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Mom in Va. who lived through Cultural Revolution addresses school board regarding Critical Race Theory


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When we were still homeschooling, my boys both got a very in-depth US history education.  We used a wide range of materials including Zinn’s People’s History of the United States, the Teaching Tolerance materials from SPL and a lot of stuff focused on the history of the Civil Rights movement, including Eyes on the Prize.  Hakim’s History of Us was the spine for my older son in middle school.  I’m absolutely not opposed an unvarnished look at American history or current events.  I do have some accuracy concerns with the 1619 project- I’m not for banning it in schools (there’s not a whole lot I am in favor of banning in school).  But if we were still homeschooling I don’t know that I with use the material without including writings from historians who reject some of its claims or perhaps side by side as a lesson in how interpretation affects our historical understanding.  

I also know that over the last couple of years, I’ve heard some really off-base takeaways about history coming from my kids and nieces and nephew, who all attend 3 different regular public school districts in and around Seattle.  It’s hard to condense to a short post and I don’t want to turn this into a long essay but I have come to see how some kids have some pretty simplistic takeaways from school about these topics right now.  This is nothing new (it’s not like US schools have tended to do a bang up job in history education, lol). I also think that young students and students who tend to be quite literal thinkers may walk away from some materials about race and identity with a feeling that they are wrong/bad or that they are doomed to fail.  My 12 year old son (white) and my 15 year old nephew (black and Latino) have both articulated some things that have convinced me that badly implemented content can give students a sense that white = bad and brown = helpless/pitiable.  Also, male = bad and female = helpless.  That is troubling.  


Living in Seattle, Diversity, Equity and Inclusion trainings implemented or deployed by nearly clueless (and mostly white) people to mediocre or shitty results is nothing new.  The lingo has changed but trainings and course material around race and identity were part of my high school work back in the 1990s here.  And it’s not uncommon for a sound or solid academic concept for older students/adults to be implemented and deployed in a less than stellar manner that confuses the flip out of younger students.  Heck, we see this in math education all the time - solid expert designed curriculum that the district spends eleventy jillion dollars on, shitty implementation that leads to less than great results.  

Thanks to Zoom school I have had the opportunity to overhear much of my son’s US history this year and I am very underwhelmed by the quality of the lessons + straining everything through an unnuanced and very modern viewpoint.  Nothing I found particularly objectionable but it was lackluster and I felt he could have taught the class at times.  Actually, he often chimed in with more details or nuance in class.  

I do think it is possible for people to be ambivalent or concerned about how history, race and identity topics are covered in school without being opposed to accurate, in-depth and at times hard topics.  I dislike how this has become a politically polarized topic or even an ideological purity test.  
 

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19 minutes ago, Condessa said:

Here’s a link to the mother’s address to the school board, if anyone wants to engage in the discussion topic without the connection to Fox News:

 

 

I think the issue is that a parent complaining about something like this is not really evidence, wether the video comes from FoxNews or not.  I would like pictures from the curriculum, video or something from the classroom, some objective thing to look at besides a parents opinion, or even a teachers opinion.  I’d like to see the troublesome requirements in writing some how.  All this video tells me is parents are unhappy.  Parents are unhappy about lots of things, some I agree with, some I don’t.  That a parent is unhappy is not evidence by itself of something being wrong 

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1 minute ago, Frances said:

I don’t think anyone was objecting to the fact that the videos were from Fox News. The article on the other hand…

 I’m not sure what can be discussed without more information. For example, towards the end of her speech she mentions two things by name that are like what happened in China, but doesn’t explain them (understandably so with a one minute time limit). But since I don’t have kids in the district and no one has posted actual information, I have no idea what they are, so how can I evaluate her comparisons? 

Relating to this statement from the statement of the mother that inspired this thread: 

“We were also encouraged to report on each other, just like the Student Equity Ambassador program and the Bias Reporting System.”

The Loudoun school district is currently under a law suit from parents over these two programs.

https://wtop.com/loudoun-county/2021/06/equity-programs-in-loudoun-co-schools-lead-to-lawsuit-from-parents/
 

It apparently involves having students report on each other.

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I also prefer articles to videos, but I did watch the one of the mother speaking. I don’t think I have a very good grasp of what CRT is, but I certainly didn’t find anything she said to be newsworthy. 

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This is an interesting about the SBC from the New Yorker. It discusses the debate over CRT in the context of larger discussions about race. 

The Fight for the Heart of the Southern Baptist Convention

Quote

In Texas, McKissic read the statement with dismay. “It’s putting lipstick on racism,” he told me. As he saw it, the fight over C.R.T. was also the fight for the future of the S.B.C. A cabal of reactionary, aging white men was trying to maintain control of the organization, and, in order to hold on to power, those men were stoking people’s fears of creeping liberalism. (A spokesperson for the S.B.C. said that it was a sprawling organization whose members held a wide range of viewpoints.) In January, 2021, McKissic wrote an article titled “We Are Getting Off The Bus,” denouncing the rejection of C.R.T. in the November statement and explaining that he was leaving a Texas chapter of the S.B.C. “I am not willing to allow them to dictate what the belief systems, definitions and authoritative binding, academic and ecclesiastical decisions [are] regarding how race is to be communicated in the local church,” he wrote.

 

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From the above linked local news article on the law suit:

“Under the ambassador program, schools select a handful of students who meet with principals and other school leaders to discuss [incidents of racist behavior in their school communities], while the reporting system urges students to anonymously report observations using a form online.”

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2 minutes ago, Condessa said:

Relating to this statement from the statement of the mother that inspired this thread: 

“We were also encouraged to report on each other, just like the Student Equity Ambassador program and the Bias Reporting System.”

The Loudoun school district is currently under a law suit from parents over these two programs.

https://wtop.com/loudoun-county/2021/06/equity-programs-in-loudoun-co-schools-lead-to-lawsuit-from-parents/
 

It apparently involves having students report on each other.

Thank you for posting. This contains far more information (including links to other sources) than is in the videos and unlike the Fox News article/editorial, at least presents information from both the school district and those critical of the policies and programs.

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I was just listening to a local talk radio show while getting dinner organized.  A mom of an 8th grade middle school student (public school) used her cell phone to make a video of a lesson presented in her child's science class (remote learning).   She contacted both the principal and the teacher, and apparently these types of lessons are presented in a variety of subject areas at school.      

The video is just over 7 minutes long.

https://mynorthwest.com/2937573/rantz-teacher-uses-science-class-to-call-white-middle-schoolers-privileged-oppressors/

 

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2 hours ago, Plum said:

assignments in the course required students to reveal their race, gender, sexual orientation and disabilities and then determine if privilege or oppression is attached to those identities.

Democracy Prep’s student body is 63.8 percent Black, 30.2 percent Hispanic and 2.2 percent white, according to the state’s K-12 data portal.
 

