The Online Newspaper of Education Rights

This Edition: September 2023

‘Social-Emotional’ Learning (SEL) Standards
     Coming to a State Near You

Parents who are lucky enough to live in one of the more than 20 states that have not officially standardized SEL requirements should be aware that they are likely to be coming soon. For example, the state of Missouri’s board of education is on the cusp of adopting new social-emotional learning standards, with the public comment period having closed on September 15, 2023.

The Missouri Independent newspaper wrote on August 30 that state education officials are “cautiously” moving ahead with plans to implement “social-emotional learning standards for all Missouri students,” but that they are worried about what the newspaper called “political blowback.”


Building Blocks for Liberty Builds Allegiance to Constitution

Ask Marine Jim Lewis about Building Blocks for Liberty (BBFL), and he’ll describe a 501c3 non-profit organization dedicated to the preservation of the U.S. Constitution by educating American citizens one group at a time. Education Reporter caught up with Lewis recently, and his pride and passion for our uniquely American document comes through loud and clear.

“Unfortunately, many people today don’t understand that the Constitution is the rule book for how our federal government is supposed to operate,” Lewis says. “Building Blocks for Liberty is committed to changing that.”

“Our Founding Fathers were not dummies,” he continues. “They created a Constitution that clearly defines the separation of powers. When you read it for yourself and know where to look for additional understanding as to the Founders’ intent, you will understand exactly what authority was delegated to each branch of the federal government.”


Houston School District Reforms: Same Old Story?

It’s a familiar story in American education: A state assumes the operation of a failing school district with much ado and controversy, but nothing of substance ever changes in terms of academic improvement. In a move that actually began in October 2019 amid allegations of misconduct by the Houston Independent School District (HISD) Board and the failure of the HISD’s Wheatley High School to meet state standards, the Texas Education Agency (TEA) assumed control of the district last March.

The announcement of the so-called “takeover” came with the issuance of a final 300-page report documenting allegations of the board’s misconduct for, among other things, failure to publicly deliberate in a quorum or post meeting notices before making key decisions affecting the district as required by Texas law. Despite a series of legal setbacks, the Texas Supreme Court in January 2023 cleared the way for the TEA to replace the Houston ISD’s superintendent with a new “board of managers.”


School Board Candidate to Educate Students and Support Parents

Fe Bencosme, a former educator with nearly 20 years’ experience, is running for the Houston Independent School District (HISD) Board of Trustees. The district has been in turmoil for years due to poor student achievement and scandal involving the previous board. (See Houston School District Reforms: Same Old Story? in this issue of Education Reporter.)

The new board will be seated following the upcoming election on November 7. Bencosme says two of the four seats in play will be filled by a progressive and another likely Democrat, both of whom are running unopposed. Thus, as a conservative, her influence on the board would be especially critical.


Book Review

Overrun: How Joe Biden Unleashed the Greatest Border Crisis In U.S. History

By Todd Bensman,
Bombardier Books and
Post Hill Press, 2023


  • Moms for Liberty has introduced its first ever School Board Candidate Campaign Kit.

  • The California Teachers Association (CTA) is labeling local school board members “extremists” because they support telling parents about their kids’ transgenderism.

  • Despite onerous laws, edicts, and policies coming out of Sacramento, some California Democrats say they reject the state’s gender policies.

  • A new group called Protect Kids California has filed three citizen-initiated ballot measures to enact laws related to gender in schools, sports, and healthcare.
  • More

Be Our Guest:
Contributing Author Essays

Parents, Take Action to Protect Your Children

This commentary is published at American Life, Culture of Life Studies Guest Commentary, August 30,2023. It first appeared in the August 29,2023 issue of the Arlington Catholic Herald. Reprinted by permission.

News reports about what is taught in schools across the country become more alarming by the day. Depending on where you live, your school system and the teachers within could be attempting to indoctrinate your children into believing ideas like gender is fluid, sex can be with anyone they want as long as it’s safe, and transgenderism is cool. Indeed, a Washington Post article addresses this, saying that some “teachers are embracing the topic as the number of transgender and gender nonbinary children rises.”

Gone are the days when our children go to school to learn history, math, the correct science, and other traditional subjects. Today, kids witness drag shows, learn graphic sex ed lessons, and attend school as the opposite sex while hiding this fact from their parents—actions all backed by some school districts.

By Susan Ciancio



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