Can a whistleblower website stop woke teaching? | WORLD
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Can a whistleblower website stop woke teaching?

BACKGROUNDER | Indiana attorney general’s new online portal rankles teachers unions

Todd Rokita Darron Cummings / AP

Can a whistleblower website stop woke teaching?
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INDIANA Attorney General Todd Rokita says his new “Eyes on Education” platform will promote transparency in schools, but teachers unions aren’t happy about it. Rokita’s office unveiled the controversial online portal on Feb. 6, saying he had received reports of school materials, policies, and programs that were promoting divisive ideologies. The website is similar to a tip line established in 2022 by Virginia Gov. Glenn Youngkin. Both efforts have been billed as attempts to give parents more involvement in their children’s education.

How does Indiana’s portal work? Anyone in the state can submit material they believe to be questionable from K-12 schools, colleges, universities, and other educational institutions in Indiana. Concerned individuals provide their name, contact information, school name, and documents relevant to their complaint. Once reviewed and approved by Rokita’s office, submissions are made visible to the public.

What kinds of materials have been reported? Days after its launch, the portal already had more than 30 documents uploaded from over a dozen school districts. The reports included class reading assignments, tests, and school policies that discussed sexuality, critical race theory, and political ideology. One assignment purportedly given to Carmel High School students asked teens to label specific social and political viewpoints, such as “Support greater protection of the rights of the accused,” as most likely belonging to either a “liberal” or a “conservative.”

Why the opposition to the website? The leaders of six teachers unions representing more than 4,000 educators posted a letter on social media on Feb. 11 calling for the portal’s closure. The letter claimed the documents on the website lacked context to understand the assignments and were not properly vetted before being published. The letter also claimed the portal violates teacher privacy and erodes trust in educators. According to The Indianapolis Star, Rokita’s office did not inform school districts or the Indiana Department of Education about the portal until its launch.

How will the state verify claims? Rokita’s office said it would use public records requests to investigate submitted reports of classroom materials that may violate state law. Several school districts told local media that the attorney general’s office did not contact them about materials posted to the site, some of which they said were outdated. One document shows a policy from Clark-Pleasant Community School Corp. that required staff to keep students’ gender identities private even from parents, but that policy was retired in 2023. Rokita’s office said it was updating the portal to include responses from school districts. The Clark-Pleasant document remains on the portal with a note acknowledging the policy’s retirement.


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