See Missouri’s New Curriculum Transparency Bill

A bill is making its way through Congress that would give parents broader curriculum transparency.

By Jessica Marie Baumgartner | Published

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curriculum transparency

As parents and school boards argue over curriculum transparency, the Missouri State Senate has proposed Senate Bill NO.1225. It is being called the Sunlight in Learning Act. And it would ensure that parents have access to information regarding what their children are learning.

The issue surrounding curriculum transparency comes at a time when enrollment is declining in public schools. From Missouri to Virginia, and California, teachers are quitting by the dozens, and the future of education is a constant political battle. All over the country parents and school boards have been disagreeing over what should be taught in school. So much so that the FBI chose to side with the schools, and went so far as to label parents who argue over curriculum issues as “terrorists.” 

Across the nation, curriculum transparency is a heated issue. Critical Race Theory (CRT), teaching children about gender fluidity, and the implementation of sexually explicit books have created tension between parents and teachers. In Missouri, some questionable curriculum materials were plotted. The curriculum materials were plotted to enter classrooms. One school district claims they have not been teaching CRT, but did host a training session where teachers were instructed to identify themselves on an “oppression matrix.”  They were also taught about “covert white supremacy,” and instructed to use these materials to better their teaching skills. 

curriculum transparency

These materials have slipped under the radar under the guise that they are not teaching CRT. Because the material is just different enough that it is not the full theory, and it is mainly being taught to teachers. As this claim may be considered true, the philosophy behind these materials are still the same — they link power and success to racism and move to teach that the United States has a history of racism that must be atoned for — and if teachers are encouraging Missouri to change their curriculum styles for transparency, based on the information given, then these lessons are affecting students. 

It is because of situations like these that parents are pushing for curriculum transparency bills to be passed. This comes well after former Virginia Governor, Terry McAuliffe told parents that they shouldn’t determine what their children learn. Missouri is not the only state where questionable incidents are occurring, and its lawmakers are joining the fight to ensure that students are being educated on materials that their parents consent to.

The bill itself lays out a simple plan for Missouri schools to give parents more curriculum transparency via public access to staff training materials and instructions, materials and activities which are implemented with the students, the information of all websites and organizations which produce the materials used, links to materials, written copies to be distributed, lists of library materials, and review procedures regarding all teaching/learning-related materials. At just eight pages long, Missouri’s Sunlight in Learning Act is written clearly so that parents, schools, lawmakers, and even some students can read and understand it. If passed it could go into effect as early as the next school year. How school districts will adjust their curriculum depends on whether or not this goes through, so parents and teachers alike are waiting for the outcome of this proposed legislation.