School Choice Can Help Mend Our Cultural Conflicts | Beaufort County Now | With civic and political conflict headlining the news nearly every day, Iíve been searching for a bright spot on which to pin my hopes for reconciliation in this country. | john locke foundation, school choice, culture conflicts, civic conflict, political conflict, january 14, 2021

Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19)

School Choice Can Help Mend Our Cultural Conflicts

Publisher's Note: This post appears here courtesy of the John Locke Foundation. The author of this post is Donna Martinez.

    With civic and political conflict headlining the news nearly every day, I've been searching for a bright spot on which to pin my hopes for reconciliation in this country. I've found a glimmer, thanks to Carolina Journal Opinion Editor Ray Nothstine. Ray writes about the collapse of civic instruction and understanding, particularly among the young. And he makes the case that giving parents the choice of how and where their kids are educated can be a vital component to ensuring that those who want their kids to have the knowledge and understanding of our history and founding aren't impeded by the barriers of a status-quo, one-size-fits-all system.

  • Only a third of Americans can pass a multiple-choice test consisting of questions taken from our citizenship test. Unfortunately, even if an improvement in civic knowledge emerges, there is no longer broad agreement about what those facts or ideals even mean. That some school districts in the state think the agenda-driven 1619 Project is an adequate response to the dearth of civic instruction and knowledge only serves to reinforce the need for more educational options.
  • In an increasingly ideologically diverse society, it makes even more sense for education dollars to follow the child and not merely to prop up an educational system packaged as one-size-fits-all. If parents want to send their child or children to a school that will champion and not scoff at America's founding principles, there is no legitimate reason a bureaucratic system should halt it.

    Rest assured, the John Locke Foundation continues to lead the discussion about how we empower parents with more choices for their kids. Our education expert, Dr. Terry Stoops, is very concerned about learning loss during the pandemic. We face incredible challenges. We've never needed choices more than we do today. I believe empowered parents will help lead us to a more personalized approach to educating our kids.

    It is often said that parents are the very first, and most consequential, teacher. We shouldn't forget that. COVID-19's school shutdowns have put a real face on that notion. Many moms and dads have never been as connected to the day-to-day education of their kids as they are now. They haven't had much of a choice since the science about the low level of COVID infection and transmission among young kids has largely been ignored. That's left many North Carolina classrooms empty most or all of the time, and kids sitting in front of a screen at home.

    But here's the silver lining of this horrible pandemic. Because parents are seeing their kids up close and personal — their aptitudes, their challenges, their social skills and more — parents have a better sense of who their kids are, and what their kids really need. This new awareness will lead more parents to demand more education choices. They're already learning to innovate by participating in pandemic learning pods, for example.

    For now, Ray remains concerned for the future due to COVID-19's impact on learning and our civic illiteracy. He puts it this way in his Carolina Journal piece:

  • The pandemic has further exposed the pitfalls of static education systems in North Carolina. Whether it was necessary, the mass cancellation of in-person learning will stunt student achievement and damage the well-being of many young people for years to come. Yet, the crisis of civic illiteracy remains just as relevant with potentially even graver consequences for the state and republic. Don't believe me? Just jump on social media or watch the news. If freedom-minded citizens and conservative lawmakers are going to make more progress on school choice, sounding the alarm on the civic illiteracy crisis must be a top priority.

    The question is where we go from here. How do we build on the innovations and the involvement of parents during this pandemic? Terry Stoops and I talked about the future in this interview for Carolina Journal Radio.


HbAD0

Latest Op-Ed & Politics

As the N.C. State Board of Education votes Thursday, March 4, to reopen schools, a far-left teachersí union is trying to deny that children are suffering from learning loss.
Top aides of Democratic New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo reportedly pressured state health department officials to alter a report to remove the total number of nursing home residents who died from the coronavirus.
Group 4 vaccinations to begin March 24 for people who have a medical condition that puts them at higher risk or who live in certain congregate settings
Jim Geraghty of National Review Online notes a disturbing tendency among some political observers.
This article is dedicated to our great Founding Fathers - men who had the courage, the foresight, and the wisdom to secure the freedom that I exercise and enjoy every single day. - Diane Rufino
Exec. Order No. 200 Establishes Flexible Work Search Requirements to Help Bridge Employment Gap

HbAD1

This nearly one-third reduction of state debt frees up the General Funds budget for other priorities, as annual debt service payments become less burdensome.
Goldman Sachs announced on Thursday that it is setting a new goal to reach a carbon-emission level of net-zero by the year 2030.
A majority of North Carolina public school students failed to pass end-of-course tests in fall 2020, according to new data from the N.C. Department of Public Instruction.
The U.S. House of Representatives passed the $1.9 trillion American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 Feb. 27 on a 219-212 vote.
Governor Roy Cooper released the following statement on Senate Bill 37
Joni Ernst and Tom Schatz write for National Review Online about the disturbing return of congressional earmarks.

HbAD2

 
Back to Top