As State Superintendent, Sheri Few’s number one priority will be restoring parental authority in the education of their children. Sheri envisions a South Carolina where education is unencumbered by federal mandates, where local schools operate in support of parents, and where parents are empowered with the authority to choose what and how their children learn, because they are the undisputed, primary educators of their children.
Critical theory, in all of its guises, distorts our history and hopelessly divides people. Coerced by federal funding, states are teaching children that America is systematically racist to its core, which is dividing our nation. It’s time to replace lies with truth! America is a great nation of good people – and American children should be proud of its history. Sheri Few will work hard to be sure the public understands this isn’t about politics and she will ensure that schools stand for unity, not division. Sheri believes no teacher or student should be compelled to affirm, believe, profess, or adhere to any idea that violates the Civil Rights Act of 1964. She further believes no school should contract for teacher professional development with providers who promote racist doctrines and practices that have been held to violate the Civil Rights Act. Sheri will institute measures that will require public school officials give all members of the public comprehensive access in-person and online to school curricular materials including professional training sessions. Parents should be able to see, at-a-glance online, what their children are learning. Sheri has been in the trenches fighting this Marxist, racist ideology from harming children and our country’s’ unity. As a result, and simply because she opposes Critical Race Theory, she has been confronted by Antifa-types in riot gear and bullhorns, called a racist, and a White Supremacist and has been accused of holding KKK meetings. Sheri has thick skin, and she won’t stop fighting for children and our country’s freedom. Sheri is the best candidate because she has proven she is willing to fight and never give up, and she has the courage and perseverance to take the steps necessary to right the ship.
Sheri Few will work tirelessly to protect a parent’s fundamental right to make health decisions for their children. Children learn best when they are educated in the physical environment of the classroom. Moreover, the rise in suicides, depression, anxiety, and other mental-health crises in districts across the country makes in-person learning not only an educational imperative but a medical emergency. Sheri will do everything in her power to ensure in-person learning and will never support or set policies that prohibit a child who is not sick from attending school in person. According to the American Academy of Pediatrics and the Children’s Hospital Association, approximately “1.6% of children with a known case of COVID-19 have been hospitalized and 0.01% have died.” And according to a professor from John Hopkins University, "The possible psychological harm of widespread masking is an even greater worry. Facial expressions are integral to human connection, particularly for young children, who are only learning how to signal fear, confusion and happiness. Covering a child’s face mutes these nonverbal forms of communication and can result in robotic and emotionless interactions, anxiety and depression. Seeing people speak is a building block of phonetic development. It is especially important for children with disabilities such as hearing impairment." Sheri will work with the Legislature to protect children from incentives and propaganda pushing COVID shots and will adamantly oppose mandatory shots for children intended to prevent the COVID virus. Sheri will further ensure that parents have access to uncensored medical facts when making decisions regarding their children’s health.
Sheri Few is alarmed by the expanded use of inappropriate Comprehensive Sexuality Education (CSE), in K-12 public schools. CSE is a blatant intrusion into a traditional family domain and a dangerous assault on the health and innocence of children. These programs seek to change society by changing sexual and gender norms and teaching youth to advocate for their sexual rights. Most CSE programs promote acceptance of diverse sexual identities and orientation and do not promote optimal health outcomes, nor do they empower children to increase self-regulation. From Comprehensive Sexuality Education to Transgender influences without parental consent, children are being sexualized to a worldview that is contrary to their parents’ views. South Carolina has had a law in place since 1988 that includes a protection for children from being taught about alternative sexual lifestyles. In 2020, three LGBT groups sued Superintendent Spearman and a federal court ruled to remove this protection. Not surprisingly, Spearman did not appeal the decision and no one else weighed in to challenge the court’s decision. This has left the door wide open for LGBT and Transgender influences in schools. Parents are rightly upset with what they are seeing in their children’s curriculum. Sheri will work to reverse the court’s decision and replace former protections that prevent indoctrinating children with ideologies that conflict with parental values. Superintendent Few will also strengthen the enforcement of the Comprehensive Health Education Act and ensure parents are notified of their legal right to inspect sex education curriculum prior to instruction and exempt their child if it doesn’t align with their family values.
