Combatting Critical Race Theory in Your Community

I found the document Combatting Critical Race Theory in Your Community: An A to Z Guide On How to Stop Critical Race Theory And Reclaim Your Local School Board in a link provided following an article called A Stunning Pushback Against Critical Race Theory in Schools.

Just one quote from the guide here. It says this about CRT Proponents:

They are not trying to win an academic debate, they are attempting to socially replace you.

As such, almost any action stemming from CRT activists is designed to shut you up, diminish your standing in the community, undercut your authority to speak on an issue, alienate you from whichever group you are a part of so that others ignore you, pretend like there really isn’t any problem at all, or tear down your reputation so people don’t listen to you. Anything that they can do to win they will do.

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Critical Race Theory Related Resources

Here some resources for those concerned about Critical Race Theory. A page has been set up and will be added to as other resources come to my attention. The page is CRT Related Resources.

Resources, Groups, Organizations, & Info Sources

No Left Turn in Education
Parents Defending Education
Stand Up Virginia
Education First Alliance
Critical Race Training in Education  (a map)
Legal Insurrection Foundation
Intellectual Dark Web
Quillette
1776 Unites
Heterodox Academy
Foundation Against Intolerance & Racism
Counterweight
FIRE   Foundation for Individual Rights in Education
Free the People
1775 Project
Parents Against Critical Race Theory
Speak Up For Education
Citizens for Renewing America
Schoolhouse Rights

California

Californians for Equal Rights Foundation
Educators for Quality and Equality
CA Parents and Educators Alliance for Rejection of Proposed Math Framework

Illinois

Awake Illinois

Nevada

Nevada Family Alliance

Oregon

Oregonians for Liberty in Education

Virginia

Coalition for TJ
Advocating for Diversity and Excellence at Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology
Fight for Schools

Texas

Southlake Families

CRT Legislation Trackers

State Tracker:  CRT Legislation
CRT Legislation Tracker
Critical Race Theory: Legislation Tracker

Toolkits, Checklists, and Model Board Policy

Combatting Critical Race Theory in Your Community
An A to Z Guide on How to Stop Critical Race Theory and Reclaim Your Local School Board
Reject Critical Race Theory
CRT Checklist
Model School Board Language to Prohibit Critical Race Theory
Critical Race Theory Briefing Book

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‘Leftish Agenda In Class’: 15-Year-Old High School Student Exposes Critical Race Theory In Speech

The youtube info says, “15-year-old high school student exposes critical race theory.” You can read more about this in an article titled Student Slams School Board Over Teaching of ‘Woke’ Critical Race Theory.

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Is Critical Race Theory Legislation Riot Worthy?

What the heck is all the fuss about related to Critical Race Theory (CRT) legislation?  I’ve read articles where teachers and others are complaining that the legislation ties the teacher’s hands and even bans them from teaching history or at least certain aspects of history.  Some have even complained they won’t be able to teach Critical Race Theory to their students.

Until a few years ago I had never actually read a legislative bill.  Like most people, I took the media’s word for what bills, especially education related ones, were about and the potential impact.  At some point I started reading select bills and even analyzing some. 

Recently, there has been a lot of talk about CRT legislation in a number of states. The media accounts and what people were saying on both sides of the issue aroused my curiosity.  As a result, I read bills from a number of states including ones from Arizona, Iowa, Oklahoma, Idaho, Tennessee, Arkansas, and Texas.  I found it interesting that bills for those six states included some identical wording.  That got me curious as to where that wording came from.  I found it in the Presidential Executive Order 13950 of September 22, 2020 titled  Combating Race and Sex Stereotyping.  It is interesting to note Critical Race Theory is never mentioned in the Executive Order and is not mentioned in most state legislative bills.

The following are found in the Executive Order.  With the exception of Idaho, most of the other six states included most, if not all, of these items in their legislation as things not to be taught.

One race or sex is inherently superior to another race or sex;

The state or the United States is fundamentally racist or sexist;

An individual, by virtue of his or her race or sex, is inherently racist, sexist, or oppressive, whether consciously or unconsciously;

An individual should be discriminated against or receive adverse treatment solely or partly because of his or her race or sex;

An individual’s moral character is necessarily determined by his or her race or sex;

An individual, by virtue of his or her race or sex, bears responsibility for actions committed in the past by other members of the same race or sex;

Any individual should feel discomfort, guilt, anguish, or any other form of psychological distress on account of his or her race or sex;

Meritocracy or traits such as a hard work ethic are racist or sexist, or were created by a particular race to oppress another race; or

The term “divisive concept” includes any other form of race or sex stereotyping or any other form of race or sex scapegoating;

Members of one race or sex cannot and should not attempt to treat others without respect to race or sex.

