Concerned parents and political leaders “should keep their noses out of school curricula,” according to a columnist at NBC News.
“Parents and politicians across the country are interfering with the curricula that public schools use to teach students,” author and professor of teacher education Christina Wyman wrote in NBC News’ THINK newsletter. She concerned herself chiefly with the banning of Critical Race Theory in public schools, the removal of “literary classics” from libraries for explicit sexual content, and parents “trying to shield students” from the topics of mental health and suicide.
“Part of the problem is that parents think they have the right to control teaching and learning because their children are the ones being educated,” Wyman wrote. “But it actually (gasp!) doesn’t work that way.” She then likened parents taking issue with course materials to interfering with surgery because the patient is their child.
“Teaching, too, is a science. Unless they’re licensed and certified, parents aren’t qualified to make decisions about curricula,” she continued (emphasis added). “In fact, parental interference can actually hinder student advancement. An educator’s primary goal is to teach students to think. Parents who attempt to influence curricula with their personal opinions, ideologies and biases hinder that goal.”
Wyman went on to argue that only licensed professionals should be able to instruct students, citing the list of requirements needed to become a teacher, including years of college study, intensive examinations, and strict licensing requirements. She argued that these requirements are needed to become an effective teacher. “Anyone can walk into a classroom with an understanding of (or at least an opinion about) the content,” she wrote. “But not everyone can succeed in teaching it.”
These qualifications, the credentialed expertise of professional teachers, is why, according to Wyman, “the ceaseless effort of parents and politicians to shape curricula by targeting book selection, the type of history taught in classrooms and even specific terms used in classrooms should be ignored.”
“These distractions are nothing more than theater, and school boards and administrators should be protecting their teachers — and students — from it rather than bowing to it.”
“As a professor of teacher education and someone who works with teachers in classrooms, I can say with authority that our nation’s children are in good, educated and capable hands — no matter what some parents and politicians appear determined to believe,” Wyman concluded.
“[P]arents, community members and politicians who aren’t qualified to teach should keep their noses out of school curricula. A teacher’s main goal should be to teach children to think for themselves, and parents’ dictating the curriculum interferes with the nurturing of that independence.”
Wyman’s comments come as several states have already banned Critical Race Theory in public school curricula. As previously reported by The Daily Wire, North Dakota became the latest state to ban Critical Race Theory in public schools after Governor Doug Burgum signed a bill into law Friday. North Dakota joins eight other states that have already banned CRT in schools, according to the Brookings Institution.
The comments also channeled the sentiment of failed Virginia gubernatorial candidate Terry McAuliffe, who infamously said, “I don’t think parents should be telling schools what they should teach” at a debate in October. McAuliffe’s Republican opponent, Glenn Youngkin, went on to win the election on November 2 in surprising fashion, running on a platform focused mainly on education issues.
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