As we see a steady stream of experienced teachers leave the profession, we should be questioning why they are leaving. Maybe it is not always about money.
If teachers are expected not only to educate our kids, but now to raise them as well, perhaps we should consider that teachers may not realistically be able do all the things they are being asked to do.
Teachers usually come to love their kids, care about them deeply, and want what is best for them. It is part of what being a teacher means. But is there a limit to how much intervention a teacher should have in a child’s life?
We are now seeing an aggressive effort by Progressive Liberals to reshape American society to match their own personal preferences. This has become most evident in school classrooms where there appears to be a deliberate intent to influence children to accept their particular worldview. So, are teachers now expected to step in front of parents to drive these controversial ideologies?
This is leaving parents concerned and dismayed by the social conditioning that is being exposed in the classrooms with regard to sexuality, race relations, and political ideologies. They are also becoming more agitated and outspoken as they perceive their own children being weaponized against them.
So are Progressive Liberals, in the form of “Woke” activists, engaging in a deliberate effort to pit teachers against parents in a rather ruthless bid to gain political power and control?
Are these activists now simply using teachers as tools to accomplish their political goals? This would be deeply disrespectful to the profession. If this realization sets in for teachers, it is quite doubtful that they will appreciate being used in this way. And hopefully, they will start to turn away from this scheme.
But teachers aren’t the only ones affected. Children can also feel caught in the middle between parents and teachers, which could leave them traumatized by this contrived conflict. It’s like children who watch their mother and father argue at the dinner table and, wanting to please both, don’t know which way to turn. This cannot be a healthy and positive situation for children. It is of little wonder that we seem to have more children displaying mental and emotional health issues than before. They are being unnecessarily over stressed.
We have also seen national teachers’ unions trying to bully, intimidate, and discredit parents who dare to question their efforts to control dialogue in the classrooms. They label these parents as “Domestic Terrorists” and threaten that dissenting parents be sanctioned by the Justice Department.
Because of these aggressive activities, there is a concern that the bond of trust between parents and teachers is being frayed almost to a breaking point. This is a great disappointment. Now, more parents want to pull their children out of public schools because of the dissatisfaction with this type of undesirable social conditioning. Many feel that their children are being taken away from them, so they are responding by removing these children from that perceived threat.
There is a responsibility for teaching professionals to develop and maintain healthy and positive relationships with parents, to explain to parents what they are teaching and why, to define the limits of their intervention in the raising of children, and to reassure parents that they are not trying to replace them. They must convince parents that public schools are the best place to send their kids—and that there are well understood boundaries of what will and will not be presented to their kids in the classrooms.
Kurt Rohrs is a candidate for the Chandler Unified School District Governing Board. You can find out more about his campaign here.
We have always known that the left is strongly opposed to election integrity. In their hearts, they want voting to resemble how they select the best performers on American Idol—no security, no ID, no paper ballots, and no concern if someone decides to vote a few extra times.
Usually though, the left is pretty good at not saying this out loud. They couch their desires as supporting “voter access” or “expanded voting rights.” Very rarely do they reveal their true intentions of supporting open fraud in the system—yet they have now. And in open court no less…
Manchin and Sinema had a chance to go down in history as heroes. They courageously withstood withering criticism to save the republic from trillions of dollars of inflation-fanning intergenerational theft.
But finally, they fell for the oldest trick in the book—the “dad can I have a pony” swindle, traditionally practiced by clever youngsters who were willing to settle for a puppy in the first place. Exhausted by the mental energy required to resist intraparty pressure and not wanting to be responsible for poor election outcomes, they caved.
Manchin and Sinema supported the Inflation Reduction Act for $740 billion after sinking (again, thank you) the original $3.6 trillion version.
But what they got was possibly the most deceitful bill in the history of bills. The “IRA will reduce the deficit by $300 billion,” claimed huckster-in-chief Joe Biden. “And we’ll do it without raising taxes a penny on those making less than $400,000 per year.”
Are you joking? Let’s start with the IRS, which received an $80 billion spending boost, an amount the Treasury Department reported would result in 87,000 new FTEs, mostly auditors and examiners.
That’s bad news for the middle class. Only 1.8% of American taxpayers earn more than $400,000 yearly. It’s inevitable that the other 98.2%, who make about 75% of the total income, will also receive increased scrutiny.