 

44 minutes ago, Condessa said:

From the above linked local news article on the law suit:

“Under the ambassador program, schools select a handful of students who meet with principals and other school leaders to discuss [incidents of racist behavior in their school communities], while the reporting system urges students to anonymously report observations using a form online.”

I mean....this all together doesn't really look good. You have classes where you confess your personal information in front of your classmates while identifying what makes them oppressors or victims. Then you have programs where you are supposed to report other students. And in @Laurievideo you have an 8th grade SCIENCE class introducing the Wheel of Power and Privilege. 

It's times like these I miss the self-esteem movement. 😞 

 

 

 

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22 minutes ago, Laurie said:

I was just listening to a local talk radio show while getting dinner organized.  A mom of an 8th grade middle school student (public school) used her cell phone to make a video of a lesson presented in her child's science class (remote learning).   She contacted both the principal and the teacher, and apparently these types of lessons are presented in a variety of subject areas at school.      

The video is just over 7 minutes long.

https://mynorthwest.com/2937573/rantz-teacher-uses-science-class-to-call-white-middle-schoolers-privileged-oppressors/

 

I watched the video. 

First, oppression was not even mentioned other than as a title on one of the Powerpoints. The exercise was about privileges. No one was labeled an oppressor. 

One of the questions the students had to answer was whether they experienced oppression. But again, no one was labeled an oppressor. No privilege was connected with oppression. 

It sounded like the parent who was taping the video was offended from the beginning. She made a few comments during the video. 

This is a little clunky and looks a little silly to me but it does not demonize any student or group. 

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23 minutes ago, Laurie said:

I was just listening to a local talk radio show while getting dinner organized.  A mom of an 8th grade middle school student (public school) used her cell phone to make a video of a lesson presented in her child's science class (remote learning).   She contacted both the principal and the teacher, and apparently these types of lessons are presented in a variety of subject areas at school.      

The video is just over 7 minutes long.

https://mynorthwest.com/2937573/rantz-teacher-uses-science-class-to-call-white-middle-schoolers-privileged-oppressors/

 

From the link:

Barrett ended the email with a reasonable request: “I would like to know HOW this fits into your science curriculum and when and how many other lessons like this you plan to teach this school year.”

 

The school responded to the mom

The school’s principal, Myra Arnone, set up a phone call to discuss Barrett’s concerns.

“She explained that this kind of teaching is now being incorporated into all subjects at the teacher’s ‘professional discretion,'” Barrett explained to the Jason Rantz Show on KTTH. “If the teacher feels that there is something along the racial, social justice, LGBTQIA+, equity/diversity, et cetera – they can incorporate that however they want into their lesson plans.”

So it's whatever the teacher wants it to be, taught however the teacher wants to teach it, no matter what the actual subject is? As I said before too much wiggle room. There is no place for this in K-12 setting. They need to stick to academics.

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So people are mad about this odd race stuff and are calling it critical race theory so it sounds fancy, with no regard to what critical race theory actually is or whether or not this racial teaching fits in with it? 
 

ETA:this makes conversation almost impossible because we’re meaning several different things at the same time and everyone is talking past each other. 

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5 minutes ago, HeartString said:

So people are mad about this odd race stuff and are calling it critical race theory so it sounds fancy, with no regard to what critical race theory actually is or whether or not this racial teaching fits in with it? 
 

ETA:this makes conversation almost impossible because we’re meaning several different things at the same time and everyone is talking past each other. 

That's the same problem these schools seem to be having with teaching it. It's all over the map but I'm seeing the same themes. You are either privileged or an oppressor based on where you land on the wheel of power. 

What are kids supposed to get out of this?

 

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4 minutes ago, Plum said:

That's the same problem these schools seem to be having with teaching it. It's all over the map but I'm seeing the same themes. You are either privileged or an oppressor based on where you land on the wheel of power. 

What are kids supposed to get out of this?

 

It kind of seems like the dark side of having college kids take classes from different departments to be “well rounded”. A bunch of teachers took the sociology class for a humanities requirement and now they think they can teach complex theories.  I have a major in sociology and barely feel qualified to talk on a message board about it.  It really is one of those subjects where the more you learn the more you realize how much more there is to learn.  A lesson it seems like these teachers might have missed in the intro class.  

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30 minutes ago, Ordinary Shoes said:

I watched the video. 

First, oppression was not even mentioned other than as a title on one of the Powerpoints. The exercise was about privileges. No one was labeled an oppressor. 

One of the questions the students had to answer was whether they experienced oppression. But again, no one was labeled an oppressor. No privilege was connected with oppression. 

It sounded like the parent who was taping the video was offended from the beginning. She made a few comments during the video. 

This is a little clunky and looks a little silly to me but it does not demonize any student or group. 

I also watched the video as I know the station is going to write the headline for clicks.  I agree with you that the teacher didn’t label any specific student an oppressor which the headline implied but I disagree that nothing in the video is problematic.  The teacher’s vagueness left it to students to make some conclusions of their own.  Without guidance I can seen students drawing some clunky conclusions from a clunky lesson.  Also, the word oppression is very much part of the assignment questions- it’s question number 2 on the worksheet shown at the end.  

I note that this mother has an 8th grade autistic daughter.  As it happens, I have 2 autistic kids in that very school district.  I can see how younger students and those who are prone very literal thinking might see privilege and power equalling oppressor.  What does “dismantle” mean the the student?  

I have a mix of kids who I help with school and I’ve seen a mix of reactions from students about how these topics are being addressed in local schools.  Two of the children whose education I have been actively involved in are my niece and nephew, who are brown and poor.  I’ve seen my nephew especially struggle with some of the meh ways intersectionality and identity issues are addressed at his school (different district but  more content in this direction).  Feeling like you have to share this information in a group setting can also be very hard, even hurtful especially when you are a kid living on the margins.  Being asked to address your trauma in the context of a classroom or training when you have been seriously traumatized is a really shitty experience (and I speak from personal experience on that).  

There are high quality ways to address inequality in schools and teach students about a wide range of challenging topics.  I’m not sure that this is one of them. I’m not going to tell the school that my kid can’t be a part of these lessons but I also won’t let the simplistic presentation go unaddressed when my younger son sees materials like this.  

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24 minutes ago, HeartString said:

So people are mad about this odd race stuff and are calling it critical race theory so it sounds fancy, with no regard to what critical race theory actually is or whether or not this racial teaching fits in with it? 
 

ETA:this makes conversation almost impossible because we’re meaning several different things at the same time and everyone is talking past each other. 

No, CRT is a theoretical framework.  The name CRT comes from the people who have advanced it in academic and activist circles, not from people who are mad about it.  Some things probably get folded into that umbrella but it’s not a fancy name applied only by its detractors.  

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2 minutes ago, LucyStoner said:

 Feeling like you have to share this information in a group setting can also be very hard, even hurtful especially when you are a kid living on the margins.  Being asked to address your trauma in the context of a classroom or training when you have been seriously traumatized is a really shitty experience (and I speak from personal experience on that).  

