ESSER 3.0: A “Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion” Windfall

Ever wonder why organizations like USPIE are so concerned with the federal government’s involvement in education? Well, here’s yet another reason why.

Background

Last year, in order to address the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, Congress passed the American Rescue Plan (ARP) Act. This legislation provided billions of dollars to school districts through the federal ESSER (Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief) program. ESSER funds flow from the US Department of Education, through each state’s Department of Education, and are then allocated to school districts according to a demographics-based funding formula. ESSER 3.0 is the third portion of these COVID-19 relief funds and unlike ESSER 1.0 and 2.0, this round of funding requires states and districts to describe how their efforts will address:

  • the social and emotional needs of students
  • student groups for which the pandemic exacerbated pre-existing inequities
  • advancing equity and inclusivity

School districts are also required to gather stakeholder feedback on their plans. Check your district’s website to see if an ESSER survey has been posted.

Furthering a Progressive Ideology

While the specifics of a spending plan are left to local districts, the US Department of Education has released a guidance document with recommendations for how to accomplish the abovementioned goals: ED COVID-19 Handbook, Volume 2: Roadmap to Reopening Safely and Meeting All Students’ Needs (PDF)  A review of this document provides first-hand insight into the current US Dept. of Education’s ideology. Many of the suggestions in the handbook were gathered from left-leaning national groups, such as the National Education Association, and openly promote LGBTQ+ advocacy and programs steeped in a neo-Marxist framework. All under the guise of helping off-set the learning loss students have experienced due to COVID-19.

Money, Money, Money

So, districts now have millions in new funding available to them, and schools seldom leave grant dollars unclaimed. These dollars have deadlines for expenditure, as well. Vendors in the education industry are well aware of the golden opportunity in front of them.  Consulting firms that offer teacher training, education technology companies, instructional materials developers and the like are certain to start “peddling their wares” to schools and districts around the country, especially offerings focused on diversity, equity, and inclusion.  This further opens the door for districts (intentionally or not) to contract with professional development providers and/or implement curriculum that uses the neo-Marxist framework of critical theory, or more specifically, critical race theory (CRT). Despite several states having recently banned CRT-related instruction, this remains a real threat.

Staying Alert

Parents and other community members should keep all of this in mind as they provide feedback to school districts on their ESSER 3.0 spending plans.  This is an opportunity to remind school officials that not all resources available to them are appropriate for our children or district educators. We must all be discerning and make it clear to school officials and school board members alike that we are holding them accountable. Your state’s ESSER plan is available online through US Department of Education’s website.

Still not sure why we should all be concerned about the federal government’s involvement in our children’s education? Take a look at what else is on the horizon:  Statement by Miguel Cardona Secretary of Education on the Policies and Priorities of the U.S. Department of Education | U.S. Department of Education

The Dangers of Critical Race Theory with Dr. Duke Pesta and Carol Swain

Please join us for an incredible evening of discussion and camaraderie!

Date and time: Thu, July 22, 2021 from 6:00PM -8:30PM

Location: Zen, 924 South Main Street, Greenville, SC 29601


Carol Swain is an author, commentator, and entrepreneur. She is the host of Be the People Podcast” and “Conversations with Dr. Carol Swain,” a television talk show on YouTube, Rumble, and the Binge TV Network. She is the owner and President of Unity Training Solutions which offers an alternative to Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Training. Dr. Swain has authored or edited 10 books. Her most recent book is Black Eye for America: How Critical Race Theory is Burning Down the House (Forthcoming, August 2021). She is a former professor at Princeton and Vanderbilt Universities. Her opinion pieces have been published in The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Epoch Times, the Financial Times, and The Wall Street Journal. She holds a Ph. D from the University of North Carolina Chapel Hill. Presidents Bush, Obama, and Trump have appointed her to positions in their administrations. Most recently, she served as Vice-Chair of the 1776 Commission.

