WASHINGTON — Civil Rights and Civil Liberties Subcommittee Ranking Member Nancy Mace (R-S.C.) opened today’s hearing by recognizing the important work going on throughout the country to ensure K-12 curriculums in the public school system set students up for success. She expressed concern about Democrats’ efforts to discredit legitimate and lawful attempts to ensure curriculums are designed to empower students to achieve their full potential. When considering curriculum, Subcommittee Ranking Member Mace emphasized that children’s innocence should be protected and prioritized along with their potential for both personal and academic success.
Subcommittee Ranking Member Mace concluded her remarks by outlining how the teachers unions and Democrat politicians’ collusion to keep schools closed harmed America’s students, especially low-income and minority students. She called for solutions to help students achieve academic success.
Subcommittee Ranking Member Mace’s remarks as prepared for delivery are below.
Thank you, Chairman Raskin.
Our state and local governments can and should make informed choices about curriculums for our students.
In fact, the Supreme Court has recognized State Legislatures and School Boards are empowered “to establish and apply their curriculum in such a way as to transmit community values.”
This makes absolute sense.
Legislatures and school boards are directly accountable to voters and to the parents of students attending local schools.
And I want to recognize that there is a lot of important work going on across the country to ensure that K-12 curriculums in public schools serve our students well and prepare them for success.
At the last hearing, I was pleased to talk about the importance of our freedom of speech and its importance in our American society, especially given attempts to stifle free speech on college campuses across the country.
But I am concerned that the purpose of this hearing is to discredit legitimate and lawful attempts to ensure that our curriculums are designed to empower students to achieve their full potential.
Unfortunately, we have too often seen attempts to indoctrinate our young students.
In fact, we saw examples during the pandemic.
When teacher unions conspired with Democrat politicians to keep schools closed, parents watched their children struggle through Zoom school.
They also witnessed lesson plans laced with divisive and radical ideologies.
Make no mistake—we should teach our children the academic skills they need to succeed, along with the complete history of this country—both the good and the bad.
As I stated at the last hearing we held on this subject, we must teach our children about the problematic chapters in our history, so long as we also teach them about the heroes who led us into a more perfect union.
But K-12 classrooms are no place to be teaching concepts like race essentialism, racial scapegoating, or content of a sexual nature that is not age appropriate for young children.
Children’s innocence should be protected and prioritized along with their potential for both personal and academic success.
Our children deserve better than to be taught that they are oppressors or victims, merely based on the color of their skin.
Instead, we should redouble our efforts to ensure our children have the foundation to achieve academic success.
It really does come down to reading, writing, and arithmetic, where too often our schools are failing our children.
In fact, study after study confirms what we suspected all along: Remote learning and school closures were a failure by nearly every metric.
And that learning loss was disproportionately experienced by our most vulnerable students.
Those students whose schools were closed longest. Whose parents had to work outside the home. Whose families lacked the resources to provide extra support inside the home. Or the resources to send them to a different school—one that was open.
We miserably failed our students. Their learning loss is acute.
We have the empirical data to show the losses—studies from Harvard and Brown—demonstrate that children in virtual school had the greatest learning loss. And those students are the very students that Democrats claim to care so much about—disadvantaged and minority populations.
Democrats are now so dismissive of the greatest increase in educational inequity in our history—because it was at the hands of blue state officials.
Until they acknowledge the problem they created, we can’t fix it.
Now, I am concerned that we are simply not doing enough to get our students back on track.
Our children’s futures and the future of America depend on providing optimal education to all children, priming them for success personally and academically. When our education system fails our young children, it’s failing the future of America.
I look forward to hearing from our witnesses today especially about their ideas to ensure that our students can reach their academic goals despite the many obstacles created by unwise policy choices in the pandemic.
Thank you, Chairman Raskin, and I yield back.