Karen R. Effrem, MD


Dr. Karen Effrem and her husband have three children. She is trained as a pediatrician and serves as national education issues chairman for Eagle Forum and president of Education Liberty Watch.

As Sen. Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.), the powerful chairman of the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) Committee, approaches retirement in 2020, he and Congress are making one last push to reauthorize the Higher Education Act (HEA). This legislation has been in a stalemate for the last five years. This means that the odious College […]


Several weeks ago, we wrote about the very grave bipartisan concerns over “red flag laws” that have sadly been already passed in 17 states. These laws have been described as setting up a process that allows family members or law enforcement to ask a judge for an order that allows temporary confiscation of firearms if […]


Blain Dillard, the Carey, N.C., parent in the Wake County School District that we wrote about several weeks ago who is being sued by a Common Core math curriculum company for speaking out against the Mathematics Vision Project (MVP), is now countersuing: A Cary parent who is being sued for libel and slander for criticizing […]


A recent article by Erika Christakis in The Atlantic titled “The New Preschool Is Crushing Kids” again highlights the problems with making kindergarten and preschool overly academic and how the huge expansion in preschool is actually harming academic achievement and doing little if anything to close the achievement gap. The accountability movement of strict standards […]


As alarm about the problems, dangers, and poor research related to social emotional learning (SEL) spreads, prominent new voices are entering the fray to speak against it. Bob Kellogg at One News Now recently discussed SEL’s harm to parental autonomy and the academic dilution it causes, while Max Eden, senior fellow at the Manhattan Institute, […]


Red flag laws or “Extreme Risk Protection Orders” have become an intensive topic of discussion and debate after the 2018 Parkland, Fla., shooting as well as the more recent shootings in Dayton, Ohio, and El Paso Texas. These laws have been described as setting up a process that allows family members or law enforcement to […]


As this nation continues to contend with major social and political discord and violence, perhaps the education world is turning to the roots of faith present before and since America’s founding. For the first time, the 51st annual Phi Delta Kappa (PDK) poll on public education issues included questions on teaching Bible classes in public […]


According to a local report, the publisher of a controversial Common Core math curriculum used in the Wake County, N.C., public school district (WCPSS) is suing an individual parent for “libel and slander” as well as “tortuous interference” for vocally criticizing the district’s use of the curriculum he says has harmed the education of his […]


The case of Anmarie Calgaro involving her son who was emancipated by several entities in the state of Minnesota without any due process for the mother has now been appealed to the U.S. Supreme Court. Here is her statement as she filed the original suit: My name is Anmarie Calgaro. Last year, without my knowledge […]


As the evidence becomes clearer that experts and parents were right about Common Core being an academic disaster and not merely derailed by implementation problems, states must grapple with the hard work of revamping their education standards. Thanks to the excellent executive order of Governor Ron DeSantis, Florida is deeply involved in doing just that. […]


On July 5th, ten of the current twenty major Democratic presidential candidates gathered in Houston for the 2019 annual convention of the National Education Association (NEA) to discuss their education platforms before members of the nation’s largest teachers’ union. Present at this forum were: former Vice President Joe Biden, New York City Mayor Bill de […]


As chronicled in multiple articles (also here and here) and the Pioneer Institute white paper authored by attorney Jane Robbins and myself, efforts to impose government-determined norms for the attitudes, values, and beliefs of the nation’s children beginning in preschool are becoming disturbingly relentless. Despite lots of concerns by Ohio parents and pro-family state school […]


As the evidence — even from respected pro-preschool researchers — continues to mount that government preschool programs are not particularly helpful and may actually be academically and emotionally harmful, the pro-nanny state side comes up with another “study” to say that preschool has some magical long-term benefits that previous research somehow failed to reveal. The […]


As efforts increase to protect school safety in the wake of high-profile school shootings like those in Parkland and Sandy Hook, so do data collection efforts by states and schools that significantly undermine student privacy. A recent article by Education Week outlined several of these efforts across the nation. Particularly disturbing are efforts to monitor […]


Despite all evidence and even advice from proponents to be careful in the implementation, supporters of social emotional learning (SEL) standards, assessments, and data collection are following the same playbook as those who imposed Common Core standards with little discussion or buy-in from parents and teachers. As recently discussed, the full Ohio State Board of […]


At the end of last week’s column discussing yet another study demonstrating the colossal academic failure of the Common Core standards in math and English Language Arts (ELA), I said the following: All of this shows that the January 31st executive order of Florida Governor Ron DeSantis to eliminate Common Core from the Sunshine State and the more recent […]


Yet another study confirms what a miserable academic failure the Common Core standards have turned out to be. The research was carried out by the federally funded Center on Standards, Alignment, Instruction, and Learning (C-SAIL) and reported by Lance Izumi of Pacific Research Institute in the conservative Daily Caller, as well as by Chalkbeat, a […]


A committee of the Ohio State Board of Education is scheduled to vote on advancing a proposal to the full state board to implement statewide social emotional learning (SEL) standards this coming Tuesday, May 14th. This is part of a national movement to psychologize education, falsely advertised as improving academic achievement and preventing violence and […]


A recent article by Joy Pullmann in The Federalist demonstrates just how nosy and invasive “school climate surveys” have become. These surveys are now a cornerstone of the implementation of social-emotional learning (SEL) programs in the nation’s public schools and have also been found in Common Core-aligned state tests and (illegally) in the National Assessment […]


The corporate technology push of machine-based skills training continues to march across the nation. This effort goes by the names such as “competency-based education” (CBE), “personalized learning,” and “mastery education.” It has been well described by Jane Robbins, Peter Greene, here and in this space. The latest is a bill in Florida that seeks to […]