I feel like English classes used to be bad about that, maybe still are.  School should not be therapy and history/English class are not group therapy sessions.  Is this a weird thing they’re learning in teacher college? 

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3 minutes ago, LucyStoner said:

No, CRT is an theoretical framework.  The name CRT comes from the people who have advanced it in academic and activist circles, not from people who are mad about it.  Somethings probably get folded into that umbrella but it’s not a fancy name applied only by its detractors.  

Is this poor teaching actually an example of CRT though?  Would an academic teaching in the sociology department of a university recognize this as under that umbrella?  

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Actually, my post downthread is a better example. This took up a lot of space. I kept the link in case you are interested in another K-2 lesson plan. 

Connection to anti-bias education
Challenge the Text places an anti-bias lens on the literacy experience. Students generate and respond to critical questions, raising issues related to power within the social contexts of race, class, gender, sexual orientation, etc. This method gives voice to marginalized perspectives and alternative readings of dominant texts, embedding critical literacy practices into the Perspectives curriculum. 

https://www.learningforjustice.org/classroom-resources/teaching-strategies/responding-to-the-readaloud-text/challenge-the-text

 

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1 minute ago, HeartString said:

I feel like English classes used to be bad about that, maybe still are.  School should not be therapy and history/English class are not group therapy sessions.  Is this a weird thing they’re learning in teacher college? 

It’s being pushed heavily in this district.  The teachers are going to professional trainings and then tasked with interpreting and integrating it into the classes here.  My family happens to be in this district (not this school tho!)

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24 minutes ago, HeartString said:

Is this poor teaching actually an example of CRT though?  Would an academic teaching in the sociology department of a university recognize this as under that umbrella?  

I have encountered similar wheels in CRT training materials.  

This is an interesting podcast episode about DEI training based on CRT: 

https://www.google.com/amp/s/amp.listennotes.com/podcasts/blocked-and-reported/bonus-episode-what-a-stupid--YD5jer1Zx7/amp/

Having worked in this Seattle non-profit sector for the better part of 20 years (they don’t name the theater in the episode but I guessed which company it was pretty quickly- Seattle is a small town in a lot of ways), I’ve seen a wide range of these types of trainings.       Some bad, some good.  Most mediocre.  Some super invasive and hurtful...to the very populations that the trainings are supposed to empower. One of the silver linings of self employment is I can read whatever books I want and go to whatever lectures, readings or seminars I like on social issues on my own time and I am never going to have to give away workdays to workshops of dubious quality and value ever again.  

 

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Found another K-2 using their approved texts and examples. This is still looking like the next Common Core to me. A framework that is widely misunderstood, poorly implemented, and getting lots of parents mad. The problem is this isn't just standards. It's an ideology that schools are pushing onto students. Schools might have all the best intentions here, but it looks like this could end really badly. 

Cracking the Code
RESPONDING TO THE READ-ALOUD TEXT
GRADE LEVEL K-2

What?
During Cracking the Code, students examine texts for bias related to race, gender, class, religion, age and sexual orientation, among other identity categories.
When?

During and after reading
 
Why?
As noted in the Common Core, critical literacy means more than identifying words, enjoying illustrations and following story lines. Children need to be critical consumers of  media and able to identify stereotypes or biased representations of groups. Cracking the Code provides practice identifying both overt and covert messages.
 
How?
Select a central text and a variety of print and television advertisements. Ideally, select ads for products with which your students will be familiar and those that illustrate the strategy well.

<insert a lot of Common Core + CRT type questions>

Connection to anti-bias education
Discussions about bias and stereotype are critical to anti-bias education. Cracking the Code helps students critically examine representation in texts and encourages them to assess the messages being transmitted in those representations.

https://www.learningforjustice.org/classroom-resources/teaching-strategies/responding-to-the-readaloud-text/cracking-the-code

 

 

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26 minutes ago, LucyStoner said:

I also watched the video as I know the station is going to write the headline for clicks.  I agree with you that the teacher didn’t label any specific student an oppressor which the headline implied but I disagree that nothing in the video is problematic.  The teacher’s vagueness left it to students to make some conclusions of their own.  Without guidance I can seen students drawing some clunky conclusions from a clunky lesson.  Also, the word oppression is very much part of the assignment questions- it’s question number 2 on the worksheet shown at the end.  

I note that this mother has an 8th grade autistic daughter.  As it happens, I have 2 autistic kids in that very school district.  I can see how younger students and those who are prone very literal thinking might see privilege and power equalling oppressor.  What does “dismantle” mean the the student?  

I have a mix of kids who I help with school and I’ve seen a mix of reactions from students about how these topics are being addressed in local schools.  Two of the children whose education I have been actively involved in are my niece and nephew, who are brown and poor.  I’ve seen my nephew especially struggle with some of the meh ways intersectionality and identity issues are addressed at his school (different district but  more content in this direction).  Feeling like you have to share this information in a group setting can also be very hard, even hurtful especially when you are a kid living on the margins.  Being asked to address your trauma in the context of a classroom or training when you have been seriously traumatized is a really shitty experience (and I speak from personal experience on that).  

There are high quality ways to address inequality in schools and teach students about a wide range of challenging topics.  I’m not sure that this is one of them. I’m not going to tell the school that my kid can’t be a part of these lessons but I also won’t let the simplistic presentation go unaddressed when my younger son sees materials like this.  

I agree that it's clunky and I see what you mean about the risk of a student misunderstanding. It looks like a mediocre curriculum. 

But one of the reasons that we can't have nice things is that there is such resistance to attempts to discuss this. 

For example, I've read some valid criticisms of the 1619 project but those are lost in the over the top culture war response to it. 

 

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53 minutes ago, Ordinary Shoes said:

I agree that it's clunky and I see what you mean about the risk of a student misunderstanding. It looks like a mediocre curriculum. 

But one of the reasons that we can't have nice things is that there is such resistance to attempts to discuss this. 

For example, I've read some valid criticisms of the 1619 project but those are lost in the over the top culture war response to it. 

 

Honestly, speaking very much from and of the American left, I see the culture war over the top responses coming from both sides.  One side calls you a Marxist baby eater if you aren’t in lockstep agreement with them.  The other side shouts that you a white supremacist Nazi if you aren’t lockstep with them.  It’s exhausting and totally unproductive.  A lot of it on both sides is performative and more about signaling to the world that they are in the right group than it is about actually helping realize their values and positively impact the world.  I can no longer pass the purity test on the left but it’s not like I was ever gonna pass the right’s purity test so I’m just SOL.  I’m not even close to politically moderate either so I’m just kinda politically homeless in a way. I just don’t agree wholesale with what either side seems to be shilling these days.  I live in Seattle so it’s possible that the left is just dialing it up to 1000 here but it’s intense.  

On this board we used to discuss statements of faith that some homeschooling groups would want people to agree to in order to participate.  Lately in left spaces, I have felt it was clear that you are not welcome if you won’t basically agree 100% to their ideological beliefs.  It feels like a restrictive statement of faith in many ways.  When it feels that way at school or work, it affects people’s ability to exercise their right to a public education or to meet their family’s needs.  

