Bills in numerous states proposing that K-12 materials be posted on the internet so parents can see what is being taught have teachers unions and mainstream media crying out loud.
The main stream media often comes off as little more than propaganda for radical leftism. If one pays close attention, one can see a discernible pattern in the way the MSM rolls out its think pieces on how Republicans have assaulted some bedrock foundation of society or another. A prominent recent example is the concern over how conservatives supposedly want to roll back voting rights for marginalized groups in America by not passing the federal takeover of elections.
Another example emerged this week, in the form of proposed transparency laws for K-12 curriculum in several (red) states.
NBC highlighting the wave of curriculum transparency bills across the US. And this isn't even the full map so far (+ AZ, WY, etc.) @realchrisrufo @maxeden99 @InezFeltscher @JM_Butcher @GoldwaterInst @Nicoletta0602 https://t.co/p1bZsWrgEl pic.twitter.com/8gfzhwqr8X
— Matt Beienburg (@MBeienburg) January 20, 2022
According to a report this week at NBC News, curriculum transparency is some sort of right-wing boogeyman, and paradoxically also an assault on free speech:
They fought critical race theory. Now they’re focusing on ‘curriculum transparency.’Conservative activists want schools to post lesson plans online, but free speech advocates warn such policies could lead to more censorship in K-12 schools.
As state legislatures kick into gear this month, Republican governors and lawmakers who have fought to limit discussions of race in public schools are lining up to support a new aim: curriculum transparency.
Lawmakers in at least 12 states have introduced legislation to require schools to post lists of all of their teaching materials online, including books, articles and videos. The governors of Arizona, Florida and Iowa, who have previously raised concerns about how teachers discuss racism’s impact on politics and society, called for curriculum transparency laws in speeches to their legislatures this month.
The report goes on to minimize the impact of critical race theory in K-12 education—obliquely referenced as “how teachers discuss racism’s impact”—while repeating the old trope that CRT usually only gets taught in law school. NBC says, “teachers, their unions and free speech advocates say the proposals would excessively scrutinize daily classwork and would lead teachers to pre-emptively [sic] pull potentially contentious materials to avoid drawing criticism.”
Local media reports about such a bill in Pennsylvania repeated the teachers union line that it fans the flames of parents versus teachers:
Critics say the bill puts a burden on school staff and is potentially a tool to censor teachers during a moment of intense debate about how race is taught in schools.
“House Bill 1332 is purposely misleading,” said Sen. Lindsey Williams (D-Allegheny County), minority chair of the Senate Education Committee.
“It’s framed as transparency, but really what it is is an unfunded mandate that stokes the flames of this larger national debate that is pitting the public against teachers…This is part of a larger war that says teachers should not be respected for their career and their expertise and that they shouldn’t have the ability to teach accurate history and cultural and racial competence to our students.”
The framing is obvious. Critical race theory (CRT) is a “catch-all term” that inflames parents to oppose “discussions of race and racism.” Since Texas, a deep red state, passed an anti-CRT law, the familiar line goes that other more sophisticated states shouldn’t pass such anti-teacher laws. Teachers unions only wish to have “difficult discussions” about the “systems of oppression” built into America’s “white supremacist” institutions.
Again, from the Pennsylvania report:
‘Unfunded mandate’ or ‘rebuilding trust’?
Speaking about the “curriculum transparency” bill, Philadelphia Federation of Teachers President Jerry Jordan, said he sees it as part of a larger national push to stop classroom lessons that prompt difficult questions about the legacy of American racism.
“The shameful truth of racism, both historically and today, must be taught. And as a society we must not just teach it, but do all we can to collectively dismantle the systems that have long failed Black and brown people,” said Jordan. “This bill is far from a benign attempt at increasing curriculum transparency.”
Pressure from activist groups has led at least one state to table its curriculum transparency bill:
The Indiana Senate will no longer consider a controversial school curriculum and transparency bill.
The bill would have required schools to create parent-led curriculum review committees. It would have also placed restrictions around how teachers talk about issues like race, religion and politics, among other things.
But in an emailed, one-sentence statement sent Friday, Senate President Pro Tem Rodric Bray (R-Martinsville) said members of his caucus “have determined there is no path forward” for the bill and that it will no longer be considered.
Imagine the horror of parents having the unfettered ability to view what teachers are teaching their children!
But if school districts have to post materials online, they won't be able to hide what they are doing. That's not fair. https://t.co/m5r7j70Cd9
— William A. Jacobson (@wajacobson) January 20, 2022
Only in this absurd post-COVID and post-George Floyd world could such an effort to inform parents be characterized as an assault on free speech.
Jeff Reynolds is the author of the book, “Behind the Curtain: Inside the Network of Progressive Billionaires and Their Campaign to Undermine Democracy,” available at www.WhoOwnsTheDems.com. Jeff hosts a podcast at anchor.fm/BehindTheCurtain. You can follow him on Twitter @ChargerJeff, on Parler at @RealJeffReynolds, and on Gab at @RealJeffReynolds.DONATE
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