Dr. Duke Pesta received his M.A. in Renaissance literature from John Carroll University and his Ph.D. in Shakespeare and Renaissance literature from Purdue University. He has taught at major research institutions and small liberal arts colleges, on a wide variety of subjects at the graduate and undergraduate level, including courses on Shakespeare, Renaissance literature, the Bible, Russian literature, Christian Apologetics, and C.S. Lewis. He has been active in educational reform and was instrumental in developing and implementing an elective Bible course that is currently available for public high school students in Texas. Dr. Pesta is the Academic Director of FreedomProject Academy, the American Opinion Foundation’s Online Classical school. He is also a nationally-recognized critic of Common Core, having delivered over 400 talks in 40 states, and has done more than 2500 radio and television interviews on the subject. He speaks at home school conventions and educational conferences across the nation on topics including the necessity of homeschooling, the decline of morality and critical thinking in the public schools, and the myriad ways that colleges and universities indoctrinate students.

The Critical Race Theory Loophole in South Carolina

The South Carolina legislature is receiving credit and praise for “restricting Critical Race Theory” through a budget proviso prohibiting the use of funds allocated by the SC Department of Education to school districts for use in teaching or training on the tenants of Critical Race Theory. The bulk of the language in the proviso is good as it lists specific racist tenants of the divisive, Marxist theory. However, the last sentence in the proviso is a major loophole that was no doubt added to enable wiggle room for the State Department of Education and districts to which funding is allocated. The closing sentence of the proviso says, “Nothing contained herein shall be construed as prohibiting any professional development training for teachers related to issues of addressing unconscious bias within the context of teaching certain literary or historical concepts or issues related to the impacts of historical or past discriminatory policies.” When an elected official was asked why this sentence was included because it appears to negate the entire proviso, United States Parents Involved in Education (USPIE) was told it had to be added to get it passed.  In a state with a super-majority Republican legislature, where all constitutional offices are held by Republicans, why in the world would they need to add the last sentence to get it passed? The only logical answer is RINOs! 

The loophole sentence in the proviso even contradicts the second CRT tenant listed in the proviso, which prohibits state funds being used to teach or train that, “an individual, by virtue of his race or sex, is inherently racist, sexist, or oppressive, whether consciously or unconsciously.”

National media is crediting South Carolina for having restricted Critical Race Theory (CRT) with the proviso. The same thing occurred with Common Core. After a bill was passed to rewrite the standards, national media credited South Carolina (SC) for ending Common Core. The truth is the legislature stripped a good bill that would have eliminated Common Core in exchange for requiring a rewrite of the standards. According to the SC Education Oversight Committee, the “new” standards are 91% aligned with Common Core. So instead of a rewrite, South Carolina got a rebrand, as was the case for most states.

Be aware that educators and administrators already understand that the title “Critical Race Theory” is toxic and the tenants of the theory have been rebranded to things like Culturally Responsive Teaching, Diversity and Inclusion, Anti-racism Education, etc. So rather than asking straight up if your district teaches CRT, be more specific and list the tenants of CRT like those found in the SC Budget proviso.

Moreover, nothing in the proviso prevents local school districts from spending local money on CRT. In fact, CRT training was recently offered through the State Department of Education and the University of South Carolina, and there is plenty of evidence from around the state that this racist theory is already being taught.

The fight to protect children from this Marxist agenda is at the local school board level. Parents need to inquire locally and confront school boards about the tenants of CRT. When the Board is uncooperative, parents should find strong candidates to run in the next school board election. South Carolina school board elections vary across the state, but some elections are scheduled to take place as early as this November with filing usually taking place three months prior. NOW is the time to be looking at when your county is holding school board elections whether you live in South Carolina or another state! There are a lot of great resources at uspie.org for parents who want to take control of their school board. While you are there, be sure to sign-up to “join the movement” to restore parental and local control of education and consider a tax deductible donation to USPIE.

Parent’s Guide to How Local School Boards Work

The purpose of this guide is to explain, in plain language, what a school board is designed to do and the role it plays in your child’s educational experience. Each state has different rules for school boards, so you should look to find the specifics in your community, but this guide should give you a good start.

The Nuts and Bolts

Who makes up a local school board?
A local school board of education consists of a set number of members, along with the head administrator of the school district – the Director of Schools (called “superintendent” in some areas).

How are school board members chosen for these seats? For how long?
School Board Members are elected from the school district community that particular school board serves. These are your neighbors: relatives, retirees, fellow church members, local business owners – ordinary residents. Terms of office are typically four (4) or six (6) years and elections are staggered so that the full board doesn’t come up for re-election all at once.

