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Karel | May 26, 2021

I Refuse to Stand By While My Students Are Indoctrinated

Children are afraid to challenge the repressive ideology that rules our school. That’s why I am.

I am a teacher at Grace Church High School in Manhattan. Ten years ago, I changed careers when I discovered how rewarding it is to help young people explore the truth and beauty of mathematics. I love my work.

As a teacher, my first obligation is to my students. But right now, my school is asking me to embrace “antiracism” training and pedagogy that I believe is deeply harmful to them and to any person who seeks to nurture the virtues of curiosity, empathy and understanding.   

“Antiracist” training sounds righteous, but it is the opposite of truth in advertising. It requires teachers like myself to treat students differently on the basis of race. Furthermore, in order to maintain a united front for our students, teachers at Grace are directed to confine our doubts about this pedagogical framework to conversations with an in-house “Office of Community Engagement” for whom every significant objection leads to a foregone conclusion. Any doubting students are likewise “challenged” to reframe their views to conform to this orthodoxy. 

I know that by attaching my name to this I’m risking not only my current job but my career as an educator, since most schools, both public and private, are now captive to this backward ideology. But witnessing the harmful impact it has on children, I can’t stay silent.

My school, like so many others, induces students via shame and sophistry to identify primarily with their race before their individual identities are fully formed. Students are pressured to conform their opinions to those broadly associated with their race and gender and to minimize or dismiss individual experiences that don’t match those assumptions. The morally compromised status of “oppressor” is assigned to one group of students based on their immutable characteristics. In the meantime, dependency, resentment and moral superiority are cultivated in students considered “oppressed.”

All of this is done in the name of “equity,” but it is the opposite of fair. In reality, all of this reinforces the worst impulses we have as human beings: our tendency toward tribalism and sectarianism that a truly liberal education is meant to transcend.

Recently, I raised questions about this ideology at a mandatory, whites-only student and faculty Zoom meeting. (Such racially segregated sessions are now commonplace at my school.) It was a bait-and-switch “self-care” seminar that labelled “objectivity,” “individualism,” “fear of open conflict,” and even “a right to comfort” as characteristics of white supremacy. I doubted that these human attributes — many of them virtues reframed as vices — should be racialized in this way. In the Zoom chat, I also questioned whether one must define oneself in terms of a racial identity at all. My goal was to model for students that they should feel safe to question ideological assertions if they felt moved to do so. 

It seemed like my questions broke the ice. Students and even a few teachers offered a broad range of questions and observations. Many students said it was a more productive and substantive discussion than they expected.

However, when my questions were shared outside this forum, violating the school norm of confidentiality, I was informed by the head of the high school that my philosophical challenges had caused “harm” to students, given that these topics were “life and death matters, about people’s flesh and blood and bone.” I was reprimanded for “acting like an independent agent of a set of principles or ideas or beliefs.” And I was told that by doing so, I failed to serve the “greater good and the higher truth.” 

He further informed me that I had created “dissonance for vulnerable and unformed thinkers” and “neurological disturbance in students’ beings and systems.” The school’s director of studies added that my remarks could even constitute harassment.

A few days later, the head of school ordered all high school advisors to read a public reprimand of my conduct out loud to every student in the school. It was a surreal experience, walking the halls alone and hearing the words emitting from each classroom: “Events from last week compel us to underscore some aspects of our mission and share some thoughts about our community,” the statement began. “At independent schools, with their history of predominantly white populations, racism colludes with other forms of bias (sexism, classism, ableism and so much more) to undermine our stated ideals, and we must work hard to undo this history.”

Students from low-income families experience culture shock at our school. Racist incidents happen. And bias can influence relationships. All true. But addressing such problems with a call to “undo history” lacks any kind of limiting principle and pairs any allegation of bigotry with a priori guilt. My own contract for next year requires me to “participate in restorative practices designed by the Office of Community Engagement” in order to “heal my relationship with the students of color and other students in my classes.” The details of these practices remain unspecified until I agree to sign.

I asked my uncomfortable questions in the “self-care” meeting because I felt a duty to my students. I wanted to be a voice for the many students of different backgrounds who have approached me over the course of the past several years to express their frustration with indoctrination at our school, but are afraid to speak up. 

They report that, in their classes and other discussions, they must never challenge any of the premises of our “antiracist” teachings, which are deeply informed by Critical Race Theory. These concerns are confirmed for me when I attend grade-level and all-school meetings about race or gender issues. There, I witness student after student sticking to a narrow script of acceptable responses. Teachers praise insights when they articulate the existing framework or expand it to apply to novel domains. Meantime, it is common for teachers to exhort students who remain silent that “we really need to hear from you.” 

But what does speaking up mean in a context in which white students are asked to interrogate their “white saviorism,” but also “not make their antiracist practice about them”? We are compelling them to tiptoe through a minefield of double-binds. According to the school’s own standard for discursive violence, this constitutes abuse. 

Every student at the school must also sign a “Student Life Agreement,” which requires them to aver that “the world as we understand it can be hard and extremely biased,” that they commit to “recognize and acknowledge their biases when we come to school, and interrupt those biases,” and accept that they will be “held accountable should they fall short of the agreement.” A recent faculty email chain received enthusiastic support for recommending that we “‘officially’ flag students” who appear “resistant” to the “culture we are trying to establish.” 

When I questioned what form this resistance takes, examples presented by a colleague included “persisting with a colorblind ideology,” “suggesting that we treat everyone with respect,” “a belief in meritocracy,” and “just silence.” In a special assembly in February 2019, our head of school said that the impact of words and images perceived as racist — regardless of intent — is akin to “using a gun or a knife to kill or injure someone.” 

Imagine being a young person in this environment. Would you risk voicing your doubts, especially if you had never heard a single teacher question it?

Last fall, juniors and seniors in my Art of Persuasion class expressed dismay with the “Grace bubble” and sought to engage with a wider range of political viewpoints. Since the BLM protests often came up in our discussions, I thought of assigning Glenn Loury, a Brown University professor and public intellectual whose writings express a nuanced, center-right position on racial issues in America. Unfortunately, my administration put the kibosh on my proposal.

The head of the high school responded to me that “people like Loury’s lived experience—and therefore his derived social philosophy” made him an exception to the rule that black thinkers acknowledge structural racism as the paramount impediment in society. He added that “the moment we are in institutionally and culturally, does not lend itself to dispassionate discussion and debate,” and discussing Loury’s ideas would “only confuse and/or enflame students, both those in the class and others that hear about it outside of the class.” He preferred I assign “mainstream white conservatives,” effectively denying black students the opportunity to hear from a black professor who holds views that diverge from the orthodoxy pushed on them.

I find it self-evidently racist to filter the dissemination of an idea based on the race of the person who espouses it. I find the claim that exposing 11th and 12th graders to diverse views on an important societal issue will only “confuse” them to be characteristic of a fundamentalist religion, not an educational philosophy. 

My administration says that these constraints on discourse are necessary to shield students from harm. But it is clear to me that these constraints serve primarily to shield their ideology from harm — at the cost of students’ psychological and intellectual development. 

It was out of concern for my students that I spoke out in the “self-care” meeting, and it is out of that same concern that I write today. I am concerned for students who crave a broader range of viewpoints in class. I am concerned for students trained in “race explicit” seminars to accept some opinions as gospel, while discarding as immoral disconfirming evidence. I am concerned for the dozens of students during my time at Grace who shared with me that they have been reproached by teachers for expressing views that are not aligned with the new ideology.

One current student paid me a visit a few weeks ago. He tapped faintly on my office door, anxiously looking both ways before entering. He said he had come to offer me words of support for speaking up at the meeting.

I thanked him for his comments, but asked him why he seemed so nervous. He told me he was worried that a particular teacher might notice this visit and “it would mean that I would get in trouble.” He reported to me that this teacher once gave him a lengthy “talking to” for voicing a conservative opinion in class. He then remembered with a sigh of relief that this teacher was absent that day. I looked him in the eyes. I told him he was a brave young man for coming to see me, and that he should be proud of that. 

