Contributor Post Created with Sketch. Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. One Strategy for Saving our Country: Save our Schools

 

We have been debating private schools versus public schools in this country for years. Finally, Gov. Ron DeSantis signed legislation shortly after he was elected called the Florida Empowerment Scholarship program. Even better, he offered up a new program that expands the original program, making vouchers available to 29,000 more students above the 18,000 offered last year. Perhaps the best part of this law is that although private and charter schools have to meet basic criteria for curriculum, the state and local school districts do not have the authority to oversee or control the curriculum or academic programs of private schools or home instruction programs.

Maybe we will begin to take back the curriculum of our schools.*

Before I delve into the curriculum question, let me address the resistance against establishing private and charter schools, in no particular order:

  • Funds that would otherwise go to public schools will follow the students to private schools — the amount of money lost to public schools is substantial: an annual cost of $1 billion. The potential loss of these funds might provide incentives to public schools to improve education for their students.
  • Education provided by private schools is sub-standard — all private schools are required to perform to a certain standard; if they don’t, their charters can be revoked. Parents can also choose to move their children from failing schools. Several studies comparing public and private schools have resulted in mixed results for performance.
  • Private schools can discriminate against LGBTQ students — an Orlando Sentinel investigation found 156 private Christian schools “with anti-gay views” offering tuition paid for by these state scholarships.
  • Private schools often employ non-unionized teachers.
  • Religious education in private schools is part of the curriculum. It’s not clear if all students must attend religious classes if they are not members of the school’s faith. A number of organizations, including Americans United for Separation of Church and State and the Southern Poverty Law Center, have threatened to challenge the program legally, claiming violation of the separation of church and state (which is an incorrect interpretation of the Constitution).
  • Teachers know better than parents what should be taught to their children. I must admit that I have not seen this claim in writing, but the anger and rejection of parent choice by the teacher unions lead us to wonder about their motives.

Gov. DeSantis, through his actions, is providing us the opportunity to create schools that have the potential to teach a traditional curriculum, including the standard history of the United States, not the propaganda and anti-American studies that the Progressives have been teaching for many years. I’m not aware of any public schools that have turned back the efforts to distort American history on their own; the political pressures to do so are overwhelming. And there is no guarantee that private or charter schools will teach students a more representative version of history. But this is certainly a valuable step in the right direction.

Let’s take back our schools.

*Thomas Sowell addresses the issue of charter schools in his new book, Charter Schools and their Enemies, available for pre-order on Amazon.

Published in Education
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  1. Arvo Coolidge

    How timely! SCOTUS just opened the door for government money to religious schools!

    https://www.supremecourt.gov/opinions/19pdf/18-1195_g314.pdf

    • #1
    • June 30, 2020, at 8:39 AM PDT
    • 2 likes
  2. Bryan G. Stephens Thatcher
    Bryan G. Stephens Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    Cannot happen. 1619 project is now being taught. 

    All education is owned by the left. It has been this way for 50 years. No change by a Republican will last.

    Teacher’s Unions won. We all lost.

    • #2
    • June 30, 2020, at 8:40 AM PDT
    • 2 likes
  3. Susan Quinn Contributor
    Susan Quinn

    Bryan G. Stephens (View Comment):

    Cannot happen. 1619 project is now being taught.

    All education is owned by the left. It has been this way for 50 years. No change by a Republican will last.

    Teacher’s Unions won. We all lost.

    So you think all the private and charter schools will keep using the Progressive agenda? Even the religious schools?

    • #3
    • June 30, 2020, at 8:42 AM PDT
    • 1 like
  4. ChefSly - Super Kit Member

    Susan Quinn (View Comment):
    So you think all the private and charter schools will keep using the Progressive agenda? Even the religious schools?

    Potentially, if they have to meet “basic criteria for curriculum.”

    • #4
    • June 30, 2020, at 9:10 AM PDT
    • 2 likes
  5. Richard Fulmer Member

    Susan Quinn: Private schools often employ non-unionized teachers.

    Teachers unions are a big part of the problem with public schools. They protect bad teachers, they push a progressive agenda, they oppose school choice, they oppose merit pay, and they are the biggest contributors to progressive politicians. 

