Critical Race Theory Word Cloud

School districts across Virginia have been expending resources, directing staff time, and hiring consultants to address “equity” in curriculum delivery and for professional development of teachers and other employees. Fairfax and Loudoun County, the two largest counties in the Commonwealth, have set the lead in driving the changes in education and embracing critical race theory and “anti-bias” in their respective divisions.

Critical Race Theory (CRT) pushes the distorted concept that the most important thing about a person is their race, separating it above the person as an individual. It divides people by those who are “minoritized” and those who are “privileged” and “oppressors”, advancing Marxist ideology that, by default, all interactions are derived from racism, our history and nation is built on racism, and all inequities are, yes, ascribed to racism. The color of one’s skin defines whether they are racist, not their beliefs or actions. 

As a result, to undo the professed mantle of inherent racism in all aspects of society, CRT demands “diversity, equity, and inclusion”, addressing “justice”, and, according to activists like Ibrahm X. Kendi, the Center for Antiracist Research director at Boston University, requires people to become “anti-racist”. 

Efforts to rewrite social studies curriculum with a goal of teaching from “diverse perspectives” began with Fairfax County teachers in 2018, joining with teachers from Albermarle, Charlottesville and Virginia Beach City. It later became a statewide endeavor to create an “anti-racist and culturally-responsive” curriculum, joined by teachers from Madison and Powhatan counties. The effort centered first on rewriting the fourth grade Virginia Studies curriculum.

At that time, Fairfax County Public Schools’ (FCPS) social studies coordinator, Colleen Eddy, identified that the work was intended to address the "overrepresentation of white and Eurocentric history" and the lack of "diverse perspectives in education." The overhaul of the curriculum was done in collaboration with the framework created by Teaching Tolerance, an extension of the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC), which has since been re-monikered to “Learning for Justice”. The objective was to “examine materials, events, and institutions critically attending to power, position, and bias”, with the intended use in 3rd, 4th, 6th, 7th, and 11th-grade classrooms.

A perusal of the Learning for Justice professional development and materials pre-populated for teachers to deliver in K-12 classrooms includes articles like the one, in which a teacher calls for “educators to commit to making schools—at all levels—critical active conscience spaces that center people long denied space, voice and freedom.”

Long before the Nikole Hannah-Jones and the New York Times (NYT) Magazine’s divisive and erroneous “1619 Project”, which the NYT was later forced to quietly correct, the SPLC’s Teaching Tolerance list of “Essential Knowledge” included direction for teaching third through fifth graders that “the United States was founded on protecting the interests of white, Christian men who owned property”, that the foundational growth of the U.S. economy was slavery, and that our founding documents were created to “protect the institution of slavery.”

In a July 2020 press release, FCPS included a comprehensive background on the work done by the division, its influence to collaborate across the state, and the work of Eddy to effect curriculum changes related to “bias, identity, and multiple perspectives” that had been done over the prior 18 months.

Simultaneous to the overhaul of curriculum materials by FCPS staff, Fairfax County residents experienced the unprecedented deployment of the policy known as “One Fairfax”. The Board of Supervisors and School Board swiftly adopted the declaration of a broad new effort to make all decisions in the county – on everything from education, housing, policing, and the budget – through the “lens of equity”. Outside consultants hired to advise staff in the county and school system successfully advanced the “lens of equity” progressive agenda, which has also been embedded in cities across the country and is backed by funding from George Soros.

In like-minded concert, the FCPS School Board secured a presentation by Kendi, expending $44,000 for a one-hour presentation - which they have refused to release publicly - and a supply of his books, inevitably bound for distribution to teachers and staff to further their “equity-driven” professional development.

In short order after the adoption of “One Fairfax”, policy decisions by FCPS on crucial issues such as school boundaries were made by setting the “socioeconomic and/or racial composition of students” as the primary criteria for establishing school boundaries. 

The new demand of “One Fairfax” to embed “equity” in all decisions was then turned on the nation’s top ranked Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology (TJHSST). FCPS’ Superintendent Scott Brabrand, who had previously eliminated the executive role of a ‘Chief Academic Officer’ in exchange for a ‘Chief Equity Officer’, announced the revised TJHSST admissions plan to reduce the number of Asian students at the selective governor’s high school. 

Brabrand laid out the plan for the School Board to eliminate the existing merit-based admissions test, designed to ensure selection of students with the greatest aptitude for math and science – regardless of race – and adopt in its place a “merit lottery”. The then-proposed and since adopted admissions plan - now the subject of a lawsuit – opened TJHSST to all eighth-graders, merely establishing a minimum GPA of 3.5 to ostensibly increase “equity of opportunity.”

