s school transfer law is another example of politics and bureaucracy winning out over parents, children, and their futures.
Neal McCluskey, associate director of the Center for Educational Freedom at the Cato Institute, discusses a New York State teachers union lawsuit to overturn a Common Core gag order with Heartland’s Heather Kays.
California Gov. Jerry Brown has decided to appeal the Vergara decision on teacher tenure and other traditional job protections for teachers. This isn’t a surprising move, considering how much political backing Brown has received from teachers’ unions.
Homeschooling seems to be an easy target for critics of school choice. It always has been. With homeschoolers being by definition outside the education establishment, some people attach a stigma to their choice, suggesting homeschooled children and their families must be somewhat weird. Recent claims about Adam Lanza, alleged perpetrator of the Newtown massacre, are just the latest and perhaps most egregious example.
It’s been a rough year for the Common Core standards. As parents, teachers, officials, and politicians learn more about the standards, more and more states are considering ways to get out of Common Core. The standards in math and reading were allegedly designed to make students career- and college-ready. Now that the public is able to see them, the standards have proven not to be what was promised. People are fighting back.
Throw enough mud at the wall, and some of it will stick. That seems to be the hope behind the several legal challenges brought against education tax credit scholarship programs. In some cases, choice opponents use the Blaine Amendment as an excuse to extinguish any hint of education freedom. In other cases, they use technicalities, such as a suit saying the statute violates a law requiring each piece of legislation concern only a single subject.
The 2010 introduction of Common Core, a set of requirements for what elementary and secondary school children should know in math and English language arts, has turned schools in one state after another into battlefields as its complexity and other factors led to protests against it. Even so, by mid-2014, a NBC/Wall Street Journal poll found that very nearly half of those asked about it hadn’t even heard of it. A number of states, such as Missouri, Indiana, Oklahoma, and South Carolina have withdrawn from it.