Politico reports that there was no sweep for partisans of the culture war issues. We can expect to see more attacks on teachers, students, and school boards in the next election, based on hyped-up falsehoods about race and gender. Support from rightwing conservative foundations—the usual suspects—will keep alive the battles and the fake organizations leading them. (Expect a special report soon from the Network for Public Education on these front groups attacking school boards, written by an authority on Dark Money).

Juan Perez Jr. of Politico writes:

THE DIVIDED CLASSROOM — In case you missed it amid the advertising noise and campaign spending avalanche of November’s midterms, 2022 proved to be an incredibly busy — and contentious — year for education elections.

Fifteen states and the District of Columbia held state school board or education superintendent races this year. Roughly 1,800 local board seats across some 560 districts in 26 states were also up for grabs on Nov. 8, according to the nonpartisan nonprofit Ballotpedia.

Who came out on top? Nobody. Neither Democrats nor Republicans managed a clean sweep.

This means the state of education in the United States remains divided sharply along partisan lines — and the education wars are likely to continue unabated in 2023 and beyond.

The bitter differences between the two sides and lack of consensus between the poles of both parties — over everything from teaching about slavery and gender identity to childhood vaccinations – offer little incentive for either side to back down.

“We are stopping Critical Race Theory from being taught, stopping access to obscene pornography in our schools, and ending the tenure of radicalism and indoctrination of our kids because the left is waging a civil war in our classrooms,” newly-elected Oklahoma State Superintendent Ryan Walters recently wrote in the Daily Caller.

Candidates who supported having race and sex-related curricula or Covid-19 safety requirements in schools won about 40 percent of the roughly 1,800 local board elections tallied by Ballotpedia this year, and tended to win in counties President Joe Biden carried in the 2020 election. Candidates with opposing views won about 30 percent of their elections, often doing so in counties held by former President Donald Trump.

Nearly one-third of incumbent school board members also lost to their challengers on Nov. 8.

“People didn’t feel listened to. Parents felt they lost agency and power over their kids’ education,” Randi Weingarten, president of the American Federation of Teachers labor union, recently told Nightly. “My concern is that we can’t have two countries. This is one United States of America, and we have an obligation to help kids — regardless of whether they’re in South Carolina, Tennessee, New York or California — to learn how to critically think.”

As they turn toward 2023, Democrats take solace in battleground state victories for governor, successful education-related ballot measures and local school board races where moderate incumbents defeated far-right challengers in Louisville, Ky., the suburbs of Austin, Texas, and other places.

Sure, conservatives lost plenty of races. But they won more than enough to show their brand of culture-based education politics thrives in areas controlled by the party faithful. Trump seems to have this on his mind, too. The former president promised schools would lose their federal funding if they don’t get rid of critical race theory, and what he described as “radical civics and gender insanity,” when he announced his reelection bid.

No state school boards with elections this year flipped partisan control, according to the National Association of State Boards of Education. But majority parties did expand their influence on boards in Colorado, Kansas and Utah while conservative incumbents often lost primary challenges.

Candidates endorsed by two upstart GOP-aligned political committees also won roughly half of their midterm elections.

Candidates backed by Moms for Liberty, a group formed by a former Florida school board member to fight school Covid-19 mask requirements and controversial library books, won about half of their 2022 elections, according to the organization. The 1776 Project PAC, a group opposed to the critical race theory academic framework that examines how race and racism have become ingrained in American institutions, saw a similar win-loss ratio.

Open the link to read more.