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Teachers Unions Are Destroying Education

The opinions expressed by columnists are their own and do not necessarily represent the views of Townhall.com.
AP Photo/Seth Wenig,File

Despite the roaring outcry from parents and a handful of school officials, K-12 schools have continued to dig in as radical cultural indoctrination camps, abandoning their charge to properly educate the next generation of Americans.  COVID didn’t help, but it’s not ultimately to blame for prioritizing sexualizing kids at the expense of core academic competence.


We are in a time of crisis, and unless we ramp up removing elements from teacher training and the insistence on infusing all lessons with gender ideology, drag queens on campus, and sexually explicit books in school, future generations will be indoctrinated and uneducated.  It doesn’t help that an Oklahoma school recently hired a drag queen as a principal.  Will this be trending soon without the removal of the Biden administration's Department of Education’s stated focus on protecting transgenderism in schools? 

According to the recent National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) 74% of children in the US are not proficient in math, and 71% are not proficient in reading.  In 2022, eighth-grade students' performance showed a continuing ten-year drop in U.S. history scores and a first-time decrease in civics, as revealed by 2023 data.  Only 13% of the students achieved proficiency in history, and a mere 22% were proficient in civics. Additionally, 40% of the students demonstrated a knowledge level below basic in U.S. history, a deterioration from the 34% reported in 2018.

A recent Defense of Freedom Institute report asserts that teachers unions have perverted their role further by prioritizing “changing society” via the classroom and presumptuously training teachers to inject gender identity politics into classrooms without parental knowledge.  The conference featured sessions on LGBTQIA+ inclusion in educational settings, including "Affirming LGBTQIA+ Identities in and out of the Classroom" and "The TGNCNB [transgender, gender nonconforming, nonbinary] Inclusive School and Classroom." The latter session highlighted the limitations of "cisnormativity," the belief that biological sex determines gender identity, arguing it restricts not just TGNCNB individuals but cisgender people as well. This report also states that the American Federation of Teachers (AFT) views 'cisnormativity' as a societal issue that educators should work to dismantle in their classrooms.  Why are unions teaching this to teachers to pass to kids in classrooms?


This growing trend may backfire on the teachers’ unions as this material continues to take over classrooms.  Recent polls reveal that voters across the spectrum are not happy with these shenanigans.  It took some time, but it has sunk into the national mindset that, regardless of personal family beliefs on these matters, schools are not to be breeding grounds for radical cultural concepts.  

A recent Gallup poll shows that only 36% of Americans are satisfied with U.S. education. 

A Fox News survey found that 57% of voters think there's too much focus on sexual orientation in schools, and 70% believe there needs to be more civics education.  As for core academics, 50-54% want more emphasis on reading and writing and math and science, respectively.  On the sports front, Gallup also found that 69% of Americans believe transgender athletes “should only be allowed to compete on sports teams that conform with their birth gender.”

And keep in mind that the rhetoric of those who support these elements in the classroom is false.  These factions attempt to intimidate parents and others by asserting that they don’t support trans kids or are hateful and undemocratic. Instead, these actors are forcing schools to become their playground for indoctrination that shapes the mindset of other people’s children, effectively creating the problem and then using the kids as pawns as they make public claims that kids are victims of parents who disagree.  Do you see the twisted logic here?  


These ongoing developments in our schools have reached crisis proportions; we must call upon those who believe in gender ideology and revisionist history to be willing to remove them from our schools.  Parents, this is not a time to grow weary and give in to the hostile takeover of schools with this woke cultural, non-academic agenda. Instead, it is time to redouble our efforts to return to a core knowledge approach with a classically oriented education.  As for classroom culture, we must return to the traditional approach of critical thinking and abandon the questionable concept of critical race.  

During their education, the most successful adults learn to debate issues based on facts and truth and a healthy discourse on theories. Kids should not be shut down by today’s groupthink indoctrination per so-called social-emotional learning.  The neo-racism that has arisen is racist and severely damages the social and cultural national unity we largely achieved in the 20th century.

Gallup polling also shows a significant rise in Americans identifying as socially conservative, reaching 38% in 2023, up from 33% in 2022 and 30% in 2021. This is the highest level since 2012. Conversely, those identifying as socially liberal have decreased to 29% from 34% over the past two years, while moderates remain around 31%. 

Let’s keep all of this in mind as we consider our vote in 2024.

Tamra Farah has twenty years of experience in public policy and politics, focusing on protecting individual liberty and promoting limited government.  She has worked at the senior and director level for Americans for Prosperity and FreedomWorks, crisis pregnancy centers, and is now the President of AmericanStrategies.org.



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