What are the main functions of a local school board?
The primary duty of the board is to create and approve policy for the school district as a whole (e.g., attendance, discipline, cell phone usage). School boards also make decisions on routine items such as building maintenance, adopting budgets, and approving changes to the school calendar. Like any governing body, a school board must have basic operations in place to accomplish their work: elected officers, regularly held meetings, official meeting protocols, etc. Most boards use Roberts Rules of Order procedures to conduct their meetings.

How does the role of the school board differ from that of the Director of Schools (or superintendent)?
While the board sets policy for the district, the director of schools is responsible for managing the schools according to those policies. The Director also uses more detailed administrative rules and procedures (that should comply with board policy) to lead schools in the district. The board hires and is charged with evaluating the performance of the Director of Schools to ensure he/she is effectively working towards carrying out the vision and goals it has set for the district. In some states, the community elects its Director of Schools. In many states, the Director of Schools position is an administrative one, filled by the local school board.

How often do school boards meet and are these meetings open to the public?
Laws vary by state, but most meet monthly. These meetings must be open to the public, per the Open Meetings Law. There are two kinds of meetings, work sessions and formal meetings.

Where can I find information on these meetings?
Most school districts post meeting agendas, related documents and minutes on their website for the public to access.

How do I know which member on my local school board represents me? Where do I find out information about these people?
In many school districts, Board Members represent the whole community. In others, Board Members may represent a particular geographic area. You can find information about school board members on each school district’s website under “Board Members.”

Can school board members be recalled or removed?
Yes. The process for this is spelled out in State law under the sections addressing the recall of local elected government officials. There are specific steps to follow, starting with a petition signed by registered voters. Check out your .gov website

I attended a school board meeting recently and the board moved through the agenda very quickly. Why didn’t they discuss or debate all of the agenda items?
School boards sometimes have a “work session” meeting outside of their regular meetings where they review and discuss issues in detail, but don’t actually vote on them. Also, school boards at times form committees where certain members of the board work with the director of schools or other central office staff to study a specific issue. These members then make recommendations to the full board for a vote. So, by the time the board meets for its regular “agenda” or “business” meeting where it votes on issues, many agenda items have been vetted or already studied.

I saw a section on the agenda called “consent agenda.” What is this?
A consent agenda is used most often to save time by moving the board’s business along. Items listed under the consent agenda have been shared with the members in advance to review and are typically administrative, routine, and/or non-controversial items. The consent agenda is usually placed near the top of the meeting agenda and the items listed below are all voted on in a single motion. Occasionally, the consent agenda is misused, including controversial topics the Board wants to pass “under the radar.”

Getting Involved with the Local School Board

How can members of the community take part in a local school board meeting?
School boards usually allow time on their meeting agendas for public comment. Each board can set its own protocol for this, but individuals typically sign in before the meeting starts and then approach the podium when their name is called during the “Public Comment” period on the agenda. Speakers are usually given a time limit so no single person dominates the meeting. This public comment period is not intended as an opportunity to debate with Board members, but rather to share information, concerns and/or leave the board with questions to reflect on. It’s not meant to be a cross-examination or “question-and-answer” session. It is an excellent way, however, to give voice to a topic and “go on record.”

If I am having a specific problem with my child’s school, should I take it before the school board?
The school board should really be the “court of last resort” a parent uses after they have tried to resolve their problem by working up the district’s chain of command. For instance, if a parent has a problem with a teacher, the parent should first address it with the teacher. If the issue is not resolved, the parent should request time with the school principal, and then the Director of Schools (superintendent). If the school remains unresponsive and/or a resolution is not reached, then an appeal to the school board is the next step.

I have just learned my child’s school district is planning to…and I am furious. What should I do?
Find like-minded parents and brainstorm. If you need more information from the school, submit a Freedom of Information Request. Information about how to make state-specific FOIA requests and other excellent resources and examples of how to address the school board are available at https://uspie.org/critical-race-theory. This link is specific to fighting Critical Race Theory, but all the resources at this link can be adapted to address any problem with your local school board.

Rapid City, SD School Board Elections Upset Incumbents

Partly triggered by an influx of political refugees from “Marxist states,” conservatives swept the school board elections for the 2nd largest government school district in South Dakota this week. 