    • #5
    • June 30, 2020, at 9:18 AM PDT
    • 4 likes
  6. Stad Thatcher

    Bryan G. Stephens (View Comment):

    Cannot happen. 1619 project is now being taught.

    All education is owned by the left. It has been this way for 50 years. No change by a Republican will last.

    Teacher’s Unions won. We all lost.

    Have a little faith, Bryan! It’s going to take time to turn things around. I probably won’t live to see it (especially if I don’t like the granite my wife chose for the new kitchen countertops), but perhaps my children’s children will.

    • #6
    • June 30, 2020, at 9:28 AM PDT
    • 5 likes
  7. Henry Racette Contributor

    Bryan G. Stephens (View Comment):

    Cannot happen. 1619 project is now being taught.

    All education is owned by the left. It has been this way for 50 years. No change by a Republican will last.

    Teacher’s Unions won. We all lost.

    I’m going to have to turn this into a proper PSA:

    “Would those of you who are hellbent on surrender please keep your voices down, so that the rest of us can remain in the fight with a little more enthusiasm? Thank you.”

    • #7
    • June 30, 2020, at 9:44 AM PDT
    • 5 likes
  8. Bryan G. Stephens Thatcher
    Bryan G. Stephens Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    Susan Quinn (View Comment):

    Bryan G. Stephens (View Comment):

    Cannot happen. 1619 project is now being taught.

    All education is owned by the left. It has been this way for 50 years. No change by a Republican will last.

    Teacher’s Unions won. We all lost.

    So you think all the private and charter schools will keep using the Progressive agenda? Even the religious schools?

    They will be made too, yes. 

    Little Sisters of the Poor.

    Locking up a Jewish playground

    Forbiding outdoor church while allowing protests.

    Yes. They will control all gatherings

    • #8
    • June 30, 2020, at 9:45 AM PDT
    • 2 likes
  9. Henry Racette Contributor

    The recent Ricochet podcast featuring Dr. Sowell focused on the topic of his new book, and was quite good:

    School of Sowell

     

    • #9
    • June 30, 2020, at 9:47 AM PDT
    • 5 likes
  10. Bryan G. Stephens Thatcher
    Bryan G. Stephens Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    Stad (View Comment):

    Bryan G. Stephens (View Comment):

    Cannot happen. 1619 project is now being taught.

    All education is owned by the left. It has been this way for 50 years. No change by a Republican will last.

    Teacher’s Unions won. We all lost.

    Have a little faith, Bryan! It’s going to take time to turn things around. I probably won’t live to see it (especially if I don’t like the granite my wife chose for the new kitchen countertops), but perhaps my children’s children will.

    No. When Republics die they die. I have seen no victories in my life, only loss after loss domestically. I have no reason to believe we will ever win because we lose. 

    We cannot even speak our minds in public now. Arm d mobs roam with impunity and people who even speak against them are punished.

    We are tost.

    • #10
    • June 30, 2020, at 9:47 AM PDT
    • 2 likes
  11. Susan Quinn Contributor
    Susan Quinn

    ChefSly – Super Kit (View Comment):

    Susan Quinn (View Comment):
    So you think all the private and charter schools will keep using the Progressive agenda? Even the religious schools?

    Potentially, if they have to meet “basic criteria for curriculum.”

    No, @mramy. Specific requirements are only for meeting testing standards. There are no requirements for curriculum, and (so far) they are prohibited from enacting any.

    • #11
    • June 30, 2020, at 9:53 AM PDT
    • 1 like
  12. Susan Quinn Contributor
    Susan Quinn

    Henry Racette (View Comment):

    The recent Ricochet podcast featuring Dr. Sowell focused on the topic of his new book, and was quite good:

    School of Sowell

     

    Isn’t he amazing?! He’ll be 90 years old. I love his laugh, too!

    • #12
    • June 30, 2020, at 9:54 AM PDT
    • Like
  13. Bryan G. Stephens Thatcher
    Bryan G. Stephens Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    Henry Racette (View Comment):

    Bryan G. Stephens (View Comment):

    Cannot happen. 1619 project is now being taught.

    All education is owned by the left. It has been this way for 50 years. No change by a Republican will last.