Then I sent him on his way. And I resolved to write this piece.

Original article here.

[Video] Helen Zille on Wokeness

Join Nicholas Lorimer and Gabriel Crouse for an exclusive interview with DA Federal Council Chairman, Helen Zille, about her new book '#StayWoke Go Broke' and why she thinks the American culture wars are so bad for South Africa.

You Have to Read This Letter

A New York father pulls his daughter out of Brearley with a message to the whole school. Is the dam starting to break?

I was planning to publish a roundup today of the many thoughtful responses to Paul Rossi’s essay. I’m going to save that post for Sunday, because I was just sent this letter that has my jaw on the floor. It was written by a Brearley parent named Andrew Gutmann.

If you don’t know about Brearley, it’s a private all-girls school on the Upper East Side of Manhattan. It costs $54,000 a year and prospective families apparently have to take an “anti-racism pledge” to be considered for admission. (In the course of my reporting for this piece I spoke to a few Brearley parents.)

Gutmann chose to pull his daughter, who has been in the school since kindergarten, and sent this missive to all 600 or so families in the school earlier this week. Among the lines:

If Brearley’s administration was truly concerned about so-called “equity,” it would be discussing the cessation of admissions preferences for legacies, siblings, and those families with especially deep pockets. If the administration was genuinely serious about “diversity,” it would not insist on the indoctrination of its students, and their families, to a single mindset, most reminiscent of the Chinese Cultural Revolution.

I’m pasting the whole thing below.

Meantime, I’m going to ask Andrew Gutmann to join Paul Rossi and me for our subscriber-only conversation this coming Tuesday night. I hope he’ll join. Details about that event will be in Sunday’s post.

I promise: this newsletter won’t be exclusively about education. But my gosh is it a wild right story to follow right now. . .

See you Sunday.


April 13, 2021 

Dear Fellow Brearley Parents, 

Our family recently made the decision not to reenroll our daughter at Brearley for the 2021-22 school year. She has been at Brearley for seven years, beginning in kindergarten. In short, we no longer believe that Brearley’s administration and Board of Trustees have any of our children’s best interests at heart. Moreover, we no longer have confidence that our daughter will receive the quality of education necessary to further her development into a critically thinking, responsible, enlightened, and civic minded adult. I write to you, as a fellow parent, to share our reasons for leaving the Brearley community but also to urge you to act before the damage to the school, to its community, and to your own child's education is irreparable. 

It cannot be stated strongly enough that Brearley’s obsession with race must stop. It should be abundantly clear to any thinking parent that Brearley has completely lost its way. The administration and the Board of Trustees have displayed a cowardly and appalling lack of leadership by appeasing an anti-intellectual, illiberal mob, and then allowing the school to be captured by that same mob. What follows are my own personal views on Brearley's antiracism initiatives, but these are just a handful of the criticisms that I know other parents have expressed. 

I object to the view that I should be judged by the color of my skin. I cannot tolerate a school that not only judges my daughter by the color of her skin, but encourages and instructs her to prejudge others by theirs. By viewing every element of education, every aspect of history, and every facet of society through the lens of skin color and race, we are desecrating the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., and utterly violating the movement for which such civil rights leaders believed, fought, and died. 

I object to the charge of systemic racism in this country, and at our school. Systemic racism, properly understood, is segregated schools and separate lunch counters. It is the interning of Japanese and the exterminating of Jews. Systemic racism is unequivocally not a small number of isolated incidences over a period of decades. Ask any girl, of any race, if they have ever experienced insults from friends, have ever felt slighted by teachers or have ever suffered the occasional injustice from a school at which they have spent up to 13 years of their life, and you are bound to hear grievances, some petty, some not. We have not had systemic racism against Blacks in this country since the civil rights reforms of the 1960s, a period of more than 50 years. To state otherwise is a flat-out misrepresentation of our country's history and adds no understanding to any of today's societal issues. If anything, longstanding and widespread policies such as affirmative action, point in precisely the opposite direction. 

I object to a definition of systemic racism, apparently supported by Brearley, that any educational, professional, or societal outcome where Blacks are underrepresented is prima facie evidence of the aforementioned systemic racism, or of white supremacy and oppression. Facile and unsupported beliefs such as these are the polar opposite to the intellectual and scientific truth for which Brearley claims to stand. Furthermore, I call bullshit on Brearley's oft-stated assertion that the school welcomes and encourages the truly difficult and uncomfortable conversations regarding race and the roots of racial discrepancies. 

I object to the idea that Blacks are unable to succeed in this country without aid from government or from whites. Brearley, by adopting critical race theory, is advocating the abhorrent viewpoint that Blacks should forever be regarded as helpless victims, and are incapable of success regardless of their skills, talents, or hard work. What Brearley is teaching our children is precisely the true and correct definition of racism. 

I object to mandatory anti-racism training for parents, especially when presented by the rent-seeking charlatans of Pollyanna. These sessions, in both their content and delivery, are so sophomoric and simplistic, so unsophisticated and inane, that I would be embarrassed if they were taught to Brearley kindergarteners. They are an insult to parents and unbecoming of any educational institution, let alone one of Brearley's caliber. 

I object to Brearley’s vacuous, inappropriate, and fanatical use of words such as “equity,” “diversity” and “inclusiveness.” If Brearley’s administration was truly concerned about so-called “equity,” it would be discussing the cessation of admissions preferences for legacies, siblings, and those families with especially deep pockets. If the administration was genuinely serious about “diversity,” it would not insist on the indoctrination of its students, and their families, to a single mindset, most reminiscent of the Chinese Cultural Revolution. Instead, the school would foster an environment of intellectual openness and freedom of thought. And if Brearley really cared about “inclusiveness,” the school would return to the concepts encapsulated in the motto “One Brearley,” instead of teaching the extraordinarily divisive idea that there are only, and always, two groups in this country: victims and oppressors. 

l object to Brearley’s advocacy for groups and movements such as Black Lives Matter, a Marxist, anti family, heterophobic, anti-Asian and anti-Semitic organization that neither speaks for the majority of the Black community in this country, nor in any way, shape or form, represents their best interests. 

I object to, as we have been told time and time again over the past year, that the school’s first priority is the safety of our children. For goodness sake, Brearley is a school, not a hospital! The number one priority of a school has always been, and always will be, education. Brearley’s misguided priorities exemplify both the safety culture and “cover-your-ass” culture that together have proved so toxic to our society and have so damaged the mental health and resiliency of two generations of children, and counting. 

I object to the gutting of the history, civics, and classical literature curriculums. I object to the censorship of books that have been taught for generations because they contain dated language potentially offensive to the thin-skinned and hypersensitive (something that has already happened in my daughter's 4th grade class). I object to the lowering of standards for the admission of students and for the hiring of teachers. I object to the erosion of rigor in classwork and the escalation of grade inflation. Any parent with eyes open can foresee these inevitabilities should antiracism initiatives be allowed to persist. 

We have today in our country, from both political parties, and at all levels of government, the most unwise and unvirtuous leaders in our nation’s history. Schools like Brearley are supposed to be the training grounds for those leaders. Our nation will not survive a generation of leadership even more poorly educated than we have now, nor will we survive a generation of students taught to hate its own country and despise its history. 

Lastly, I object, with as strong a sentiment as possible, that Brearley has begun to teach what to think, instead of how to think. I object that the school is now fostering an environment where our daughters, and our daughters’ teachers, are afraid to speak their minds in class for fear of “consequences.” I object that Brearley is trying to usurp the role of parents in teaching morality, and bullying parents to adopt that false morality at home. I object that Brearley is fostering a divisive community where families of different races, which until recently were part of the same community, are now segregated into two. These are the reasons why we can no longer send our daughter to Brearley. 

Over the past several months, I have personally spoken to many Brearley parents as well as parents of children at peer institutions. It is abundantly clear that the majority of parents believe that Brearley’s antiracism policies are misguided, divisive, counterproductive and cancerous. Many believe, as I do, that these policies will ultimately destroy what was until recently, a wonderful educational institution. But as I am sure will come as no surprise to you, given the insidious cancel culture that has of late permeated our society, most parents are too fearful to speak up. 

