The issue of leftist indoctrination in the public schools has been with us for a while, but it has exploded into public consciousness during the past year. The main focus has been Critical Race Theory, a toxic compound of racism and anti-Americanism.
Many people are reluctant to believe that the public schools could possibly be as bad as they are being portrayed. Such skepticism is abetted by school officials who generally deny any knowledge of CRT and call it a right-wing conspiracy theory (although a few are honest enough to admit that Critical Race Theory is central to their schools’ curriculum).
In Minnesota, the battle over CRT has focused largely on new Social Studies standards and benchmarks for grades K-12. Our left-wing governor appointed a committee consisting mostly of representatives of left-wing activist groups to draft the new standards, and my organization has been battling to educate the public and mobilize opposition. We got 23,000 Minnesotans to submit public comments opposing the first and second drafts of the new Social Studies standards. The third draft has just been released, and once again we are leading the opposition.
How bad are the public schools? How much worse will they become if liberals get their way? Can it possibly be true that liberals want to turn our schools into cesspits of racism and anti-Americanism? Yes, it is all too true. My colleague Katherine Kersten has reviewed and analyzed draft number three of the proposed standards. I strongly recommend that you read her entire analysis to fully appreciate how evil the CRT movement is. Here are a few excerpts; Kathy writes:
The first Ethnic Studies standards (Std. 23) teaches that a student’s personal identity is determined by his or her group status:
Identity: Analyze the ways power and language construct the social identities of race, religion, geography, ethnicity and gender. Apply these understandings to one’s own social identities and other groups living in Minnesota, centering those whose stories and histories have been marginalized, erased or ignored.
The second and third standards (Std. 24 and Std. 25) require students to organize to “resist” America’s “systemic” abuse of power against “marginalized,” “oppressed” groups:
Resistance: Describe how individuals and communities have fought for freedom and liberation against systemic and coordinated exercises of power locally and globally…and organize with others to engage in activities that could further the rights and dignity of all; and
Ways of Knowing: Use ethnic and indigenous studies methods in order to understand the roots of contemporary systems of oppression and apply lessons from the past to eliminate historical and contemporary injustices.
How will radical Ethnic Studies standards play out in Minnesota classrooms?
* Kindergartners must “retell a story about an unfair experience that conveys a power imbalance.” (K.5.24.1)
* First-graders must “Identify examples of ethnicity, equality, liberation and systems of power, and use those examples to construct meanings for those terms.” (126.96.36.199)
High school students will be required to:
Analyze how caste systems based upon race, social class, and religion have been used to justify imperialism, colonization, warfare, and chattel slavery; how those caste systems and justifications have changed over time; and how they influence our society today,” (188.8.131.52)
Examine the construction of racialized hierarchies based on colorism and dominant European beauty standards and values.” (184.108.40.206)
Like earlier drafts, the third draft replaces objective historical knowledge — facts about the key events and figures of the past — with a fixation on “dominant and non-dominant narratives” and “absent voices.” Students will graduate largely ignorant of the events and leaders that shaped America and the world, but primed to view our nation with reflexive suspicion and hostility.
The third draft continues MDE’s reframing of American history as a woeful tale of “colonialism,” slavery, racism and imperialism. For example:
* The American Revolution is mentioned five times, but George Washington, Paul Revere, Bunker Hill and Lexington and Concord are never named. Instead, students “analyze dominant and non-dominant narratives,” “examine Black, indigenous or women’s perspectives,” etc.
* The draft is silent on America’s role in World War II, and students learn nothing about Roosevelt, Churchill, Stalin, or D-Day.
* It also omits the September 11 attacks. But it does require students to “identify and evaluate how governmental and non-governmental institutions have responded to foreign and domestic terrorism in the United States, including xenophobia and Islamophobia.” (220.127.116.11)
The third draft, like earlier drafts, eliminates the most basic facts of world history from the K-12 curriculum.
* Ancient Egypt, the Roman Empire, the Middle Ages, the French Revolution, Napoleon and the Russian Revolution receive no mention.
* The Renaissance and the Scientific Revolution—both world-transforming developments—appear only once: to highlight the role that Islam played. (“Identify the influence of Islamic centers of learning on the European Renaissance, the scientific revolution and society today.”) (18.104.22.168)
* The draft is silent on the Soviet Union and its gulags, the Chinese Cultural Revolution, Pol Pot’s Killing Fields and North Korea. Instead, it reserves a tone of outrage for U.S. “imperialism” and “oppression.”
It goes on and on. The Left’s poisonous hostility toward the United States is the dominant feature of these proposed standards, and is the essence–the whole point–of Critical Race Theory. And don’t assume that initiatives like these are occurring only in liberal states. The national teachers’ unions are fully on board with Critical Race Theory–the NEA, the country’s largest union, explicitly endorsed CRT by resolution last summer–and even in red states, anti-American propaganda is creeping into public education.