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Januray 7, 2008
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2009 EdWatch Education Policy 

 and Budget Priorities
Strong Families and Academic Excellence
February 11, 2009
 
As the new Congress and President and all fifty states begin to address their budget priorities during this serious economic recession, EdWatch believes the following principles are building blocks for educational success as well as prudent fiscal management.
 
STRONG FAMILIES:  Studies demonstrate a high positive correlation between strong families and academic success, including even erasing the achievement gap. The family is the most basic unit of government, and intact families are the most effective social programs. Therefore, rather than implementing invasive, ineffective, and expensive government preschool, home visiting, and child mental health programs, legislation should address policies that strengthen families, such as: 
  • Reasonable tax deductibility for dependent children;
    Welfare reform that encourages families to stay together;
  • Welfare reform that encourages paternal involvement as families transition off of welfare to gainful employment;
  • Elimination of the marriage tax penalty; and
  • Elimination of no-fault divorce when children are involved.

ACADEMIC EXCELLENCE:  In these difficult economic times, schools must focus on their core mission - to teach students to read, write, compute, and understand and maintain America's heritage of freedom and her unique position in the history of the world. Schools that have concentrated on these academic fundamentals have helped all of their students succeed, including poor and minority students. They have done this without fad programs like preschool.  Therefore, EdWatch supports policies and funding in education that promote the following: 

Phonics - As government reading programs have emphasized "literacy" and whole language, reading scores on national and international reading tests have stagnated or declined.  This most basic of academic skills must be taught with comprehensive systematic phonics and teacher education must require this as well.
 
Traditional Math - As the state of California and hundreds of math professors from across the country can attest, integrated math is not adequately preparing our children for college level math or to be able to function well in society or a global marketplace.  Teaching math properly is critical to helping American students succeed in school and in life. 
 
Balanced Science - Global warming alarmism and teaching controversial theories as fact have replaced good science education, inquiry and academic freedom.  This is despite the inconvenient fact that hundreds of credentialed and well-published scientists have questioned both the idea of catastrophic, man-made global warming and evolution.
 
Traditional History, Civics, and Economics - Social studies must teach the essential principles of freedom that are the foundation of our Republic, such as self-evident truth, inalienable God given rights, separation of powers, consent of the governed, and free market capitalism.
 
Advanced Placement (AP) Programs - EdWatch supports AP and opposes International Baccalaureate (IB), because AP is far less expensive and, as a rule, AP prepares students better for college. IB is controlled internationally, rather than locally or domestically.
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