New York’s curriculum is critical race theory by another name
It is no surprise the New York State Education Department quickly denied the allegations when exposed for using pandemic relief funds for schools to promote critical race theory.
After two years of school closures, mask mandates, social distancing – and the devastating learning loss and developmental harm these inflicted on students – the state’s Democrat leadership clearly knew how outraged parents would be upon finding out they prioritized taxpayer dollars to peddle this radical ideology. So, their playbook is to deflect, label the existence of CRT in elementary and secondary classrooms as a right-wing conspiracy theory, and assert their denial as an unquestionable fact.
Yet look no further than Monroe County, where West Irondequoit Central School District students were required to participate in an anti-racist curriculum project to learn of “the contemporary realities of structural racism.” Earlier this school year, students at the Lower Manhattan Community School were segregated by race in order to “undo the legacy of racism and oppression in this country that impacts or school community.” Make no mistake, dividing and defining students by their race is state-sanctioned racism.
The National Education Association – the nation’s largest teachers union and major funder of Democrat campaigns – have officially endorsed the teaching of CRT and committed to defend their ability to teach it to America’s children. A seemly strange embrace if, in fact, CRT only existed in graduate school lounges. CRT is clearly popular with the radical far-left ideologues who have taken over much of the educational ecosystem.
RANDI WEINGARTEN SLAMMED FOR ASKING FOR MORE COVID FUNDING AFTER CRT LINK
So how does today’s Democrat party attempt to appease their radical base while not digging deeper in the confidence they’ve lost with America’s parents?
It’s simple – they push this divisive and discriminatory ideology a through an array of seemingly benign jargon. Our children are now experiencing “transformative SEL [social and emotional learning]” that is promoted as “a way to integrate an explicit equity and social justice lens” and includes “examining prejudices and biases” and “disrupting and resisting inequities.” Culturally Responsive and Sustaining Education or “CRSE” that seeks to “dismantle systems of biases and inequities rooted in our country’s history, culture, and institutions” and encourages educators to “act as agents of social change to redress historical and contemporary oppression.”
And then there is corporate America’s favorite, Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion or “DEI,” that is designed to “propel us beyond the systemic racism that has come to define America’s institutions.” To illustrate how these terms are devoid of any traditional meaning, New York’s Education Department sought to dodge federal accountability for its lowest performing schools in the name of advancing DEI – and turn a blind eye on the schools that perpetually fail the low-income and minority communities they serve.
Fortunately, parents are too smart to fall for this game. When they see kids as young as two or three being labeled as inherently racist because of the color of their skin, parents know this is fundamentally wrong and un-American. When they hear of students being forced to do privilege walks or apologize for their “white guilt,” parents know it only seeks to define and divide children by race. When meritocracy and the constitutional guarantee to equality under the law are attacked, parents know this is an affront idea that Americans from all racial backgrounds should have opportunities to achieve their full potential. Call it whatever you want, this radical ideology does not belong in the classroom.
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The remedy for this doublespeak and deception is full transparency. This includes transparency into school curriculum, materials, teacher training sessions, and contracts with outside vendors. Let New York’s parents decide for themselves if it is CRT, if it is appropriate use of taxpayer dollars, and if they want it taught to their daughters and sons.
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In the meantime, New York’s Department of Education and the far-left state leadership’s refusal to provide transparency should tell parents everything they need to know.
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Christopher F. Rufo is a senior fellow at the Manhattan Institute and a contributing editor of City Journal. Follow him on Twitter at @realchrisrufo and sign up for his newsletter.