Superintendent Spearman spoke publicly against a legislative ban on biological boys competing in girls’ sports. As Superintendent, Sheri Few will work with the SC Legislature in support of protecting the integrity of sports by not allowing biological boys from unfairly dominating girls’ sports. She will do everything within her purview as Superintendent of Education to defend the rights of female students to compete on a level playing field. Participation in sports and other extracurricular activities help kids learn, be healthy and stay enthusiastic about attending school. The expansion of girls’ sports has been a great addition to public schools since the passage of Title IX fifty years ago. "No person in the United States shall, on the basis of sex, be excluded from.... any educational program or activity..." But this great progress is being undone by the demands of a belief, not based on science, that a man can claim to be a woman and then demand access to women's sports and women's locker rooms. This creates a situation that is unfair, and even dangerous for young women. Sheri stands behind the truth of science: that there are only two sexes, male and female, while supporting the health and safety needs of all our public school students.
Sheri Few supports the innovative “Providing Academic Choice in Education (PACE)” legislation. As the President of US Parents Involved in Education, Sheri is pleased to have been a participant in structuring the PACE legislation to maximize the benefit to parents and students while limiting the potential for intrusive government regulations. Sheri opposes government structured programs where state or federal funds are redirected back to parents in support of school choice because of the potential for intrusive government regulation. Sheri will protect private and Christian schools, and home schooling from government-run voucher programs like Education Savings Accounts. Private and home school options exist primarily because of their ability to implement their vision of best practice education models. Accepting funds from government entities has forged bad education practices into private and home schools such as Common Core-aligned assessments. Sheri believes the structure of the PACE legislation maximizes the ability to fund scholarships for students, while providing a fair mechanism for distribution that will benefit parents who choose to have their child attend an educational entity outside of a public school setting.
Despite dramatic increases in federal intervention and funding in the public education system since the 1960s, educational achievement has not improved. Efforts to improve educational outcomes for low-income children have also been expensive and unproductive. The evidence is inarguable and the federal government’s intervention in education has been a dismal failure. To maximize the effectiveness of every dollar spent on public education, the State Department of Education, under the leadership of Sheri Few, will assess overhead demands in terms of cost placed on the state, district, and local schools by accepting federal grants and implementing federal education programs. Federal education fads have become the vehicle for nationwide implementation of leftist indoctrination like the most recent Critical Race Theory and 1619 Project. Most South Carolina taxpayers, whether they have children in public schools or not, do not want their money funding divisive and dishonest pedagogies pushed down from the federal government and other national influences. Sheri will work tirelessly to protect parents and other taxpayers by putting an end to anti-American and anti-Christian propaganda and other indoctrination in South Carolina schools intended to divide and dismantle our Constitutional Republic.
Once the cost and burden for accepting federal funds is assessed, Sheri Few will encourage the State Legislature to consider if the cost of compliance exceeds the value of the funding in consideration of federally imposed control and regulation. Sheri will attempt to wean the State off federal education funds that always come with strings attached. Such is the case with the most recent ESSER III funds requiring districts to advance Critical theory-inspired “equity and inclusion.” State-funded education programming offers the opportunity to streamline compliance and return control of education policy to the state and local level. Since the federal portion of K-12 education spending, though large in dollars, is about 10% in each state, restructuring tax collection to recover, or streamline the funds needed is feasible. Dr. Neal McCluskey of the CATO Institute summarizes the issue quite well: “Policy makers need to recognize that federal aid is ultimately funded by the taxpayers of the 50 states, and thus provides no free lunch. Indeed, the states just get money back with strings attached while losing billions of dollars from wasteful bureaucracy. There is no compelling policy reason, nor constitutional authority, for the federal government to be involved in K-12 education. In the long run, schools would be better off without it.”
