Thursday, June 17, 2021

Secularization and schooling

"Education policy may well be the primary contributor to the secularization of modern societies," Greg Forster writes. "Universal school choice—letting parents use their public education dollars at the school of their choice—would allow all schools (including public schools) to educate the whole person for a whole life."

Wednesday, June 16, 2021

Improving families’ lives for generations

[Guest post by Jonathan Small]

A quality education opens the door to a better life, but especially for those whose current circumstances are mired in challenges few of us can comprehend. That’s why Oklahomans should praise lawmakers who voted to increase school-choice opportunities this year.

The Oklahoma Equal Opportunity Education Scholarship program provides tax credits for private donations to scholarship-granting organizations. It was limited to just $3.5 million in tax credits; now the program is expanding to up to $25 million in tax credits each year. This will be life-changing for thousands and thousands of more children.

The success stories are already innumerable.

Gina endured years of horrific abuse from her biological father and in a state foster home. When she entered sixth grade she was reading at a first-grade level.

Fortunately, Gina eventually found a loving adoptive mother. She also found academic success through the tax-credit scholarship program, which allowed her to attend a private religious school where she made huge academic strides and college became a possibility.

Gina’s story is not unique. Other scholarship beneficiaries include homeless children, those recovering from addiction, those otherwise trapped in failing schools, and more.

The tax-credit scholarship program has aided students attending Hope Harbor Academy near Claremore. On a measurement of adverse childhood experiences (ACEs) that uses a 1-10 ranking, Hope Harbor students have an average 6.8 ACEs score. Having four or more ACEs is associated with an increase in depression, suicide attempts, and a decrease in work performance, academic achievement, and health-related quality of life. Having six or more ACEs is associated with a 20-year decrease in life expectancy.

Put simply, school choice can be a literal matter of life and death.

Some supporters know this firsthand. Rep. Ryan Martinez, R-Edmond, recalled three childhood friends during legislative debate. All four boys came from a similar background—low-income, minority families, geographically designated to attend a “dropout factory” public school. Two boys were dead by age 20; the third was in prison by 24. Only Martinez achieved adult success—which he attributed to his parents working multiple jobs to pay for private school.

Martinez said he thinks of those friends and wonders “what would have happened to their life if they would have had an opportunity like I did? Could they have gone to college? Could they have been meaningful members of society that had a chance to succeed? I think that they could have. And if this bill helps one kid, I’m in.”

Decades from now, when today’s children are adults, thousands will have achieved great things. And many will owe a large part of that success to lawmakers’ voting to increase school choice.

Tuesday, June 15, 2021

Help put an end to the new racism in Oklahoma

Be sure to sign OCPA's petition here. And to keep up with the latest developments on race-based Marxism in Oklahoma, sign up for OCPA's text alerts: Simply text the word PATRIOT to 52886.

What David French gets wrong about Critical Race Theory and public schools

"There are spaces between the lines in which we must fight for truth over falsehood, right over wrong, good over evil, and justice over injustice," Dan McLaughlin writes at National Review Online. "If we cannot do that within the schools that teach our children, what will be left for us to conserve?"

CRT briefing book

Christopher Rufo has an excellent primer on CRT:

Critical race theory is an academic discipline that holds that the United States is a nation founded on white supremacy and oppression, and that these forces are still at the root of our society. Critical race theorists believe that American institutions, such as the Constitution and legal system, preach freedom and equality, but are mere “camouflages” for naked racial domination. They believe that racism is a constant, universal condition: it simply becomes more subtle, sophisticated, and insidious over the course of history. In simple terms, critical race theory reformulates the old Marxist dichotomy of oppressor and oppressed, replacing the class categories of bourgeoisie and proletariat with the identity categories of White and Black. But the basic conclusion is the same: in order to liberate man, society must be fundamentally transformed through moral, economic, and political revolution.

Read the whole thing here. And be sure to watch his brief video here.

Sunday, June 13, 2021

Racism (masquerading as anti-racism) in Oklahoma public schools

To what extent has the unholy trinity of "diversity, equity, and inclusion" (DEI) made its way into Oklahoma public schools? 

A company called Everfi offers school districts a wide range of programs, many of them innocuous enough. However, the company also touts its 'Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion' materials for both colleges and K-12 schools," Ray Carter reports.

The company states, “Everfi partners with sponsors nationwide to offer our interactive, online diversity, equity & inclusion resources to K-12 schools free of charge.”

The company’s website includes a quote of endorsement from Linda Sloan, curriculum specialist for career tech/online learning at Edmond Public Schools. “We are pleased to have the additional resources and support from Everfi for our teachers as they provide instruction to students,” Sloan said. “Everfi has a great rapport with our schools and is present and available to assist at a moment’s notice.”

An accompanying graphic says Everfi programs have been used in 214 Oklahoma school districts that include 416 school sites and 907 teachers. Oklahoma City Public Schools is identified as a “featured district” that uses Everfi materials.

The graphic does not list which Everfi programs have been used in Oklahoma schools.

Let's hope it's not mainly the DEI programs.

We know that Norman Public Schools has fully embraced the new racism which cleverly masquerades as anti-racism. Time will tell what other Oklahoma school districts have done the same.

Norman Public Schools spends $22,750 on equity consultants

The group Parents Defending Education has the details.