New Indiana GOP bill allows everyone except teachers to decide what is actual history

3 months ago 26

As my colleague Laura Clawson wrote about Monday, the “next wave of attacks on public education” will be using the term “transparency.” The trick here is to take away the power of educators and teachers and put what is and is not taught in schools up to a politicized vote. To that end, Indiana’s state Senate (controlled 39 to 11 by the GOP) has introduced Senate Bill 167. Called “Education Matters,” it starts off benignly enough, requiring schools to have an easy-to-access website where “qualified” schools can post “educational activities and curricular materials.”

That information is in the first sentence of the bill. From there, things go off the rails pretty fast and pretty harshly, specifically requiring that schools “add functionalist that allows parents of students in the school corporation to opt in to or out of certain educational activities and curricular materials under certain conditions.” It adds a vague, tragically ironic piece about having a committee that makes sure all school activities and curriculum do “not include or promote certain concepts as part of a course of instruction or in a curriculum or direct or otherwise compel a school employee or political affiliation.”

Indiana State Teachers Association (ISTA) President Keith Gambol told WDRB that this is an egregious overstepping by legislators, especially since there are already standards set. "We are wanting to make sure that our educators are able to be honest when presenting information in their classroom. Everything that takes place in our courses is defined by our state standards."

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