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58 minutes ago, LucyStoner said:

Honestly, speaking very much from and of the American left, I see the culture war over the top responses coming from both sides.  One side calls you a Marxist baby eater if you aren’t in lockstep agreement with them.  The other side shouts that you a white supremacist Nazi if you aren’t lockstep with them.  It’s exhausting and totally unproductive.  A lot of it on both sides is performative and more about signaling to the world that they are in the right group than it is about actually helping realize their values and positively impact the world.  I can no longer pass the purity test on the left but it’s not like I was ever gonna pass the right’s purity test so I’m just SOL.  I’m not even close to politically moderate either so I’m just kinda politically homeless in a way. I just don’t agree wholesale with what either side seems to be shilling these days.  I live in Seattle so it’s possible that the left is just dialing it up to 1000 here but it’s intense.  

On this board we used to discuss statements of faith that some homeschooling groups would want people to agree to in order to participate.  Lately in left spaces, I have felt it was clear that you are not welcome if you won’t basically agree 100% to their ideological beliefs.  It feels like a restrictive statement of faith in many ways.  When it feels that way at school or work, it affects people’s ability to exercise their right to a public education or to meet their family’s needs.  

My parents moved from Oklahoma to Portland, OR about 7 years ago and it's pushing my mother to the right. My parents are loyal Democrats and never voted for a Republican in their lives. My mother keeps up with the local news, reads the local paper, etc. and she gets so fed up with Portland. 

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1 hour ago, Ordinary Shoes said:

My parents moved from Oklahoma to Portland, OR about 7 years ago and it's pushing my mother to the right. My parents are loyal Democrats and never voted for a Republican in their lives. My mother keeps up with the local news, reads the local paper, etc. and she gets so fed up with Portland. 

I have lived in or adjacent to Seattle for 36 years excepting a  year in Kentucky, part of a year in Orlando and then a little time in another part of the state for a bit of college.  If I were someone with shallowly held beliefs, I think I would be penning shrill “how I left the left” essays right about now.  But I am authentically committed to mostly very liberal positions so whatever is going on, while very frustrating, isn’t enough to entirely unroot myself.  I don’t like how I see people dehumanize anyone who disagrees with them.  This isn’t exclusive to the left (hello, QAnon et al!) but it’s not a non-factor on the left like a lot of my friends like to believe.  I also have lived outside of the city limits for the last 8 years *and I doubt I will ever move back* if for no other reason than I never want to have to sit through another endorsement meeting for Seattle City Council or even have to cast a ballot for Seattle mayor.  (It also doesn’t help that right now laws that were put into place to protect poor and homeless people are making it impossible for me to protect my dad from a shameless grifter who keeps swindling most of his social security check- classic case of unintended consequences of well intentioned but badly implemented policies.)

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3 hours ago, LucyStoner said:

Honestly, speaking very much from and of the American left, I see the culture war over the top responses coming from both sides.  One side calls you a Marxist baby eater if you aren’t in lockstep agreement with them.  The other side shouts that you a white supremacist Nazi if you aren’t lockstep with them.  It’s exhausting and totally unproductive.  A lot of it on both sides is performative and more about signaling to the world that they are in the right group than it is about actually helping realize their values and positively impact the world.  I can no longer pass the purity test on the left but it’s not like I was ever gonna pass the right’s purity test so I’m just SOL.  I’m not even close to politically moderate either so I’m just kinda politically homeless in a way. I just don’t agree wholesale with what either side seems to be shilling these days.  I live in Seattle so it’s possible that the left is just dialing it up to 1000 here but it’s intense.  

On this board we used to discuss statements of faith that some homeschooling groups would want people to agree to in order to participate.  Lately in left spaces, I have felt it was clear that you are not welcome if you won’t basically agree 100% to their ideological beliefs.  It feels like a restrictive statement of faith in many ways.  When it feels that way at school or work, it affects people’s ability to exercise their right to a public education or to meet their family’s needs.  

I agree that there are problems in the Left, especially the online Left. I often see what appears to be kind of immature reflexive response. Liberals are certainly capable of falling for fake news and conspiracy theories. I think that part of the reason for this are not many outlets for expressing leftism offline. There is no leftist party in the USA. There are very few unions. Unions and left-wing parties are the normal path for leftists in other countries. 

There's also the problem that most progressives/leftists/whatever you call them are really only interested in left-wing social issues, not socialism. That's understandable given that most of were raised to see socialism as anathema. 

Where are the leftist intellectuals? There are intellectuals on the left and left-wing magazines but they seem to be very niche. They used to be left-wing intellectuals and books that magazines that everyone read. 

So I think we're left with an unfocused left-wing. It's often reactionary. It's very fractured. There are many new 'converts' to the left after the Trump years and the George Floyd killing. They are like many new converts, overly enthusiastic, ignorant, and driven by emotions and feelings. 

I think this makes it almost impossible to discuss things like CRT on the left. It's complicated and how do you discuss complicated things on Twitter or TikTok? 

The criticisms of things like CRT from the right-wing are often dishonest and cynical so the left-wing responds to the weak argument and no one ever addresses anything more serious. 

For example, we seem to be unable in the USA to discuss transgenderism. There's a so much about what's going on that makes people uncomfortable. But when you see how the issue is used in such a cynical way by some of the right, it makes it difficult to discuss it which would require allowing for different opinions. 

CRT is another good example. I actually don't have an opinion yet about CRT but I know there are people using fear mongering tactics to advance an agenda. The anti-CRT bills are absurd, especially coming from people who advocate for local control over education. 

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1 hour ago, Ordinary Shoes said:

I agree that there are problems in the Left, especially the online Left. I often see what appears to be kind of immature reflexive response. Liberals are certainly capable of falling for fake news and conspiracy theories. I think that part of the reason for this are not many outlets for expressing leftism offline. There is no leftist party in the USA. There are very few unions. Unions and left-wing parties are the normal path for leftists in other countries. 

There's also the problem that most progressives/leftists/whatever you call them are really only interested in left-wing social issues, not socialism. That's understandable given that most of were raised to see socialism as anathema. 

Where are the leftist intellectuals? There are intellectuals on the left and left-wing magazines but they seem to be very niche. They used to be left-wing intellectuals and books that magazines that everyone read. 

So I think we're left with an unfocused left-wing. It's often reactionary. It's very fractured. There are many new 'converts' to the left after the Trump years and the George Floyd killing. They are like many new converts, overly enthusiastic, ignorant, and driven by emotions and feelings. 

I think this makes it almost impossible to discuss things like CRT on the left. It's complicated and how do you discuss complicated things on Twitter or TikTok? 

The criticisms of things like CRT from the right-wing are often dishonest and cynical so the left-wing responds to the weak argument and no one ever addresses anything more serious. 