But speak up you must. There is strength in numbers and I assure you, the numbers are there. Contact the administration and the Board of Trustees and demand an end to the destructive and anti-intellectual claptrap known as antiracism. And if changes are not forthcoming then demand new leadership. For the sake of our community, our city, our country and most of all, our children, silence is no longer an option. 

Respectfully,

Andrew Gutmann

Original article here.

These Parents and Teachers Have Had Enough of Woke Classrooms and Critical Race Theory

Parents are starting to push back. Here's what we can do to empower them.

More parents are waking up to the “woke” ideology that is seeping into their children’s classrooms and curriculum. Increasingly, they are speaking up and opting out.

Last week, Andrew Gutmann, a father of a student at the elite, $54,000-a-year Brearley School in Manhattan, wrote a scathing open letter to the school community. He stated that he wouldn’t be re-enrolling his daughter this upcoming academic year due to the school’s singular focus on “anti-racism” efforts that, according to Gutmann, are overtly racist and exclusionary.

“I object to Brearley’s vacuous, inappropriate, and fanatical use of words such as ‘equity,’ ‘diversity’ and ‘inclusiveness,’” wrote Gutmann in his 1700-word letter, which was published on Friday at journalist Bari Weiss’s website.

“If Brearley’s administration was truly concerned about so-called ‘equity,’ it would be discussing the cessation of admissions preferences for legacies, siblings, and those families with especially deep pockets," the letter continues. "If the administration was genuinely serious about ‘diversity,’ it would not insist on the indoctrination of its students, and their families, to a single mindset, most reminiscent of the Chinese Cultural Revolution. Instead, the school would foster an environment of intellectual openness and freedom of thought."

"And if Brearley really cared about ‘inclusiveness,’ the school would return to the concepts encapsulated in the motto ‘One Brearley,’" Gutmann concludes. "Instead of teaching the extraordinarily divisive idea that there are only, and always, two groups in this country: victims and oppressors.”

The Brearley School’s headmaster responded to the letter, calling it “deeply offensive and harmful.” But more parents are coming forward to speak up against these initiatives that are rooted in critical race theory, the push to view social and cultural issues through the lens of racial identity and, in particular, power structures related to that identity.

In an article last month at City Journal, Weiss described many of the parents who have come forward from prestigious private schools in major cities to criticize what they see as indoctrination of their children into a leftist ideology of “wokeism.” In an article last week, Weiss shared a letter from a teacher at one of these prep schools who is no longer willing to be silent about this ongoing indoctrination of students.

“As a teacher, my first obligation is to my students,” wrote Paul Rossi, who teaches mathematics at the posh Grace Church High School in New York City. “But right now, my school is asking me to embrace ‘antiracism’ training and pedagogy that I believe is deeply harmful to them and to any person who seeks to nurture the virtues of curiosity, empathy and understanding."

"‘Antiracist’ training sounds righteous, but it is the opposite of truth in advertising," Rossi concludes. "It requires teachers like myself to treat students differently on the basis of race.”

Grace Church High School made headlines in March for releasing an “Inclusive Language Guide” that, among other recommendations, urged the school community to become more “welcoming and inclusive” by avoiding words such as “mom and dad,” “parents,” and “boys and girls.”

As more parents and educators feel emboldened to speak out against the rising tide of wokeism in their children’s schools, it offers opportunities for change.

Some of that change might come from schools reining in their woke rhetoric if enough parents object, but much of the change will likely come from parents opting out of these private schools for other options. As more independent schools realize there is a market for focusing strictly on teaching and learning without political indoctrination, they will be able to differentiate themselves from schools seeped in critical race theory.

Similarly, more parent demand for alternatives to woke education will lead to more entrepreneurial efforts to build new learning models that focus on individual development over group affiliation.

 

I recently received an email from an Asian mother whose child attends a private school in the Boston area and who is fed up with the school “trying to ‘brainwash’ kids.”

“The social pressure to conform with what the schools define as ‘moral compass’ is enormous and exhausting," she wrote. "The underground chattering is bubbling and I wonder where the parents would ultimately draw the line and declare enough is enough. I personally feel time may be ripe for more innovative and balanced models to challenge the status quote of the existing learning institutions.”

The demand for non-woke education truly is skyrocketing and it presents a moment ripe for “creative destruction” in the education sector.

The term creative destruction was popularized by economist Joseph Schumpeter in his 1942 book, Capitalism, Socialism, and Democracy, to describe the dynamic process of new business models and organizations replacing outdated or inadequate enterprises. He explained that capitalism is “the perennial gale of creative destruction,” fueled by entrepreneurship and innovation.

Parent demand may spur the private sector to offer alternatives to woke education through free-market capitalism, but what about the children forced to attend government schools that are much less responsive to market signals? Like many elite private schools, public schools are also embracing woke ideology at alarming rates.

In February, Illinois legislators voted in favor of enacting new “Culturally Responsive Teaching and Leading Standards” in the state’s teacher education programs. These programs must begin to reflect the new standards that focus on “systems of oppression.” Illinois teachers-in-training will be expected to “explore their own intersecting identities,” and become “aware of the effects of power and privilege and the need for social advocacy and social action to better empower diverse students and communities.”

Around the same time the Illinois standards were passed, a group of educators released a document criticizing objective math education as being racist, and called for “dismantling white supremacy in math classrooms by visibilizing the toxic characteristics of white supremacy culture with respect to math.” States like Oregon seem to be taking note.

And last month, the California Board of Education passed an ethnic studies curriculum for K-12 students that focuses primarily on four ethnic groups, including African Americans, Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders, Latino Americans, and Native Americans. While the new statewide ethnic studies curriculum is not a high school graduation mandate, as California legislators and the state’s teachers union originally proposed before California Gov. Gavin Newsom vetoed the bill last fall, the new school curriculum emphasizes group identity over individualism.

Ahead of the governor’s veto, The Wall Street Journal editorial board wrote about the state’s proposed ethnic studies curriculum: “This is ugly stuff, a force-feeding to teenagers of the anti-liberal theories that have been percolating in campus critical studies departments for decades. Enforced identity politics and ‘intersectionality’ are on their way to replacing civic nationalism as America’s creed.”

Many parents may disagree with the woke ideology their children are exposed to in schools, or they may simply prefer that these schools focus on academics, not activism. But too many families have too few options beyond a mandatory public school assignment. Expanding education choice policies, as more than two dozen states are currently attempting to do, will enable more families to choose their preferred educational setting.

Private school parents are courageously pushing back against the ideology of wokeism that is invading their children’s schools, and they are using their resources to find or build different learning models. Education choice policies will allow public school parents the same opportunity of exit and innovation.

Original article here.

Biden Administration Prioritizes "Wokeism," Critical Race Theory In Schools

There is no constitutional role for the federal government in education.

The Biden administration is taking new steps to promote Critical Race Theory and The New York Times’s controversial 1619 Project in US education programs. In a proposed federal rule issued on Monday, the US Department of Education indicated that it will be using taxpayer funds to award millions of dollars in American history and civics education grants that prioritize the belief that America is systemically racist.

The grant program seeks “projects that incorporate racially, ethnically, culturally, and linguistically diverse perspectives into teaching and learning,” and refers to President Biden’s Inauguration Day executive order that explains how our country is plagued by “systemic racism” and “deserves an ambitious whole-of-government equity agenda” to address this issue.

The new federal proposed rule refers to the 1619 Project and related curriculum resources as a “landmark” model for US history and civics education, despite its agenda-driven hostility against capitalism, its flawed historical analysis that many scholars have deemed false, and the Times’s own correction of the project.

The grant prioritization also pushes for greater emphasis on “anti-racism” training in schools, and quotes the work of Ibram X. Kendi, author of How to Be an Antiracist.

Successful applicants will demonstrate how their projects emphasize “systemic marginalization, biases, inequities, and discriminatory policy and practice in American history,” and promote “identity-safe learning environments.”

