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.

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 […]


A heavily redacted report was released in recent days reviewing the Broward County Public Schools’ (BCPS) handling of the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School shooter under federal and state special education law. Although the report does shed some light on the events which led to the killing of 17 people this past February, it raises many […]


Last week, Politico’s Morning Education discussed how the Preschool Development Grants started under the Obama administration for four-year-olds were adding thousands of new early childhood slots around the nation. The report also mentioned, “States also used funding from the program to align roughly 25,000 preschool slots to federal early learning standards.” Politico based their reporting […]


As the number of school shootings increase, social media and mental health data are becoming very hot commodities. The federal School Safety Commission talked about how data sharing can be improved to prevent school violence at both of its July 11th and July 26th meetings. The trend in both meetings was to see the Family […]


If the White House School Safety Commission is to make wise and helpful recommendations to protect school children, it needs to have good information. Sadly, most of the witnesses chosen to discuss the mental health aspects of this complex problem at a commission meeting earlier this month only provided limited and potentially dangerous recommendations: namely, the increased […]


Although not surprising in an election year, congressional appropriators — who are generally not known for their political courage — are not doing anything to drain the putrid, unconstitutional swamp that is the U.S. Department of Education and its related programs. Both the full House and Senate Appropriations Committees have completed their Labor/HHS/Education appropriations bills […]


The dream of economic central planners as outlined in Mark Tucker’s infamous letter to Hillary Clinton “to remold the entire American system” into “a seamless web that literally extends from cradle to grave and is the same system for everyone” took another step forward recently as corporate and government establishment insiders in the Trump administration […]


A new report by the Rand Corporation evaluating yet another Bill Gates education debacle — this time for teacher evaluation — was discussed recently in both Forbes by Rick Hess and Bloomberg by Cathy O’Neil. Shane Vander Hart at Truth in American Education also analyzed the Bloomberg piece. This Gates boondoggle spent $575 million (of […]


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 […]