Karen R. Effrem, MD – President
The Republican Party Platform was released on July 18th. The battle between grassroots parent activists and the corporate/foundation/bureaucratic establishment is evident, but the preponderance of the education platform is a testament to the hard work and dedication of parents all over the country including those on the Platform Committee. Here is my list of the most important quotes from both perspectives and a bit of analysis of important issues fought to a draw.
Grassroots Parent Wins
“Parents are a child’s first and foremost educators, and have primary responsibility for the education of their children. Parents have a right to direct their children’s education, care, and upbringing. We support a constitutional amendment to protect that right from interference by states, the federal government, or international bodies such as the United Nations.”
“It is also why everyone should be concerned about the state of the American family today, not because of ideology or doctrine, but because of the overwhelming evidence of experience, social science, and common sense. All of which give us these truths about traditional marriage: Children raised in a two-parent household tend to be physically and emotionally healthier, more likely to do well in school, less likely to use drugs and alcohol, engage in crime or become pregnant outside of marriage. We oppose policies and laws that create a financial incentive for or encourage cohabitation. (Emphasis added)
“Education is much more than schooling. It is the whole range of activities by which families and communities transmit to a younger generation, not just knowledge and skills, but ethical and behavioral norms and traditions. It is the handing over of a cultural identity. That is why American education has, for the last several decades, been the focus of constant controversy, as centralizing forces from outside the family and community have sought to remake education in order to remake America. They have done immense damage. The federal government should not be a partner in that effort, as the Constitution gives it no role in education.”
“Since 1965, the federal government, through more than 100 programs in the Department of Education, has spent $2 trillion on elementary and secondary education with little substantial improvement in academic achievement or high school graduation rates.”
“We reject a one-size-fits-all approach to education and support a broad range of choices for parents and children at the state and local level. We likewise repeat our long-standing opposition to the imposition of national standards and assessments, encourage the parents and educators who are implementing alternatives to Common Core…”(Emphasis added).
“It rejects excessive testing and ‘teaching to the test’ and supports the need for strong assessments to serve as a tool so teachers can tailor teaching to meet student needs.”
“The federal government has pushed states to collect and share vast amounts of personal student and family data, including the collection of social and emotional data. Much of this data is collected without parental consent or notice. This is wholly incompatible with the American Experiment and our inalienable rights.”
“…and believe that federal funds should not be used in mandatory or universal mental health, psychiatric, or socio-emotional screening programs.”
“…parent-driven accountability at every stage of schooling”
“…classroom discipline; parental involvement; and strong leadership by principals, superintendents, and locally elected school boards”
“We strongly encourage instruction in American history and civics by using the original documents of our founding fathers.”
“A good understanding of the Bible being indispensable for the development of an educated citizenry, we encourage state legislatures to offer the Bible in a literature curriculum as an elective in America’s high schools.”
“To ensure that all students have access to the mainstream of American life, we support the English First approach and oppose divisive programs that limit students’ ability to advance in American society.”
“…STEM subjects and phonics”
A great site toi keep yourself up to date on the happenings around the country in education is Education Views.
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