When former President Trump issued his call for a “1776 Commission” last September to advocate for widespread “patriotic education” in schools across the country, I warned that this was a bad idea. There is no constitutional role for the federal government in education. If one president decides to use the power of the federal government to push one particular educational paradigm, then another president could use the same power to push a different one. In my FEE article, I wrote:

“Emboldening the federal government to execute education policy may seem appealing when your preferred politician or party is in power, but that power remains when leadership inevitably sways to another politician or party. If you wouldn’t support a Biden ‘1619 Commission,’ then you shouldn’t support Trump’s ‘1776 Commission.’ If you wouldn’t support mandatory ‘critical race theory’ taught in your local schools, then you shouldn’t support mandatory ‘patriotic education’ either.”

But, here we are.

Decentralizing power away from the federal government and towards the state and local levels allows for greater taxpayer influence over public policy. It also makes it easier for citizens to choose where to live based on policy. For instance, if parents in Illinois don’t like the new teaching standards that the legislature recently passed to incorporate Critical Race Theory into state teacher training programs, they can always move to another state. If the federal government passes such a law, parents have far fewer options.

The Founders’ belief in federalism, or avoiding the concentration of power at the federal level, is crucially important. As James Madison wrote in The Federalist Papers, no. 45: “The powers delegated by the proposed Constitution to the federal government are few and defined. Those which are to remain in the State governments are numerous and indefinite.” States can make education policy. The federal government cannot.

 

While the federal government should not be involved in education policy, there is much to debate at the state and local levels in terms of curriculum and learning standards. Critical Race Theory is penetrating classrooms across the country, and parents and teachers are increasingly speaking out against this leftist ideology of “wokeism,” even if it costs them their job.

We should absolutely celebrate diversity, show tolerance for difference, and acknowledge the deeply racist parts of American history, including government-sponsored racism through Jim Crow laws and redlining. We should also recognize that racism still exists today.

But Critical Race Theory seeks to view all social and cultural issues through the lens of race and racial identity, and to cast all human relations in terms of power structures related to that identity. It is a collectivist notion that puts the group above the individual and pigeonholes people as either oppressor or oppressed.

Indeed, the history of Critical Race Theory is rooted in Marxist thought and began to gain traction in academic circles in the early to mid-20th century through the “Frankfurt School” before spilling over into the broader culture near the turn of the millennium.

Last fall, FEE’s Dan Sanchez, Tyler Brandt, and Brad Polumbo wrote an excellent, in-depth explainer article on Critical Race Theory (CRT), discussing how it threatened the important progress made by the Civil Rights Movement. “The pre-CRT Civil Rights Movement had emphasized equal rights and treating people as individuals, as opposed to as members of a racial collective,” they wrote. “In contrast, CRT dwells on inequalities of outcome, which it generally attributes to racial power structures.”

They argued that the Civil Rights Movement was in line with the broader classical liberal movement, whose harmony-oriented vision stands in stark contrast against the Marxian conflict-oriented view of Critical Race Theory.

“The classical liberal ‘harmony doctrine,’” they explained, “was deeply influential in the movements to abolish all forms of inequality under the law: from feudal serfdom, to race-based slavery, to Jim Crow. But, with the rise of Critical Race Theory, the cause of racial justice became more influenced by the fixations on conflict, discord, and domination that CRT inherited from Marxism. Social life was predominantly cast as a zero-sum struggle between collectives: capital vs. labor for Marxism, whites vs. people of color for CRT.”

The antidote to this Marxist framework is to prioritize individualism over collectivism, in both schools and society more broadly. It’s to focus on the content of one’s character rather than the color of one’s skin, as Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr. urged.

Critical Race Theory does the opposite. "‘Antiracist’ training sounds righteous, but it is the opposite of truth in advertising," math teacher Paul Rossi wrote last week in his letter objecting to the adoption of Critical Race Theory at his elite private school in Manhattan. "It requires teachers like myself to treat students differently on the basis of race.”

As more parents and teachers speak out against Critical Race Theory and “wokeism” in their schools, education policy and pedagogy will hopefully reject group antagonisms and embrace individual liberty and social harmony.

Original article here.

Keep Racist Critical Race Theory Ideology Out of K-12 Classrooms

How would you feel if your child came home from school and said her teacher had told her that everything that happens in the world is “racist” and that she’s part of the problem because of the color of her skin?

That may sound far-fetched, but such disturbing ideas are coming to your children’s schools, if they are not there already.

In Michigan, an Educator Advisory Council to Democratic Gov. Gretchen Whitmer produced a report called “Social Justice and Anti-Racist Resources” that included an article in which the author says everything that happens today is racist and the only question teachers and students can ask is “How much racism was in play?”

In Buffalo, New York, the school district’s “Emancipation Curriculum” told children that “all white people play a part in perpetuating systemic racism.” That statement was eliminated only after investigative journalist Chris Rufo put it in a headline and embarrassed the school system.

The message that “anyone who does not believe in systemic racism is part of the problem” is sadly permeating all the literature on race in America today.

At the National Museum of African-American History and Culture, a Smithsonian institution funded by taxpayers, officials released a document last year intended for use in schools that claimed ideas such as “hard work is the key to success” and that trying to “be polite” are evidence of an oppressive society.

Here again, museum officials withdrew the document only after complaints.

Examples such as these are common in K-12 schools today. When educators treat students differently because of their skin color or say children are guilty of oppression because of their race, it violates existing law. It should go without saying, but such dogma is also dispiriting for all children, white or non-white.

These ideas of oppression and systemic racism come from a Marxist doctrine called “critical theory.” Over the past 40 years, college professors and activists expanded critical theory into what is now called “critical race theory,” a worldview that “questions the very foundations of the liberal order, including equality theory, legal reasoning, Enlightenment rationalism, and neutral principles of constitutional law.”

The curriculums and trainings cited above clearly belong to the Critical Race Theory discipline.

Last year, then-President Donald Trump blocked federal agencies and contractors from training federal employees to think that America is irredeemably racist, but President Joe Biden rescinded the ban on his very first day in office.

Now, state officials have the responsibility to make sure public school employees and those in other public institutions do not violate the Civil Rights Act or the 14th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution by calling for people to be treated differently according to race, sex, or national origin.

State lawmakers in New Hampshire, Louisiana, Florida, and elsewhere are considering proposals that reinforce federal law—and reject the “woke” culture of victimhood.

Because progressives have pounced on these moves as proof that conservatives are practicing cancel culture and intolerance, we released a report that explains why any reasonable interpretation of the 14th Amendment and Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 means that implementing critical race theory in the manner described in the examples cited violates existing laws. The Civil Rights Act specifically prohibits discrimination based on race, sex, or national origin.

Teachers have a responsibility to help students understand different perspectives on controversial issues, and we should not ban the teaching of critical race theory. But increasingly, parents, policymakers, and the media are uncovering instructional materials that apply critical race theory, proclaiming that America is systemically racist and that people should be treated differently based on the color of their skin or their national origin.

Those ideas will not create a national identity that the future lawyers, doctors, and lawmakers—not to mention parents, neighbors, and co-workers—can share. State officials, local school board members, and educators have the power—and the right—to prevent this new material from telling students that there is no America, only tribes competing for power.

Anyone living in a nation alongside people from different ethnic backgrounds should take seriously the issues of race and equality under the law, but Americans also need to recognize the difference between separate racist acts and a legal system stacked against individuals from certain ethnicities.

Racist acts are deplorable and should be condemned. Yet, declaring Americans to be systemically racist today is a sign of disrespect to those brave souls who marched in civil rights demonstrations in the 1960s, fought to defend our way of life overseas, or are protecting our streets and communities now.

State lawmakers and local education officials must make sure new K-12 lessons do not discriminate by race, sex, national origin, or any other immutable characteristic, because such discrimination violates federal law.

And after all who have sacrificed to help America live up to her promise, we should hope that teaching students to treat people differently based on skin color would be “far-fetched” again someday.

Original article here.

[Video] What Is Critical Race Theory?