An enthusiastic coalition of parents, grandparents, taxpayers, businesspeople, and Christians rallied around the American flag to win 4 out of 4 positions up for election on the 7-member School Board.  Displaying the American flag appeared to be a key element in these successful races. South Dakota Parents Involved in Education (SDPIE) President Florence Thompson, who was involved in the effort to unseat the incumbents, says the flag is “like kryptonite to the Liberals who were defeated.” She said some of the teachers in this district have been discouraging kids from saying the pledge of allegiance. Opposition to Critical Race Theory was another underlying theme in the School Board sweep, as was LGBT proselytizing.

SDPIE also reported that the local Republican Party awoke from their years of slumber discovering to their surprise that the current school board members were mostly registered Democrats. They began to weigh-in, joining the old warriors of the Tea Party movement, SDPIE, South Dakota Citizens for Liberty, Family Heritage Alliance Action and the homeschooling network. This collaboration was fundamental to the success of the election upset, which unseated even the Board’s president.

Racism was an underlying theme for the Liberal incumbents defending their seats as they sought to place more Native Americans on the Board who previously held 1 of 7 seats on the Board.  Ironically, one of the newly elected Conservatives has a Native American background but chooses not to exploit it.  As we have all become too far familiar, “color,” to the Left, is a political pigmentation not an actual characteristic.

Fresh from their School Board victory, many are talking about targeting the City Council.  Some City Council meetings have been drawing crowds of over 200, which resulted in stopping the mask ordinance and stymieing Home Rule.

This news is just one amazing example of what is happening all over our country. Parents and taxpayers are organizing to take back their local school boards. This is an incredible phenomenon that has the possibility of saving our nation from the attempt to overthrow our Constitutional Republic through the indoctrination of children. USPIE sees this as a silver lining in the recent trials our country has faced and wishes to thank and support all parents and other activists (old or new) for their willingness to stand up against the Left and defend our Constitutional Republic.

Visit: www.uspie.org to join the movement to restore parental and local control of education.

SOUTH CAROLINA SUPERINTENDENT OF EDUCATION MOLLY SPEARMAN SAYS CRITICAL RACE THEORY DOES NOT BELONG IN SC CLASSROOMS – REALLY?

Good golly Miss Molly! You say it ain’t so? Critical Race Theory ideology and concepts are not being taught in South Carolina classrooms? And teachers aren’t being trained in these concepts?

Well, let’s see… The State newspaper reported just a few weeks ago about an inappropriate 4th grade assignment where students were told to “write a journal entry responding to the following prompt: Choose to be a slave or a slave owner. Write a journal entry that describes your daily activities before the Civil War.”

Then there is evidence of a 9th grade assignment at a Charleston County school where Whites are oppressors and Blacks are oppressed and children are taught riots are okay; contrary to teachings of Martin Luther King Jr.

And in Berkley County, Summer Reading Lists with critical race theory ideology are being pushed with extra credit and other incentives. The required summer reading for ELA and Honor students offers a gamut of literature based on White privilege and Black oppression.

Your own Director of Governmental Affairs told USPIE that since each school district is responsible for the implementation of their individualized curriculum, it is up to each individual school district to actually ban teachers from teaching critical race theory. So how in the world can you now say that it is not and will not be taught in South Carolina schools? Come on Molly.

When USPIE asked your staff to provide the lesson plans, slides and other materials used in a teacher training offered to South Carolina teachers named EQUITY AND CULTURALLY RESPONSIVE INSTRUCTION, their response was we had to FOIA the information. If there is nothing to hide, why must we FIOA the training materials?

It is obvious to us that you have made this fallacious statement to try to hush the noise you are hearing around the state about this racist instructional model. The racist theory has been and continues to be taught in South Carolina’s colleges of education who provide teaching credentials for many South Carolina teachers. And those teachers, indoctrinated through the colleges of education, are the ones who make up the liberal group named SC for Ed. Molly, they don’t need your permission to teach this trash to South Carolina children. In fact, they are in your face about it.