For example, we seem to be unable in the USA to discuss transgenderism. There's a so much about what's going on that makes people uncomfortable. But when you see how the issue is used in such a cynical way by some of the right, it makes it difficult to discuss it which would require allowing for different opinions. 

CRT is another good example. I actually don't have an opinion yet about CRT but I know there are people using fear mongering tactics to advance an agenda. The anti-CRT bills are absurd, especially coming from people who advocate for local control over education. 

Nm thought better of it. 

 

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Question for those who are very familiar with what CRT actually is:

With all the uncertainty back and forth here about what CRT entails, I was searching for a source with specifics and found this article with specific information on an educator training course on white supremacy.  It seems to fit with what the general public thinks of as CRT.  Is this what is meant by CRT? (as applied to education as it is now by both supporters and opponents of it, vs. its original narrower definition regarding the law). If this is not CRT, can you explain the distinction?
 

https://nypost.com/2019/05/20/richard-carranza-held-doe-white-supremacy-culture-training/

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10 hours ago, TechWife said:

I’ve circled back to this piece from the American Bar Association a few times. It’s been helpful to me as I attempt to wrap my brain around this idea that has become so controversial.

"While recognizing the evolving and malleable nature of CRT, scholar Khiara Bridges outlines a few key tenets of CRT, including:

  • Recognition that race is not biologically real but is socially constructed and socially significant. It recognizes that science (as demonstrated in the Human Genome Project) refutes the idea of biological racial differences. According to scholars Richard Delgado and Jean Stefancic, race is the product of social thought and is not connected to biological reality.
  • CRT rejects claims of meritocracy or “colorblindness.” 

https://www.americanbar.org/groups/crsj/publications/human_rights_magazine_home/civil-rights-reimagining-policing/a-lesson-on-critical-race-theory/

 

TechWife, this is not directed at you, although if you have an answer, please speak up 😊

I found this link helpful, but I have a question about these 2 aspects of CRT that to me seem to be in conflict. How can race be a social construct that's not real, but colorblindness be a bad thing? If race isn't real, shouldn't we be colorblind?

I apologize if I'm being ignorant, but I'm trying to understand.

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8 minutes ago, Momto6inIN said:

TechWife, this is not directed at you, although if you have an answer, please speak up 😊

I found this link helpful, but I have a question about these 2 aspects of CRT that to me seem to be in conflict. How can race be a social construct that's not real, but colorblindness be a bad thing? If race isn't real, shouldn't we be colorblind?

I apologize if I'm being ignorant, but I'm trying to understand.

Something being a social construct doesn’t mean it’s not real.  Marriage is a social construct, but it would be ridiculous to say that we don’t “see” marriage.

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1 hour ago, Condessa said:

Question for those who are very familiar with what CRT actually is:

With all the uncertainty back and forth here about what CRT entails, I was searching for a source with specifics and found this article with specific information on an educator training course on white supremacy.  It seems to fit with what the general public thinks of as CRT.  Is this what is meant by CRT? (as applied to education as it is now by both supporters and opponents of it, vs. its original narrower definition regarding the law). If this is not CRT, can you explain the distinction?
 

https://nypost.com/2019/05/20/richard-carranza-held-doe-white-supremacy-culture-training/

Critical race theory posits that all social institutions, formal and informal, are racist, in the sense that they are created to favor one race, the race with the most power. The dominant more powerful race sets up and controls society, to favor them. The dominant race is privileged bc that is the way society is set up.

Also, as in one of the above replies, is the idea that CRT is fluid and evolving. So what is CRT today, might evolve, change, develop into something else tomorrow.

*What the general public thinks CRT is* paraphrasing what you said...it’s funny bc the academics who have developed the theory can say...”oh, that’s not it. It’s evolved. It’s fluid.” So when there is pushback from the public about how people are responding to how CRT is presented to them, the answer can be: “that’s not CRT” or “your pushback is bc you are favored and received privilege as the dominant race”

 

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34 minutes ago, Momto6inIN said:

TechWife, this is not directed at you, although if you have an answer, please speak up 😊

I found this link helpful, but I have a question about these 2 aspects of CRT that to me seem to be in conflict. How can race be a social construct that's not real, but colorblindness be a bad thing? If race isn't real, shouldn't we be colorblind?

I apologize if I'm being ignorant, but I'm trying to understand.

This one puzzled me for a bit, too! The meritocracy and color blindness go together. If I understand correctly, CRT sees the narrative that in the US, we are a meritocracy and everyone has equal opportunity to succeed in any scenario  regardless of the color of their skin as a false narrative. This is because our history has shown this to be false and because there are past and present barriers to success that are present for black and brown people that aren’t present or have a disproportionate impact. One example that I learned about recently is that houses in a predominantly black or brown neighborhood appraise and sell for lower amounts than a comparable house in a predominantly white neighborhood in the same city. This impacts not only physical mobility, but also the ability to build personal and generational wealth as houses are the largest investment that the majority of people will make in our country. This practice is neither colorblind nor based on merit. Another example is in the criminal justice system where white people receive shorter sentences and lower fines for the same criminal convictions with the same characteristics than people of color receive. This is neither color blind nor based on the merits of the case at hand. In addition to impacting wealth, this has a destabilizing effect on families and the wider community and  psychosocial  consequences as well.

I’ve been reading  about the history of race in the US over the past five years or so and I still feel like I’m in kindergarten with the subject. The history is both deep and wide and has so very many implications. 

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20 minutes ago, TechWife said:

This one puzzled me for a bit, too! The meritocracy and color blindness go together. If I understand correctly, CRT sees the narrative that in the US, we are a meritocracy and everyone has equal opportunity to succeed in any scenario  regardless of the color of their skin as a false narrative. This is because our history has shown this to be false and because there are past and present barriers to success that are present for black and brown people that aren’t present or have a disproportionate impact. One example that I learned about recently is that houses in a predominantly black or brown neighborhood appraise and sell for lower amounts than a comparable house in a predominantly white neighborhood in the same city. This impacts not only physical mobility, but also the ability to build personal and generational wealth as houses are the largest investment that the majority of people will make in our country. This practice is neither colorblind nor based on merit. Another example is in the criminal justice system where white people receive shorter sentences and lower fines for the same criminal convictions with the same characteristics than people of color receive. This is neither color blind nor based on the merits of the case at hand. In addition to impacting wealth, this has a destabilizing effect on families and the wider community and  psychosocial  consequences as well.

I’ve been reading  about the history of race in the US over the past five years or so and I still feel like I’m in kindergarten with the subject. The history is both deep and wide and has so very many implications. 

This is very much how I understand it. It’s not necessarily about individual people being racist but about the structural road blocks put up for black and brown people that most white peoples are just blissfully unaware of.  