The only purpose of hiring an army of new auditors would be to increase collections. Anyone familiar with IRS audits knows that even taxpayers who have done no wrong often capitulate to aggressive harassment. The bottom line is that the Congressional Joint Committee on Taxation estimates that 70% to 90% of the money raised from unreported income would likely come from those making less than $200,000 per year.
The bill writers, sensing the problem, added this gem: “Nothing in this section is intended to increase taxes on any taxpayer or small business with a taxable income under $400,000.”
Get it? Nothing here provides actual protection to any lower income taxpayers. Instead, the party of good intentions is attempting to avoid accountability while claiming any unfortunate outcomes won’t be their fault.
The Inflation Reduction Act, it is now well established, will not reduce inflation and won’t reduce the deficit either, according to the bipartisan Joint Committee on Taxation. Instead, all of us will pay for this boondoggle 1) by forking over more money to the IRS (see above) 2) through the effects of the new 15% corporate minimum tax passed on to workers and consumers and 3) through another government spending spree which will (again) be inflationary. Even Bernie Sanders gets it this time.
But the damage doesn’t stop there. As Steve Moore recently noted in the Wall Street Journal, the IRA will transfer $250 billion from Big Pharma to Big Climate.
Bad idea. Pharmaceutical companies spend $100 billion yearly on R&D, bringing us lifesaving and misery-reducing drugs which have, among other benefits, reduced death rates from cancer and heart disease by half in the last 50 years.
The IRA price controls will inhibit innovation with a resulting cost in lost years of life estimated to be 30 times that from COVID, in addition to the increased human suffering and economic losses.
The climate change funds will go mainly to subsidies of wind and solar, which after decades of “startup” funding, produce 7% of America’s total energy. They’re not only unreliable but expensive too. A University of Texas study showed subsidies per megawatt hour of electricity range from 50 cents for coal up to $43 to $320 for solar. Yet we’re going to spend $380 billion more to chase the chimera of avoiding mostly inevitable climate change by vastly reducing our quality of life.
Americans deserve better governments than this. Passing trillion-dollar spending bills for no essential reason has become the new normal.
It’s tempting to feel helpless, but what we can do is vote smarter. For starters, Arizonans should remember this in November: Mark Kelly was a tie-breaking vote on the Inflation Reduction Act. With just 51 votes, it couldn’t have passed without him.
He campaigns as a bipartisan centrist but votes like a socialist. It’s time for us to wise up.
Dr. Thomas Patterson, former Chairman of the Goldwater Institute, is a retired emergency physician. He served as an Arizona State senator for 10 years in the 1990s, and as Majority Leader from 93-96. He is the author of Arizona’s original charter schools bill.
Just what exactly are the priorities of the Chandler Unified School District (CUSD)?
Every parent and taxpayer would love to know. But unfortunately, these priorities do not seem to be clearly presented in any readily available public communication. This makes it difficult to understand what the district is doing, why they are doing it, or hold them accountable for their performance. It’s time for the district to be much more transparent with the public.
That’s why I would like to suggest these five priorities for CUSD, which should be communicated clearly and made readily available to the taxpaying public that supports them.
Catch up on learning loss from recent school closures. Some information indicates that our students are up to two years behind on their academic achievement. Many are falling behind, and CUSD must take this seriously.
Ensure that Reading and Math proficiency is greater than 50% at every school. CUSD should direct massive amounts of resources to any school that falls far below this standard.
Increase student retention. The district must compete effectively to increase their headcount by better satisfying the demands of parents who will ultimately make the decisions on which schools their children attend.
Increase staff retention. It is critical to reduce the turnover rate for Certified (Teaching) Staff and Classified (non-Teaching) Staff. But CUSD must remember that issues with staffing aren’t always about money. While that is certainly something that needs to be examined, staff working conditions should be carefully considered as well. And the district should ultimately work to determine the primary reasons that staff leave their positions and take appropriate corrective actions.
Improve career and technical education. CUSD should refocus attention back to developing practical knowledge instead of social conditioning. The primary mission should be to develop functional adults capable of supporting themselves and contributing economically to the community.
If CUSD is serious about the future of its students, it must refocus its priorities. And it should take a much more pragmatic approach to its communication. This will not only make the district more relevant, but it will improve engagement with the community, especially the parents who have the ultimate say in how their children are educated.
