‘Free to Learn’ Coalition Exposes the Politicization of K-12 Schools in Brutal Ad Campaign

BY STACEY LENNOX |
P J MEDIA

AP
Photo/Mary Altaffer, File

Free
to Learn is a new non-profit that is taking a non-partisan approach to
highlighting the damage politicized content like critical theories are doing to
our children and the quality of the education they receive. The group’s mission
is to support parents, caregivers, and grassroots community organizations
fighting to rid their schools of political content and to refocus on core
skills.

“After a year of virtual learning and having a front-row
seat in the classroom, parents are waking up to the increasingly political
climate in their children’s schools,” Alleigh Marré, president of the Free to
Learn Coalition, explained in a press release. “As we grow our partnerships
with parent and community groups, the Free to Learn Coalition will provide a
platform and tailored resources to those ready to take on political activism by
school boards and administrators.”

In an interview with PJ Media, Marré shared some results
taken from initial polling conducted by Free to Learn. Objections to political
content in the classroom are bipartisan and resounding. A majority of
respondents, 82%, want no politicized content in school. When asked where
curriculum should be focused, 71% prefer to emphasize core subjects over
ideology, including 66% of self-identified liberals. In a national election,
these numbers would be considered a landslide. To put a fine point on the
polling information, Marré emphasized that the goal is not to limit the
exposure to a broad range of ideas. The objection is to teaching materials
through the lens of one ideology and presenting them as facts.

The current debate over civics education in some
districts provides one example. Parents prefer teaching about how our
government functions, covering the mechanics of the election process at the
local, state, and national level, or covering current events. As Stanley Kurtz wrote in the American Mind:

True
civic education conveys the purpose, nature, and contours of our constitutional
republic, tells the story of the struggle to uphold its founding principles of
equal rights and liberty, and cultivates virtues necessary to the republic’s
preservation. What civic education very deliberately does not attempt to do is
supply students with substantive political positions. That is for students
themselves to determine as free individuals, in the fullness of time.

This content can become politicized through programs like
Action Civics, where students lobby, protest, and influence the political
process as part of the curriculum. As the Texas Public Policy Foundation noted, “When ‘action’
proceeds from unexamined assumptions, the result is not learning, but
indoctrination.” There is a distinct difference between requiring students to
attend a city council meeting and report back on their observations of the
process, and giving credit to students for attending an anti-gun protest.

To reach parents who may be apolitical, Free to Learn has
invested seven figures in launching a national ad campaign. The national ad
highlights the declining performance in reading, math, and science education in
the United States. In the last OCED PISA rating, the U.S. ranked 22, far
behind China and even newer nations like Estonia and Slovenia:

CLICK HERE TO VIEW THE FIRST AD

The ads deployed in the local markets note the declining
global performance and highlight additional details of the three situations
summarized in the national ad. One ad will air in the New York metro. It
explicitly calls out Grace Church School and several others in the area:

CLICK HERE TO VIEW THE SECOND AD

The ad that Free to Learn will air the Fairfax, Va.,
market highlights the problems with equity policies. Invariably, these programs
demand that school officials lower requirements to give the impression of equal
outcomes while handicapping exceptional students from every background:

CLICK HERE TO VIEW THE THIRD AD

In Arizona, Free to Learn takes aim at the Peoria School
District. It highlights allegations of abuse and the parents being denied
access to the curriculum taught to their children. That level of arrogance —
feeling that government employees paid by the taxpayers are better suited to
determine what children need than parents — is tragically commonplace across
the country:

CLICK HERE TO VIEW THE FOURTH AD

The goal of Free to Learn is to assist parents and
grassroots organizations in networking and information sharing. The group’s
polling finds that parents are not alone in wanting to move away from school
curriculum that comes under labels like “social-emotional” or “diversity,
equity, and inclusion” teaching through the lens of critical theories and back
to skill-building that breeds critical thinking. However, messages from the
media can make parents feel like they are alone, don’t understand the content,
or that this is all a “right-wing conspiracy.”

 “If there was any
basis to label this issue as a conspiracy theory, the recent regulatory
proposals of the Biden Department of Education and should clear that up,”
Marré, the Free to Learn president, told PJ Media. The proposals condition grant funding to schools on
programs that use critical theories and curriculum based on the 1619 Project.
Through coordinated parent-led collaboration, Marré hopes to overcome these
perceptions and empower parents. “The future of our nation depends on improving
the performance of our public schools.”

 _____________

Stacey
Lennox is a recovering Fortune 500 executive and healthcare professional.
Busting the COVID-19 narrative under the VIP tab to avoid the censors. PJ Media
readers can hear Stacey on the weekly Loftus Party podcast with comedian
Michael Loftus and multiple shows a week on KLRN Radio.

_____________

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