On this episode of Take Back Our Schools, Andrew and Beth welcome teacher and author, Daniel Buck. Daniel talks about his new book, What is Wrong with Our Schools, and shares his own experiences as a student in the progressive echo chamber of education schools and as a teacher. Daniel describes his journey away from progressive education and towards knowledge-based traditional education, especially classical literature. We discuss the importance of student behavior in the classroom and the deleterious impact of restorative justice programs. Daniel also interprets and criticizes progressive buzzwords such as “critical thinking” and “child-centered learning.”

Daniel Buck is a middle-school English teacher, having taught at both public and private schools He is also senior visiting fellow at the Fordham Institute, and his writing has been featured in many publications including The Wall Street Journal and National Review.

On this episode of Take Back Our Schools, Andrew and Beth welcome classical education innovator Jeremy Tate who talks about his experiences teaching in inner city New York City and what led him to found the Classic Learning Test, a standardized test for classical education that aims to compete with the SAT and ACT. We discuss the differences between classical education and progressive/modern education and Jeremy shares his views on the history of progressive education and of standardized testing in the United States. We also discuss the recent news of Florida’s governor, Ron DeSantis’s led takeover of the New College of Florida.

Jeremy Tate is the founder and CEO of the Classic Learning Test (CLT). Jeremy is also the host of the Anchored Podcast that features discussions at the intersection of education and culture. Prior to founding CLT, Jeremy served as Director of College Counseling at Mount de Sales Academy in Catonsville, Maryland. He received his Bachelor of Science in Secondary Education from Louisiana State University and a Masters in Religious Studies from Reformed Theological Seminary.

Leonard Sax

Beth and Andrew welcome family physician and author, Dr. Leonard Sax, who shares his views on how both parenting and children have changed over the 30+ years he has practiced family medicine, particularly how the scourge of cell phones, social media and pervasive pornography have impacted our nation’s youth.

Photo courtesy Katherine Birbalsingh

On this episode Andrew and Beth interview “Britain’s Strictest Headmistress,” Kathrine Birbalsingh. Kathrine speaks about the state of education in the U.K., which we compare with our own experiences in the U.S.

Beth and Andrew welcome former teacher and dissident, Frank McCormick. Frank shares his reasons for why he went into teaching and what led him to become disillusioned with the ideological indoctrination happening in his public high school in Illinois. Frank talks about what critical pedagogy and critical race theory look like in the classroom and the role of teachers unions and school administrators in pushing these Marxist ideologies. Frank also shares his views on what role parents can play in pushing back and how they can be supportive to other teachers like Frank who want to expose the politicization of our nation’s public schools.

Frank McCormick taught history at Waukegan High School. He is also the founder of Chalkboard Heresy, a collection of essays, editorials, and stories capturing the pain, frustration, and disillusionment of his time in public education.

Nathan Hoffman (Photo: American Federation for Children)

On this episode of Take Back Our Schools, Beth and Andrew speak with the Nathan Hoffman, one of the leaders of the school choice movement. Nathan talks about how the issue of school choice fared in the recent midterm elections. We discuss the parent movement’s role in the march for school choice and some of the various criticisms of school choice from both woke and non-woke camps. Nathan talks about what a hypothetical Republican presidential administration could do to in 2024 to further school choice and education freedom. Nathan also shares his views on the importance of Gifted and Talented education as well as the reasons that public school have been failing teaching literacy.

In this episode of Take Back Our Schools, Andrew and Beth speak with parent activist, Betsy Hart. Betsy was, along with our own Beth Feeley, a co-founder of the group Parents of New Trier (now New Trier Neighbors). Betsy and Beth share their stories about being pioneers of the parents rights movement. Betsy talks about what prompted the group’s founding more than five years ago, and shares her views on how the parents movement has evolved. We also discuss the recent expose in Mother Jones magazine about the group entitled, “The Right-Wing Attack on Public Education Began in One Elite Illinois High School.”

Betsy Hart is a free-lance development writer for a variety of non-profits. Previously, she was a syndicated columnist, and served on President Reagan’s White House staff in the Office of Communications. Betsy also serves with Beth on the board of New Trier Neighbors, a local citizen group that keeps an eye on local issues – including schools – in the north suburbs of Chicago.

Photo courtesy of Jeremy Adams

On this episode of Take Back Our Schools, Andrew and Beth speak with award-winning teacher and author, Jeremy Adams.

