Commentary: Four Education Trends That Will Continue in 2022

There is a lot to be frustrated about as 2021 concludes. Some places are back in lockdown over rising coronavirus cases, while others are re-imposing previous restrictions and introducing new ones—including my city.

But at this joyful time of the year, I choose to be optimistic and focus on all the good things happening right now, particularly in the world of education.

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Commentary: The Collapse of Yellow School Bus Transport

Between 2012 and 2019, student ridership on school district buses declined nationally by 3.8 million riders. The drop is owed to various factors, especially increased demand for drivers in private industry. The COVID-19 pandemic intensified the trend, via a combination of even more demand for drivers with Commercial Drivers Licenses and reluctance of older drivers to return to work after the shutdown. A nationwide bus driver shortage has been in the headlines this fall, with stories focusing on stranded students and; most dramatically, Massachusetts governor Charlie Baker called out the national guard to drive buses.

The decline of the yellow bus system presents an equity challenge for students. In a choice-based education system, lack of bus transport in certain areas means that children in those areas will have fewer schooling options. The problem will require an urgent effort to modernize. Nationwide, only about a third of students took buses to school in 2017, but in some states the figure is considerably lower – such as Arizona, where it had 23% by 2019.

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Los Angeles Schools Delay Forcing Thousands of Unvaccinated Students Back to Online Learning

Los Angeles Unified School District will hold off enforcement until the start of the Fall 2022 semester for a vaccine mandate that would have moved thousands of students out of the classroom and into remote learning.

The LAUSD’s Board of Education voted Tuesday to suspend enforcement of a vaccine mandate for all students 12 and older until the fall. The original mandate, which passed in September, required students to show proof of full vaccination or obtain an exemption by Jan. 10, 2022, to continue attending in-person classes.

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Report: More Than Half of Federal School COVID Relief Funds Used for Non-Pandemic Purposes

This week’s Golden Horseshoe Award goes to the U.S. Department of Education for approving pandemic relief spending plans by school districts that include millions for upgrading athletic facilities, installing security cameras, purchasing floor shiners and other non-pandemic related projects.

Approximately $190 billion in pandemic funding under both the Trump and Biden administrations was allocated to schools to safely reopen and protect teachers and students.

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California Teachers Association Conference Instructed Teachers to Undermine Parents on Gender Identity, Sexual Orientation

California’s largest teacher’s union instructed members at a meeting in October about the best ways to undermine parents and conservative communities regarding gender identity and sexual orientation issues, according to leaked documents and audio obtained by Abigail Shrier.

The California Teachers Association (CTA) held a conference on Oct. 29-31 in Palm Springs, California. During workshops, teachers said they surveilled students’ Google searches, online chats and hallway conversations to identify and personally invite sixth grade students to join LGBTQ school clubs, according to the leaked documents and audio reviewed by Abigail Shrier, which were authenticated by three conference attendees.

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Woke Teachers Go Viral After Sharing Their Shocking Classroom Behavior on Social Media

Woke K-12 teachers ranting about their leftist agendas are ubiquitous on social media, particularly the Twitter account “Libs of TikTok.”

As universities ramp up their efforts to train K-12 educators on how to teach components of leftist and woke ideologies, Campus Reform decided to give parents and community members a look in the classroom with information on the higher education programs and academic theories that trained some of teachers behind those infamous videos.

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Commentary: Financial Stability Is Key to Being Able to Leave Job for Refusing Vaccine Mandate

Joshua Mawhorter

Until recently, I was a California teacher working in two charter schools, one as a full-time classroom teacher of Government/Economics and sometimes U.S. History, and the other as a part-time independent study teacher who assists families with a program primarily based around homeschooling. I have taught for about five years and love teaching.

Last week, I was fired from one school and put on unpaid administrative leave at the other because of my refusal either to take and demonstrate proof of the COVID-19 vaccine or test weekly. I even filed a religious exemption stating the following that was rejected:

“As a committed follower of Christ, I religiously and philosophically cannot submit to either a government vaccine mandate or weekly testing.

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Commentary: Targeting Citizens for Expressing Traditional Values is a Hallmark of Tyranny

All my life I’ve felt a bond with places and with people.

Growing up in Boonville, North Carolina, population then about 600, I went to elementary school and the Methodist church, knew many of the merchants in town—Harvey Smith, grocer and mayor for many years, Donald the barber, Mr. Weatherwax who owned the pharmacy and was kind enough to let me read comic books on the premises, and a dozen more adults—and relished my friends and their families. Boonville’s red clay and rolling hills are as much a part of me as any genetic code.

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Pennsylvania Schools Would Be Required to Post Curriculum Online Under Proposed Bill

The Pennsylvania House of Representatives approved a measure this week that would require schools to post curriculum online.

Prime sponsor Rep. Andrew Lewis, R-Harrisburg, said it’s only an extension of what some districts already do – and gives parents access to what their kids are learning without having to visit a school building in person.

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REPORT: Training Urged New Jersey Teachers to Track Conversations with Parents, Students Regarding the COVID-19 Vaccine

Group of adults sitting at a conference room table

New Jersey teachers said they were instructed during a teachers union training to log conversations regarding the COVID-19 vaccine with parents and students, Fox News reported.

The training provided by Made to Save, a vaccine “equity” nonprofit, the National Education Association (NEA) and the American Federation of Teachers (AFT) directed instructors to “follow up and track” conversations with parents and teachers regarding the COVID-19 vaccine, Fox News reported. They were told to log their conversations into the Democrat campaign app, “Reach,” and were incentivized with gift cards to be active users.

Campaign operative Jake DeGroot devised Reach, which New York Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez utilized in her 2018 campaign, Fox News reported.

