CRITICAL RACE THEORY IS STILL A PROBLEM FOR THE RIGHT-WING
Critical Race Theory has faded somewhat from the national news as local school boards work to pacify (and protect themselves from) folks who think it’s the end of the world as we know it. On the other hand, it’s still alive in state legislatures either through bills passed, bills introduced, bills planned, or lawsuits filed. The fact that CRT isn’t taught in probably 99% of U.S. K-12 public schools doesn’t matter…any more than the fact that masks and vaccines are effective tools against COVID-19 matters (odd how many of those who fight against CRT are the same folks who fight against masks and vaccines). It’s all political now and one’s “tribe” determines what position one takes.
In order to defeat what they claim is Critical Race Theory, the right wing has edited and expanded its definition. Anti-CRT theorists claim that it encompasses Social Emotional Learning, Marxist indoctrination, and anti-racist brainwashing. They believe that it encourages segregation, racism, and is anti-Christian and anti-American. In other words, anything that the religious right wing has been against for decades. They don’t want to accept the truth of American history (See the US Constitution, Article 1, Section 2, and the Declaration of Independence. See also the failure of Reconstruction, Jim Crow, red-lining. The list is endless).
If CRT means teaching the truth about both the positive and the negative parts of American history, then I’m all for it. Americans should be mature enough to acknowledge our failings and work to correct them. “If nonwhite students are old enough to experience racism, white kids are old enough to learn about racism.” — Frances McGovernor
School choice won’t solve our social issues, no matter what the privatizers say.
Some choices are not healthy.
We have seen the use of school choice to avoid conflict before. After Brown v. Board of Education, lots of folks decided they had a problem sending their white children to school with Black students, and they “solved” that conflict by creating schools that let them choose segregation. When it comes to the current CRT panic, there may well be some schools that have gone a step too far with their anti-racist work (though–plot twist–those schools keep turning out to be not public ones). But an awful lot of the panic is fueled by folks opportunistically whipping up some good old-fashioned white outrage over encroaching Blackness, and we’ve been here before.
Some choices are not good for the country. We do not benefit from having a bunch of white kids taught that slavery wasn’t so bad and the Civil War was just about state’s rights. We do not benefit from having students taught that science isn’t real. We do not benefit from having students taught that Trump is really still President and 1/6 was just some unruly tourists. And we so very much don’t benefit as a society from schools that segregate both students and content based on race. Not all possible choices should be available.
We have all been here before.
…cynical political operators have weaponized…anxiety. Turning to the Nixon playbook, they’ve brought the culture war to the schools, knowing that the wedge will drive deep when it comes to children.
Families often know only the broad contours of what is being taught in classrooms, and that makes them vulnerable to claims that young people are being exploited, manipulated, or indoctrinated. So it should come as no surprise that public education is a ripe target for politically manufactured controversy.
The irony, of course, is that our schools may be the best place for learning how to live together across our differences. Given the withering of public life in America, they may even be our only such place. If we turn on each other in the schools, where else can we hope to make ourselves a nation?
Students need to learn the full story — the haters and the helpers — and years from now, looking back on this moment too, they should know that a group of hesitant scolds tried to keep America’s schools from addressing the forces of racial bias and white supremacy that have shaped almost every aspect of American life.
Their effort to sweep away an uncomfortable history is like trying to step out from under the sky. Go ahead and try. In the end, you can’t escape.
Here’s an example of how Critical Race Theory is right about the racism embedded in our society.
2017 MacArthur Fellow and Pulitzer Prize winner, Nikole Hannah-Jones was insulted and disrespected by the University of North Carolina. They offered her what would normally be a tenured position, but neglected to include the tenure. They backed down after she exposed their actions. They relented and finally offered her tenure. You might ask why on Earth would she want to work at a University where she wasn’t treated like white professors offered similar positions?
She wouldn’t…and doesn’t. She declined the “Ok-we’ll-let-you-have-tenure” offer meant to appease her, prevent a lawsuit, and end the bad press. She has since accepted a position at Howard University.
Nikole Hannah-Jones, and the epic failure of the University of North Carolina to recruit the Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist to its faculty, just proved the correctness of critical race theory. The controversial legal doctrine has been vilified by conservatives but, as this episode illustrates, it also challenges those liberals who worship at the altar of “diversity.”
According to some leading critical race theorists, integration — the traditional progressive route to racial justice — does not actually work for minorities. In this view, white supremacy is so embedded in most American institutions that people of color will never be accepted as equals — even when they are formally granted entry.
UNC demonstrated that point after its journalism school offered Hannah-Jones, an investigative journalist for the New York Times, a prestigious professorship. The MacArthur “genius” learned that her initial appointment would be without tenure. She said she knew of no “legitimate reason” why “someone who has worked in the field as long as I have, who has the credentials, the awards, or the status that I have, should be treated different than every other white professor who came before me…”
TEACHER SHORTAGE TO MI LAWMAKERS, THIS IS ON YOU!
Read this; Academic freedom for teachers is as important as money. This is why there is a national shortage of people who want to go into education. Who will teach our grandchildren…and their children. “Public Education is a promise we make to the children of our society, and to their children, and to their children.” — John Kuhn
“The survey results are telling us that [teachers] even perceive that there’s a lack of support from parents and the public,” said Dan Quisenberry, president of the Michigan Association of Public-School Academies, on a Zoom call discussing the results. “Empowering teachers in the classroom ranked roughly the same as educator compensation. Think about that for a second.”
“Teacher retirements are up 44% since August of 2020,” added Paula Herbart, president of the Michigan Education Association. “Too many educators are leaving, and not enough people are following in their footsteps…ultimately we end up with a generation of learners that is unprepared.”
NCTQ – STILL TRYING TO BECOME RELEVANT
The National Council on Teacher Quality reports on schools of education by looking at their course syllabi rather than doing the hard research needed. Read more about them and their pro-privatization agenda HERE.
You can count on two things with the National Council on Teacher Quality (NCTQ) releases one of their “reports.”
First, media will fall all over themselves to report NCTQ’s “findings” and “conclusions” without any critical review of whether the “findings” or “conclusions” are credible (or peer-reviewed, which they aren’t).
Second, NCTQ’s “methods,” “findings,” and “conclusions” are incomplete, pre-determined (NCTQ has a predictable “conclusion” that teacher education/certification is “bad”), and increasingly cloaked in an insincere context of diversity and equity (now teacher education/certification are not just “bad” but especially “bad” for minority candidates).