Photo courtesy Stephanie Saroki de García

On this episode Beth and Andrew speak with education innovator Stephanie Saroki de García about her formative experiences as a Teach for America member and teaching in one of the most dangerous schools in Oakland, CA. She discusses the network of Catholic charter schools she helped found that combines optional faith-based education along with an academically rigorous curriculum. Stephanie also discusses the challenges today of hiring teachers that are not social justice activists and the difficulties of starting charter schools, especially in blue states. Stephanie also passionately shares her views on the benefits of faith as a component of a child’s education.

On this episode of Take Back Our Schools, Andrew and Beth speak with educator Tony Ortiz about his school, Cristo Rey Jesuit High School, which has an innovative work study program which allows low income students in Chicago to get a high quality college preparatory education by working one day per week. Tony discusses the origins of the program, how it has developed and changed over the years and how it inspired a national network of work study schools. Tony talks about the impressive graduation rates of Cristo Rey and the benefits to both students and employers of the work study model.

Photo courtesy of Tony Ortiz

Robert Pondicio

On this episode of Take Back Our Schools, Beth and Andrew speak with education policy analyst, author and former teacher Robert Pondiscio. Robert talks about what led him to make a midcareer switch to teaching and opines on the proper role of schools America. We discuss whether equity and excellence in schools can be reconciled or should be considered opposing ideals.  Robert shares his views on why some charter school networks have embraced social justice and why others have not, and talks about why the charter school movement lost its bipartisan support. He also discusses why Americans who value education must focus both on school choice and on reforming public schools. Finally, Robert and Andrew reminiscence about their former experiences as fellow Brearley Dads.

On this episode of Take Back Our Schools, Andrew and Beth talk to fellow parent activist, Alvin Lui. Alvin is the founder of Courage Is A Habit, an organization that creates tools and strategies for the average parent, school board candidate, and legislator to take action in defending children from indoctrination in K-12. Alvin discusses his organization’s work exposing aspects social-emotional learning (SEL) in our schools and explains how SEL is a gateway to teaching critical race theory (CRT) and radical gender ideology. Alvin also tells about his widely-shared expose on the American School Counselors Association (ASCA), an organization that is training school counselors to indoctrinate children towards CRT and the transgender cult. Finally, Alvin shares his views on what local parents need to do to make a difference in their own children’s schools.Courage

Photo: Stella O’Malley

In this episode of Take Back Our Schools, Beth and Andrew welcome psychotherapist and author Stella O’Malley to talk about the exploding number of teenage girls with gender dysphoria. Stella shares her own difficult childhood experiences growing up thinking she should be a boy and describes her journey to a career in psychotherapy. She talks about why she thinks girls are susceptible to social contagion and the role that both schools and social media play. Stella also illustrates why so few psychologists are willing to speak out on the alarming trends of gender dysphoria affecting girls and young women but shares her own optimism that the truth will eventually win out.

Photo courtesy Ian Rowe

On this episode of Take Back Our Schools, Andrew and Beth welcome education innovator and author Ian Rowe. Ian shares his own personal story coming from an immigrant family which ignited his passion for education. He discusses his framework F.R.E.E. – family, religion, education and entrepreneurship – which serves as an alternative to the toxic and divisive victimhood narrative currently ascendant in our nation’s schools. Ian also talks about the charter high school he cofounded in the Bronx, NY, and the vitriol he has received from teachers unions over his efforts to launch this brand new school.

Photo courtesy Ramona Bessinger

On this episode of Take Back Our Schools, Beth and Andrew welcome Ramona Bessinger, a teacher who bravely spoke out about the racialized curriculum in her school district. Ramona talks about what prompted her to speak up and the push back she got from her school, other teachers, parents and students. She discusses the article she wrote for Legal Insurrection exposing her school’s divisive CRT based curriculum and the retaliation she received for writing it. Ramona also shares her views on why it is so difficult for other teachers to come forward and oppose the ideological takeover of our nation’s schools.

Ramona Bessinger is a 23-year veteran public school teacher, currently teaching English at Classical High School in Providence, RI. Ramona has extensive experience developing curriculum and has served as a school base model classroom. As a teacher of American Literature, World Literature, Multicultural Literature, Ramona brings a diverse understanding of English instruction for K-12 learners. Ramona is also a mother, patriot and active in restoring truthful pro-American K-12 Education and Curriculum Standards for all children.