Have you heard of Critical Race Theory? If you haven’t, you will. It’s coming to a high school, college, or workplace diversity training session near you. What do you need to know about it, and what can you do to stop it?

States Are Moving to Ban Toxic 'Critical Race Theory' in Schools—But Their Efforts Could Backfire

No matter how good our intentions are, government involvement in education is bound to create political struggles and choose winners and losers.

Amom in a Boston-area online parenting group posted earlier this week that her child’s public school chemistry class was replaced one day by some older students who gave an 80-minute presentation to the class on “white power” and “white aggression.” The parent was surprised that this occurred during her child’s science period and concerned about the racialized language and content of the presentation.

This is critical race theory, or the practice of viewing all social and cultural issues through the lens of race and racial identity and casting all human relations in terms of power structures related to that identity. It is pervading both private and public school classrooms across the country, and is embraced by the Biden administration, whose recent proposed federal rule would use taxpayer funds to award millions of dollars in American history and civics education grants that prioritize critical race theory.

I have argued that critical race theory, as it is currently implemented in schools across the country, is a harmful and divisive ideology influenced by Marxism that moves us further away from Rev. Martin Luther King Jr.’s vision of a nation that focuses on individual character, not color. It is important to speak out against this ideology that places group identity above individualism and creates a binary conflict between “oppressor” and “oppressed” in relation to race.

There is an understandable urge to use public policy to prevent this toxic ideology from seeping into US classrooms, but it is also important to recognize the limitations of government regulation in addressing critical race theory.

One of the great virtues of our country is our framework of federalism that seeks to minimize the powers of the federal government to those narrowly defined by the Constitution, while giving states wide freedom to enact policy on a variety of issues. When the federal government meddles in education, it impacts all of us. We might cheer when our preferred politician or party is in power and initiates programs we embrace, but when the pendulum inevitably swings, the cheering inevitably stops.

This is why it is just as important to oppose the Biden administration’s support for teaching critical race theory in America’s schools as it was to oppose the Trump administration’s support for teaching “patriotic education” through the proposed “1776 Commission.” The key is to limit the power of the federal government and devolve that power to the states.

One state recently took on the issue of critical race theory.

The full Idaho legislature just passed a bill preventing critical race theory from being taught in the state’s public schools and universities. The bill uses neutral language that recommits to nondiscrimination and calls for public education to “respect the dignity of others, acknowledge the right of others to express differing opinions, and foster and defend intellectual honesty, freedom of inquiry and instruction, and freedom of speech and association.” This week, I joined the Idaho Freedom Foundation to talk more about this new bill, which the governor signed into law on Wednesday.

 

The bill may seem benign and affirming, but in its implementation it could prevent honest and important discussions about the history of American slavery and government-sponsored racism through Jim Crow laws and redlining.

It could effectively mandate that educators ignore or gloss over real examples of past and present American racism, or avoid books and resources that bring these examples to light. Indeed, one Idaho lawmaker, Rep. Heather Scott, stated in support of the Idaho bill that teaching Harper Lee’s classic book, To Kill A Mockingbird, in schools is an example of how critical race theory has been “creeping through our schools forever.”

To Kill A Mockingbird is a fictional story of actual racism in the Jim Crow-era South where a black man is falsely accused of raping a white woman. Statewide attempts to crush critical race theory in schools could go too far in responding to overly racialized classrooms by dismissing racism altogether.

State lawmakers can and should consider these issues when debating education policy, and be held accountable by their constituents. On Thursday, the Oklahoma House of Representatives also approved a ban on critical race theory in the state’s schools, and similar legislation is being discussed in several other states.

In Idaho, some people peacefully protested the newly enacted bill, and there are likely many parents who disagree with it. If Idaho parents don’t like the state’s policy response to critical race theory in schools, they should have the opportunity to leave their assigned district school. Similarly, if my state of Massachusetts passed a bill mandating critical race theory in public schools, then parents here who disagree with that curriculum approach should also have the freedom of exit. School choice policies such as education savings accounts (ESAs), vouchers, and tax-credit scholarship programs can help more families to do this.

The trouble with government involvement in education, even at the state and local levels, is that it creates political struggles and chooses winners and losers. This is why I ultimately favor a fully privatized education system, and why I advocate for the elimination of compulsory schooling laws.

But in the absence of that ideal, statewide school choice policies allow more parents to withdraw from a mandatory school assignment for whatever reason, including their possible disagreement over curriculum and classroom ideology. These policies allow per-pupil taxpayer funding to follow the child rather than the school in the same way that food stamps follow the grocery shopper rather than the store.

Government policy, even when implemented more locally and even when we might agree with the policy, is rooted in coercion. We can minimize that coercion by reining in government and limiting the power of politicians over our lives, as well as by creating off-ramps to allow those citizens who disagree with a coercive policy to more easily opt-out.

Original Article here.

Critical Race Theory Drives Students Apart. Idaho Lawmakers Had Enough

Officials at an Idaho middle school tried pressuring teachers to judge students by the color of their skin. But state lawmakers rejected this application of critical race theory, a deeply divisive philosophy driving many federal, state, and local policies today.

Idaho lawmakers made the case that school officials should not force students to believe “any sex, race, ethnicity, religion, color, national origin is inherently superior or inferior.” This is a biased belief that would violate any reasonable interpretation of federal civil rights laws if students acted on it.

Gov. Brad Little, a Republican, approved the proposal this week. With the new provisions, “no public institution,” including colleges and K-12 schools, “shall direct or otherwise compel students to personally affirm, adopt, or adhere” to the idea that “individuals should be adversely treated on the basis of their sex, race, religion, color, or national origin.”

Lawmakers were right to be concerned that some educators were distorting the idea of equality under the law. The Idaho Freedom Foundation, a research institute based in the state, obtained a flyer posted by Meridian Middle School officials that says it is not enough for teachers to “treat ALL students the same” (emphasis in the original). Instead, school officials say educators must recognize students’ multiple identities based on race, sex, religion, and other immutable traits.

Colorblindness, according to the school officials, is a “myth,” a rejection of this once-cherished idea from the civil rights movement. The flyer, available on the Idaho Freedom Foundation’s website, says colorblindness “perpetuates the idea that ‘white’ is the norm and everything else is not.”

It goes on to say that teachers are biased, whether they know it or not. That’s why you should “be aware of the areas you may experience privilege based on your gender, race, and sexual or gender identity” and “acknowledge your role as a social activist,” even if you did not realize you had chosen to be one.

The flyer is a striking example of the woke mob’s attempt to control how people think and act. It tries to manipulate guilt (“you may experience privilege”) and rejects the idea that we are all created equal, and that legal and cultural institutions should treat us accordingly (“reject the myth of colorblindness”).

The critical race theory dogma on display in this Idaho middle school is a philosophy that originated in Germany in the 1920s among a group of Marxist intellectuals. Originally termed “critical theory,” it teaches that we must consider society as being inhabited only by oppressors and the oppressed.

This worldview influenced professors in American law schools in the mid-20th century, inspiring a generation of lawyers, legislators, and legal scholars to apply the idea to an interpretation of the U.S. Constitution and legal system, arguing that American law is systemically oppressive. President Joe Biden even used this term in his speech before Congress earlier this week.

Still other intellectuals and academics in the U.S. expanded critical theory into what is now known as critical race theory, which believes that racial discrimination causes the constant state of oppression in society.

These ideas should offend the generations of Americans who have been taught that, as historian and former adviser to President John F. Kennedy Arthur Schlesinger said, “There are few better arguments for the Bill of Rights than the revolution in race relations over the last half century.”

What bizarre times we live in when lawmakers feel it necessary to remind teachers that students should not be taught to discriminate against other people based on immutable characteristics.

State lawmakers in TexasLouisianaNew Hampshire, and Oklahoma, to name a few, are considering proposals similar to what Little approved in Idaho, and for good reason. For example, in Louisiana, the Orleans Parish school board adopted a resolution that says “our country’s racist history” is “still pervasive in today’s systems” and calls this nation “an unjust systemic racist America.”

