Is it true that Critical Race Theory isn't actually taught anywhere in Virginia?

On the heels of the Republican gubernatorial victory in Virginia, far-left political media pundits are awash in denial.  Parents of school-age children in VA overwhelmingly rejected Terry McAuliffe, not only for saying out loud that parents should have no say in the education of their children but also vehemently denying that Critical Race Theory (CRT) is incorporated into the VA public school system curricula.  In fact, not only is CRT woven into daily public school instruction but the CRT ideology and the CRT terminology have also been found in school curricula materials all across the country.

McAuliffe made numerous false claims — for one, denying the use of CRT materials in a recent Meet the Press interview with Chuck Todd.  He should have checked the Virginia Department of Education website first.  Had he done so, he would have discovered that the words "Critical Race Theory" appear multiple times.  Instead, McAuliffe chose to say, "As I said before, and I'll say it again, it's never been taught in Virginia.  And I really hate it, because it's a racist dog whistle.  And all Glenn Youngkin has done in this campaign is run down Virginia, run down our education system, run down our economy."  The reality for parents of school-age children in VA is very different, which explains why legions of angry parents have shown up at school board meetings in protest.

Furthermore, in 2015, when McAuliffe was Virginia's governor, he encouraged teachers "to embrace Critical Race Theory as part of its Culturally-Responsive Teaching and Learning Principles, with a stated desire to re-engineer attitudes and belief systems."  The CRT ideology is so prevalent in Virginia public schools that in 2019, not only did several VA school superintendents endorse CRT in a memo to district teachers, but one school superintendent promoted both Critical Race Theory and the idea of "White Fragility;" based on the book of the same name by Robin DiAngelo.  Another VA superintendent's memo endorsed "Foundations of Critical Race Theory in Education" as an important resource, which enables and will ensure race-based developments in education.

This past June and under fire on multiple fronts, education officials in Loudoun County finally acknowledged that Critical Race Theory influences their work.  Adding insult to injury, it was revealed a month later that a Virginia school district spent $30,000 on Critical Race Theory training for administrators.  While Virginia public school officials were forced to come clean, numerous school boards across the country find themselves in similar situations.  Parents are openly challenging the use of CRT materials in the classroom despite the plethora of denials from school administrators, principals, and teachers.

As a resource for parents, The Center for Renewing America developed a glossary of buzzwords and definitions frequently used to disguise the CRT teaching concepts in the classroom.   From the website, "Critical Race Theory isn't always presented as Critical Race Theory.  The framework of CRT can be utilized to frame other concepts or present them in an inappropriate context."  In plain speak, by parsing, substituting, or rephrasing key terminology, school administrators and teachers covertly incorporated the CRT language and the pedagogy into their daily lesson planning.

Ironically, the nationwide public-school closure for 18 months, due to the COVID 19 pandemic, provided a golden opportunity for parents to review their children's school materials.  In short, parents became the teachers, alarmed and incensed by what they discovered.  As a result, thousands of parents began showing up to school board meetings, asking questions, and demanding answers.

In conclusion, school boards weren't prepared for the onslaught of angry parents, nor were they willing to admit that CRT is integrated into the classroom curricula despite evidence to the contrary.  Furthermore, the despicable response by the National School Boards Association (NSBA), accusing parents of being domestic terrorists, backfired tremendously.  The NSBA was eventually forced to retract its scathing letter to the DOJ, followed by multiple school districts renouncing their association with the NSBA altogether.  Not surprisingly, numerous school board seats changed up this week in CO, KS, NJ, PA, and VA thanks to the support of the 1779 Project PAC.  Many more school board seats will most likely change up next November.  Likewise, the stunning defeat of Terry McAuliffe puts to rest the mistaken belief that teachers are experts and only they should decide what kids learn. 

Image: JMacPherson via Flickr, CC BY 2.0.

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