    Teacher’s Unions won. We all lost.

    I’m going to have to turn this into a proper PSA:

    “Would those of you who are hellbent on surrender please keep your voices down, so that the rest of us can remain in the fight with a little more enthusiasm? Thank you.”

    Ah well, I guess I am on notice now.

    Suspension to be forthcoming?

    Funny thing is, I am not hell-bent on surrender. I will follow someone who actually is willing to fight. 

    • #13
    • June 30, 2020, at 9:56 AM PDT
    • 4 likes
  14. Henry Racette Contributor

    Bryan G. Stephens (View Comment):

    Henry Racette (View Comment):

    Bryan G. Stephens (View Comment):

    Cannot happen. 1619 project is now being taught.

    All education is owned by the left. It has been this way for 50 years. No change by a Republican will last.

    Teacher’s Unions won. We all lost.

    I’m going to have to turn this into a proper PSA:

    “Would those of you who are hellbent on surrender please keep your voices down, so that the rest of us can remain in the fight with a little more enthusiasm? Thank you.”

    Ah well, I guess I am on notice now.

    Suspension to be forthcoming?

    Funny thing is, I am not hell-bent on surrender. I will follow someone who actually is willing to fight.

    LOLing out loud. I thought I’d used that one on you before, but it was probably actually in response to the sexually ambiguous Mr./Mrs. Galt, who does his own pretty decent Eeyore imitation.

    • #14
    • June 30, 2020, at 10:03 AM PDT
    • 3 likes
  15. Susan Quinn Contributor
    Susan Quinn

    Bryan G. Stephens (View Comment):
    Funny thing is, I am not hell-bent on surrender. I will follow someone who actually is willing to fight. 

    Are you talking about a political leader, @bryangstephens? How about Ricochet members who are fighting for justice? How about AG Bill Barr? How about Tom Cotton?

    • #15
    • June 30, 2020, at 10:15 AM PDT
    • 3 likes
  16. ChefSly - Super Kit Member

    Susan Quinn (View Comment):
    There are no requirements for curriculum, and (so far) they are prohibited from enacting any.

    My issue is that if the school is taking state/federal money, then there are strings. I imagine something like – “you don’t have to teach that, but I don’t have to fund you”

     

    • #16
    • June 30, 2020, at 10:59 AM PDT
    • 2 likes
  17. Susan Quinn Contributor
    Susan Quinn

    ChefSly – Super Kit (View Comment):

    Susan Quinn (View Comment):
    There are no requirements for curriculum, and (so far) they are prohibited from enacting any.

    My issue is that if the school is taking state/federal money, then there are strings. I imagine something like – “you don’t have to teach that, but I don’t have to fund you”

     

    That is not in the law right now, but there’s no saying that it won’t change. I think we’re safe as long as DeSantis governs.

    • #17
    • June 30, 2020, at 11:04 AM PDT
    • Like
  18. DonG (skeptic) Coolidge

    I am an engineer and I look at every problem and every system as an engineering task. Here is my rule of thumb for education: good families make good students and good students make good schools. I am fine with segregating good students from weak students via school choice as long as we can put some focus on improving weak students. For weak students (“smart with your hands” as my father used to say), we need to improve literacy and numeracy appreciation in families plus make more career training available. Parents (yes, two is better) don’t have be highly educated, but they have to appreciate/reward/induce studiousness in their kids. Once the families are properly working, then opportunities are easily created. It is not complicated, the Pilgrims had it figured out.

    • #18
    • June 30, 2020, at 11:07 AM PDT
    • 6 likes
  19. Susan Quinn Contributor
    Susan Quinn

    DonG (skeptic) (View Comment):

    I am an engineer and I look at every problem and every system as an engineering task. Here is my rule of thumb for education: good families make good students and good students make good schools. I am fine with segregating good students from weak students via school choice as long as we can put some focus on improving weak students. For weak students (“smart with your hands” as my father used to say), we need to improve literacy and numeracy appreciation in families plus make more career training available. Parents (yes, two is better) don’t have be highly educated, but they have to appreciate/reward/induce studiousness in their kids. Once the families are properly working, then opportunities are easily created. It is not complicated, the Pilgrims had it figured out.