Then, of course, there is the rebranding that you are so famous for after you declared South Carolina was rid of Common Core simply because you renamed the standards. We know that the term “critical race theory” has become toxic and now is being referred to as Cultural Responsive Teaching, Diversity and Inclusion, anti-racism education, etc. We aren’t fooled by your semantics.

The New York Times 1619 Project, and what it terms “systemic racism,” is also influencing classroom instruction in South Carolina and is why SC Senators proposed legislation to combat this racist view of history. The thing that is ACTUALLY systemic in South Carolina and across our country IS CRITICAL RACE THEORY! It has been taught for decades in government agencies, government school systems, teacher training programs and even corporate human resources departments. You know this to be true.

You began your treatise by saying “… there have been many events and practices that have sought to divide our state, country, and our system of public education.” With all due respect Miss Molly, you have this backwards. It is Critical Race Theory, or whatever you chose to call it today, that seeks to divide our state and our country. We see it plainly and reject your rhetoric.

Parents need to protect their children by fighting racist teaching at the school board level. School Boards have the power to stop it.  USPIE has developed a guide to help parents with several great resources like templates for school board policy to prevent children being subject to this hateful teaching. Join the movement at www.uspie.org to restore local and parental control of education.

Parent’s Guide and Resources to Fight Critical Race Theory

IS CRITICAL RACE THEORY BEING TAUGHT IN YOUR LOCAL SCHOOL?

Look for classes like Global Learners Initiative, Global Social Theory and Diversity Clubs. Then look for words like equity (not equality), racial justice, anti-racism, and social or political activism or action. These are words from the racist, divisive, unproven theory that asserts all Blacks are oppressed and all Whites are oppressors and goes by the name of “Critical Race Theory.”

GATHER YOUR FACTS

Facts about what is being taught in the schools may simply be found in what your children bring home, but also look at the school district’s website for trainings, departments or programs on diversity, equity, and inclusion. Make public records request through the Freedom of Information Act on all trainings, programs, curricula or other documentation promoting the tenants of Critical Race Theory (CRT). Share what you find with other parents and post on social media.

LOCAL COALITION BUILDING

Once you have gathered your facts, you need to find as many likeminded parents and other community members who oppose the teaching of this faulty theory, and work together. Form a coalition to specifically address the teaching of critical race theory or other nefarious teaching in your local school district. Try to discern if there are teachers, administrators and school board members who are not comfortable with what is being taught. They are likely to be wary of saying anything, as the pressure to conform is intense.

Create a presence for your coalition on multiple social media platforms and consider building a website. The website should have a prominent feature on the home page enabling you to collect contact information of people who want to get involved. This way you can keep them informed and send out action alerts like when you need them to attend a school board meeting or call their elected officials.

Here is a model from a school district in a Texas where families united and took control of their local school board. A well-orchestrated plan like this could be replicated in your community.

APPROACH THE SCHOOL BOARD

Once you have completed your data gathering and coalition building, you can approach the School Board at a School Board meeting. There is strength in numbers so be sure to have a crowd show up with several leaders prepared to speak representing the coalition. Be sure to be specific about what you would like to see happen. Request your school board adopt a policy or resolution prohibiting tenants of CRT. USPIE developed templates adapted from policies and legislation across the country for you to use. Feel free to edit these templates and adapt to your communities’ needs.

You should always video tape school board meetings where people speak or meetings that you attend while the board makes policy decisions about these issues. Post the videos on social media and enlist your coalition to widely share them. The posts should always direct people to join your coalition and provide a link to the page or website to join your efforts.

If the administration and school board is unwilling to cooperate, you may need to escalate further and implement a model like the one in Texas mentioned earlier and recruit, campaign and elect likeminded individuals to the school board.

LEGISLATIVE REMEDIES

You can also look to legislative remedies by having your coalition contact their state representatives with concerns. The National Association of Scholars recently formed a Civics Alliance dedicated to defending and restoring true civics education across the United States and has this great tool that tracks civics legislation by state on their website. Use it to follow what is being proposed in your state and to influence your state representatives by showing them what other states are doing and offering model legislation.

When talking with elected officials, it is also helpful to prove to them that the majority of Americans overwhelming reject race and gender politics in K-12 education. Parents Defending Education recently published the results of a national poll that asked American voters about efforts to impose Critical Race Theory and “social justice” curriculum on K-12 schools. The findings proved overwhelming opposition to it and strong support for a de-politicized curriculum.