As the effort to revamp curriculum expanded beyond Fairfax County with the statewide work undertaken in 2018 and 2019, FCPS’ Eddy then became appointed to the “Culturally Relevant and Inclusive Education Practices Advisory Committee” to the Virginia Department of Education (VDOE), established by direction of the 2020 Legislative Session of the Virginia General Assembly.

The legislation passed by the General Assembly calls for submission of recommendations on history and social science Standards of Learning by the Committee to the VDOE for a 2021-2022 review, which the Board of Education “shall consider” with required input on matters such as “historical dehumanizing injustice and discrimination” and “acknowledgment of inequity on the individual level, such as biased speech and harassment, and injustice at the institutional or systemic level, such as discrimination, and the harmful impact of inequity and injustice on the community, historically and today.”

The division and statewide-level work that has been cloaked under the guise of being “inclusive”, “cultural responsive”, ensuring “equity”, and embracing “anti-racism” is well documented. The underlying themes are driving people to be consumed about race over individual conduct, promoting race-shaming students, welcoming dangerous Marxist ideology, and working to divide an educational system by teaching young children to see and judge people by race, rather than by class or character. 

Parents in Loudoun, including those who survived the Maoist purge, have been particularly vocal about pushing back on their school board, with minority parents decrying the actual racism that is behind and promoted by critical race theory. Instead of authentic conversations about what unites us as Virginians and Americans, parents are calling for school boards to end to this hate-promoting, divisive indoctrination in our classrooms.

So, yes Virginia; despite protestations of school boards in Fairfax and Loudoun that they are not “teaching” it, there has been a comprehensive, deliberative, and manipulative effort of school staff and the school boards, underway for years. The tactics have been advised and funded by outside progressive consultants, groups, and money - then intentionally expanded statewide - to embrace and deeply-embed critical race theory in our schools.

Elizabeth L. Schultz is a Senior Fellow for Parents Defending Education. Elizabeth served as an official in the U.S. Department of Education, was twice-elected to the Fairfax County School Board, and is an education and public policy expert with more than 25 years of experience in asset management, information technology, and global and K-12 education. She is the mother of four sons, three former FCPS students and one current student.

(13) comments

Phil R

The single most remarkable feature of this public controversy has been the near-uniform insistence, from major news outlets and elected officials alike, that CRT is never taught outside of higher education, and that parents who say otherwise about schools in Virginia have an ulterior motive or have simply been misled. It's clear that someone isn't telling the truth, so I was curious to see what evidence I could turn up from publicly available sources. Seeing a book titled "The Foundations of Critical Race Theory" under "What We are Reading" on the state's Department of Education website was certainly interesting, as was the notice from Superintendent Eric Williams, which, while denying that LCPS has "adopted" CRT, emphasizes that LCPS's use of instructional resources does "align with CRT." The real question, then, is whether those who deny that CRT is ever taught in Virginia schools are denying that the state promotes CRT-influenced pedagogy. If not, they are being deceptive if they say there's no CRT in the schools and leave it at that. If they are denying that CRT has influenced the pedagogy, that appears to be a bare-faced lie. Either way, I see more now why reliably Democratic voters with school-age children are fed up.

intelligenceisalostart

The listed author of this Article Elizabeth Schultz, has no idea what critical race theory even is. Moreover, if anyone in VA bothered do maybe do some research on their own, or ask an attorney who has attended law school, which is the only place where you will find it taught as part of the curriculum (albeit some Universities do have clases on it), then you would understand what it REALLY is. It is an objectively documented historical perpective illustrating the effect of white male supremecy on the institutions that inhabit the USA. How this started, and its effect past and present on these institutions. What this article is purporting to express is so overblown and incorrectly applied, it is almost laughable. What is laughable is that this newspaper would even publish it. CRT in application allows for parity and under the article's suppositions, any class taught to teachers regarding understanding of individuals different then them, would encompass critical race theory. You want to know who Schultz is and what her motivations are then read and learn: https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/education/wp/2016/10/27/a-school-board-members-support-for-trump-stirs-a-free-speech-debate/

Jlan20

Wiki entry for motte bailey- "The motte-and-bailey fallacy (named after the motte-and-bailey castle) is a form of argument and an informal fallacy where an arguer conflates two positions which share similarities, one modest and easy to defend (the "motte") and one much more controversial (the "bailey").[1] The arguer advances the controversial position, but when challenged, they insist that they are only advancing the more modest position.[2][3] Upon retreating to the motte, the arguer can claim that the bailey has not been refuted (because the critic refused to attack the motte)[1] or that the critic is unreasonable (by equating an attack on the bailey with an attack on the motte)."