    @dong, I am completely with you! With many charter schools, students apply through lottery, and they are often fully backed by their parents, who are often required to be involved with their kids’ educations. The emphasis we have put on the universities is appalling, especially now where many of them are not sufficiently educating their students. All kids should have a chance to succeed with the criteria you outline. Thank you! 

    • #19
    • June 30, 2020, at 11:16 AM PDT
    • 3 likes
  20. Bryan G. Stephens Thatcher
    Bryan G. Stephens Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    Susan Quinn (View Comment):

    Bryan G. Stephens (View Comment):
    Funny thing is, I am not hell-bent on surrender. I will follow someone who actually is willing to fight.

    Are you talking about a political leader, @bryangstephens? How about Ricochet members who are fighting for justice? How about AG Bill Barr? How about Tom Cotton?

    I don’t see anyone leading in a path to victory. Everyone I have followed has lead to a loss. The last Conservative win was the defeat of the USSR. 

    • #20
    • June 30, 2020, at 12:05 PM PDT
    • 2 likes
  21. Samuel Block Support

    Henry Racette (View Comment):

    The recent Ricochet podcast featuring Dr. Sowell focused on the topic of his new book, and was quite good:

    School of Sowell

     

    I wish he named it “School of Sowell.” I swear that brilliant man’s titles are one of his biggest obstacles at reaching the audience who need to hear what he has to say. 

    • #21
    • June 30, 2020, at 12:20 PM PDT
    • 1 like
  22. Susan Quinn Contributor
    Susan Quinn

    Samuel Block (View Comment):

    Henry Racette (View Comment):

    The recent Ricochet podcast featuring Dr. Sowell focused on the topic of his new book, and was quite good:

    School of Sowell

     

    I wish he named it “School of Sowell.” I swear that brilliant man’s titles are one of his biggest obstacles at reaching the audience who need to hear what he has to say.

    Keep in mind that authors aren’t always the ones who choose their titles; publishers or editors often get first dibs. I’m not sure if that is true for Sowell’s books, but I’d read a book by him if it were called Scooby Doo!

    • #22
    • June 30, 2020, at 12:27 PM PDT
    • 3 likes
  23. Brandon Member

    Bryan G. Stephens (View Comment):

    Susan Quinn (View Comment):

    Bryan G. Stephens (View Comment):
    Funny thing is, I am not hell-bent on surrender. I will follow someone who actually is willing to fight.

    Are you talking about a political leader, @bryangstephens? How about Ricochet members who are fighting for justice? How about AG Bill Barr? How about Tom Cotton?

    I don’t see anyone leading in a path to victory. Everyone I have followed has lead to a loss. The last Conservative win was the defeat of the USSR.

    Good God, you’re boring.

    • #23
    • June 30, 2020, at 12:27 PM PDT
    • 1 like
  24. Samuel Block Support

    Bryan G. Stephens (View Comment):

    Susan Quinn (View Comment):

    Bryan G. Stephens (View Comment):
    Funny thing is, I am not hell-bent on surrender. I will follow someone who actually is willing to fight.

    Are you talking about a political leader, @bryangstephens? How about Ricochet members who are fighting for justice? How about AG Bill Barr? How about Tom Cotton?

    I don’t see anyone leading in a path to victory. Everyone I have followed has lead to a loss. The last Conservative win was the defeat of the USSR.

    We’re doing about as well as can be hoped for. You’re right, we haven’t had a real President since before I was born, but I really cannot stress enough how valuable it is to have a little fun. Reagan’s demeanor cannot be overlooked. People can get by on news updates by just following Ricochet; it’s sufficient to keeping one’s ear to the ground. In fact, it’s the perfect place to truly do so. If you know any liberal kids who aren’t shouting, “racist!” or “[Redacted] the Police,” it’s a good indication that patience – mixed with means of displaying that you’re interested in what they care about – will pay off. Once they have your trust, they’ll voice their concerns in a safe environment, something that many of them have genuinely lacked throughout their lives.

    It’s a long con (see what I did there?), but it’s the hand we have to play. I swear that all is not lost. Not even close.