How are students to believe that the American dream could ever be within their reach if school officials are telling them that this nation that they call home holds no such promise for them?

As lawmakers consider such proposals, policymakers should be careful to protect free speech rights. Teachers, especially college professors, commonly assign students critical reading material such as the “Communist Manifesto,” but lawmakers should be prepared to prohibit teachers from telling students to apply critical ideas.

Educators should not treat colleagues or students differently according to skin color or any other immutable characteristic, nor should teachers tell students to do the same.

“Wokeness is a problem and we all know it,” progressive campaign strategist James Carville told Vox this week in an interview. Shortly after Vox posted Carville’s comments, Sen. Tim Scott, R-S.C., responded to Biden’s address by saying, “Race is not a political weapon to settle every issue the way one side wants.”

It’s refreshing that we can still find such perspectives on both the right and left. Educators should be listening.

Original article here.

Texas bans ‘woke philosophies’ from being taught in classrooms

Republican lawmakers in Texas are reportedly moving forward with an effort to prohibit teaching of “woke philosophies” such as critical race theory in favor of “traditional history” being taught in schools.

Two pieces of legislation, Senate bill 2022 and House bill 3979, making their way through the legislature would ban teachers from teaching anti-racist material, and from receiving private funding or material for teaching the controversial 1619 Project.

The Senate bill, authored by Sen. Brandon Creighton, says that “no teacher shall be compelled by a policy of any state agency, school district, campus, open-enrollment charter school, or school administration to discuss current events or widely debated and currently controversial issues of public policy or social affairs.” 

In addition, schools would be barred from requiring “political activism” as part of a course or including as extra credit, and from teaching that people should feel “discomfort” or “guilt” because of their race or sex, according to the bill text. Students also would be prohibited from being taught that “meritocracy” or “hard work” are racist or sexist, the bill says. 

Creighton told the Texas Tribune the bills are meant to encourage schools to teach “traditional history, focusing on the ideas that make our country great and the story of how our country has risen to meet those ideals.” 

“Texans reject critical race theory and other so-called ‘woke’ philosophies that maintain that one race or sex is inherently superior to another race or sex or that any individual, by virtue of his or her race or sex, is inherently racist, sexist or oppressive,” Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick said in a statement, according to the Texas Tribune. “These divisive concepts have been inserted into curriculums around the state, but they have no place in Texas schools.”

But a Texas State Teachers Association representative told the Tribune the bills would make schools paper over American “injustices” in their curricula. 

“These bills try to ignore or downplay the racism, sexism and other injustices in our state’s and nation’s history, but students must be encouraged to fully explore and understand those injustices if Texas is to provide an equitable future for a rapidly diversifying population,” said spokesperson Clay Robinson, according to the report. 

Original article here.

Joe Biden Wants to Take Critical Race Theory to the Next Level

If the Biden administration gets its way, the federal government will soon be alternatively bribing and threatening every school district in the country to push divisive and damaging curricula on race in the classroom.

It would come courtesy of a proposed rule from the Department of Education, available for public comment until May 19. In announcing the rule, the Department cited the historically debunked 1619 Project from the New York Times, as well as the “scholarship” of Ibram X. Kendi, whose many radical arguments include a suggestion that every law in the country should be subject to the approval of an unelected board of “antiracist” academics.

But the rule’s consequences would be more than academic. It would infuse critical race theory into the whole of the federal government’s primary governing law concerning K-12 schools, the Elementary and Secondary Education Act. And if Congress standardizes state civics metrics, the rule will help shape the content of it (and do it with a billion-dollar-a-year cash infusion), unwittingly moved forward in a bipartisan way by Republicans.

Initially, the rule would apply only to a couple of small grant programs. But it wouldn’t stop there. Its introduction would follow a pattern similar to that of other unpopular national curriculum efforts, such as Common Core, which gained entrée to classrooms all over America through a carrot-and-stick approach.

Critical race theory is already engendering strong pushback from parents and state legislatures, incensed by an ever-growing list of outrages.

In New York City, parents lamented that white students as young as ten years old are learning that they are perpetuating the problem of racism and that their families are racist. In North Carolina, a teachers’ conference focused on “whiteness” and “disrupting texts.” In Oregon, teachers were encouraged to take “ethnomathematics” in order to “dismantl[e] racism in mathematics.” In California, teachers were taught to hide radical left-wing indoctrination from students’ families.

Now Washington proposes to do another end-run around parents through Department of Education bureaucracy, one that will add jet fuel to the already-burgeoning industry of radicals, grifters, and consultants all intent on hocking an ideology that drives a wedge between students of different backgrounds and divorce students of color from any feelings of patriotism for their country.

States are already responding to teachers’ union-led school closures against scientific advice by proposing school choice programs. No fewer than thirty state legislatures are considering new and expanded options that would empower parents to take their education dollars to whatever learning option best suits their children.

It’s imperative that parents be freed financially from dependence on public schools that will be tempted to take the grants offered under this proposed rule. However, school choice will be effective if parents are involved—and vigilant, because as recent events have demonstrated, private schools are not immune to this pernicious ideology.

In a recent open letter, Paul Rossi, a school teacher at a private school in New York City, walked through how his school has implemented “antiracist” teachings and how those teachings are impacting children. As Rossi explains, CRT and its calls to “undo history . . . lacks any kind of limiting principle and pairs any allegation of bigotry with a priori guilt.”

Or take the case of Brearley parent Andrew Gutmann. Brearley is a tiny $54,000-per-year private school that now requires parents to sign an “antiracism pledge” prior to admission. Gutmann recently pulled his daughter from the school and penned a scathing letter on the pernicious nature of CRT. “I cannot tolerate a school that not only judges my daughter by the color of her skin, but encourages and instructs her to prejudge others by theirs,” he said in his letter.

The fight is everywhere. Critical race theory is turning Americans against one another by weaponizing what used to be the fantasies of tenured professors in dimly lit offices of the Ivory Tower, now transmitting it through colleges of education to teachers who carry it into the K-12 classroom. The Biden administration now plans to supercharge that effort through federal rules and regulations, access to billions in taxpayer funding, and the imprimatur of the federal government.

Children deserve better than to have the emotional distress of CRT inflicted upon them. Parents must make their voices heard at the more than fourteen thousand school boards across the country. Taxpayers must shout “no” to their hard-earned money being used to further this pernicious ideology. And people must have the courage to speak out against this great threat to the greatest country in the world.

Original article here.

[Video] Concerned parent speaks out against critical race theory on 'Tucker Carlson Tonight'

Concerned mother opposes the teaching of Critical Race Theory in the school of her child.

A New History Curriculum or Anti-American Propaganda?

President Joe Biden wants educators to teach students that racism is endemic in America. He and his “woke” allies think students should learn that our nation was born of the desire to enslave other humans, not as a struggle for freedom. They also believe that the government should racially discriminate, today and in the future.

The president wants these things so badly he’s asked his secretary of education to prioritize grant funding for K-12 history and civics curricula that preach this revisionist history.

That would be a huge mistake. The vile, ahistorical teachings of critical race theory (CRT) should be consigned to the ashbin of history, not taught as sacred ideology in our nation’s schools.

Like other forms of Marxism, CRT teaches young minds to see the world as divided into two categories: oppressors and their victims. The only difference with traditional Marxism is that the CRT categories consist of immutable traits such as race, sex or national origin, not economic classes like the bourgeoisie and the proletariat.

CRT eschews economic classifications because they are too fluid. People can change their stations in life—and under capitalism, they often do. Critical Theorists readily concede this point as being one of the downsides of trying to start a revolution with classes that are not immutable.

Critical race theory wants to solve this problem by adding race to Marxism. CRT teaches young minds to focus on nothing but skin color and power, and how one influences the other in public and private life. It promotes racial stereotypes and assumes that humans act according to their category, not as individuals.

This pernicious ideology is already making its way into classrooms across the country—even without the proposed stimulus of federal grants. One example is the Learning for Justice curriculum, a K-12 civics program created by an organization of the same name that operates under the Southern Poverty Law Center.