Kurt Rohrs is a candidate for the Chandler Unified School District Governing Board.You can find out more about his campaign here.
Today every Republican finds themselves asking a new question: “If I speak out, will the FBI come for me next”? Recently, the LD3 Republican Committee heard a “Resolution to Censure the FBI as the Arm of the Leftist Police State in Maricopa County.” The fear in the room was palpable, for nobody knows any longer where the First Amendment ends and “sedition” begins. Yet nonetheless, one brave man, the songwriter Bruce Arlen, stood up and began to read.
He read a damning condemnation of the weaponization of the DOJ and the perversion of the law. And he read a clear and resounding call for the Legislature and Governor of Arizona, through both words and actions, to provide the citizens of our state with the “double security” against invasion of their liberties for which the federal system was designed. His courage inspired others. The motion carried. Bravery is contagious.
I am also afraid. I have seen the mechanizations of the DOJ and J6 Committee up close and know that this is no idle political witch-hunt but a coordinated and deadly serious effort to decapitate the Republican Party’s leadership and cow ordinary Republicans into silence and inaction. To be sure, some of the rioters on January 6th appear to have broken the law. But most of the “crimes” that Washington’s tyrants are now investigating amount to no more than allegations that political opponents said things that they do not like. The others are mere pretexts to prosecute people for the same reason.
Over the past few months, I have fielded too many questions from the Republican grassroots about whether they can still communicate with party leadership safe from the prying eyes of the FBI. And as a lawyer, I have had too many citizens come to me to ask, “can I say this”? One is too many.
So let me be clear: President Trump has a constitutional and God-given right to say that the 2020 election was stolen. So do you. And President Trump, like all Americans, has a constitutional and God-given right to petition Congress to take action on the basis of that belief or any other. Had Congress acted, those acts would, perhaps, have been proper subjects of judicial review. The rights to expression and petition are not. They are absolute.
Unfortunately, citizens are increasingly aware that if they are unlawfully targeted for their speech, they can no longer rely on the procedural protections of the American justice system as they once might have. The left has long intimidated and harassed attorneys willing to represent conservatives through the traditional Soviet tactics of the midnight phone call and anonymous threat. With the 65 Project, the left has institutionalized this harassment through a coordinated and well-funded effort to “shame” such attorneys, “make them toxic in their communities,” and curtail their ability to practice law by filing bar complaints against them. Attorneys willing to defend conservatives, never many in number, are becoming a rapidly dying breed.
In a few months, I will place my hand on the Bible and swear to defend the constitutions of the United States and the State of Arizona against all enemies, foreign and domestic. Then, despite my fear, duty will no longer permit me the luxury of inaction. I have heard the cries of the people of my district and will make every effort to fulfill my sacred obligation to defend the liberties of the citizens of Arizona.
It is a fact unknown to most that the federal and state criminal codes are so lengthy and complex that almost everyone is a criminal. It is, for example, a federal offense to slice canned peaches incorrectly. When everyone is a felon, prosecutors have unfettered discretion to prosecute their political opponents for perfectly “real” crimes. To protect our rights to freedom of speech and association, I will work to reform the law to ensure that only things that you and I would perceive as morally wrong can be prosecuted.
Ten years ago, Congress caught the FBI teaching agents that they could “bend or suspend the law.” Its academy is notorious for teaching trainees that suspects have “forfeited their right to the truth.” Thus, should the FBI continue down its dark path, I will go further and heed the calls of my PCs to introduce legislation prohibiting the State of Arizona from sharing information with the FBI that might help facilitate their reckless political prosecutions.
I call on liberals of good faith to join in these efforts. The FBI began its metamorphosis under Hoover. I am not blind to the fact that it was one of my favorite Republican presidents, Calvin Coolidge who appointed him. The erosion of our constitutional liberties was furthered by Dick Cheney’s push to expand the power of the secret FISA courts to spy on American citizens. His daughter Liz Cheney now continues his dastardly work by serving on the J6 committee. Today they are coming for Trump and the GOP leadership. But tomorrow the midnight knock could be at the door of my home. Or yours.