Are these things people want taught to students across the country?  I would like to think not.  It makes me wonder if people who are against these legislative bills have actually read them or if they are simply reacting to the media hype.

Unlike people who are complaining about this, I fail to see how this prevents or bans the teaching of history.  Does this ban or prevent teaching about the Civil War and Reconstruction, slavery, the civil rights movement, any aspect of American history, the Holocaust, or the contributions to our country of any and all people?  For those teachers complaining about this, it makes me wonder what it is they want to teach students.  Or do they want to indoctrinate them?

Besides this issue itself being divisive, what are other potential impacts?  Will this lead to each school having a diversity, equity, and inclusive (DEI) coach?  Rather than DEI, I prefer diversity, inclusive, and equity (DIE).  Schools have instructional or curriculum coaches (often viewed as police), so why not DEI coaches.  Has the stage not been set?  The United Nations had a world campaign promoting diversity and inclusion.  Universities and colleges have Vice Presidents or cabinet level position related to DEI.  Most school districts have district level positions dedicated to DEI.  Is the next logical step to have a DEI coach in each school?

Is CRT related legislation even necessary?  Will such legislation just put another layer of rules and regs on top of ones already on the books but likely ignored and not enforced or selectively or inconsistently enforced?  Isn’t the US Constitution and the Civil Rights Act already enough?  In all the CRT kerfuffle, I have heard no mention of standards/codes that give guidance to teacher professionalism and ethics. Most, if not all, states have standards of professional practice or teacher code of ethics in place.  Are those standards/codes being used? Or ignored in the kerfuffle?  Could they be used?  Violation of such standards/codes in most states is grounds for the suspension or revocation of teacher certification.  If parents find their child’s teacher violates such standards/codes, maybe they need to see if the state will address it.

Even the NEA has a Code of Ethics for Educators.    Commitment to the Student is the first section of this Code.  This section says:

In fulfillment of the obligation to the student, the educator—

Shall not unreasonably restrain the student from independent action in the pursuit of learning.
Shall not unreasonably deny the student’s access to varying points of view.
Shall not deliberately suppress or distort subject matter relevant to the student’s progress.
Shall make reasonable effort to protect the student from conditions harmful to learning or to health and safety.
Shall not intentionally expose the student to embarrassment or disparagement.
Shall not on the basis of race, color, creed, sex, national origin, marital status, political or religious beliefs, family, social or cultural background, or sexual orientation, unfairly
Exclude any student from participation in any program
Deny benefits to any student
Grant any advantage to any student
Shall not use professional relationships with students for private advantage.
Shall not disclose information about students obtained in the course of professional service unless disclosure serves a compelling professional purpose or is required by law.

Most states have similar codes or standards.  As an example, Tennessee’s Teacher Code of Ethics includes the following:

Abide by all applicable federal and state laws;
Not unreasonably restrain the student from independent action in the pursuit of learning;
Provide the student with professional education services in a nondiscriminatory manner and in consonance with accepted best practices known to the educator;
Respect the constitutional rights of the student;
Not unreasonably deny the student access to varying points of view;
Not deliberately suppress or distort subject matter relevant to the student’s progress;
Make reasonable effort to protect the student from conditions harmful to learning or to health and safety;
Make reasonable effort to protect the emotional well-being of the student;
Not intentionally expose the student to embarrassment or disparagement;
Not on the basis of race; color; creed’ disability’ sex’ national origin’ marital status’ political or religious beliefs’ family, social, or cultural background’ or sexual orientation, unfairly:
Exclude the student from participation in any program;
Deny benefits to the student; or
Grant any advantage to the student;

Parents may want to become familiar with the standards of professional practice or teacher code of ethics for their respective state.

For those interested in tracking legislative bills related to CRT, here are some web pages you may want to visit.  I find the first two to be the most valuable.

State Tracker:  CRT Legislation

CRT Legislation Tracker

Critical Race Theory: Legislation Tracker

Efforts to restrict teaching about racism and bias have multiplied across the U.S.

Critical Race Theory: These states are already cracking down on the controversial concept

What about Washington state? 

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What the Heck is Critical Race Theory (CRT)?