The Learning for Justice curriculum teaches that “White supremacy culture…appears in any organization that is not actively and effectively working to dismantle it.” Educators, it insists, must acknowledge how racism “is embedded into the fiber of our nation and our schools.”

The proposed rule from Biden’s Education Department goes much further. For example, it recommends material created by the National Museum of African American History and Culture. The museum’s website hosted a chart claiming that “hard work,” “objective, rational, linear thinking,” and following “rigid time schedules” are racist values, mere appurtenances of white culture rather than human practices that lead to success.

The museum, a Smithsonian institution funded through your tax dollars, didn’t remove this racist chart until officials received blowback for such propaganda.

The proposed rule also praises Ibram X. Kendi, one of the nation’s best known CRT trainers, who has written, “The only remedy to past discrimination is present discrimination. The only remedy to present discrimination is future discrimination.” This, one therefore assumes, is what the Biden administration wants American children to be taught.

The rule also approvingly cites the New York Times’s 1619 Project, a mendacious series of essays on race that historians spanning the ideological spectrum have denounced. The project derives its name from its misleading contention that America’s birthdate is not signified by the signing of the Declaration of Independence in 1776, but by the arrival of the first enslaved Africans in 1619 on the shores of what would later become the United States. The project rejects the document that outlines America’s creed that "all men are created equal.”

The project couldn’t even meet basic standards of accuracy. Spanish conquistadors first brought slaves to what are today South Carolina, Florida, and New Mexico starting nearly a half-century before 1619. Another of the 1619 Project’s errors—one from which The New York Times later backed away—was its claim that the colonists fought the Revolution because they feared that Britain would end the practice of slavery. This is flatly false.

Let’s hope the president and his education secretary weren’t fully steeped in the tenets of CRT when they issued their proposal to subsidize this anti-American propaganda. If that’s the case, you can help straighten them out. If you agree that these pernicious ideas should not be taught to our children, you can submit your comments about the administration’s proposed rule (as we have) here

Original article here.

Nearly a dozen states want to ban critical race theory in schools

Earlier this month, Idaho Governor Brad Little became the first Republican governor to sign into law a bill that restricts educators from teaching a concept called critical race theory.

And more could follow: Nearly a dozen states have introduced similar Republican-backed bills that would direct what students can and cannot be taught about the role of slavery in American history and the ongoing effects of racism in the U.S. today. But critics say the legislation isn't aimed at what children are learning in the classroom.

Idaho's law prohibits educators from teaching "individuals, by virtue of sex, race, ethnicity, religion, color, or national origin, are inherently responsible for actions committed in the past by other members of the same sex, race, ethnicity, religion, color, or national origin." 

proposal in Rhode Island would prevent schools from teaching that Rhode Island or the United States "is fundamentally racist or sexist."

However, proponents of critical race theory say it does not teach that any race is inherently racist or is superior, but how race is ingrained in our history.

Critical race theory is not typically "taught in elementary and secondary schools because it is based in legal theory," Jazmyne Owens, of public policy think tank New America, told CBS News. She said the wave of legislation "is really aimed at erasing and whitewashing American history."

Owens pointed to a Texas bill that just passed in the state's House that opponents say bans any discussion of privilege and white supremacy. "In the long term, bills of this nature, and those that intend to censor the way that race and systemic racism is discussed in the classroom are way more harmful to students," she said.

"Protecting education means being honest about the parts of our history that hurt, particularly chattel slavery, and being proactive in ensuring that we end current reproductions of racism and inequity in classrooms and beyond," Owens said. 

Many of the state bills have similar goals as two executive orders former President Donald Trump introduced in 2020, one that called for patriotic education and a one that sought to ban diversity training and training on critical race theory for federal workers. President Joe Biden has revoked both.

In introducing his executive order on the 1776 Commission, which was created to reinstate "patriotism" in American schools, Mr. Trump blasted critical race theory and the 1619 Project, a Pulitzer Prize-winning New York Times Magazine project that details the history of America through a collection of essays and resources that look at how slavery shaped the country since the first slaves arrived. It is available to schools as a teaching resource.

"Critical race theory, the 1619 Project and the crusade against American history is toxic propaganda, ideological poison, that, if not removed, will dissolve the civic bonds that tie us together, will destroy our country," Mr. Trump said.

Journalists on the project consulted with numerous scholars of African-American history, conducted research, and fact-checked, with researchers carefully reviewing with subject-area experts, the Times has said.

Mr. Biden has proposed a grant program that would fund curriculum about bias, discriminatory policies in America and the value of diverse student perspectives and would invoke lessons from the 1619 Project, a proposal Republican Senator Mitch McConnell pushed back on.

"Families did not ask for this divisive nonsense. Voters did not vote for it. Americans never decided our children should be taught that our country is inherently evil," McConnell said in a letter to U.S. Secretary of Education Miguel Cardona asking him to stop the program.

Republican Representative Ken Buck, who called the project "un-American," and Senator Tom Cotton each introduced bills last year that sought to prevent teachers from using the 1619 Project. Neither advanced. 

The National Council for the Social Studies denounced legislation to prevent educators from teaching critical race theory and "resoundingly reject any effort by the federal government to silence social studies curriculum that explicitly addresses the centrality of slavery in the historical narrative of the United States."

"In the National Council for Social Studies, we support social studies education and any legislation that is attempting to curtail our students' equitable access to the real truth, to all of history is problematic to us," Wesley Hedgepeth, a member of the council's board of directors, told CBS News.

The council has also defended the 1619 Project, saying teachers who use it "accurately depict the history of slavery in the United States, broaden the horizons of their students, and prepare citizens for a just democratic society."

Owens said while critical race theory "has been around, and debated for many years," Mr. Trump "seems to have made it a part of a political agenda, and now the subject of potential legislation."

Still, state lawmakers have joined the effort to block the 1619 Project specifically and critical race theory from curricula. 

"Policy happens at the state level and bills at the state level have a much larger chance of passing and remaining in place based on the makeup and power of their legislatures," Owens said. "The federal government can try and set the tone, but it's going to be up to voters and advocates at the state and local levels to ensure those bills do not pass." 

In Missouri, Republican State Representative Brian Seitz introduced an amendment that would specifically ban educators from teaching about the 1619 Project to a bill that would prevent critical race theory lessons.

He called the project "revisionist history, seeking to determine our national origins to be based on a negative act (slavery), therefore, everything that follows, including The Constitution, The Declaration of Independence, Capitalism, our healthcare system, road systems, even the foods that we eat are fatally flawed and inherently 'racist.'"

In an email to CBS News, Republican state Representative Patricia Morgan, who sponsored the Rhode Island bill, said that critical race theory "seeks to find racism in every part of American society. It is poisonous. It should have no place in our schools." 

Morgan said Martin Luther King Jr. "looked to the day when all of us would be judged by the content of our character, not the color of our skin" in his 1963 'I Have a Dream' speech."

"America embraced that goal and we have made great progress," Morgan said. "Alarmingly, critical race theory does the opposite."

Critics pushed back against quoting Martin Luther King Jr. to argue against critical race theory.

"Utilizing civil rights-era figures to talk about equality" is "really insidious," said Ameila Moore, an associate professor at University of Rhode Island who submitted written testimony opposing Morgan's bill. 

"I think there is an intentional misunderstanding," she said. "And perhaps the people like Patricia Morgan are not aware that they are being manipulated by other powers who are trying to reframe what we're capable of discussing as Americans." 

Media

“Abortion” for children
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Jul 18, 2022

Children's authors have decided that children who are too young must be exposed to realities of abortion as if it's just the opposite of pregnancy. It's scary.

It’s not racist until it’s racist
Sara
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Jul 18, 2022

There is an ugly phenomenon in our education space, just as in broader society, in which allegations of racism are being made on the assumption that behaviour is racist. This is before the evidence is in.

