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.

The Trump administration’s fiscal 2019 education budget contains many reductions and eliminations that should give hope to parents and privacy advocates. But sadly, congressional appropriators seem almost as genetically incapable of eliminating ineffective, invasive, or harmful programs — despite mountains of data clearly documenting these programs’ uselessness — as they are of exerting any sort […]


Despite courageous efforts by Senator Rand Paul, other fiscally conservative senators, and the House Freedom Caucus, as well as the objections of pro-amnesty Democrat members in both chambers, Congress passed a two-year budget deal early this morning that ballooned spending by $300 billion over the next two years, significantly enlarging the deficit. The bill also […]


On January 30th, American Principles Project senior fellow Jane Robbins gave outstanding testimony at a U.S. House Education and Workforce Committee hearing titled “Protecting Privacy, Promoting Policy: Evidence-Based Policymaking and the Future of Education.” She spoke eloquently about the critical need for data privacy over data security, the dangers of social emotional learning, and the […]


Last Thursday’s edition of Politico’s Morning Education had a short blurb on the status of the preschool development grants, yet another ill-considered federal preschool program imposed by the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA). Here is part of what was written: WHAT’S UP WITH PRESCHOOL DEVELOPMENT GRANTS? Like many other programs waiting on Congress’ fiscal 2018 budget, […]


Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos gave an interesting speech to the American Enterprise Institute last week. In some parts, it contained rhetoric that skeptical conservatives have been waiting to hear. Yet, other parts toed the corporate-establishment, ed-tech, education-as-workforce-prep line that previous administrations of both parties have pursued. Here is a brief review. The Positives First, […]


The National Commission on Academic, Social, and Emotional Learning (SEL) that we have discussed and warned about had a major gathering in Tacoma, Wash., this past November and sent out an email update in early January. The commission is led by Linda Darling Hammond, the head of CASEL, who was radical terrorist Bill Ayers’ choice […]


Happy New Year! Here is a brief update on federal education issues we were following before Christmas and some predictions as 2018 begins. As always, the contrast between policies that uphold the Constitution, academic excellence, parental rights, and data privacy versus those that expand big government control and corporate interests, using student as mere widgets […]


The corporations, foundations, investors, and politicians funded by them have been working hard this year to promote competency-based education (CBE), also called personalized learning, as well as its evil sibling, social emotional learning (SEL). CBE, although poorly defined by proponents, is essentially machine-based learning with constant assessment, including SEL assessment and profiling, to track students […]


The House Education and Workforce Committee completed their mark-up last week of HR 4508, which they have named the Promoting Real Opportunity, Success, and Prosperity through Education Reform (PROSPER) Act. Here is an update on the data privacy implications of this bill. The good news is that the ban on a student unit-record system is […]


Back in February, both Education Liberty Watch and American Principles Project warned about and submitted comments to The Federal Register opposing U.S. participation in the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development’s (OECD) latest ill-advised and invasive International Early Learning Study (IELS). This is a new scheme to extend international standardized testing, social emotional profiling, and data mining […]


Amidst of the ongoing battle against the surveillance state that we have chronicled with the Foundations for Evidence-Based Policymaking Act (FEPA), the College Transparency Act (CTA), and the regulatory gutting of the family Education Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA), there is yet another data bill that is now rearing its head. Senators Marco Rubio (R-Fla.), […]


It was heartening last week to see citizens nationwide come together to provide a great groundswell of support for data privacy in opposing HR 4174, the Foundations for Evidence-Based Policymaking Act (FEPA). Sadly, however, as with the Every Student Succeeds Act, House Leadership was again far more attuned to the desires of Big Data and […]


Last week, I discussed the dangers of HR 4174/S 2046, the Foundations for Evidence-Based Policy Act (FEPA). The gravest concern about FEPA is the likely development of a national database of dossiers on every American citizen. Introduced on Halloween, this horrifying bill passed the U.S. House Oversight and Government Reform Committee on a voice vote […]


In August, I expressed a bit of hope that maybe, just maybe the federal educrats and their minions in the corporate and foundation world were starting to listen to the concerns of parents surrounding student data privacy. The executive director of the Commission on Evidence Based Policymaking (CEP) gave a speech where she acknowledged the […]


Despite Bill Gates tacit admission that his Common Core experiment failed (which is true of every other education experiment he has tried), he and his data grabbing grantees in academia and foundations along with allies in the federal government are still after our children’s data like a crack addict after his next hit. Last week, […]


One commonly used definition of insanity is “doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results.” Bill Gates, the billionaire education philanthropist, has spent hundreds of millions of dollars remaking education according to his philosophy but exempting his own children from his “reforms.” He apparently sees that definition applying only to mere mortals […]


Politico’s Morning Education recently discussed the efforts of a California education committee to comply with a 2011 state law requiring that social studies textbooks teach about “the role and contributions of” eight different identity groups including “lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender Americans…and members of other ethnic and cultural groups, to the economic, political, and social […]


There is mixed news on the battle against efforts to impose the latest progressive fad of social emotional learning (SEL) on our children. First, the great news: On October 5th, Education Week noticed “No State Will Measure Social-Emotional Learning Under ESSA.” While the author attributes this development to heeding the advice of researchers who have […]


The progressives in the federal government are very good at “not letting a crisis go to waste,” especially in relation to the disastrous government-created crisis of single-parent families. After subsidizing illegitimacy since the 1960s, 40 percent of families in the U.S. are headed by single parents. So what is the Left’s solution? Instead of reversing […]


The radical Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) just can’t leave conservatives alone. Already under fire for their thoroughly discredited and bogus “hate watch” list, the left-wing group recently included former CIA analyst Stella Morabito and I as part of a recent “anti-LGBT roundup” in which they addressed our participation in an upcoming Child Protection League fundraising event […]