How is Critical Race Theory supposed to enhance our kids' education?
Urban and suburban schools are rapidly adopting versions of Critical Race Theory (CRT), a Marxist pedagogy based on the assumption that racism is endemic and impossible to eradicate in white people. As CRT is implemented across America, classical textbooks in English, American history, and traditional mathematics are being tossed aside and replaced with propaganda written by progressive activists and anti-math agitators. Even at prestigious private schools, the principles of physics, such as Newton's Laws, are being canceled or renamed.
Let's stop and ask a basic question: how is the obsession with race good for the education of children or their future participation as adults in a pluralistic society in a competitive world?
When American school systems adopt changes in curricula, the changes should be intended to improve student achievement. Boards of education and administrators regularly review the results of the proposed curricula in other school systems. But with CRT, there are no empirical studies showing any educational benefits to K–12 children from CRT or its many variants, including Culturally Responsive-Sustaining education (CR-S) and the diversity and inclusion curriculum. And school systems aren't asking any questions, much less hard ones.
However, there are plenty of studies showing deteriorating student achievement in urban school districts, like New York City, Baltimore, and other large progressive-run large cities, where CRT and aggressive diversity training have been in place for several years. In states and cities where charter schools are an option, there is indisputable evidence that irrespective of their racial constituencies, charter schools outperform regular public schools.
Well intentioned parents, teachers, and administrators are lulled into inviting diversity and inclusion training consultants into their schools. This is only the first step for a much broader CRT re-education effort that puts a racial interpretation on all subjects, from math to English language arts.
CRT curriculum evaluation techniques that focus on cultural representation and social justice have the potential to adversely impact math and science instruction. For example, a toolkit provided on New York University's Steinhardt Metropolitan Center for Research on Equity and the Transformation of Schools' website asks teams to assess math curricula from the standpoint of the diversity of ethnicity and sex identification. CRT implementation introduces the threat that the mathematical principles discovered by Euclid, Fibonacci, Pythagoras, Archimedes, and Newton be canceled because they are dead white men and not non-binary or BIPOC.
NYU/Steinhardt's cultural representation analysis asks whether the curriculum centers on the origins of science and math within BIPOC communities. The social justice analysis asks whether the curriculum highlights and affirms the knowledge systems of indigenous, black, brown and non-Western conceptions of science and math and the role math plays in social structure.
As far as the effects on the psychological well-being of students, it is well established that when African-American and Hispanic-American school-aged children are made aware of negative racial stereotypes, they perform less well than white and Asian students. When negative stereotypes are assigned to high-performing and motivated white students, what is the likely outcome? Why, then, should any parent, board of education, teacher, or administrator want to put in place CRT, CR-S, or diversity training meant to emphasize racial differences and castigate white children for their supposed white privilege?
There are also many examples of the toxic effects CRT and training have on children's attitudes toward schooling. Increasing numbers of parents in suburban schools are becoming concerned that their children, who are taught at home to ignore skin color, are being taught in school to obsess over it. Parents in suburban Westchester County, where CR-S and diversity programs are being introduced, are coming home asking questions like "why do we hate black children?" Other Westchester parents report that students are angry, resentful, or disgusted with the racial pedagogy.
The racial training is also undermining the institution of the family. Grace Church School in New York City sent students and teachers guidelines to eliminate the words "mom," "dad," and "family" to encourage inclusivity.
That leads to a second question: what is the logical extension of the adoption of CRT by K–12 public schools? The roll-out of CRT, CR-S and diversity training should be a warning sign that our educators are planning the destruction of classical education and of parental rights to oversee the moral development of their children. The dilution of academic rigor will inevitably make the next generation academically, intellectually, and emotionally unprepared for the challenges of the future.
You can bet that Chinese, Eastern European, and Indian children aren't studying CRT-approved math, engineering, chemistry, physics, or languages. Our enemies in Communist China must be laughing as they watch the spectacle of America's elite public and private schools dumbing down their curricula at the behest of hard left–leaning educational consultants.
Image via Pickpik.