I’m back. For nearly a year now, I have taken a break from posting here on The Underground Parent. That doesn’t mean I haven’t been paying attention to issues impacting the education of students all across the country. The pandemic has had, and will continue to have, a major impact on our education system and the education of our students. About a year ago, I started seeing and reading articles that raised my concern and had me start following issues related to diversity, equity, inclusiveness, and Critical Race Theory (CRT) permeating our education system. I have read legislative bills from several states related to CRT (even though the bills may not mention CRT). Recently, I watched the two videos included in this post. I wanted to share these videos as a start to presenting information and raising questions about CRT and all the commotion it is stirring up.

This video is from America, Can We Talk? Debbie Georgatos starts off talking about what Critical Race Theory (CRT) is and then two parents talk about what they have learned about CRT and how it ties into with Social Emotional Learning (SEL). The video is about 50 minutes long and well worth the watch.

This is a video of the live stream presentations put on by Moms for Liberty in Williamson County, Tennessee on May 19, 2021. The five excellent presenters It features are Robby Starbuck, Dr. Wenyuan Wu, a Mother of a 2nd Grade Student, Dr. Beth Meyers, and Dr. Gary Thompson. The complete video is about 3 hours long so you may want to watch it in segments rather than all in one sitting. The presentation by the Mother of a 2nd Grade Student is very emotional—you may want to have tissues at hand.

Now, I realize I have not actually answered the question, What the Heck is Critical Race Theory (CRT)? If you have watched these two videos you likely have formed your sense of what CRT is as it may appear in our school classrooms as well as other places.

This is the first post of what I hope will be a series related to CRT. The series will likely be disorganized since there is so much to address and it is hard to know where to begin. Information and issues may be addressed that may include CRT related legislation, whether legislation is really needed, possible impact of legislation, teacher codes of ethics, and activism.

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Misunderstandings about Understanding in Math

Barry Garelick has produced a very informative evidence-supported instructional practice presentation called Misunderstandings about Understanding for researchED‘s August 2020 Virtual Event.

researchED provides this as a brief intro to the presentation:

“The issue of balance between procedural fluency and conceptual understanding in mathematics has served as a dividing line in education. Some believe that understanding of a procedure or algorithm must precede the procedure/algorithm itself—and if it doesn’t precede it, it should come about quickly. Failure to do this results in students who some call “math zombies”. Others believe that procedural fluency and conceptual understanding is an iterative process where one feeds the other. This talk explores what understanding is and what it isn’t, as well as how misunderstandings about understanding affect students.”

Also provided is the following information about Barry:

“Barry Garelick majored in mathematics at the University of Michigan. After working in the environmental field, he retired and embarked on a second career of teaching. He teaches 7th and 8th grade math at a small K-8 Catholic School in California. He has written articles about math education which have appeared in The Atlantic, Education Next and the Notices of the American Mathematical Society.”

You can view Barry’s presentation by clicking the image up above or clicking Misunderstandings about Understanding.

Barry posts at Traditional Math: An Effective Strategy Teachers Feel Guilty Using.

Barry has written a number of articles about math and math education. He has also written a few entertaining books that provide some insight humor about his experience teaching math. Chapters of his most recent book(yet to be published in book form), Out on Good Behavior: Teaching Math While Looking Over Your Shoulder are available online at Truth in American Education.

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Real Math Teaching and Good Testing Works for All Students

This is a guest post by Ted Nutting. I’m a retired Seattle mathematics teacher.  I’m alarmed by the proposals to address racial bias in our schools by doubling down on “inquiry-based learning” and by doing away with standardized tests.  These … Continue reading

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Wellbeing Checks or Privacy Intrusions?

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Is our education system exhibiting signs of serious mission creep?  At what point has the mission shifted from providing a knowledge-based academic education to conducting wellbeing checks and collecting a wide range of data?  The Tennessee Department of Education appears … Continue reading

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College Board Sued over Student Data Collection

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: December 10, 2019 For Information: Jon Loevy, Loevy & Loevy Attorneys at Law, 312.243.5900, jon@loevy.com Scott Drury, Loevy & Loevy Attorneys at Law, 312.243.5900, drury@loevy.com Andy Thayer, Loevy & Loevy Attorneys at Law, 773.209.1187, andy@loevy.com Student Testing … Continue reading

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Misdirected Evaluation and Intimidation in Wake County, North Carolina

In this post, I am going to attempt to address a number of issues related to the situation in Wake County where the school district adopted the Mathematics Vision Project (MVP).  The three main issues I hope to address have … Continue reading

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