The standard "CRT is just a collection of scholars and activists.... blah blah blah" is obviously the motte. All you have to do is read the critical race theorists books, articles and essays by the thinkers from which this evolved, arguments by the Frankfurt school critical theorists, the wiki entry for CRT, and participate in the training sessions to know that it's much more than the simple motte definition.

What's going on in these training sessions is not the teaching of critical race theory, it is the teaching of critical race theory thought. It's applied critical race theory. They are doing critical race theory, so that others will begin to do critical race theory.

Here's a bit from the CRT wiki, "CRT scholars also view race and white supremacy as an intersectional social construction[9] which serves to uphold the interests of white people[11] at the expense of marginalized communities." Replace white with bourgeois and marginalized with proletariat and you have Marxism. The economic identity groups have been replaced with race identity groups. If you want to defend that, do it, but don't claim that it isn't Marxism. Is racial Marxism.

intelligenceisalostart

Oh dear there is just so much to unpackage here, and I just don't have the time to try to educate those who refuse to educate themselves with objective documentation/evidence, but one note: Your last paragraph is illustrative of your failure to even understand the difference between color and economics. But just for your edification, they are not interchangeable, as the former begets the later.

BAM

Wholeheartedly agree, Elizabeth! Removing my youngest from public middle school to a Catholic elementary school because of planned implementation of CRT. My older 2 kids remain in high school and it's been a severe cultural battle to help them understand why something that sound innocuous on the surface is insidious and immoral. How do we help to fight this as parents, aside from the occasional board member recall petition?

intelligenceisalostart

So I would be interested to know what school district your two teenagers attend, as I have thoroughly vetted every public high school within the Commonwealth and have yet to find a single one where Critical Race Theory is even taught, let alone implemented. If you are referencing the teaching of American History or Social Studies (which is middle not hight school), then that is not Critical Race Theory. And just for your information, the only place you will find it as part of curriculum is in law schools and some higher end Universities.

pittardm

"Critical race theory is a body of legal scholarship and an academic movement of civil-rights scholars and activists in the United States that seeks to critically examine U.S. law as it intersects with issues of race in the U.S. and to challenge mainstream American liberal approaches to racial justice". What this article says about CRT, and CRT in the schools, is simply not true.

intelligenceisalostart

Thank heaven someone with a brain with the ability of critical thought. We are a dying breed.

Toothbrushlord

CRT isn't marxist theory, Marxism is entirely focused on economics and foreign policy, its ridiculous to claim otherwise. CRT has nothing to do with individual racism, but is actually the analysis of racist systems and how they affected marginalized people back then and how they affect them now. The effects of redlining, segregation, and the war on drugs still largely affects communities today, which is what CRT analyzes. This article is just pushing forward a false narrative that elite Republicans made up to get more working class people's money.

Armey Guy

That's why China went through a cultural revolution were people were labeled oppressor and oppressed. Marxism is first and foremost a cultural doctrine. CRT is cultural Marxism. Marxism uses classism to divide and conquer the pubic. CRT uses racial classism to identify oppressor and oppressed. CRT being taught in some schools goes as far as saying "Whiteness" is evil such as the children book "Not My Idea". It is currently being taught to 5 year olds.

intelligenceisalostart

No Marxism is not a cultural doctrine. it is a political philosophy. Mao's "Cultural Revolution" had nothing to do with Marxism political theory. It also was not a cultural revolution, but a cultural destruction to help ensure control of its population. It's just like the Army, make everyone look the same, erasing as much as possible, and you can get them to obey. It is called group control.

Pete

Everyone on the school board who supported CRT must be replaced. Vote them the hell out. And don't forget the damn teachers.

AmRev2

About this ‘CRT’,

Pick up a (real) ‘World History’ book, yes, an actual book (if you can find one).

It’ll be the book many of your professors do not want you to read.

In it you will find the one constant, single, driving agent for all mankind’s woe’s: GREED, not Race.

That ‘Disposable Workforce’ that your professors are so eager to blame on Race Is (yes, present tense) actually a result of Unbridled GREED, not Race.

Those ’Slaves’ consisted of every different Race on Earth at one time or another (including caucasians) thru-out history.

So, when these ‘teachers’ try to ram this ‘Critical Race Theory’ down your throat, remember the above, that is the real truth, and the facts of that are well-documented.

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