How to make our schools better...parents getting involved | Eastern North Carolina Now | Our schools are failing us and our kids. It is obvious the Education Establishment does not know how to turn them around.

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The American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) will hold its annual meeting this week, where lawmakers and policy leaders will address education bills focused on parental rights and school choice.

In an exclusive interview with The Center Square, ALEC's Chief Executive Officer Lisa Nelson and National Chairwoman Karen Fann said they expect lawmakers attending the event to discuss two bills relating to education. The first, The American Transparency Act, is a model policy that requires all public schools to have the necessary policies and procedures for disclosing learning materials online for grades Pre-K-12. The second, The Hope Scholarship Program Act, is a model outlining a universal education savings account to help families choose what schools to send their children to.

Nelson said that the Hope Scholarship Program Act has helped single mothers move their children to schools closer to home, leaving them better off.

"The stories that came out of Florida after they implemented this many years ago were that there was many, many more African American single moms able to move their kids out of those failing schools, into a charter school, or into a school of their choice closer to their home," Nelson said. "Their kids are doing much better for it."

Nelson and Fann anticipate that these policies, along with others discussed at the conference, will help lawmakers empower parents to decide for themselves where to send their children and have a say in what's taught in the classroom.

"The parents should always have the ultimate choice and decision what is best for their children," Fann said. "That might be homeschooling, it might be private schools, charter schools, and by all means, public schools. We are not trashing our public schools in any way, what we are saying is that parents should have the ability to make what the decisions best for those kids."

These model policies on school choice and academic transparency come after Florida's recent passing of its Parental Rights in Education Bill last March and Virginia Governor Glenn Youngkin's ban on the teaching of Critical Race Theory.

"When it does come to public schools, or any school, your job is to teach reading, writing, and arithmetic, it's to teach geography, and history and all those things," Fann said. "It is not our job to be teaching sex education to five-year-olds or anything else that probably should be left up to the parents."


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( July 31st, 2022 @ 7:52 pm )
Public schools have been delegated the task of educating our young people. I do not think the public option should be the only option parents have for their children. Families should not be forced toward a particular option, rather they should be able to choose the option that is best for their situation. When the government forces parents in a certain direction through economic or other forms of coercion, I believe that is wrong.

I have heard some people argue for more bureaucratic control of our children through the public school system as well as other governmental agencies. Their reasoning is based on the fact that so many families are damaged and even dysfunctional these days. I do not dispute the phenomena. At the same time, I do think governmental intervention should be a last response when there is nothing else left to do. Also, we must never lose sight of the fact that the state has played its own role in the demise of the once strong American family structure.

We must do everything we can to re-establish our strong family structure. Whenever school personnel or others do things behind the backs of parents; that is wrong. Whenever schools stray from education into the realm of indoctrination; that is wrong. Part of being educated is being able to differentiate between the two realms through the practice of reasoning. When educators fail to follow that path, they have abandoned the path of academic excellence and immersed themselves in the world of indoctrination.

Locally, parents and members of the community must step up in our roles as responsible parties, mentors and community leaders. We cannot leave primary tasks like the education of our children solely to the state and national governments or to teachers' unions or to corporate entities. If we do, nothing good will come from it.

Parents are heads of families, and communities should decide community values. When others seek to take over those roles, we on the home front must stop them.

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