Keep in mind when considering legislative language that a strong bill will include compliance measures and penalties for non-compliance; preferably financial penalties.

STATE COALITION BUILDING

Contact USPIE to see if there is a chapter in your state and if not, consider starting one. USPIE can provide you with a list of contacts in your state of people who have joined the movement to restore local and parental control of education. USPIE will also provide guidance about how to establish a chapter. This would connect your state’s parents with likeminded parents all over the country. We have more influence when we work together.

UNITE IN FRIENDSHIP AND RESPECT

USPIE Advisory Board member Dr. Gary Thompson who is raising a bi-racial family has been very outspoken against critical race theory and he says, “Racism and other forms of hate develop from fear of the unknown.” Parents and citizens within a community can meet people on a personal level; get to know people who are different. Seek to understand others on a personal level. Programs like Critical Race Theory divide us. We must fight back by uniting in friendship and respect.

Visit: www.uspie.org to join the movement to restore parental and local control of education.

Ohio Bill will Protect Children from Sexualization in Government Schools

This week members of the Ohio State House of Representatives introduced the “Parents’ Right to Know Act.” According to Ohio Values Voters, “The goal of this legislation is to increase the transparency of sex education in Ohio schools.” They say, “Parents or legal guardians have the right to know the education their children are receiving in the classroom.”

This bill adds to the state’s already strong law that requires teaching abstinence education (also known as sexual risk avoidance education) by requiring school districts to notify parents if anything outside of the parameters outlined in the current law are planned. If instruction is planned outside of the specified guidance of the state law, a parent must opt their children into the instruction.

Another advantage of this bill is that it requires the school district to conduct an annual audit to be published regarding compliance with the new requirements.

The most important addition to the current law should this bill pass is permitting parents the ability to bring civil action against school districts that do not comply.

As pointed out by Ohio Value Voters, “Delaying sex, ideally until marriage, is associated with higher academic achievement and better health/life outcomes. Early sexual activity is correlated with the opposite: lower school performance, teen pregnancy/abortion, more substance abuse and emotional disorders, and higher rates of sexually transmitted infections (STIs). This bill requires schools to inform parents completely if they plan to teach any other type of sex education. And then, schools must have written permission from parents before they teach an alternative.”

Schools across the country have been heavily influenced in the last decade (since gay marriage was legalized through a Supreme Court decision) to include instruction that encourages alternative sexual behaviors and demanding even the normalization and promotion of “sex change” through “gender reassignment.” 

USPIE applauds Ohio legislators who want to protect children from sexualization through government schools. The bill could be enhanced by adding clear language to prohibit discussion of alternative sexual lifestyles except in the context of the threat of disease, and by adding language that would prevent sexuality issues across all disciplines.

USPIE recently became a national partner in the Promise to America’s Children. National partners of the Promise are a coalition of non-profit organizations who work for the wellbeing of American families and are passionate about protecting children across America.

The coalition believes that children are victims of a culture – and sadly, a government – who seek to sexualize children for the sake of a political agenda. The national coalition seeks to protect children and nurture their minds, bodies, and relationships. That’s the heart of the Promise to America’s Children. Please visit the website and sign on to the Promise to America’s Children.

Please visit uspie.org and Join the Movement to Stop Fed Ed!

Who is the National Parents Union?

USPIE leadership recently learned that there is a new national organization, National Parents Union (NPU), with a similar focus as USPIE.  At first blush, the two organizations appear to have many positions in common.  Both seek to empower parents in the education of their children.  Both believe families should have a powerful voice that should influence educational policies and practices in the local, state and national level.  Both also seek to inform parents and provide them with resources and access to best practices in education.

However, there are important differences; both subtle and substantive.  For example, USPIE is open to all parents and grandparents as well as community members, but USPIE recruits members based on their similar concern for excellence in education rather than their differences in income, marital status, incarceration history, substance abuse issues or other personal characteristics. 

USPIE believes children are very important, but the core of the agenda is the family where parents are the first and most important educators of their children.  Parents are not a resource to be used or corralled into a union, but individuals free to act as they determine appropriate.  USPIE would never “reach around” parents to access children or make them the target of advocacy.  And USPIE firmly believes in the sanctity of the family and would never advocate for our coalition to disrupt the traditional role of families as NPU does.

