Do you know what’s being taught in America’s classrooms? The latest from the District of Columbia Public Schools (DCPS) might shock you.
In an email to parents this week, the DCPS chancellor announced that as part of Black History Month, the school district would be supporting the Black Lives Matter at Schools Week of Action, a politically driven national activist campaign that includes a commitment to promoting a series of key principles including “dismantling patriarchal practice” and “disrupting the Western-prescribed nuclear family structure.” (Also on the Week of Action website: a coloring book for kids that calls for the dismantling of capitalism—a “system of oppression”—and a rejection of punishment for those who do others harm, in favor of “communicating, understanding and solving the problem.”)
These might sound like new ideas to you (not to mention confusing concepts for kindergarteners). But they’re rooted in a rapidly spreading ethos known as “critical race theory”—a philosophy that paints American society as a systemically racist culture in desperate need of radical reform.
In a segment on Fox News’ The Ingraham Angle, retired professor of political science at Vanderbilt University Carol Swain commented on critical race theory, the Black Lives Matter principles, and the impact they would have on society. “[Critical race theory] doesn’t help black people. It doesn’t help white people. It doesn’t help America,” Swain said. “I would strongly encourage anyone who cares about education to go to the Black Lives Matter website and learn more about them and their principles, because there’s nothing there that advances our society in a way that’s beneficial.”
Swain went on to point out that Black Lives Matter is pushing to teach children critical race theory and Marxism, principles that she said “will be life-sapping, rather than life-giving.”
“They’re destroying our children and the American education system, and too many people in America have not really investigated Black Lives Matter, what they stand for,” Swain added. “They’re more than a slogan. They’re an organization that’s Marxist. They’re very destructive. We live in an insane world, and it’s time that we wake up, work together. We’re not going to help black children or white children or America by pursuing the strategy that they outline.”
But unfortunately, critical race theory is already becoming commonplace in K-12 school curriculum and college classes. For example, California’s new K-12 ethnic studies course has an entire section dedicated to intersectionality, a critical race theory concept stating that individuals can discover different ways in which he or she is a victim based on ethnicity or gender and multiply his or her claim to authority on a given topic or status as an oppressed person. As for the Black Lives Matter at School movement, it began in 2016 and is now in Seattle, Philadelphia, Los Angeles, Chicago, Detroit, Boston, New York City, Baltimore, Washington, D.C., and other cities.
The Goldwater Institute is striving to make sure parents know which of these kinds of lessons—destructive and divisive, or empowering and inspiring—are being taught in their kids’ classrooms through new “academic transparency” model legislation, which gives parents the knowledge they need to make informed decisions about their children’s education. You can read more about that here.