Power to the Parents? The Culture Wars Come to School
At first blush, this year might be considered the year of parental power, with the proliferation of parental bills of rights across the country that put limitations on what can be taught in public schools and allow objecting parents to seek removal of books from the school library. These bills and similar legislation purport to provide parents a greater voice in their children’s education, but they have opened a new front in the culture wars and often pit parents against educators. What’s behind these initiatives, and are they reflective of real disagreements about our national historical narrative or the direction of American education? How are they impacting our schools, our laws, and our politics? And what, if anything, can we do about it?