“Is Critical Race Theory in my children’s school?”
It’s a common question for an increasing number of parents. The answer is complicated.
Your K-12 child is unlikely to be taught the traditional graduate school level of Critical Race Theory. But the Marxist, racist tenets of Critical Race Theory are almost certainly being taught to your children. Rather than using the phrase “Critical Race Theory” or the acronym CRT, your child will likely hear about “social and emotional learning,” social justice, privilege, systemic racism, and equity.
Equity is at the heart of Critical Race Theory. You might notice that your school has completely replaced the use of the word “equality” with equity. Equality refers to all of us having equal opportunities. Equality requires laws and authority figures to treat us the same, regardless of our race, gender, sexual orientation or religion. Equality is what Martin Luther King and generations of Americans fought for.
Equity is entirely different. Rather than focusing on equal opportunity, proponents of equity want us to have the same results. This means giving preferential treatment to some and detrimental treatment to others. Naturally, progressives view themselves and their allies in government as the power brokers who should dole out this selective treatment. In the wake of the George Floyd tragedy, many school districts hired full-time “equity officers.” These are non-classroom staffers that train teachers and administrators on advancing social justice in schools. If your school district has an equity officer, it’s quite likely that the tenets of Critical Race Theory are being taught to your children.
Some teachers use deceptive words in order to avoid parental scrutiny. While undercover in a number of school districts, several administrators told us they use the phrase “circumstance” rather than privilege. They still want to indoctrinate children into thinking they possess “white privilege,” but don’t want flack from parents.
Other administrators avoid phrases like social justice and equity entirely. Instead, they talk about the importance of “social and emotional learning.” In and of itself, there’s nothing particularly wrong with SEL. However, it has increasingly become a trojan horse for Critical Race Theory. Have a look at your child’s math book, for example. Many math textbooks now have SEL questions in the sidebar designed to promote discussion in the classroom. For example, the sidebar questions might ask your child how easy it was for them to arrive at the appropriate answers, how hard it may have been for other students, and what factors may have caused those other students to struggle. This sets up the instructor to discuss the racial factors that supposedly cause some students to struggle in mathematics.
Some states have banned CRT books from public schools. And if you go into public school libraries, you generally won’t see these books. Some teachers we’ve met told us they keep the most controversial books in their classrooms rather than allowing them to be discovered in the library.
In many ways, the problems with public education echo the problems with Congress. As a whole, Congress is incredibly unpopular. However, 97% of Congressional incumbents are usually re-elected. Similarly, just 42% of Americans are satisfied with public education as a whole. Conversely, 80% are satisfied with the education their child received.
That’s because parents have met their child’s teacher and principal and they want to believe these educators have each student’s best interest in mind. The problem, of course, is that what they view as in the best interest of your child is likely dramatically different from what they view as in the best interest of your child.