Edited by HeartString
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17 minutes ago, TechWife said:

This one puzzled me for a bit, too! The meritocracy and color blindness go together. If I understand correctly, CRT sees the narrative that in the US, we are a meritocracy and everyone has equal opportunity to succeed in any scenario  regardless of the color of their skin as a false narrative. This is because our history has shown this to be false and because there are past and present barriers to success that are present for black and brown people that aren’t present or have a disproportionate impact. One example that I learned about recently is that houses in a predominantly black or brown neighborhood appraise and sell for lower amounts than a comparable house in a predominantly white neighborhood in the same city. This impacts not only physical mobility, but also the ability to build personal and generational wealth as houses are the largest investment that the majority of people will make in our country. This practice is neither colorblind nor based on merit. Another example is in the criminal justice system where white people receive shorter sentences and lower fines for the same criminal convictions with the same characteristics than people of color receive. This is neither color blind nor based on the merits of the case at hand. In addition to impacting wealth, this has a destabilizing effect on families and the wider community and  psychosocial  consequences as well.

I’ve been reading  about the history of race in the US over the past five years or so and I still feel like I’m in kindergarten with the subject. The history is both deep and wide and has so very many implications. 

Have you seen Coded Bias on Netflix? It’s about algorithms, flawed facial recognition algorithms that lead to severely biased results. We are all victims of bad algorithms in one way or another. Amazon has had quite a few severely bad algorithms to date.  One ignored all women that applied for a job, their facial recognition software has been permanently shelved, and then there’s the random books for hundreds or thousands more than the others. (I always think that’s some sort of money laundering scheme but it turns out to be a bad algorithm. One of the key points I got out of that documentary is that we need an FDA for algorithms because this invisible supposedly neutral thing can fundamentally alter our life path and we’ll never know it or be able to fight back. 

 

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I’ve gone down the rabbit hole

Douglas County School Board meeting - a parent and President of Parents United America about Equity Education Prop

She has some valid points

Equity vs equality - equity seeks to achieve equal outcomes while equality means equal opportunity 

Separating kids into groups and collectivism 

The prop divides educators and parents - in the plan it calls parents dissenters 

half of the kids in that district are proficient in math and reading and they should focus on that.

 

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Someone wanted a specific example. 

This popped up tonight.

https://www.fairforall.org/profiles-in-courage/dwight-englewood-whistleblower/

A lot of info (elite school, I believe, mostly white?)

Humanist teacher resigns over CRT-style initiatives dominating the curriculum/impacting on students. 

No idea about who she is/don't vouch for her particularly/no I can't guarantee she isn't an evil Conservative plant. She is white. 

On a quick browse, I find myself unbothered by some things, more bothered by others. The site is somewhat  overwrought. 

Reading the DEI details for this school,. two things struck me. Firstly, the massive amount of resources going into this - made me wonder what's being neglected, because in education as elsewhere, resources are finite. 

Secondly, affinity groups. I do wonder about white-only groups, and how they may inadvertently promote a white racialized identity. I wouldn't particularly want to be in a white affinity group, and I wouldn't want to group white staff or students in that way.

 

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20 hours ago, HeartString said:

What Fox News says is “critical race theory” is not at all what I learned about in my sociology classes (sociology major).  We learned that race is a social construct.  It comes from the study of law and the way “racism is built into and reproduced through institutions that organize every day life, particularly the law”.  Seems a rather sensible thing to study and an odd thing to be mad about today, since it’s been around since the 70s.  It’s not even specifically about people being racist, it’s more about ways that systems are set up in a way that negatively impacts POC, often inadvertently but sometime purposefully.   That just plain doesn’t feel controversial.  

Right. It should not be controversial to say that institutions can have racist impacts, and that some of those were not bugs, but features, at least at the time of their creation. 

I mean, if we can acknowledge that jim crow laws were racist, we are admitting that laws can have racial bias. 

19 hours ago, Laurie said:

My understanding is that you have to begin by first understanding what is meant by Critical Theory.  

I found a course description from a Philosophy department about Marx and Critical Theory.  https://www.amherst.edu/academiclife/departments/courses/1314S/PHIL/PHIL-366-1314S

I think this is why crt in the classroom is concerning to conservative parents...because marxism is at the core.  

 

No. Marxism is not at the core of critical race theory anymore than marxism is at the core of critical text theory. 

15 hours ago, Plum said:

 

 

i think the bolded at the end is the most important thing I’ve read so far. We’re trusting educators and administrators to be able to teach this without making one side a victim and one side an oppressor. I think that’s asking too much. I do not believe they can possibly have a firm grasp of what and how to teach a concept like this in K-12. 

What is the alternative? To not acknowledge racial bias in our courts, banking systems, etc? Pretend they don't exist? Do we skip over Jim Crow laws because that would be teaching about racist laws, which would be part of critical race theory? Do we not explain how redlining influenced generational wealth differences between different races? Do we not teach segregation even, because that would again be an institutional form of racism? Or is it okay to teach that institutions and legal systems can be racist, but only up to a certain point in history - and only if we make sure not let on that the effects are still felt today?

I mean, if we don't teach these things....how do we teach at all?

15 hours ago, Melissa Louise said:

A specific criticism re poor quality pedagogy which claims to be based on CRT ( again, a valid set of academic theories re race/law):

That some programs taught in schools under a CRT umbrella 'label some identities as inherently problematic, and assign perjorative moral values to said identities.'

There is a middle path here - defend, absolutely, the rights of scholars to develop theory around the intersection of race and power AND defend the right of all child-students to be seen, taught and valued as individuals, regardless of race or other characteristics. 

 

Does anyone have actual links to actual programs that actually do the bolded? 

15 hours ago, Scarlett said:

So it is as I first thought.....all of this screaming about CRT taking away rights and making children hate themselves for being white has nothing to do with what CRT actually is.

 

Truth

14 hours ago, Fritz said:

The factual history of our country about slavery, Tulsa, segregation, Jim Crow, etc.. .yes absolutely should be taught. This was taught when I was in school. 

 

What makes teaching about laws with racial bias in the distant past okay, but teaching about ones that are more recent not okay? And are we not to discuss how those laws impact our current population?

 

11 hours ago, Condessa said:

From the above linked local news article on the law suit:

“Under the ambassador program, schools select a handful of students who meet with principals and other school leaders to discuss [incidents of racist behavior in their school communities], while the reporting system urges students to anonymously report observations using a form online.”

So...okay...schools are encouraging racism to be reported and discussed? Isn't that good?

11 hours ago, Ordinary Shoes said:

I watched the video. 

First, oppression was not even mentioned other than as a title on one of the Powerpoints. The exercise was about privileges. No one was labeled an oppressor. 

One of the questions the students had to answer was whether they experienced oppression. But again, no one was labeled an oppressor. No privilege was connected with oppression. 

It sounded like the parent who was taping the video was offended from the beginning. She made a few comments during the video. 

This is a little clunky and looks a little silly to me but it does not demonize any student or group. 

Exactly.

 

10 hours ago, Plum said:

Actually, my post downthread is a better example. This took up a lot of space. I kept the link in case you are interested in another K-2 lesson plan. 