    • #24
    • June 30, 2020, at 12:32 PM PDT
    • 1 like
    • This comment has been edited.
  25. Bryan G. Stephens Thatcher
    Bryan G. Stephens Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    Sorry is if am boring.

    Things will be much more interesting for all of us soon enough.

    Liberals are immune to reason and you cannot have a conversation with them about politics that does not result in being called racist. It is not possible. At least, not in my experience of 2020. They don’t want an honest conversation.

    The Republic is burning down, but let’s not worry.

     

    • #25
    • June 30, 2020, at 12:39 PM PDT
    • 3 likes
  26. Samuel Block Support

    Susan Quinn (View Comment):

    Samuel Block (View Comment):

    Henry Racette (View Comment):

    The recent Ricochet podcast featuring Dr. Sowell focused on the topic of his new book, and was quite good:

    School of Sowell

     

    I wish he named it “School of Sowell.” I swear that brilliant man’s titles are one of his biggest obstacles at reaching the audience who need to hear what he has to say.

    Keep in mind that authors aren’t always the ones who choose their titles; publishers or editors often get first dibs. I’m not sure if that is true for Sowell’s books, but I’d read a book by him if it were called Scooby Doo!

    I assume he’s just being himself. A serious man if there ever was one. I absolutely respect that, but it’s like pulling teeth trying to get conservatives to turn their frowns upside-down. Which is unfortunate, they have such nice smiles. 

    • #26
    • June 30, 2020, at 12:40 PM PDT
    • 1 like
  27. Samuel Block Support

    Bryan G. Stephens (View Comment):

    Sorry is if am boring.

    Things will be much more interesting for all of us soon enough.

    Liberals are immune to reason and you cannot have a conversation with them about politics that does not result in being called racist. It is not possible. At least, not in my experience of 2020. They don’t want an honest conversation.

    The Republic is burning down, but let’s not worry.

     

    I recommend limiting conversations to the ones you can save. There are plenty! The rest are truly enemies. 

    • #27
    • June 30, 2020, at 12:54 PM PDT
    • Like
  28. Bryan G. Stephens Thatcher
    Bryan G. Stephens Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    Samuel Block (View Comment):

    Bryan G. Stephens (View Comment):

    Sorry is if am boring.

    Things will be much more interesting for all of us soon enough.

    Liberals are immune to reason and you cannot have a conversation with them about politics that does not result in being called racist. It is not possible. At least, not in my experience of 2020. They don’t want an honest conversation.

    The Republic is burning down, but let’s not worry.

     

    I recommend limiting conversations to the ones you can save. There are plenty! The rest are truly enemies.

    There are people here dead set on electing Biden with Reagan Avatars. 

    The enemy is over whelming

    • #28
    • June 30, 2020, at 12:59 PM PDT
    • 1 like
  29. Samuel Block Support

    Bryan G. Stephens (View Comment):

    Samuel Block (View Comment):

    Bryan G. Stephens (View Comment):

    Sorry is if am boring.

    Things will be much more interesting for all of us soon enough.

    Liberals are immune to reason and you cannot have a conversation with them about politics that does not result in being called racist. It is not possible. At least, not in my experience of 2020. They don’t want an honest conversation.

    The Republic is burning down, but let’s not worry.

     

    I recommend limiting conversations to the ones you can save. There are plenty! The rest are truly enemies.

    There are people here dead set on electing Biden with Reagan Avatars.

    The enemy is over whelming

    I’d call him stubborn opposition. The last few posts have been great. He didn’t bring up Trump once; to my dismay, others did. Even if we have to drag our sticks through the mud, they’re ours and we have to do it.

    • #29
    • June 30, 2020, at 1:07 PM PDT
    • 1 like
  30. Flicker Coolidge

    Susan Quinn (View Comment):

    Bryan G. Stephens (View Comment):
    Funny thing is, I am not hell-bent on surrender. I will follow someone who actually is willing to fight.

    Are you talking about a political leader, @bryangstephens? How about Ricochet members who are fighting for justice? How about AG Bill Barr? How about Tom Cotton?

    Looking at Cotton and Barr and all the rest, I see what looks more like waving your arms for justice.

    • #30
    • June 30, 2020, at 1:49 PM PDT
    • 3 likes
    • This comment has been edited.