In this episode of Take Back Our Schools, Beth and Andrew welcome back former math teacher, journalist and educational hero, Paul Rossi. Paul discusses his seven week purgatory from Twitter for exposing videos of toxic racial literacy curriculum that has infiltrated private schools across the country. Paul also talks about his recent expose of his former school, Grace Church, where a drag queen was invited to perform in bi-weekly chapel, and students were pressured to dance along. We also discuss how identity politics in schools has shifted from race to gender and sexual orientation, and Paul shares his own experiences as a teacher witnessing this transition. 

Paul Rossi is a mathematics teacher, writer, and whistleblower who disclosed the impact of CRT at Grace Church School, where he taught from 2012 to 2021. He is currently a Senior Education Analyst writing for LegalInsurrection.com, and an advisor to the Educational Liberty Alliance.

Photo courtesy Charles Love

On this free-flowing episode of Take Back Our Schools, Beth and Andrew speak with author, activist and social commentator, Charles Love. We speak about Charles’s involvement in the recent, “Open Letter Denouncing the Attacks on Justice Clarence Thomas.” Charles shares his views on why black progressives are silent on the racist attacks against Justice Thomas, and what Republicans need to do to engage with the black community and encourage them to join the culture war. Charles also shares his own personal experiences engaging with his young son’s school on issues of racial indoctrination in the classroom.

On this episode of Take Back Our Schools, Beth and Andrew speak with Bob Eitel about the Biden administration’s proposed changes to Title IX rules. Bob explains how the Obama administration manipulated Title IX to erode due process in favor of kangaroo courts and secret inquiries. He discusses how the Trump administration under Secretary Betsy DeVos reversed the Obama changes, and how the newly proposed Biden rules not only threaten free speech and academic freedom, but trample parental rights and have the potential to destroy girl’s and women’s sports at the university and K-12 level. Bob also shares his view that Title IX is being used to usher in radical gender ideology and is effectively a backdoor to fundamental cultural change. 

Bob Eitel is a co-founder and president of Defense of Freedom Institute for Policy Studies (DFI), a non-profit, non-partisan organization that is fighting to reduce the power of the federal government and the influence of government sector unions in education and workforce policy and to defend the civil and constitutional rights of all Americans in the classroom and the workplace. Bob previously served as Senior Counselor to Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos from 2017 through 2020 where he supervised the implementation of the Secretary’s regulatory agenda and was an architect of the Secretary’s reforms concerning Title IX and the Higher Education Act.   

Additional information about the proposed Title IX rules can be found on DFI’s website (https://dfipolicy.org/titleix/). Concerned Americans can submit a comment about Title IX to the Department of Education through either www.dfipolicy.org or https://protecttitle9.org.

Erin Phillips (Photo courtesy Power2Parent Union)

In this episode of Take Back Our Schools, Beth and Andrew speak with parent activist, Erin Phillips. We learn how discovering the Sex Ed curriculum in her child’s school turned Erin into a parent activist and led her to start a national organization focusing on parents’ rights. Erin shares her experiences of leading this growing organization and her advice on how to encourage other parents to get involved. We discuss the power of the teachers unions, and Erin’s efforts getting teachers to leave the national unions. We also talk with Erin about the prospects for true education freedom and school choice in the state of Nevada.

On this very special episode of Take Back our Schools, Beth and Andrew speak with former U.S. Secretary of Education, Betsy DeVos. We discuss Betsy’s lifelong advocacy for education freedom and school choice, and she shares stories of some of the innovative schools she has seen as well as her experiences being the primary target for the powerful teachers unions. We also discuss her effort reforming of the Title IX rules, and the Biden administration’s proposed rollback, announced just yesterday, of some of these regulations around sex and gender discrimination in schools and universities.

Betsy DeVos is the author of Hostages No More – The Fight For Education Freedom and the Future of the American Child, published this week. Betsy served as the 11th U.S. Secretary of Education from 2017 – 2021 and for more than three decades, she’s led the fight for policies that allow students and their parents the freedom to choose the best educational option for them. Betsy is the former chair of the American Federation of Children, the Philanthropy Roundtable, and the Michigan Republican Party. She is also a mother of four children and a grandmother of ten.

To comment on the Biden Administration’s proposed changes to Title IX click here.