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 rare case for the “Maybe They are Starting to Listen” file, a commissioner on the Commission for Evidence-based Policymaking (CEP) admitted “there’s a lot of passion around student privacy.” Education Week quoted Commissioner Shelly Wilkie Martinez, CEP’s executive director, in a recent article about the potential recommendations for their report coming out in September: It’s […]


It is getting very hard to keep up with all of the ways social emotional learning (SEL) is infiltrating education in America and how the SEL data collection is expanding throughout all grade levels, frequently without parental consent. Here is a brief review: A New Hampshire pediatrician wrote in The Wall Street Journal about how […]


A national coalition of grassroots parent and citizen groups — including the American Principles Project, Education Liberty Watch, and Eagle Forum, as well as 72 state and local organizations from 33 states — recently sent a letter to the U.S. House Education and Workforce Committee on the issue of student data privacy. The letter expressed some […]


The U.S. House Subcommittee on Preschool, Elementary, and Secondary Education recently held a hearing titled “Opportunities for State Leadership of Early Childhood Programs.” Although some on the subcommittee made an effort to focus on the duplicative and fragmented nature of the 44 different preschool programs, there was only one brave effort to discuss the preponderance of […]


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 […]