Do not let yourself become used to these escalations. Do not let your anger diminish with each new outrageous assault on your rights. Do not allow your liberty to be slowly boiled away like the life of a frog in a pot. The time to stand is while the noose sits but lightly about the neck. The time to fight is now.
Alexander Kolodin is a constitutional attorney and a Representative-Elect to the Arizona House.
“History isn’t just something that ought to be taught, read, or encouraged only because it will make us better citizens,” wrote historian David McCullough. “It will make us a better citizen and it will make us more thoughtful and understanding human beings.”
Arizonans deserve and need the best social studies education for their children. Their elected representatives already have done a good deal this year to improve their public schools’ social studies instruction. Their work includes increasing the passing score for the civics test from 60% to 70%, requiring a comparative discussion of political ideologies that conflict with the principles of freedom and democracy, and providing age-appropriate instruction on the 9-11 terrorist attacks.
But Arizona won’t have a firm basis for social studies instruction until the State Board of Education adopts better History and Social Science Standards.
State standards are the single most influential documents in America’s education system. State education departments use them to provide guidance to each public K-12 school district and charter school as they create their own courses. Arizona’s History and Social Science Standards could be much better. The Standards are a tangle of anchor standards and inquiry arcs. The subject items themselves emphasize disciplinary skills and processes far more than actual content knowledge. Students need to “Demonstrate historical empathy when examining individuals or groups in the past whose perspectives might be very different from those held today,” but the standards never mention Benjamin Franklin or George Washington. Some of the subject items cue modern progressive dogma. In the sixth grade, students learn to “Describe how different group identities such as racial, ethnic, class, gender, regional, and immigrant/migration status emerged and contributed to societal and regional development, characteristics, and interactions over time.” Other subject items promote civic engagement, otherwise known as protest civics. Civic engagement uses taxpayer money to pay radical teachers to community-organize the classroom with vocational training in progressive activism—and call it “civics education.” Arizona’s standards prompt students through much of their civics education to “Apply a range of deliberative and democratic procedures to make decisions and act in local, regional, and global communities.” The entire eighth grade is devoted to “Citizenship and Civic Engagement in Today’s Society.” Arizona’s Standards substitute protest civics for real civics education.
Finally, Arizona has abandoned teaching Western Civilization and substituted a vague World History course. Arizona students no longer learn the coherent narrative of the ideals and institutions of liberty embedded in the history of Western Civilization. Neither do they learn the history of Judaism and Christianity, which bequeathed to America the ideals of spiritual freedom and the equal dignity before God of every man and woman—as well as Bartolomé de las Casas’s and William Wilberforce’s anti-slavery ideals. Nor do Arizona students learn the histories of Spain and England, which are the essential background for the history of Arizona’s settlers. The Department of Education should restore a year-long high school course in Western Civilization to the Arizona social studies curriculum. Arizona lawmakers were right to require the State Board of Education to adopt new civic education standards focused upon our nation’s founding principles this past legislative session. As the Board does so, and as it redevelops the state’s social studies standards more broadly, it should use the Civics Alliance’s American Birthright: The Civic Alliance’s Model K-12 Social Studies Standards as a guide to revise its social studies standards and provide its students a proper civics education. American Birthright draws on varied sources, including the 2003 Massachusetts History and Social Science Framework and Florida’s Next Generation Sunshine State Standards for Social Studies (2021).
American Birthright provides the comprehensive content knowledge in history, geography, civics, and economics that schools should teach in each grade from pre-kindergarten through high school, and teaches students to identify the ideals, institutions, and individual examples of human liberty, individualism, religious freedom, and republican self-government; assess the extent to which civilizations have fulfilled these ideals; and describe how the evolution of these ideals in different times and places has contributed to the formation of modern American ideals.
Above all, American Birthright teaches about the expansion of American liberty to include all Americans, as well as about heroes of liberty such as Abraham Lincoln, Martin Luther King, Jr., and Ronald Reagan.
Every American student should be educated to be another Harry Truman—a high-school graduate who, without ever graduating from college, has a solid grasp of history and is capable of serving as an officer, a judge, a senator, and president.
If Arizona’s State Board of Education draws on American Birthright to revise its social studies standards, it will provide Arizona’s students that education.
David Randall is the the Executive Director of Research at the National Association of Scholars and Executive Director of the NAS Civics Alliance.