by Dr. Terry Stoops
Director of the Center for Effective Education, John Locke Foundation
As a member of Lt. Gov. Mark Robinson’s Fairness and Accountability in the Classroom for Teachers and Students (F.A.C.T.S.) Task Force, I was pleased to see the publication of an initial report based on the 500+ submissions received in the first six months of the group’s work.
The report highlights various parental concerns about classroom instruction, ranging from benign lessons aligned with state standards to defiant content compatible only with radicalized teachers’ ideological and political viewpoints. That is precisely what we expected.
For many parents, this was the first time they scrutinized the instructional materials used by their child’s teachers. Thanks to the efforts of Lt. Gov. Robinson, parents are no longer passive or indifferent. They are active participants in the instructional process. A few of the dozens of notable submissions include:
Lawmakers have proposed legislation that would offer additional tools for increasing transparency and accountability. For example, House budget writers borrowed language from House Bill 755: Academic Transparency that would require teachers to post outlines of lesson plans and assignments to publicly accessible websites after the conclusion of each school year. Senate leaders favored more direct strategies for ensuring classrooms are free of indoctrination and bias, such as those incorporated into House Bill 324: Ensuring Dignity & Nondiscrimination in Schools, prohibiting teachers from promoting discriminatory concepts.
H.B. 755, H.B. 324, and the F.A.C.T.S. Task Force report signal the beginning of a new era in the history of North Carolina public schools. Seldom have so many parents been so focused on assessing the quality, bias, and relevance of the day-to-day educational activities of their children. As the legislative and task force work continues, the number of engaged parents will only grow. And with it, North Carolina becomes the epicenter of a genuine parental empowerment movement.
Of course, some individuals and public school advocacy groups would prefer that the work of teachers remain behind closed doors. Rather than debate academic transparency on its merits, they used the F.A.C.T.S. portal as an opportunity to write infantile “fan fiction” about Lt. Gov. Robinson and proponents of academic transparency.
Presumably, these self-satisfied, left-wing crusaders lack the intellect to offer a legitimate rebuttal to the work of the task force and believe that snark and invective are substitutes for reasoned debate. They should be grateful that the lieutenant governor’s staff redacted their identifying information, sparing them from embarrassment and well-deserved ridicule.
The F.A.C.T.S. Task Force report and supplementary materials should be required reading for anyone doubting the presence of critical race theory and social justice claptrap in North Carolina public schools. While the submissions are not indicative of the scope of the problem, it is undeniable that there is a problem. I suspect that subsequent task force reports will add critical context to an issue of tremendous importance to families across the state.