by Donna Martinez
Former Senior Writer and Editor, John Locke Foundation
Is it just another top-down mandate on teachers from state Republicans, or is House Bill 755 a plan to give parents more information about what their kids are being taught, and by whom? That’s the heart of the debate over this academic transparency bill. Locke’s Terry Stoops, a former teacher, says it really shouldn’t be that hard to do at the end of the school year. WATCH and find out why.
Why propose the posting requirement? WATCH:
This bill could be the connection to their kids’ studies that parents need. Keep in mind, the proposed posting of outlines of lesson plans would take place at the end of the year. Parents would not be able to pre-empt or intervene before a child was taught something biased or objectionable to the parent. But at least the parent would know.
The requirement would also shine a light on the good work being done by so many teachers and help form the crucial student-parent-teacher bond that is vital to a child’s development and achievement. Why wouldn’t a teacher want that?
The future of House Bill 755 is uncertain, however, as Terry wrote recently.
But despite its importance, there is no guarantee that H.B. 755 will become law. Like many pieces of legislation that made the “crossover” deadline, the bill awaits action in the Senate. In April, Senator Chuck Edwards proposed Senate Bill 700: Balanced Political Discussions in the Classroom, which included an academic transparency component. Hopefully, it means that Sen. Edwards will lead efforts to secure passage of the House bill in the Senate.
We say we want parents to be more involved. This bill provides the test of that rhetoric.