Indiana-based grassroots organization trains school board applicants to ‘restore academic excellence’
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An Indiana school district’s drift away from bolstering academics prompted the launch of a grassroots community organization to train school board candidates and motivated parents to run for school board seats .
Diane Eaton, the founder of Fishers One, the group that trains school board candidates, told Fox News Digital that the organization’s goal is to “restore academic excellence” in Southeast public schools. of Hamilton. The group was founded on April 21, 2021.
“I didn’t realize they were making a change until COVID-19 hit in 2020. And that’s when I wondered what was going on at our school. Especially because that it was not opening and schools around us were opening during the coronavirus pandemic,” Eaton, a former school board member who served from 2006 to 2014 for the Hamilton Southeast School District, said .
The Fishers One founder said when she attended a school board meeting in January 2021, she asked how the school district had changed since she left her position on the school board.
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“The one person told me that school boards are now mostly about social justice,” Eaton said.
In addition, Eaton explained that the school district began to change dramatically after grant money was used to “buy programs from third parties.”
“Many people think this grant impacted education in Indiana because it was heavy on counseling, tracking social-emotional learning surveys, and took more resources away from teachers who focus on academic subjects to support staff such as mental health counselors, social workers and equity officers who are not academically focused,” she said.
Data from the Social-Emotional Learning Survey, administered by a company called Panaroma Education, is used to help educators meet student needs.
The survey states, “When selecting survey topics and interpreting data on social-emotional learning, it is critical that educators consider how situational or systemic forces, such as racism and racial prejudice, shape the lives of students and recognize that emotional growth is the shared responsibility of students, educators, families and their wider communities.”
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“Parents don’t know that their children’s personal information belongs to a company,” Eaton continued. “School corporations buy third-party programs that now claim they own the data and their information is proprietary. As a result, parents cannot have full access to the information, increasing the lack of transparency in schools County.”
Hamilton Southeast Public Schools has since updated a section on microaggression in their textbook, prompting some parents to push back at the June 8 school board meeting where the measure was approved .
The school district defines microaggressions as “everyday, subtle, intentional or unintentional interactions or behaviors that communicate some kind of prejudice toward stigmatized or culturally or historically marginalized groups.”
The new addition to the student manual is listed in the Student Conduct section of the manual.
The two parents who blasted the student manual for its “subjective approach” to tackling microaggression, Dawn Lang and Juanita Albright, vow to run for school board and are backed by Fishers One.
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Lang, who wants to run for Hamilton Southeastern School Board, District 3 in Fishers, Indiana, told Fox News Digital that Hamilton Southeastern Public Schools’ approach to dealing with microaggressions is indicative of his lack of leadership. pay attention to “academic excellence”.
Lang, a mother of three, also said the school district needs to focus on math, reading, English and history.
“I think we’re being redirected on issues unrelated to what our schools should be like, and I’ve learned that the test scores definitely reflect that,” Lang said.
“[Hamilton Southeastern Public Schools] were ranked fourth in the state in terms of scores or graduation rate. Now we are 16th. So I can honestly say we’re not, we’re no better now than we were eight or ten years ago.
Albright, a medical professional, vows to report for Hamilton Southeastern School Board, District 2 in Fishers, Indiana, because she noticed what her children were “learning and not learning” during COVID-19.
“I just became a little more aware that I didn’t think academics were as rigorous as they used to be,” she said.
The mother-of-three pointed out that the school’s approach to tackling microaggressions would add more burden to a school district already overwhelmed by a staffing shortage.
“He came out of nowhere,” Albright said. “All of a sudden this is being presented to the school board and I found it very disturbing.”
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“I believe that parents in this area are ready for a change. They are ready to see their students return to an academic orientation. We, I believe, need to focus on preparing our children to enter the workforce. , to go to college to do what they want to do in life. And it’s my goal to be prepared.
Across the country, parents have spoken out against coronavirus-related mandates in schools and progressive curricula that have been associated with critical race theory or gender theory.
The issues have prompted parents to rise to run for school board seats after concerns over educational content during the coronavirus pandemic. Some parents who had little political experience won victories.
Groups similar to Fishers One have emerged to speak out against indoctrination.
A new Minnesota parent advocacy group, the Minnesota Parents Alliance, has launched an effort to train and support school board candidates and engage parents in their schools and communities.
The Minnesota Parents Alliance has held trainings for school board candidates across the state and plans to provide support to new school board members after they are elected.