Ocean State families have lost trust in a failing government-run public school system that is increasingly controlled by corrupt teacher unions and radical left ideologues. Many families are seeking to escape the system and are desperate in seeking alternative options.

The RI Department of Education, at the direction of its commissioner, Angelica Infante-Green, have weaponized K-12 school districts in the Ocean State to advance radical and divisive theories and content with the goal of  influencing and manipulating students to become political tools of the Left.

Click here to see RIDE’s Top-10 Failures

Both major teacher unions in RI have persistently stood in the way of significant educational reform by threatening to use their massive political war chest to oust lawmakers who do not support the agenda of union bosses. In recent years, both the AFT and the NEA rejected calls to focus more on objective subjects like math, science, and English … and instead make the politically subjective issue of “social justice” a priority in K-12 schools. Who wins and who loses?

Teacher unions, with their long-time special-interest and insider crony status, have more recently devolved into just another radical-left activist group that use alleged concern for students to attain power and influence. The reality, however, is while they care about teachers, they harm students far more than they help them. 

One example is teachers unions’ opposition to school choice. Those who actually care about students should support the right of parents to choose their children’s schools—just as many teachers do when they send their own children to schools of their choice.

A second example is teachers unions’ making it nearly impossible to fire incompetent teachers.

A third example was teachers unions’ demands that schools lock down for nearly two years during the COVID-19 era. The unions did so despite there being no scientific evidence in support of school lockdowns and despite ample warnings that many children would suffer intellectually, scholastically, emotionally, and psychologically.

Moreover, wrote John H. Cochrane of the Hoover Institution in The Wall Street Journal, “When schools went remote, parents found out what was actually going on inside the classrooms. Teachers were coaching students to hate themselves, their country and their religious traditions, and sexualizing young children.”

The last point brings us to a fourth example: Teachers rob young students of their sexual innocence with premature talk of, and books that deal with, overt sexual activity, and the infamous use of drag queens to perform in front of children as young as 6 years old.

Just how left-wing teachers organizations are was made clear by the sympathetic left-wing magazine The Nation in January:

A rank-and-file campaign inside the National Education Association is demanding the president stop ‘sending military funding, equipment, and intelligence to Israel.’ … But the rank-and-file campaign goes beyond [that]. … Members want the [National Education Association] to revoke its endorsement of Joe Biden for the 2024 presidential race until the president … stops ‘sending military funding, equipment, and intelligence to Israel.’

That was only two months after Oct. 7.

Sadly, many believe that we must save our kids from RIDE – the RI Department of Education. In fact a petition drive calling for the resignation of commissioner Angelic Infante-Green has garnered hundreds of signatures and scathing comments.

The lack of educational achievement among students, combined with the cultural attack on children and parents … is even more troubling.

In 2019 the RI General Assembly granted RIDE with the authority to develop statewide curricula standards for core subjects … however, since then, under the direction of Commissioner Angelica Infante-Green, RIDE has proven to be wholly irresponsible and unworthy of such authority.

Instead of pursuing a traditional “content-based” curricula strategy, an objective method of teaching factual material, RIDE has adopted a more subjective and controversial approach, often referred to as “concept-based” pedagogy. In Rhode Island’s case, the Socialist worldview of Infante-Green and her “America as oppressors” point-of-view is persistently woven through almost all RIDE-recommended instructional content.

  • SOLUTION: Repeal the 2019 statue that empowered RIDE with curricula authority and return related decisions to locally-elected school committee officials, as Senate bill S2518 attempted to achieve in 2024.

The Marxification of Education in RI: On RIDE’s own website, the prominent Marxist Paulo Freire is prominently quoted. Freire’s “critical pedagogy,” whose theoretical roots are derived directly from Marxism, seeks to indoctrinate students to become critical agents of social change.

RIDE has failed in its mission to prepare children for college and life, while also leading the way in advancing a woke, social justice agenda that has divided local communities.

Education or Indoctrination?

  • Failing statewide test scores that have not recovered to pre-pandemic levels, despite ever-increasing spending
    • Graduation rate racial disparities remain far too high
  • A radicalized and divisive curricula that politicizes education by advancing controversial race and gender theories and by exposing young children to age-inappropriate sexually explicit materials.
    • Anti-American History. RIDE’s 2023 social studies standards adopt the Marxist tenets of Critical Race Theory; teaches students to hate America, men, and Christians; and advances the notion that America was founded so as to “oppress” minority and native population
    • Censorship. RIDE partnered with a so-called “media literacy” group, which in reality, instructs teachers on how to censor credible political views and media organizations – in K-12 schools – just because they offered a conservative political analysis
    • America’s two major teacher unions – the American Federation of Teachers and the National Education Association – openly support a progressive-left agenda that puts politics ahead of student achievement
    • Another major player in corrupting the minds of young students with inappropriate content is the American Library Association, which continually pushes member school librarians to display and make available sexually explicit and other anti-American, anti-God, and pro LGBTQ books.
  • The rights of parents are continually eroded, by forced “woke” teachings in schools about sensitive personal and cultural issues that only parents should discuss with their own children.
    • To radical woke education officials, parents are considered the enemy of their own children, if moms and dads do not support the transgender delusions of their kids
    • Many education experts believe that just around the corner is the threat of the State physically seeking to remove children from their loving families because they refuse to comply with gender-denying programs that being pushed by school officials.
  • Lack of confidence is public schools is demonstrated by the alarming levels of student and teacher absenteeism, as well as increasing numbers of students and teachers fleeing the public school system entirely

Of course, not every family objects to the issues raised above … as many parents believe that the government should have more say in the raising and education of children. Some parents may also believe in some of the teachings that others find controversial or inappropriate.

  • SOLUTION: Expand school choice options for families. Given these emotional differences of opinion on what is being taught to our children, it is more important than ever for families in Rhode Island to be afforded the same choices that parents in dozens of other states presently enjoy. More school choice opportunities … in the form of educational scholarship accounts that provide for some level of public money to follow each student to the public, private, parochial, or home school of their family’s choice … must be instituted in our state.
  • At a higher level, even greater educational freedom is required in our public , including full curricula transparency, full parental notification polices, with greater awareness and opportunities for parents to opt their children out of some of the controversial surveys and other Social and Emotional Learning programs that school officials now persistently expose to young students.