Connection to anti-bias education
Challenge the Text places an anti-bias lens on the literacy experience. Students generate and respond to critical questions, raising issues related to power within the social contexts of race, class, gender, sexual orientation, etc. This method gives voice to marginalized perspectives and alternative readings of dominant texts, embedding critical literacy practices into the Perspectives curriculum. 

https://www.learningforjustice.org/classroom-resources/teaching-strategies/responding-to-the-readaloud-text/challenge-the-text

 

Sounds like good reading skills that people need even more with current multitude of "news" sources. 

10 hours ago, Plum said:

 
Why?
As noted in the Common Core, critical literacy means more than identifying words, enjoying illustrations and following story lines. Children need to be critical consumers of  media and able to identify stereotypes or biased representations of groups. Cracking the Code provides practice identifying both overt and covert messages.
 
How?
Select a central text and a variety of print and television advertisements. Ideally, select ads for products with which your students will be familiar and those that illustrate the strategy well.

<insert a lot of Common Core + CRT type questions>

Connection to anti-bias education
Discussions about bias and stereotype are critical to anti-bias education. Cracking the Code helps students critically examine representation in texts and encourages them to assess the messages being transmitted in those representations.

https://www.learningforjustice.org/classroom-resources/teaching-strategies/responding-to-the-readaloud-text/cracking-the-code

 

 

Again, how is this a bad thing?

8 hours ago, Ordinary Shoes said:

My parents moved from Oklahoma to Portland, OR about 7 years ago and it's pushing my mother to the right. My parents are loyal Democrats and never voted for a Republican in their lives. My mother keeps up with the local news, reads the local paper, etc. and she gets so fed up with Portland. 

To b fair, I'm pretty bleeding heart left and would be annoyed by Portland. But hipsters ruined everything, lol. 

5 hours ago, Ordinary Shoes said:

I agree that there are problems in the Left, especially the online Left. I often see what appears to be kind of immature reflexive response. Liberals are certainly capable of falling for fake news and conspiracy theories. I think that part of the reason for this are not many outlets for expressing leftism offline. There is no leftist party in the USA. There are very few unions. Unions and left-wing parties are the normal path for leftists in other countries. 

There's also the problem that most progressives/leftists/whatever you call them are really only interested in left-wing social issues, not socialism. That's understandable given that most of were raised to see socialism as anathema. 

Where are the leftist intellectuals? There are intellectuals on the left and left-wing magazines but they seem to be very niche. They used to be left-wing intellectuals and books that magazines that everyone read. 

So I think we're left with an unfocused left-wing. It's often reactionary. It's very fractured. There are many new 'converts' to the left after the Trump years and the George Floyd killing. They are like many new converts, overly enthusiastic, ignorant, and driven by emotions and feelings. 

I think this makes it almost impossible to discuss things like CRT on the left. It's complicated and how do you discuss complicated things on Twitter or TikTok? 

The criticisms of things like CRT from the right-wing are often dishonest and cynical so the left-wing responds to the weak argument and no one ever addresses anything more serious. 

For example, we seem to be unable in the USA to discuss transgenderism. There's a so much about what's going on that makes people uncomfortable. But when you see how the issue is used in such a cynical way by some of the right, it makes it difficult to discuss it which would require allowing for different opinions. 

CRT is another good example. I actually don't have an opinion yet about CRT but I know there are people using fear mongering tactics to advance an agenda. The anti-CRT bills are absurd, especially coming from people who advocate for local control over education. 

Very interesting! And yes, as a progressive it is hard to find decent media sources. Especially as a progressive Christian. 

1 hour ago, Momto6inIN said:

TechWife, this is not directed at you, although if you have an answer, please speak up 😊

I found this link helpful, but I have a question about these 2 aspects of CRT that to me seem to be in conflict. How can race be a social construct that's not real, but colorblindness be a bad thing? If race isn't real, shouldn't we be colorblind?

I apologize if I'm being ignorant, but I'm trying to understand.

If someone has experienced limited opportunities due to the social construct of race, it is silly to ignore those and pretend they don't exist out of an idea of color blindness. 

An analogy is if you were to pretend not to see disability.....and therefore didn't install ramps in a public space, because you don't see wheelchairs, just people. Treating people in a wheelchair the same as everyone else sounds noble until they are stuck at the bottom of the stairs. You have to acknowledge their lack of access before you can address it. 

11 minutes ago, HeartString said:

This is very much how I understand it. It’s it necessarily about individual people being racist but about the structural road blocks put up for black and brown people that most white peoples are just blissfully unaware of.  

yes. 

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FYI heard on the news that my state has banned CRT from classrooms....what the heck that means in actuality is that anything mentioning racism can likely be objected to and banned. 

Once again, glad I homeschool. 

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34 minutes ago, Plum said:

 

half of the kids in that district are proficient in math and reading and they should focus on that.

 

Well, the above is what I was wondering, really re resources. Getting half your student cohort up to speed on literacy and numeracy is a massive task. Much time/effort needed. If the time/effort is going to DEI initiatives in a very comprehensive way, is it also going to core academic  skills? Maybe yes ( in well- resources places), maybe no in others. 

Literacy is such a key to good life outcomes, I'd probably just invest everything in that. 

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I think it's a bit - silly? - to posit two choices - either pro banning CRT style trainings and for colorblindness OR waving the banner for all things CRT in schools because of racism. 

I'm not pro banning, not pro colorblind, believe racism is a persistent social ill that needs to be remedied in a multitude of ways, is just as happy teaching Shakespeare through a Marxist lens as teaching Harjo through literary analysis, and still have qualms about the way in which some school districts appear to be going about CRT-style education.

It's a bit like if I decided my school was henceforth going to deliver the curriculum through the lens of radical feminism. Parents might have a basic sympathy with the goal of sex equality, but they might be very unhappy when I emphasis the victimhood of girls and the...non-victimhood... of boys during English Lit. They may have some questions when Math class emphasizes the hetero patriarchal basis of study. 

And frankly, they'd have a point. Like CRT, radical feminism is just one theoretical lens for looking at the world, and a school should really be broadening a students exposure to.many different ways of thinking, not just presenting a dominant strand. 

In the end, it's a philosophical difference about the role of school. Is school a place primarily concerned with consciousness raising? I'd argue private schools certainly have the right to market themselves that way. Public schools really need to be welcoming to a wide range of student, staff and parent perspectives. 

 

 

 

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6 minutes ago, ktgrok said:

What is the alternative? To not acknowledge racial bias in our courts, banking systems, etc? Pretend they don't exist? Do we skip over Jim Crow laws because that would be teaching about racist laws, which would be part of critical race theory? Do we not explain how redlining influenced generational wealth differences between different races? Do we not teach segregation even, because that would again be an institutional form of racism? Or is it okay to teach that institutions and legal systems can be racist, but only up to a certain point in history - and only if we make sure not let on that the effects are still felt today?

