In this episode of Take Back Our Schools, Beth and Andrew interview Denisha Merriweather, a remarkable young woman who experienced the life-changing impact a quality education can have on a person’s life.

Denisha is a former Florida Tax Credit Scholarship Program student who is the first in her family to graduate from high school and college. Denisha currently serves as the Director of Public Relations and Content Marketing at the American Federation for Children and is the Founder of Black Minds Matter. She previously served as a confidential assistant/political appointee at the U.S. Department of Education led by Secretary Betsy DeVos.

Denisha talks about her experience growing up and attending underperforming public schools in an impoverished neighborhood of Jacksonville, Florida and how her life completely changed when she moved in with her Godmother and switched to a small private school with teachers who would not let her fail. Her experience with Florida’s Tax Credit Scholarship Program led to her to become an advocate for school choice and she discusses her organization, Black Minds Matter, and her work with the American Federation for Children.

On this episode of Take Back Our Schools, Beth and Andrew talk to Kim Hermann, one of the country’s leading attorneys in the war against woke education. Kim is General Counsel at Southeastern Legal Foundation, one of the nation’s oldest conservative public interest law firms. In addition to representing clients, Kim testifies before state legislatures, has drafted several pieces of model legislation, and regularly publishes legal articles. Her work and that of Southeastern Legal Foundation is regularly covered by national media.

On the podcast, Kim discusses some of the cases she is litigating around civil liberties in the classroom. She talks about some of the civil rights protections that parents, teachers and children have in our education system. We discuss issues of free speech, compelled speech and curriculum transparency, and Kim shares her advice to parents about what makes a good legal case and other avenues parents have to fight back against politicized curriculum.

On this episode of Take Back Our Schools, Andrew and new co-host Beth Feeley welcome Robert Woodson Sr. to the podcast. Bob is the Founder and President of the Woodson Center, 1776 Unites and Voices of Black Mothers United. He is an influential leader on issues of poverty alleviation and empowering disadvantaged communities to become agents of their own uplift. Bob is also a frequent advisor to local, state and federal government officials as well as business and philanthropic organizations.

Bob discusses his experience in the civil rights movement of the 1960s and shares his views on how and why the movement went wrong. Bob talks about what led him to start the Woodson Center and illustrates the work his organization is doing to improve the lives of low income families in impoverished neighborhoods. He discusses what led him to launch the 1776 Unites curriculum as a counter to the New York Times‘ “1619 Project.” Finally, we discuss Bob’s disappointment with the divisive presidency of Barack Obama.

Andrew Gutmann (L) hosts “Take Back Our Schools” with guests Asra Nomani and former Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker (Photo: YAF/Bob Updegrove)

On March 30, former Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker, president of Young America’s Foundation, and former Wall Street Journal reporter and parent activist extraordinaire Asra Nomani, joined Andrew Gutmann to record a live episode of “Take Back Our Schools.” The trio talked about battling a formidable collection of foes in the quest to right the ship: school boards, teacher unions, accreditation organizations and state legislatures.

On this episode of Take Back Our Schools, Andrew welcomes in Corey DeAngelis to talk about educational freedom and school choice. Corey is the national director of research at the American Federation for Children, the executive director at Educational Freedom Institute, an adjunct scholar at the Cato Institute, and a senior fellow at Reason Foundation.

Andrew and Corey talk about legislation being pursued in many states to give parents choice in their children’s education by funding students rather than public schools. Corey gives advice on how to counter the teachers unions objections to school choice issues and shares his views on what parents can do to join the growing movement to break the public school monopoly.

In this episode of Take Back Our Schools, Andrew speaks with Matt Beienburg, Director of Education Policy at the Goldwater Institute. Matt shares his views on the politicization of America’s public schools, critical race theory, and the genesis of curriculum transparency legislation, which Matt helped draft. We discuss the key features of this legislation and learn how it will help parents understand what is being taught in their children’s schools. We also talk about the intense pushback from the national teachers unions on this issue.

You can follow Matt on Twitter at @MBeienburg 

In this episode of Take Back Our Schools, Andrew speaks with parent advocate Beth Feeley. We discuss Beth’s journey from concerned parent in suburban Chicago to founding New Trier Neighbors, one of the largest and most active local parent groups in the country. Beth shares her views on the state of public school education and how the parent movement has changed in the five years she has been involved in her local school district. Beth also gives her advice to other parents fighting against identity-based indoctrination and for curriculum transparency and balance.

In this episode of Take Back Our Schools, Bethany and Andrew talk to Paul Rossi. We discuss Paul’s journey from high school math teacher to education activist and learn how he went viral for exposing critical race theory at the prestigious New York City private school at which he taught. We also discuss his recent op-ed in The Wall Street Journal (co-authored with our own Andrew Gutmann) entitled “Inside the Woke Indoctrination Machine.”

Paul discusses the 100 hours of leaked video he and Andrew viewed from one of the leading educational conferences on Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) and illustrates how this toxic ideology has completely taken over our nation’s elite private schools.

Daniel Buck (Photo: The Chalkboard Review)

In this episode of Take Back Our Schools, Bethany and Andrew talk to Daniel Buck, middle school English teacher and co-founder of the website, The Chalkboard Review. We discuss Twitter’s recent censorship and deplatforming of The Chalkboard Review account as well as Daniel’s views on how to fix our education system.

In this episode of Take Back Our Schools, Bethany and Andrew interview Jennifer McWilliams, a parent advocate and expert on the proliferation of social emotional learning (SEL) in our nation’s schools. We learn about the relationship between SEL and critical race theory (CRT), how parents can recognize SEL in their children’s schools, and Jennifer walks us through why SEL is so dangerous to our children.

In the latest episode of Take Back Our Schools, Bethany and Andrew interview Dr. Jennifer Reesman, a specialist in pediatric neuropsychology about the damage that unnecessary covid restrictions are doing to our nation’s children. We discuss how school and other closures have impacted educational outcomes and the mental health of children, and Dr. Reesman offers her views on the resiliency of kids. We also talk about Dr. Reesman’s (and Bethany’s!) own advocacy in Montgomery Country, Maryland, fighting for libraries to be open and for in-person school board meetings.

In this episode of Take Back Our Schools, Parent Defending Education’s Erika Sanzi talks about her own experiences as a teacher, concerned parent, local school board member and as one of the leaders of the exploding parents movement. Sanzi, who has been in this fight longer than almost anyone else, also shares her views on the perverse incentives of the teachers unions.

Plus Bethany and Andrew discuss Bethany’s new book series for children, Heroes of Liberty. (For a special 5% discount use the promo code TBOS at checkout.)

In the latest episode of Take Back Our Schools, Bethany and Andrew interview political strategist and father of three, Rory Cooper, about the recent election of Glenn Youngkin as Virginia’s new governor. We discuss Rory’s experiences organizing parents against Covid school closures and the role that parents played in the recent election.

Bethany and Andrew also talk about the enormous damage Covid policies are doing to our children and discuss whether the new “Omicron” variant will shut down schools again.

Bethany and Andrew interview journalist Suzy Weiss about her two recent pieces for Bari Weiss’s Common Sense Substack. We discuss Suzy’s reporting on how young woke women are eschewing having babies and even getting sterilized, many under the guise of social justice. We also talk about the proliferation of the homeschooling movement in America due to the broadening dissatisfaction with the public school system.

In the inaugural episode of Take Back Our Schools, hosts Bethany Mandel and Andrew Gutmann introduce the podcast, talk about Bethany’s proclivities for homeschooling, Andrew’s viral letter to the parents of New York City’s the Brearley School and the Biden administration’s divisive labeling of parents as “domestic terrorists.”