he Politics Watcher
Sign InSubscribe
US Politics

The Ongoing Battle Over Critical Race Theory in American Education

Share this article

Examining the controversies and effects of critical race theory on education policy across various states in the United States.

description: A diverse group of students and educators engaged in a discussion about race and education in a classroom setting.

In recent years, critical race theory (CRT) has become a contentious topic in American education, with states and school districts divided on whether to implement or ban its teachings in their curriculums. CRT is an academic framework that seeks to examine the ways in which race and racism intersect with various aspects of society, from politics to law to education.

One such example is the recent decision by the Temecula Valley School District in California, which approved a measure on a 3-2 vote to allocate taxpayers' dollars towards hiring a CRT consultant. Former Paso Robles schools trustee Chris Arend will be paid as a critical race theory consultant, leading training sessions for Temecula educators on this divisive issue.

This decision mirrors a larger trend where states and school districts are grappling with the inclusion or exclusion of CRT in their educational programs. In a March 8 column, Victor Joecks highlighted an incident where children were used to lobby the Nevada Assembly on school choice, which included discussions on CRT.

In contrast, Arizona has taken a strong stance against CRT, launching an "anti-woke" hotline for parents to report "inappropriate" topics their children are taught at school, including CRT and other racial justice-related subjects. The state has also created a website that identifies mentions of whiteness, white privilege, and white supremacy as signs that critical race theory instruction may be happening.

Virginia is another state where CRT has been a contentious subject in recent political discourse. Gov. Glenn Youngkin won the election in 2021, in part due to his education policy, which included a promise to ban critical race theory in Virginia schools.

These differing approaches to CRT have led to a larger conversation about the role of racial justice education in the United States. A leading voice on critical race theory, Professor Kimberlé Crenshaw, has warned that the right-wing battle against racial justice education not only threatens academic freedom but also perpetuates racial inequality.

This debate extends beyond the classroom, as seen in Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis' announcement to block state colleges from hosting programs on diversity, equity, and inclusion. DeSantis argues that these programs are divisive and detrimental to the unity of the country.

As the controversy surrounding critical race theory continues to unfold, it raises important questions about the values and priorities of American society. Author and social justice advocate Jacquelyn Ogorchukwu challenges individuals to consider what the objects and practices they keep truly say about their values, and whether these align with promoting justice and equity for all.

The ongoing battle over CRT in education speaks to broader debates about the role of race in the United States and the best way to address historical and current racial inequalities. As more states and school districts grapple with this issue, it remains to be seen how American education will navigate the complexities of race and racism in the coming years.

Ultimately, the future of critical race theory in American education is uncertain, with states and school districts divided on its merits and implications. However, this controversy has undoubtedly sparked important conversations about race, racism, and education in the United States, bringing these issues to the forefront of public discourse.

critical race theoryeducationraceracismunited statesschool districtscurriculumtemecula valley school districtarizonavirginiafloridadiversityequityinclusion
Share this article