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Florida Mom Calls for ‘Mass Exodus’ from Public Schools to Fight Indoctrination in the Classroom

A Florida mom called for a “mass exodus” from the public school system as the “only thing” left to do to fight indoctrination in public schools during a Family Research Council event Thursday.

The event, titled “Fighting Indoctrination on a National Scale,” from the annual Pray Vote Stand Summit in Leesburg, Virginia, featured remarks from Quisha King, who works for Moms for Liberty and drew national attention in June for comments she made in opposition to Critical Race Theory (CRT).

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Commentary: The Collectivist Presumption Against Parents

Like religion, the traditional family poses a rival authority to liberalism’s arrogant conception of the state. Consequently, liberals view religious freedom and parental authority with suspicion and often hostility. Liberals are keenly aware that the fulfillment of their statist goals — pushing propaganda about abortion, transgenderism, critical race theory, socialism, and so on — depends upon isolating children from the influences of religion and family.

It is this view that drives liberalism’s opposition to parental consent and notification laws and its distaste for private education and homeschooling. Last year, a Harvard law professor argued for a ban on homeschooling, saying that it represents a danger to a “democratic society.”

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North Carolina School District to Discipline Educators Who Teach America is Racist

A North Carolina county school board has passed a policy that will discipline or fire teachers who undermine the U.S. Constitution, tell students that American historical figures weren’t heroes or portray racism as systemic in America.

The vote Friday by the Johnston County school board is part of a larger campaign to stamp out critical race theory from American schools.

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Wisconsin Lawmakers Ok Plan to Make School Spending Numbers Transparent to Taxpayers

Parents and taxpayers in Wisconsin are one step away from having a much easier time finding out where their local schools spend their money.

Lawmakers in Madison have approved Senate Bill 373, which will collect financial information on public schools in the state, and make it available through one central, statewide website.

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Supreme Court Rejects NYC Teachers’ Request to Stop Vaccine Mandate

Tennessee Star

The Supreme Court on Friday declined to block New York City’s vaccine mandate for public schools following a petition brought by a group of teachers.

According to The Hill, the group of New York City teachers asked for an emergency injunction on Thursday, following a lower court’s ruling that permitted the city’s COVID-19 vaccine mandate to take effect this coming Monday.

The group argued that many teachers would lose their jobs if the Supreme Court didn’t intervene.

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Commentary: Virginia Rep. Bob Good Seeks to Defund Critical Race Theory in Public Schools

Rep. Bob Good (R-Va.) introduced the Defending Students’ Civil Rights Act of 2021 to prohibit the indoctrination of racially divisive curriculum within our nation’s schools. Good’s bill would prohibit the use of Critical Race Theory or (CRT) critical race pedagogy in any program or activity receiving Federal financial assistance. Any attempt to teach or implement critical race theory in federally funded institutions would be a violation of a student’s civil rights, punishable by law.

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Vaccinating Kids as Young as Five Would Be a ‘Game Changer,’ Biden’s Education Secretary Says

President Joe Biden’s Education Secretary Miguel Cardona said the approval of a COVID-19 vaccine for children would be a “game changer” for students in the U.S.’s public school system, U.S. News reported.

Pfizer announced Monday that a smaller dose of its vaccine has generated an immune response in 5 to 11-year-old children during the clinical trial. The company said it plans to submit data for approval in the next few weeks.

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Los Angeles Becomes First Major School District to Mandate COVID-19 Vaccines for Children

Young girl getting COVID vaccination

The Los Angeles public schools opened last month with some of the strictest coronavirus control measures in the country. Students and staff are required to wear masks inside and outside, participate in weekly virus testing, and obey social distancing protocols. District staff are also required to get the COVID-19 shot, and now all Los Angeles public school students ages 12 and over are forced to get the vaccine.

On Thursday, the Los Angeles school board voted to pass the student vaccine mandate, with one board member stating: “So I do not see this as your choice or my choice or about my great nieces and nephews and grandchildren or your children. I see this as a community necessity to protect the children under 12 who cannot be vaccinated.”

Los Angeles public school students have until the end of the calendar year to get fully vaccinated, unless they participate in extracurricular activities which requires full vaccination by October 31st. If they don’t comply, students will be pushed into a district-run online learning program. In 2015, California eliminated its religious vaccine exemption and now only recognizes medical exemptions for schoolchildren.

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Commentary: Left-Wing Teachers Still Can’t Decide If They Do or Do Not Teach ‘Critical Race Theory’

What is the deal with today’s K-12 teachers? They’re all over the place when it comes to Critical Race Theory, or CRT. On the one hand they vehemently deny even teaching it; on the other they defend its use in curricula.

Many of those in the latter group claim they just want to teach a “real” and “inclusive” history. They also assert that in these “real” and “inclusive” lessons, white people aren’t shamed and demonized.

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Atlanta Mom Fights Segregated Classrooms at Daughter’s School

When a principal at an Atlanta public elementary school segregated students in classes based on their race, some parents supported it, says Kila Posey, mother of a student at the school.

Sharyn Briscoe, the principal of Mary Lin Elementary, who is black, segregated second-grade classes based on race in the 2020-2021 academic year, limiting black students to two classrooms to choose from while white students could choose between six different classrooms.

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Commentary: The Great Parent Revolt

As overreach in classrooms by progressive school administrators, nonprofits and the federal government has reached new heights, parents are stepping up to fight back.

Moms for Liberty, Informed Parents of California, EdFirstNC, NJ Parental Rights, No Left Turn in Education and Parents Against Critical Theory are just a few of the hundreds of new parent groups that have emerged across the country in recent months. Many parents have become education activists because of schools’ failure to bring children back into the classroom or their continued imposition of mask mandates.

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