Parents May Be Given The Right To See What Their Kids Are Being Taught In Colorado

By Rick Gonzales | Published

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The more parents speak out against public school education, the more legislators are getting behind them. Colorado parents were thrilled to learn that a new bill introduced to the Colorado House Assistant Minority Leader Representative Tim Geitner would give them much more insight into what teachers are presenting to their children in the classroom. Along with making the material more accessible, the bill would also school to adopt their policies surrounding the teaching of “controversial issues.”

House Bill 22-1066, if passed, would first and foremost improve academic transparency, so say the Colorado House Republicans. This is something parents have longed for and it’s a “momentum,” according to Christopher Rufo, a senior fellow at the Manhattan Institute, that is building and there is no stop to it “until curriculum transparency becomes law.” Along with total academic transparency, the proposed bill will allow schools to adopt policies around teaching controversial issues. Said policy must include the school’s policy for reporting policy violations to which the local education provider will also have to post that policy on their website.

The bill, as proposed, did not say what they considered controversial, but the prevailing thought here is that “controversial” will include any sort of critical race theory (CRT) teachings. Colorado has seen their fair share of the CRT controversy, as have much of the nation. Back in August of 2021, the Colorado Springs School District 49 banned critical race theory in their district although there is nothing on the state level books that says CRT is to be taught in schools.

The proposed bill that has a number of Colorado parents smiling is not a long one (only 6 pages) and says that at the beginning of the 2022-23 school year, public and charter schools will publish on their website: (1) A list of the educational materials that the local education provider uses for each grade, subject, and course; (2) A copy of each survey, nonacademic assessment, analysis, and evaluation distributed to students; (3) A list of the devices, programs, and software that the local education provider uses that collect student biometric data; and (4) Information concerning the professional development requirements for educators whom the local education provider employs.

For the longest time, Democrats in charge have been railing that parents shouldn’t be allowed any say in what schools are teaching their children. During former Virginia Governor Terry McAuliffe’s failed campaign last year, he made what many considered to be the “Deadliest political gaffe of the year” when he said, “I don’t think parents should be telling schools what they should teach.” Newly elected Virginia Governor Glenn Youngkin rode that one line to victory.

It would be a sentiment heard time and again. Even the 1619 Project author Nikole Hannah-Jones got caught up in the moment during a Meet the Press interview. She first made the statement to remind the interviewer that McAuliffe didn’t lose Virginia because of academic transparency but it was lost because of a “right-wing propaganda campaign that told white parents to fight against their children being indoctrinated.” Be that as it may, it was what she said next that had Colorado parents, and many others across the country, up in arms. “I don’t really understand this idea that parents should decide what’s being taught.”

Well, parents are having a whole different opinion as to what schools should be teaching their children and Colorado parents, through the efforts of Geitner, are getting closer and closer to academic transparency. What we want to know is what you think schools, and more importantly, teachers should reveal in their teachings. Should full curriculums be made available on school websites or are you comfortable with not knowing? And what should be done with teachers who don’t comply?

In New York, there is a growing number of teachers (more than 5,000) who signed a petition last year stating flat out they will break any anti-critical race theory laws that are being considered. Part of the statement concerning the petition read: “the major institutions and systems of our country are deeply infected with anti-Blackness and its intersection with other forms of oppression. To not acknowledge this and help students understand the roots of U.S. racism is to deceive them.”

The petition ended with: “We, the undersigned educators, refuse to lie to young people about U.S. history and current events — regardless of the law.” So, what are Colorado parents, parents in general, to do with that knowledge? If laws are going to be boldly disregarded, what comes next?