The Jeffersonian maxim that “government closest to the people governs best” is a central plank of republicanism. When it comes to education, however, Republican lawmakers have moved away from this plank toward centralizing governance at the state level. The top two governing bodies for education policy are the State Board of Education and the Education Oversight Committee; both of which members are politically appointed by the Legislature. In order to decentralize education governance and provide accountability to parents and other taxpayers, Sheri will work with the Legislature to place a question on the ballot enabling voters to decide to amend South Carolina's Constitution regarding how State Board of Education members are selected. The question will change the members from being politically appointed to being elected by the citizens of this state; possibly organized by Congressional districts. Sheri will also work to eliminate the politically appointed Education Oversight Committee and place the Committee's responsibilities under the South Carolina Department of Education. These structural changes will empower parents and other voters to effectively influence education policy and decentralize South Carolina's education policy decisions.
In 2010, D.C. special interest groups and the federal government successfully herded children into one-size-fits-all national standards. States were coerced by the federal government into adopting the standards resulting in an illegal federal takeover of education. The Common Core Standards were never field-tested, removed parental and local control, contained academically inferior content, and increased the threats to student and family privacy. More than twenty states, including South Carolina, proposed legislation to repeal Common Core, and Sheri Few led the battle to repeal Common Core in South Carolina. A rewrite of the standards was required by legislation in 2015, but under the leadership of Superintendent Molly Spearman, the standards were simply rebranded as South Carolina College and Career Ready Standards. The Education Oversight Committee did an analysis of the “new” standards and found them to be 90% aligned to Common Core. The South Carolina College and Career Ready Standards would have been even more aligned with Common Core had another law not passed that same year, requiring cursive writing instruction and the memorization of math facts. Students in South Carolina have been subjected to the very problematic Common Core standards for more than ten years. Florida, under the leadership of Governor DeSantis, is the only state in the nation to escape Common Core. Sheri Few will lead the efforts to follow the DeSantis model and bring proven-effective ELA and Math standards to SC schools.
Sheri Few has been warning people about the workforce development model of education for more than 20 years. This model is an attempt by the federal government to control the economy. Over the last several decades there has been a shift from a liberal arts education to a vocational certification system. Education is no longer about teaching children to become leaders and rigor has been removed. Transmission of knowledge has been replaced with indoctrination. Sheri Few will do all she can to dismantle the current system and return to a Classical Liberal Arts education for South Carolina students. Classical Education is a long tradition of education that emphasizes the seeking of truth, goodness, beauty, and the study of liberal arts and classic literature. The classical approach teaches students how to learn and how to think. Its approach is specific as to how and when students are taught. Regardless of a child’s learning style, children learn in three stages (grammar, logic or dialectic, and rhetoric), known as the trivium. Classical Education has produced countless great leaders, inventors, scientists, writers, philosophers, theologians, physicians, lawyers, artists, and musicians over the centuries. Although it never really disappeared, it did however fade starting around 1900 with the advent of progressive education. The good news is, Classical Education is on the rise in America with more than 500 classical schools (including private and charter schools), and tens of thousands of homeschooling families educating with the classical approach.
To address the recruitment and retention of good teachers, Sheri Few will attend to the needs of the education professional. In today’s classroom, teachers are facing the consequences of a dramatic transformation in education to which they have not subscribed. Sheri Few will work to ensure teachers are granted the freedom to teach and manage the classroom while relying on experiential knowledge and professional judgement. Sheri will also work to end grading limitations that impose a “grading floor” of 50% and disallow zeros for missing work. If there are no penalties for late and missing work, and any test can be retaken numerous times for better a grade, students do not face consequences or have accountability. Sheri will advocate for talented teachers’ evaluative measures over “authentic assessment”, portfolios, and group projects. Sheri will advocate for teachers to see relief on behalf of their students from chronic testing interruptions, which intrude on instructional time. Aspiring and experienced educators have been discouraged by the extraneous requirements of state and district administrations following initial certification. Professional development courses, many of which are mandates, rarely impact a specific discipline, but rather target the educational arena to develop a social ideology or introduce a non-traditional teaching strategy. While certification processes must be modified to improve recruitment, the stress of continuous evaluative programs of the new teacher must be limited to enhance retention.