Karen R. Effrem, MD


Dr. Karen Effrem is trained as a pediatrician and serves as president of Education Liberty Watch and the executive director of the Florida Stop Common Core Coalition.

In a disappointing move, the U.S. House Education Appropriations Subcommittee made only minor cuts to the overall budget for the U.S. Department of Education (USED) and to numerous invasive and ineffective programs in their bill writing session held last week. The subcommittee also increased funding for some very worrisome programs. This is quite disheartening given […]


Last month, I described the bizarre and dangerous Minnesota federal court decision that “emancipated” a minor child from his mother, thereby denying her inherent parental right to direct the academic, medical, and other aspects of the care and upbringing of her own son — all without any of the due process normally involved in such […]


The U. S. House Subcommittee on Early Childhood, Elementary, and Secondary Education held a hearing last week on “Exploring Opportunities to Strengthen Education Research While Protecting Student Privacy.” This is the latest effort to try to renew the invasive Strengthening Education Through Research Act (SETRA) we warned about so often in the last session of Congress. Sadly, Congress seems […]


Social Emotional Learning (SEL) proponents’ are loudly and robotically chanting the mantra that SEL is the next great education silver bullet “because of strong and consistent scientific evidence that it helps children and provides an underpinning for productive citizenship.” Yet, the true motives of this push, combined with the research evidence inconsistencies (as admitted by […]


During the 2015 fight over the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA), over 200 parent and conservative organizations and leaders denounced the bill due to its extension of tight control over state and local education by the federal government — features it retained from its No Child Left Behind predecessor. One of the strongest concerns was the […]


Prominent Indiana businessman Alan Hubbard just recently announced his withdrawal from consideration as Deputy Secretary of Education, the number two position under current Secretary Betsy DeVos. In his statement, he cited the significant financial sacrifice his family would need to make as far as selling assets for him meet ethics requirements in order to take […]


The State of Minnesota is rapidly earning the dubious distinction of leading the nation in the destruction of parental rights and autonomy. A federal district court judge just dismissed a mother’s lawsuit, essentially upholding Minnesota’s very harmful and unconstitutional “emancipation statute” that allows minor children — with the aid of outside groups — to leave […]


Charter school and voucher expansion has been a hot topic across the nation at both the state and federal levels. Interest and grave concern about this expansion, especially at the federal level, has intensified from all points on the political spectrum in light of several recent developments: Florida’s bill serving as a trial run, the […]


The bureaucrats and technocrats who see education as mere workforce preparation and who are devoted to monitoring, tracking and slotting free-born American citizens from womb to tomb in order to create their vision of a planned economy are continuing their dystopian efforts with a new bill.  S 1121, the College Transparency Act, is sponsored by […]


It is no secret that Jeb Bush and his close friend and ally, Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos, are huge fans of charter schools. Bush’s Foundation for Florida’s Future (FFF) and his national Foundation for Excellence in Education (FEE) are pushing charter-friendly laws in a number of states, with Florida being a major example. There is […]


Last month, I reported on invasive social emotional learning (SEL) surveys which are being added to Common Core-aligned tests in many states. While that news alone is alarming, it is unfortunately only the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the rapid expansion of SEL across the country. In a recently published brief, the […]


The evidence showing the decided lack of effectiveness of government preschool continues to mount. Numerous policy analysts have already begun to discuss this problem, including the Heartland Institute’s Joy Pullmann, the American Principles Project’s Jane Robbins, the Cato Institute’s David Armor, Lindsey Burke and Salim Furth of the Heritage Foundation, and my own compilation as highlighted at The Federalist. Even the more moderate, corporately-aligned American […]


The April 13th morning education tip sheet from Politico was titled “Home visiting supporters push for funding.” It gushed on about how wonderful these programs supposedly are and how much support they have from key budget leaders on both side of the aisle on Capitol Hill: One reason the Maternal, Infant and Early Childhood Home […]


Large national organizations like the National Association of State Boards of Education and the American School Counselors Association have already admitted that one of the main purposes of the Common Core standards and the aligned testing is to mold and profile students’ attitudes, beliefs and behavior — through what’s called social emotional learning (SEL) or […]


There is no doubt that former Florida Governor Jeb Bush supports Common Core and the privatization of public schools with imposition of the Common Core on private schools. There is also no doubt that his support for these disastrous education policies scuttled his presidential campaign. So why is he continuing to push such terrible policy […]


It seems that all of the grassroots efforts to reach the Trump administration with Common Core-related concerns are finally starting to bear fruit. These concerns include Betsy DeVos’ pro-Common Core record, the disturbingly large number of Jeb Bush foundation employees and alumni staffing the U.S. Department of Education (USED), and the prominent decrease in the […]


In last week’s column, I mentioned four things that President Donald Trump could do to keep his education promises. One had to do with the budget: 3.) Cut the Federal Education Budget Considering that there are so many invasive, ineffective, expensive, over-reaching, privacy-robbing federal education programs that include related social emotional standards tied to Common Core, President Trump […]


Despite consistently promising to end Common Core in nearly every stump speech as a candidate, which was likely one key aspect of his stunning election victory, those words “Common Core” seem to have disappeared from now-President Donald Trump’s political lexicon. The academically inferior, developmentally inappropriate, and psychologically manipulative standards were not mentioned in either his […]


In researching the psychologically manipulative aspects of the Common Core standards and aligned tests in 2014 and 2015, I came across this very alarming statement: ASCA [American School Counselors Association] Mindsets & Behaviors align with specific standards from the Common Core State Standards through connections at the competency level. [Emphasis added] To carry this out, […]


The nanny-state-sponsored, womb-to-tomb effort to manage, assess and track everything about your young children — including their attitudes, values, and beliefs — is moving ahead at break-neck speed. Here is more news from that broad front. Turning Teachers Into Pyschologists On the federal level, there has been a huge push to impose social emotional learning […]