by Mitch Kokai
Senior Political Analyst, John Locke Foundation
Stanley Kurtz writes at National Review Online about education problems in states run by Democratic governments.
What is the top education story in the country? Measured by press coverage, Ron DeSantis’s pushback against woke education in Florida takes the prize. Yet in truth, DeSantis’s pushback is only the second-most important education story of our day. The deeper mystery is the rise of the movement he’s resisting.
Obfuscating denials that “critical race theory” is taught in K–12 mean that the woke takeover of our schools is still imperfectly recognized and understood. The frightening truth emerges if we do what the media avoid — preoccupied as they are with an education backlash from conservatives — and survey the advancement of education radicalism in the blue states, where its spread is largely unimpeded.
What is driving the relentless expansion of woke education in Democrat-run states? Can an America where our core story is no longer told survive? Important as the red-state pushback against woke education has been, a tour of our blue-state education nightmare will tell us much that we need to know about where America is headed. What happens when anti-woke pushback fails?
Rhode Island happens. The Ocean State has just put in place an outrageously politicized and shamefully deficient set of social studies standards, and it has done so in the most underhanded fashion.
Here is the central trick. If you take a quick, superficial look at the content sections of Rhode Island’s Social Studies Standards, things might seem relatively normal. Many of the usual topics in U.S. history, for example, are present in the standards. The trick is that every topic must be taught in line with the new “anchor standards,” which demand radical leftist advocacy.
So, for example, the anchor standard on “power” tells teachers to “argue how power can be distributed and used to create a more equitable society for communities and individuals based on their intersectional identities.”