On another level: the dangers in Gender Theory
Sara
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May 25, 2022

We discuss aspects of gender theory, trying to understand why the advocacy for this phenomenon is spearheaded by a tiny, yet vulgar and threatening group who are intent on dying on the hill of the fallacy that transgender women are biological women. The article also looks at the complex biology that accompanies being female, not necessarily a blessing.

School capture: a peek behind the curtain
Caiden Lang
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Apr 21, 2022

Caiden Lang looks behind some of the people and processes at schools that have introduced CRT to the pupils. Some are reluctant to implement CRT and some are fanatically imposing their beliefs.

Parents just get in the way of social justice warriors
Sara
|
Mar 24, 2022

Social justice warrior teachers regard parents with condescension regarding the children as theirs to inculcate with Critical Race Theory or 'Diversity Equity and Inclusion'. Sara Gon looks at this issue and features two of the Diversity Trainers that operate in this field and what they have to say.

Anti-racism in schools: a new religion
Caiden Lang
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Mar 23, 2022

Caiden Lang discusses what happens when students are presented with religious beliefs masquerading as facts? What happens when they can’t tell the difference? He exams the way Critical Race Theory has become the new belief system in schools.

Parents CAN beat critical race theory — by running for school boards

The battle to win control of school boards from the clutches of racial indoctrinators is high stakes. Lose, and a generation is lost.

The outcome will determine whether our children learn to see themselves and other people as ­individuals, instead of merely members of racial groups. Parents of all ethnicities who never thought they’d get involved in politics must step up.

Under the critical race theory pushed in schools, white kids are shamed as racists and oppressors. Black kids are taught to think of themselves as victims. And the ­nation’s history is being presented as something to despise.

When parents object to this brainwashing, school administrators respond with double-talk, ­insisting schools just want to be ­inclusive and diverse.

That’s why it’s time to shift from complaining to fighting for control of local school boards. These boards hire superintendents, set policies and have the clout to stop CRT. Except in large cities like New York, school boards are where the power is.

In Loudon County, Va., parents are organizing to recall a majority of the school board. They’re distressed that teachers are being ­required to learn about “systemic oppression and implicit bias.” One of the recall organizers explains that Loudon schools are focusing less “on individuals” and “more on identity groups and putting everybody into an identity box.”

Last month, parents in Smithtown Central School District on Long Island put up three school-board candidates and swept all three races. Organizers said they acted to stop the school from promoting the 1619 Project, which recasts America’s founding as driven by slavery. Voter turnout was nearly triple the usual turnout.

In Southlake, a Dallas suburb, parents against “divisive, race-conscious learning” ran candidates committed to promoting the ideal of colorblind fairness. They won, too. Hannah Smith, one of the winning candidates, explained the outcome. “By a landslide,” she said, voters “don’t want racially divisive critical race theory taught to their children.”

Even so, capturing a school board isn’t a cake walk. Unions have a grip on the process. Often, candidates are union members or their races are funded by union ­donations. In Fairport, NY, a suburb of Rochester, two opponents of critical race theory lost in May to candidates supported by the teachers’ union.

In Oregon, Sonja McKenzie, vice president of state’s School Boards Association, says she is disturbed to see board races becoming hotly contested political events. “School-board work is not political work. It’s community work.”

Don’t buy that. Incumbents are posing as nonpartisan, but it’s a ruse. Teachers’ unions give 94 percent of their money to Democrats. School boards tend to be pro-union, pro-Democratic Party and in favor of critical race theory.

Last month in Oregon, ColorPAC described its school-board candidates as living “at the intersection of multiple intersecting oppressions.” Opposing them were parents like Maria Lopez-Dauenhauer, who wants unity. She lost her race.

But there is help on the way. Last week, a national political action committee called the 1776 Project announced it will be supporting school-board candidates battling critical race theory. That could even the playing field somewhat against unions.

In many places, the fight for school boards actually started with parents frustrated that teachers’ unions wouldn’t allow schools to reopen. In Eastchester, NY, Jonah Rizzo-Bleichman never thought he would run for political office. But seeing that “hybrid learning” was “a disaster” for his daughter, he concluded “someone had to step up to fight for reopening the schools.”

Now schools are open, but the stakes in the school-board wars are even higher. Of course, schools should teach about America’s past failures, along with its triumphs, and probe racial injustice where it still exists. But of paramount ­importance, young people should learn that their character and deeds matter more than their race.

Original article here.

[Video] Father destroys Critical Race Theory in heartwarming video with daughter

A video, depicting a father educating his young daughter about the dangers of Critical Race Theory, has gone viral on the internet as Republican state houses across the country move to ban the academic theory.

[Video] Students Reject Critical Race Theory After Learning What It's Really About

American students are asked if they know what Critical Race Theory is and if they agree with some of its basic principles.

Interracial couple says critical race theory ‘hurts’ people of color

An interracial couple from Chicago has condemned the controversial critical race theory movement — arguing that it “hurts” the black community by victimizing people of color.

“When I hear the ideas of critical race theory, they don’t remind me of my experience here in Chicago at all,” Takyrica Kokoszka, a black woman and Chicago public school teacher, told Fox News.

Kokoszka and her white husband, Martin, live in the toney, liberal Illinois suburb, Oak Park, with their biracial children.

The couple spoke to the outlet about their experience living in the long-integrated neighborhood, where they say the local school administration tells teachers that “all schools are rooted in white supremacy” and that “racism… is truly all around us.”

Oak Park actively integrated in the 1960s and 1970s, thanks to years of local activism. Now, the couple believes critical race theory is harming that progress and “dumbing down” issues around race and equality.

“Our school that our kids go to, there’s a lot of questions coming from the community about why not more black students are on grade level,” Takyrica said.

“We are looking to explain it away using critical race theory. Instead of us actually digging deep and looking into all the nuances that are involved with school achievement, we’ve watered it down. We’ve dumbed down the reason now to ‘It’s because the system is racist.'”

In fact, the couple believes the critical race theory movement underestimates and oppresses people of color.

“We believe that it hurts our black and brown community that the message is: ‘You’re a victim. You can never make it until we tear down all these systems and structures,” Martin said.

“Black people overcame slavery, Reconstruction and Jim Crow… and all of a sudden black people cannot succeed?”

The controversial ideology is also harmful and confusing to interracial children.

“Our kids, are they half-oppressor, half-victim? How does that work?” Martin asked.

Original article here.

Black Mom Torches Critical Race Theory: It’s ‘Racist,’ It’s ‘Teaching Hate,’ Will Destroy America

A black mother in Florida unloaded on critical race theory during a speech to the Florida Board of Education, warning that the far-left ideology was racist and that it will destroy America if it is not stopped.

Keisha King, a Duval County parent representing Moms for Liberty, praised school choice and slammed the idea of dividing people on the basis on race 100 years after the Tulsa riots happened.

“Just coming off of May 31st, marking the 100 years of the Tulsa riots, it is sad that we are even contemplating something like critical race theory, where children will be separated by their skin color and deemed permanently oppressors or oppressed in 2021,” she said. “That is not teaching the truth, unless you believe that whites are better than blacks. I have personally heard teachers teaching CRT and we have had an assembly shutdown because a Duval County Public School System consultant thought it would be a great idea to separate students by race. This is unacceptable.”

“CRT is not racial sensitivity, or simply teaching unfavorable American history, or teaching Jim Crow history. CRT is deeper and more dangerous than that,” she continued. “CRT and it’s out working today is a teaching that there is a hierarchy in society where white male heterosexual able-bodied people are deemed the oppressor and anyone else outside of that status is oppressed. That’s why we see corporations like Coca-Cola asking their employees to be less white, which is ridiculous. I don’t know about you, but telling my child or any child that they are in a permanent oppressed status in America because they are black is racist, and saying that white people are automatically above me, my children or any child is racist as well.”

“This is not something that we can stand for in our country,” she concluded. “And don’t take it from me, look at the writers of these types of publications, our ancestors, white, black, and others hung, bled, and died right alongside each other to push America towards that more perfect union. If this continues, we will look back and be responsible for the dismantling of the greatest country in the world by reverting to teaching hate and that race is a determining factor on where your destiny lies.”

Original article here.

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