A new study confirms parents want decision-making authority over student curricula in light of recent revelations of school boards’ leftist agenda involving anti-American teaching, falsehoods about the nation’s history, training children in radical social justice activism, and other forms of political indoctrination.
Most parents believe they should have the final word when deciding curriculum, not the public schools, Breitbart reports.
The study, conducted by The Becket Fund for Religious Freedom, found 63 percent of respondents think parents have primary responsibility for their children’s education.
Parents do not believe their children should be forced to participate in morally objectionable lessons, the study found. Without transparency in curriculum selection, however, parents cannot be certain what their children are being taught. Among many other impediments to parents’ knowledge of what is being taught, teachers in many schools obtain lesson plans through informal means such as teacher networking and sharing, which can enable them to evade oversight.
Teachers can share curriculum either informally or through an organization such as Teachers pay Teachers (TpT). This type of curriculum sharing involves teachers posting their lessons to the organization’s website, bypassing any independent oversight committees. Although school districts have, or are directed by state governments to have, curriculum review committees in most states, a platform such as TpT allows teachers and administrators to circumvent the process, provided that no one is watching them.
The site provides a feedback loop and reporting mechanism for each lesson plan posted. The site has a policy describing what is and is not acceptable to post. Any content judged inappropriate can be reported to the company’s “marketplace integrity” team.
Other than a teacher reporting a lesson plan as inappropriate, the company does not have any process for reviewing content. TpT began a pilot program in 2020 to provide oversight of posted content.
The inappropriate-content policy provides examples of lessons that would be considered unacceptable. Topics listed as examples of what would be inappropriate include lessons about slavery or indigenous people. As with Big Tech social-media standards, TpT’s rules skew to the left.
Topics to avoid include “Resources that intentionally or unintentionally misrepresent events or leave out key details regarding complex, traumatic histories,” the policy states. Examples of this include showing pictures of slaves smiling while working. Also deemed inappropriate would be a lesson on Christopher Columbus that focuses on his travels and his discoveries without mentioning negative effects of European exploration on indigenous populations.
Individual sellers are not just grade-school teachers helping fellow teachers with lessons they have found congenial. Sellers can come from any background and post whatever content they want to sell.
Our research shows content providers with obvious left-wing views and lesson plans consistent with their viewpoint do not attempt to disguise their mission. For example, one seller on the TpT site uses the title “ELA [English Language Arts] for Equity and Justice” as her web page identifier. Her background summary reads, “Former ELA teacher, now working in progressive educational programming, hoping to share my work and passion for educating for equity and justice for all students and to make teachers’ lives a little easier day-to-day. Harvard M.Ed.”
Content on the site created and shared by the Harvard M.Ed. includes a lesson on how to read graphic novels, “argumentative” writing assignments to make after reading pro-capitalism writer Ayn Rand, and an introduction to “language diversity” focusing on an African-American version of English. The writer lists under “custom requests” the opportunity to obtain more ideas for teaching social justice in the high school classroom.
“Are you interested in incorporating more social justice-oriented lessons/texts into your secondary ELA classroom but aren’t sure how or simply don’t have the time? If so, please fill out this Google Form,” the former teacher’s page states.
Another example we discovered during our research is a seller whose identifier is “Teach for Equity.” This seller’s introductory summary states the following: “The more we expand our students’ critical thinking, the more we help them become change agents in society,” clearly advertising the leftist view her content offers.
Lesson plans include titles such as “Microaggressions Lesson Plan: Activity, Reading, and Journaling” and “Critical Race Theory Lesson: Background and Debate,” in which the seller claims a need for such courses: “CRT has become a ‘hot button’ issue in the recent months and certain media outlets have chosen to exploit it without explaining its background nor giving an accurate description of its tenets.”
Another seller refers to herself as “Science and Social Justice,” likewise without a summary statement explaining what that means. Another seller uses the name “Social Justice Classroom,” which also has no summary statement. The Social Justice Classroom seller offers many lesson plans on the subject, including the following:
Lessons on Understanding Privilege
Black Lives Matter—an anti-racism study for middle and high school
Social Justice Mega-Bundle
How to be a Good Ally, Anti-discrimination lessons for high school
What is a Micro-aggression? Complete anti-discrimination lesson plan
This site also offers free posters supporting Black Lives Matter and expressing other social-justice slogans “to get your students thinking about social justice and equity issues and inspire activism!” The free posters are described as appropriate for middle school and high school classrooms.
Fox News host Dan Bongino told Fox and Friends the “woke” Left is not trying to fight racism.
“This has everything to do with advancing racism and segregation,” Bongino said. “I mean, is that not obvious? When you tell people that critical race theory or whatever euphemism you use for it is going to be the bedrock of the education structure going forward and we’re going to use race essentialism and judge people as oppressor or oppressed exclusively based on skin color — that is the very definition of racism.
“They know this,” Bongino said. “This is all about class warfare against successful people to advance socialism in the form of fighting racism because it’s a more palatable narrative for them.”