Critical Race Theory in Schools: Half a dozen states are taking up measures that would ban or limit the teaching of critical race theory. Here’s what both sides are saying. To have stories like this and more delivered directly to your inbox, be sure to sign up for our newsletter.
Story: Critical Race Theory in Schools
Reid Wilson, writing in The Hill, reports: “Republican-controlled legislatures in half a dozen states are taking up measures that would ban or limit the teaching of critical race theory in public schools, a new front in the culture wars that is likely to expand far more broadly in the coming years.
Idaho Gov. Brad Little (R) earlier this year became the first to sign legislation to withhold funding from schools that compel students to adopt viewpoints that are ‘often found in critical race theory.’
The Texas state Senate has passed similar legislation. The Tennessee state House advanced its own version through an education committee this week. And legislators in Oklahoma, Arkansas, and Arizona are working on bills that would impact the curriculum in public schools in their own backyards.” Here’s what both sides are saying about the curriculum pushback:
On The Right
The right resists what they view as an ahistorical, racist curriculum that is pushed by leftists in Washington DC.
Stanley Kurtz writes in the NY Post that Biden’s Department of Education “has signaled its intent to impose the most radical forms of Critical Race Theory on America’s schools.” This, he believes, would “[teach] young children to feel guilt and anguish simply because of the color of their skin.” Although the administration is using “anodyne-sounding criteria” for education grant applications, Kurtz states they are in reality giving “a green light to fund Critical Race Theory in schools.” He says this is shaping into “a huge showdown over federal efforts to press leftist action civics…on the states.” In defense, Kurtz advocates for “states to pass laws barring action civics and Critical Race Theory from the K-12 curriculum and teacher training.” Still, he warns against going too far, writing that individual ideas should not be suppressed and it is essential to “give due deference to local control over curriculum.”
On The Left
The left sees Critical Race Theory as a long-overdue reinterpretation of US history, to include scholarly works from disadvantaged minority groups.
Marcus Johnson writes in Newsweek, “The American political system was initially designed to benefit whites at the expense of other racial groups.” As such, he says Americans are taught the “white” version of history. For example, some southern schools paint a narrative that “the Civil War was about states’ rights, not slavery.” Likewise, Johnson states many kids grow up learning that “America is ‘uniquely virtuous’ with political, economic, and social systems that are simply supposed to dominate the global order.” Instead of indoctrinating these beliefs within children, Johnson wants to “[teach] students that there are many different interpretations of events,” thereby cultivating “critical thinkers” who can “compare and contrast different perspectives.”
Flag Poll: Critical Race Theory in Schools
How much do you know about Critical Race Theory? Do you think it should be taught in public schools and introduced into college curriculums? Why or why not? Use the comment section below to share your thoughts.