Education

People For the American Way and African American Ministers in Action Support the DREAM Act

People For the American Way and African American Ministers in Action believe that if students are able to complete their education and work legally, they will become a vital part of our society able to contribute to our economy and live their own American dream. We strongly urge you to support the DREAM Act.

Congress Moves Closer to Passage of DREAM Act

Edging closer to becoming law, the House passed the DREAM Act yesterday and today the Senate took a procedural vote that temporarily delayed action on the measure in order to build more support for its consideration in the coming week.

Gift Promotes Donor's Values

Jill Fatzer is using her legacy to help PFAWo stand up for the rights of future generations of Americans.

People For, CREDO, Brave New Foundation Deliver Petitions Demanding Unbiased Textbooks

People For the American Way Foundation, CREDO, and Brave New Foundation today delivered over 131,000 petitions to the offices of McGraw-Hill in New York, urging the publisher to reject Texas’ right-wing curriculum standards and publish textbooks free of political ideology or bias.

Texas School Board Votes to Omit Labor Leader Dolores Huerta from Curriculum

The Texas State Board of Education voted to adopt new curriculum standards that use the state’s education system to push a conservative political agenda, including rejecting a proposal to restore labor and civil rights leader Dolores Huerta to the elementary school curriculum.

Texas Board of Education Rewrites History

In a vote last week, the Texas Board of Education approved a Social Studies curriculum rewritten to emphasize conservative ideology and whitewash topics that don’t align with board members’ beliefs.  The curriculum, which is due to receive final approval in May, was changed to emphasize the Board’s religious and political objectives by, for instance, adding flattering details about disgraced conservative Senator Joseph McCarthy, increasing focus on violent fringe members of the peaceful civil rights coalition, and even downplaying the importance of Thomas Jefferson du

Right Wing Attacks Against Kevin Jennings Put Politics Above Student Safety

People For the American Way President Michael B. Keegan today spoke out in support of Kevin Jennings, President Obama's choice to head the Department of Education's Office of Safe and Drug Free Schools (OSDFS.)

Kevin Jennings Will Keep Schools Safe for All

n response to Right Wing criticism of Kevin Jennings, who was appointed by President Obama to head the Department of Education's Office of Safe and Drug Free Schools (OSDFS), People For the American Way President Michael B. Keegan said, "It's a bad sign for our civic conversation that an educator who has spent so long working for the best interests of all students faces such vehement political attacks."

Arizona Supreme Court Rejects Voucher Schemes

The Arizona Supreme Court today rejected publicly funded voucher schemes that send public money to religious and other private schools. PFAW and a group of allies filed suit against the state in 2006, pointing to clear language in the Arizona Constitution that forbids appropriating taxpayer money in aid of "private or sectarian schools." "The Arizona Constitution is very clear on this issue, and I'm pleased that the court recognized that," said Tanya Clay House, PFAW Director of Public Policy. "This is a victory for students, parents, taxpayers, and all those who value religious liberty, as guaranteed through the separation between church and state. Taxpayer money shouldn’t be going to pay for private or parochial schools."

Senate Rejects Extension of DC Voucher Plan

The Senate today rejected an amendment that would have continued sending taxpayer money to the District of Columbia school voucher program. The legislation, which was not reviewed by any Senate committee, was defeated by a vote of 58 to 39.

"Congress deserves an A-plus for this decision," said People For the American Way president Kathryn Kolbert. "School vouchers have always been about ideology, not education," said Kolbert.

Sen. DeMint Attacks DC School Children

In remarks during a press conference yesterday, Senator Jim DeMint declared that, "if you send a kid to [public] school in D.C., chances are that they will end up in a gang rather than graduating." PFAW President Kathryn Kolbert issued the following statement: "Senator DeMint's statement yesterday is offensive to the parents and students of the District of Columbia."

A Student of Uncommon Courage: Matthew LaClair

When Matthew LaClair heard his popular high-school history teacher tell students that only Christians will go to heaven, and that evolution has no basis in science, he knew something was wrong. Unlike most 16-year-olds, he knew it was his duty to do something about it.

Timeline: How Creationism Has "Evolved"

An overview of how the strategies of the creationism movement have "evoloved" over time.

Florida Supreme Court Removes Voucher Amendments from Ballot

Following oral argument this morning, the Florida Supreme Court this afternoon unanimously ordered that two proposed state constitutional amendments cannot appear on the November ballot. The amendments would have repealed the Florida Constitution's prohibition on public aid to religious institutions and allowed public funds to be used to subsidize religious and other private education. Placed on the ballot by the Florida Taxation and Budget Reform Commission, the proposed constitutional amendments were intended to overturn the Court's 2006 ruling that invalidated the state's voucher law. The Court today ruled that the Commission overstepped its authority by placing the items on the ballot.

Democrats Should Oppose Voucher Schemes in Party Platform

Changing course from previous years, the recently released draft platform of the Democratic Party did not contain explicit language opposing publicly funded school vouchers. Tanya Clay House, PFAW Director of Public Policy, issued the following statement. "Democrats should use the party platform to make clear their opposition to school voucher schemes that undermine the goal of strengthening public schools and providing quality educational opportunity to all children. In the past, Democrats have held the line against Republican-led efforts to weaken public education through school vouchers, and that stance should be made explicit in this document."

David Barton: Propaganda Masquerading as History

In 1987, God reportedly told David Barton, a one-time science teacher at a fundamentalist Christian school that grew out of a church started by his own parents, that he was “to search the library and find the date that prayer had been prohibited in public schools [and] obtain a record of national SAT scores … spanning several decades.” Predictably, the result of Barton’s unscientific study was to find a “correlation” between the alleged banning of prayer and a decrease in SAT scores, as well as increases in everything from alcohol consumption to crimes rates across the nation.

Flaws and Failings

In early 2004, Congress passed, and President Bush signed into law, an omnibus appropriations act that also created a new federally-funded school voucher program in the District of Columbia, the first such federally-funded voucher program in the country.

Voucher Veneer: The Deeper Agenda to Privatize Public Education

Today, governmental responsibilities in education and the strong connection that
Americans have with their public schools are being put to a serious test. A network of Religious Right groups, free-market economists, ultraconservative columnists and others are using vouchers as a vehicle to achieve their ultimate goal of privatizing education.

Evolution and Creationism in Public Education

An In-depth Reading Of Public Opinion

Results of a comprehensive, national survey on the teaching of creationism in public schools.

Back to School with the Religious Right

The Religious Right continues to target public schools in a variety of ways that disrupt education and threaten religious liberty, according to a report released by People For the American Way Foundation (PFAWF). The report provides an in-depth analysis of the struggle over the future of our public education system by focusing on six categories: creationism; textbook controversies; sexuality education; religion and public schools; anti-gay activity and censorship.

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