Fundamentally, USPIE does not believe the United States’ education system is inherently an institution of generational oppression.  On the contrary, when it was at its best, the American education system provided an equitable opportunity for all children to learn to read, write and do math while developing their understanding of customary practices for success in American society.  USPIE seeks a return to this model of education.

The current government education system has become one that crushes a child’s individuality and commitment to learn; that sexualizes children at an early age; that undermines the family structure and traditional values, and that shames children for their faith and family traditions.  An emphasis on equity of outcome over equality of opportunity teaches our children that their own personal strengths, weaknesses and efforts are irrelevant, impediments to “justice and liberation” and must be controlled rather than nurtured.

USPIE is a nonprofit, nationwide coalition, open to parents of all backgrounds, that seeks to return education to its proper local roots and restore parental authority over their children’s education by helping parents and local communities to escape federal and other national influences. 

Grassroots leaders from around the country are working to 1) expose the lies being taught in government schools that harm children and threaten freedom, 2) encourage parents to take back responsibility to educate their children, 3) initiate and support efforts to return complete local control of government schools, and 4) encourage states to wean themselves off the federal education dole.

It is the vision of USPIE to create a culture where parents, empowered with the authority to choose what and how their children learn, are the undisputed primary educators of their children; where local schools operate in support of families, and where education is unencumbered by federal mandates.

Respect for others, the truth, fiscal accountability and excellence undergird all USPIE’s efforts.

Please join and support USPIE.org, not the divisive new organization, National Parents Union.

Social Emotional Learning: the tool for teaching Critical Race Theory and turning impressionable students into leftist activists

Social Emotional Learning (SEL) has become the latest panacea in a long line of progressive “education reforms” that have only served to distract from the fact that American public school children are failing academically. Presented as an effort to support student mental health, it is a veiled attempt to indoctrinate and categorize children.

This national movement influencing states like South Carolina is led by the Collaborative for Academic, Social, and Emotional Learning (CASEL). In December 2020, CASEL announced its revision of the definition and framework for social emotional learning (SEL) to highlight the value of SEL as a weapon for social justice.

Social emotional learning (SEL) standards, benchmarks, learning indicators, programs, and assessments address subjective, non-cognitive factors such as attributes, dispositions, social skills, attitudes, beliefs, feelings, grit, emotions, mindsets, motivation, and more, even though programs may use different terminology. For example, grit, a willingness to stick with difficult tasks is certainly a good attribute, but not fairly assessed by a computer.

Promoting and implementing formal SEL program standards, benchmarks, learning indicators and assessments will depersonalize the informal education good teachers have always provided. SEL gets in the way of effective teaching. Teachers implementing SEL programs and assessments may end up taking on the role of mental health therapists for which they are not professionally trained. SEL puts unreasonable demands on teachers.

Infringing upon parental rights to direct the upbringing and education of their children, SEL programs promote and establish thoughts, values, beliefs, and attitudes not necessarily reflective of those held by parents. SEL in school does not respect the nuclear family.

Sensitive, personally identifiable non-cognitive data will be collected on students through SEL programs. The collection and use of SEL data labels students. This data will follow individuals throughout their lifetime with the potential for unintended use resulting in negative consequences.

Concerns have been expressed that SEL programs and collected data may potentially be misused with a captive and vulnerable audience for indoctrination, social and emotional engineering, to influence compliance, and to predict future behavior.

SEL is an integral part of the foregoing Federal education fads: Common Core State Standards and Competency-Based Education (CBE). CBE digitally documents attainment of SEL and other skills to declare a student ready to move on in his or her “personal learning path,” and supplies data for corporations wanting employees with attitudes fitting their plans.

In a nutshell, it’s the latest fad to send the same old message pushed by progressives for more than a century that education should focus less on knowledge of academic content and more on student attitudes, mindsets, values, and behaviors. SEL will not improve children’s mental health or academic achievement.

Liberals are shamelessly using the COVID 19 education crisis to push their liberal agenda and some will be fooled by their phony attempt to express concern for the mental health of students in SEL legislation.