Re-Emphasize Core Subjects – A Discussion
The education of children consists of providing the young students with a foundation of knowledge upon which they can seek out facts. The indoctrination of children teaches the young students that certain information is factual with little to no explanation.
Children are suffering under the weight of curricula that has lost its focus. They should master reading, writing and math starting at the earliest grades to prepare them for life success.
What I will do to make a change:
- I will champion the right of all Cumberland County parents to review K-12 curricula and raise objections, as well as to see adjunct training for teachers, staff and administrators.
- I will advocate for parents to have the opportunity to review and express concerns about library books, school clubs, and extracurricular activities if the parents feel these are detrimental to the children’s well-being.
- I will promote transparency in classroom content by encouraging the district to post all books, teaching materials, and other educational materials online for public review.
- I will promote transparency concerning potential administrator and educator bias by encouraging the district to post information on their pedagogical approach online for public review.
- I will work to exclude any curriculum elements from the classroom that teach children self-hatred due to their ancestry, gender, creed, socio-economic status, etc.
Historically, parental involvement has been instrumental in shaping the curriculum of local schools. The advent of Covid allowed government officials to restrict citizen involvement.
The involvement of parents in local schools has brought smart, important results. In 2015, in Texas, a ninth grade student objected to the characterization of slavery in one of his textbooks. He called attention to the downplaying by the text of slavery and the abuse of slaves and immigrants, citing a caption describing slavery that read “The Atlantic Slave Trade between the 1500s and 1800s brought millions of workers from Africa to the southern United States to work on agricultural plantations,” and another describing immigrants as “indentured servants who worked for little or no pay.”
The student’s mother brought these inaccuracies to the attention of the local public and the school board, as well as the textbook publisher, McGraw-Hill. Other parents joined in her protest and the schools changed the curriculum to reflect the real role of slaves and immigrants, while the publisher withdrew the text and amended the digital and printed versions to reflect the real outrages of slavery.
More locally, in 2018, Cumberland County schools ended the Get Real sex education program after parents objected to the program to local school officials. The program was developed by the Planned Parenthood League of Massachusetts and included references to transgender and same sex issues that parents felt were inappropriate for that grade level. After parents complained and protested the instruction, the Board of Education voted to end the program.
By any measure, Cumberland County schools are not teaching children the basics of reading, writing and math.
North Carolina School Report Cards reflect the poor performance of our schools. Almost all categories of students and grade levels are under-performing significantly. In the past, people typically thought of the 3 R’s, reading, ‘riting and ‘rithmatic, as the foundation of education and the necessary preparation for life success.
In that instance, our schools are failing. Each grade level and subgroup show large groups of students who are not proficient. It is critical that we focus on these basic, foundational subjects starting at the earliest grades, and give our students mastery of them before advancing to more diverse curricula or introducing other topics.
Our students can master the core subjects of reading, writing and math. Those subjects should be mastered at grade level before students advance to more diverse or difficult subjects. A broad education is of little benefit if it is shallow and without foundation. A curriculum focused on those core subjects, at the earliest levels, will prepare our children for success in any endeavor in life, and also a deeper understanding of more complex or varied subjects.
Parents should have the right to review all curricula and the ability to raise objections to offensive material. Likewise, parents should have the right to review and make complaints about library books, school clubs, and extracurricular activities that they feel are detrimental to their children’s well-being.
To avoid layers of secrecy around classroom content, schools must post all books, teaching materials, and other educational materials online. These instructional tools should be available on school district websites for parents to review. Furthermore, parents should be provided with information on how teachers and staff are trained to better understand what biases these school administrators and educators might bring to the classroom.