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.

Conservative, pro-family and pro-school safety groups continue to duke it out with progressive, pro-gun control, social justice warriors over the contentious school discipline issue. In general, the conservatives see the federal government’s Obama-era school discipline guidance as dangerous and want it repealed, while the progressives see it as a matter of “equity” and “social justice,” […]


As Ronald Reagan used to say: “There they go again!” The Collaborative for Academic, Social, and Emotional Learning (CASEL) — which receives our hard-earned taxpayer dollars to insinuate social emotional learning (SEL) standards and curriculum into every classroom in America from preschool on up — has found another voice to breathlessly tell us benighted parents […]


After yet another tragic school shooting — this time in Santa Fe, Texas, resulting in the deaths of eight students and two teachers — Texas has followed the example of Florida and proposed a plan that vastly expands mental health screening and diagnosis in the state’s schools. The first element of the plan is to […]


As Memorial Day approaches, it is incredibly important that we pause from our rhetorical and political battles on the education front to remember, honor, and teach the next generation the stories of our military men and women. These soldiers, sailors, airmen, marines, and coast guardsmen fought and died to secure the heritage and blessings of […]


Yesterday, the U.S. House Education and Workforce Committee held a hearing titled, “Protecting Privacy, Promoting Data Security: Exploring How Schools and States Keep Data Safe.” Here are some key takeaways: 1.) More leaders are realizing the need to reduce the amount of student data collected. By far, the best witness from a parental rights and […]


Despite statements to the contrary by Broward County, Fla., Superintendent Robert Runcie and Sheriff Scott Israel, it has now been reported by WLRN that the Parkland school shooter, Nikolas Cruz, had in fact been involved in the controversial PROMISE school discipline program. PROMISE, launched in 2013, stands for Preventing Recidivism through Opportunities, Mentoring, Interventions, Supports […]


As discussed a few weeks ago in this space, the state of Texas is ramping up its school-based mental health screening and research using students as guinea pigs. And as predicted after the Parkland, Fla., school shooting and the ill-considered law passed there, the same effort is starting to happen in the Sunshine State. The […]


It seems like a new example of the outrageous trampling of parental rights in schools regarding sexuality and gender issues pops up almost daily. Parents throughout the nation have reached their limit with the radical, Planned Parenthood type of sex education and the promotion of alternative lifestyles masquerading as anti-bullying programs in public schools. According […]


This week, the American Principles Project, Education Liberty Watch, and Eagle Forum, along with leaders from more than 100 organizations both nationally and in 31 states, called on Congress to rewrite the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA). In a letter to the House Education and Workforce Committee, these organizations strongly urged Congress to protect the […]


The National Commission on Social, Emotional, and Academic Learning, a joint effort of the Aspen Institute and the Collaborative for Academic, Social, and Emotional Learning (CASEL), has recently released more “calls to action” for teachers, youth, and families. These include calling for expanding SEL interventions and involvement in the school safety realm in the wake […]


While federal, state, and local officials are trying to improve student safety in the wake of the tragic Parkland, Fla., school shooting, the heightened concern over student mental health has greatly increased efforts to screen students for mental health issues. Two programs in Texas exemplify this push — with potentially ominous implications for student health, […]


In an article for The Daily Caller last week, APP senior fellows Emmett McGroarty and Jane Robbins clearly explained the dangers and consequences for education of the Facebook/Cambridge Analytica scandal. Those consequences are nicely summarized as follows: In the No Free Lunch Department, Doug Levin of EdTech Strategies, LLC warned, “Privacy experts have long been concerned […]


The School Safety Commission ordered by President Trump that will discuss and recommend ways to keep schools safer after the tragic Parkland, Fla., school shooting in February is set to hold its first series of roundtable discussions this Wednesday, April 4th. This commission, chaired by Education Secretary Betsy DeVos, also includes Attorney General Jeff Sessions, […]


Tragically for our children’s futures and freedoms — but predictably, as we warned here and here — Congress heeded very few general principles or President Trump’s good ideas about preserving freedom and privacy, decreasing the federal footprint in education, supporting programs that work, or maintaining fiscal discipline. The House yesterday passed the $1.3 trillion omnibus-spending bill — […]


Sadly, the great wisdom contained in Ben Franklin’s maxim, “Those who would give up essential Liberty, to purchase a little temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety” was entirely lost on the Florida legislature. After much political posturing and theater, on March 7th, they passed the Marjory Stoneman Douglas School Safety Act that I warned […]


Progressives in both parties are continuing to use the government-created problem of fatherless poor and minority families to peddle their schemes of expanding the role of government-as-parent yet again to create more preschool and home visiting programs. The Problem with Government Preschool Take, for example, Mississippi school superintendent Dr. Carey Wright (see here for her past exploits), […]


In the rush to “do something” to respond to the horrific and tragic Parkland shooting in Florida, a Florida Senate committee considered bills on Monday that greatly expand mental screening and profiling of students, “harden” security at schools, fund more school resource officers, and arm teachers and others that volunteer and undergo extensive training and […]


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 […]