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.

Tom Donohue, president of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, gave a speech last week on the “State of American Business,” in which he described the Chamber’s views and plans on education: The first big issue centers on the American workforce. We must have a steady supply of talented and hard-working people to do the work […]


HR 4174, the privacy-crushing de facto national database bill discussed here earlier this week and recently at Townhall, will become law as early as tomorrow, January 12th, without a presidential veto. Economic and privacy experts are gravely concerned about this bill due to its potential to expand the welfare state and planned economy and an increased […]


There they go again. Big Government and Big Data have received another gift from Congress while the privacy of ordinary citizens has been further eroded. In sadly typical lame-duck fashion, the Senate passed HR 4174, the Foundations for Evidence-based Policymaking Act, right before Christmas after strong citizen opposition had held up its passage for 13 months. […]


The Federal Commission on School Safety released their final report this past week. Given its sweeping scope, the report naturally contained many recommendations that were seen as controversial, regardless of one’s perspective on a particular issue. Here are four key takeaways regarding the issues of academic excellence, parental rights, privacy, and freedom of conscience. (The […]


A consortium of the most elite high schools in the nation are attempting to build a new kind of computerized high school transcript that will embody more than what they see as the “broken” traditional grades and time-spent model currently in use. The Mastery Transcript Consortium (MTC) proposes a new transcript model based on three […]


U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos, along with the Secretaries of Labor and Commerce, recently signed a memorandum of understanding with the Swiss government to collaborate in the area of workforce development. Secretary DeVos visited Switzerland in June of this year and was highly complementary of their school-to-work (STW) system, saying that there was much […]


As the push for more school-based mental health intervention increases after recent high profile school shootings, one particularly controversial and inaccurate mental health screening instrument, “TeenScreen”, is starting to make a comeback. Developed by Dr. David Schaffer and other psychiatrists at Columbia University, TeenScreen is a 14-question computerized survey that was heavily used in as […]


Andrew Pollack — father of Meadow Pollack, one of the seventeen students and staff murdered in the Parkland shooting last February — recently posted a two-part video of a fight at Monarch High School in Broward County, Florida: Here is part 1 of the brutal fight at @browardschools. The Promise program implemented by Obama & […]


In June 2017, a federal judge dismissed a lawsuit of a Minnesota mother, Annmarie Calgaro, whose then 17-year-old son was emancipated from her by a county and several medical clinics without any due process on the mother’s part. That case was appealed in July 2017 by attorney Erick Kaardal and the Thomas More Society and […]


The 2018 midterm elections are (almost) now in the books. Here is a brief review of the education outcomes relating to Common Core, Congress and FedEd, school funding, and school choice: Common Core There is much new data and analysis coming out about falling ACT scores under Common Core, the twin dangers of Common Core […]


Despite evidence that preschool is at best ineffective and at worst harmful, two more signs have appeared showing that progressives from both parties are not giving up on expanding these worthless, dangerous, and expensive programs. One is an announcement by Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos that he is going to fund “a network of new, non-profit, […]


ACT, the publisher of one of the two most often used college entrance exams in the nation, recently released a major report, “The Condition of College and Career Readiness – National 2018,” that is another stunning indictment of the Common Core standards. Proponents of Common Core — the ones that forced acceptance of the standards […]


The latest report of the National Commission on Social Emotional and Academic Learning continues to promote questionable brain science in the service of having government schools, corporations, or their foundations set norms for and assess the values, attitudes, beliefs, and emotions of students from cradle to career. Here are some of the many reasons this […]


A thorough new white paper from the Pioneer Institute titled “Common Core, School Choice and Rethinking Standards-Based Reform” expertly discusses the mountain of evidence showing the flaws and failures of the Common Core standards and their aligned curriculum, as well as how damaging the centralized standards reform movement is to school choice. The report is […]


The education swamp-expanding budget process discussed a few weeks ago is now near completion. The table below shows the final levels of difference between this fiscal year and last in the column in bold. Sadly, none of the unconstitutional, wasteful, ineffective programs were cut. The “best” outcome in some cases was that a couple of […]


Finally! Although the horse may be long out of the barn, the FBI should nevertheless be commended for issuing this warning about the dangers of education technology and cyber security threats for students and their families: The FBI is encouraging public awareness of cyber threat concerns related to K-12 students. The US school systems’ rapid […]


About a year ago, I wrote about the stunningly precipitous (but deserved) 13-percentage point drop in support for charter schools nationwide. Although these alternative public schools have gained back a modest 5 percentage points this year, other concerning data is coming out showing that charter schools, especially the corporate chain model, are not particularly effective […]


The debate over what Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos should do about the Obama-era “Dear Colleague Letter” regarding school discipline, especially in light of recent school shootings, rages on. This policy threatens school districts with costly investigations if a disproportionate number of students belonging to a particular racial group are suspended or expelled. Democrat politicians […]


The BBC recently did a profile piece discussing Norway’s child protection system, which is based on its strict enforcement of its United Nations-approved child development standards that include social emotional learning (SEL) standards and work via government home visits. The BBC, which is not exactly a conservative media outlet, summarized the Norwegian situation as follows: […]


Although many factors are involved, an encouraging trend for parents and grassroots activists is emerging in this 2018 Republican gubernatorial primary season. Those candidates listening to parents by opposing Common Core and federal intrusion into education have defeated or are leading establishment, pro-Common Core candidates nearly across the board. Here are three of the most […]