by Mitch Kokai
Senior Political Analyst, John Locke Foundation
So are we doing the thing where we are pretending that curriculum, instruction, and materials can’t be determined by school boards and state legislatures and should be left to radical education consultants who are hired by bureaucrats?
What is popularly known as critical-race theory in education debates is, effectively, an omnibus term for a series of propagandistic approaches to Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) that are common in the corporate business sector, along with certain contested ideas about the extent and nature of systemic racism, and the appropriate remedies that follow.
Presenting these ideas in propagandistic mode is more common in business and in private schools, but you can find public-school teacher training with insane ravings such as how “objectivity” is “white supremacy culture” and Portland-area public schools where elementary-school children “do the inner work to figure out a way to acknowledge how you participate in oppressive systems”.
Whether to include or exclude these materials and curricula is a political decision. If a school system or a state legislature wants to teach Ibram X. Kendi–style social revolution, or to treat it as they would white-supremacist propaganda, is a prudential matter.
The various proposed bills banning “CRT” in schools are a mixed bag, and a first draft of restricting the propagandizing of students in places where the school board and state legislatures do not want students taught that a “sense of urgency” is white-supremacy culture. The places where school boards and state legislatures do want such instruction will have it, but it should be made with the understanding of the public. So it goes.