I mean, if we don't teach these things....how do we teach at all?

What I’ve seen is CRT is supposed to be a lens to teach history, not the lens. I’m not against teaching history and where we came from. As some educators that fully understand  CRT have said, what the school districts and states are doing is a bastardization of CRT. Talking about past racism and current racism is history. It’s uncomfortable but necessary to know our past.

However, to force students to point to each other and themselves as victims and oppressors, as privileged and marginalized is not history, it’s social engineering: Any act that influences a person to take an action that may or may not be in their best interest.

The examples I gave were just that, examples. Upthread someone asked if it was being taught in ps and what the lesson plans would look like. Obviously as a K-2 lesson plan it can look benign. I didn’t look at the approved books they use for the lessons so there is that. 

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16 minutes ago, Plum said:

What I’ve seen is CRT is supposed to be a lens to teach history, not the lens. I’m not against teaching history and where we came from. As some educators that fully understand  CRT have said, what the school districts and states are doing is a bastardization of CRT. Talking about past racism and current racism is history. It’s uncomfortable but necessary to know our past.

However, to force students to point to each other and themselves as victims and oppressors, as privileged and marginalized is not history, it’s social engineering: Any act that influences a person to take an action that may or may not be in their best interest.

The examples I gave were just that, examples. Upthread someone asked if it was being taught in ps and what the lesson plans would look like. Obviously as a K-2 lesson plan it can look benign. I didn’t look at the approved books they use for the lessons so there is that. 

So, if a teacher teaches that institutional racism made it harder for black veterans to secure a college education than for white veterans, that's history, and is okay. But if the teacher points out a current situation, where people of one color are favored, that is not okay? Because if it is okay to say that, for instance, people of color are treated less favorably in the court system, and the person has eyes and can see what color they are, that could be called making them feel like a victim. But...if you don't teach it, is that promoting ignorance? 

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2 minutes ago, ktgrok said:

So, if a teacher teaches that institutional racism made it harder for black veterans to secure a college education than for white veterans, that's history, and is okay. But if the teacher points out a current situation, where people of one color are favored, that is not okay? Because if it is okay to say that, for instance, people of color are treated less favorably in the court system, and the person has eyes and can see what color they are, that could be called making them feel like a victim. But...if you don't teach it, is that promoting ignorance? 

I think you are missing the part where they actually do have to confess their identities to their classmates and their position in the “Wheel of Power and Privilege.” I’d say it’s better to teach history and let students draw their own conclusions. 
 

I stand by my first post and initial thought. 
“I will go out on a limb and say when ps picks up something they go way overboard to the point of losing the original intent. <Insert latest education reform or fad here>“

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7 minutes ago, Plum said:

I think you are missing the part where they actually do have to confess their identities to their classmates and their position in the “Wheel of Power and Privilege.” I’d say it’s better to teach history and let students draw their own conclusions. 
 

I stand by my first post and initial thought. 
“I will go out on a limb and say when ps picks up something they go way overboard to the point of losing the original intent. <Insert latest education reform or fad here>“

In a particular classroom that was done. But all aspects of CRT, including that institutional racism exists or has ever existed, are being banned. My entire state has done so. 

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re suitability/feasibility of critical theory (applied to literature or economics or role of race in our history or any other content area) in K-12 settings

14 hours ago, Danae said:

I would not expect to see actual Critical Race Theory taught in most K-12 settings for the same reason we don’t teach Bayesian analysis or quantum mechanics in k-12.  The kids don’t have the prerequisites.  Which means attempts are going to end up teaching the vocabulary of CRT which people will proceed to misuse.

I feel the same way about most critical thinking curriculum, including that popular with homeschoolers.  They teach the jargon of critical thinking without actually requiring anyone to think critically.

This.  WTM itself outlines a pedagogical/developmental sequence: first master reading/writing, then amass a knowledge of historical EVENTS; only then *begin* to develop reasoning tools to parse the implication of those EVENTS through a process of reasoning and evaluation.

Suggesting that middle/high school students should, indeed, learn about events like (forex) the Tulsa Race Massacre... even though some parents might be more comfortable eliding over some of the uglier events of our true history. But the idea that most middle school kids can actually use analytical methods that hang on both a broad body of history they do not yet have, and also the application of reasoning tools that take years to develop.

Otherwise it's just feelz and inanity:

13 hours ago, Tanaqui said:

Anybody who will, with an apparently straight face, assert that people have to "choose" between being "victims" or "victors" has utterly lost the plot.

 

re weaponization of "CRT" as a label

12 hours ago, HeartString said:

So people are mad about this odd race stuff and are calling it critical race theory so it sounds fancy, with no regard to what critical race theory actually is or whether or not this racial teaching fits in with it?

ETA:this makes conversation almost impossible because we’re meaning several different things at the same time and everyone is talking past each other. 

 

11 hours ago, LucyStoner said:

No, CRT is a theoretical framework.  The name CRT comes from the people who have advanced it in academic and activist circles, not from people who are mad about it.  Some things probably get folded into that umbrella but it’s not a fancy name applied only by its detractors.  

I see this push-pull a bit differently. Yes, critical theory (generally) and critical race theory specifically really are theoretical frameworks with longstanding and deep analytical roots.

Also: yes, over the last few years, and particularly since the 1619 Project was published, the term has become a coalescing rally call for opponents, a catchall term which is slapped onto any incident that is overly zealous or over-the-top or otherwise irritating, then instrumentalizing backlash against this strawman for outrage/mobilization/fundraising to the point where (as Sykes pointed out) former Heritage Foundation fellow/Fox regular/Trump whisperer Christopher Rufo crowed

https---bucketeer-e05bbc84-baa3-437e-9518-adb32be77984_s3.amazonaws.com-public-images-ba3da54d-e304-4faa-981c-37ce447deb34_551x440.png.8d2223a5eda2c2a66908191fdcbe01b6.png

The goal is to have the public read something crazy in the newspaper and immediate think "CRT."

Well, all right then. 

 

 

re distinction between "race is a social construct" vs "colorblindness"

2 hours ago, Momto6inIN said:

TechWife, this is not directed at you, although if you have an answer, please speak up 😊

I found this link helpful, but I have a question about these 2 aspects of CRT that to me seem to be in conflict. How can race be a social construct that's not real, but colorblindness be a bad thing? If race isn't real, shouldn't we be colorblind?

I apologize if I'm being ignorant, but I'm trying to understand.

Other pp have already spoken to this, but here is a specific example that helped me see the distinction here.  In the interval following Reconstruction, many states enacted legislation governing voter registration that included two provisions:

  1. Proof of payment of a poll tax; and
  2. Waiver of that poll tax for registrants whose grandfathers were eligible to vote

These provisions were, like all legislation, "constructed."  And on their face, both of provisions are also "colorblind." Race doesn't appear in the literal words of either provision. Yet in combination, the two provisions created a structure in which folks whose grandfathers were eligible -- white men -- could waive the tax; whereas folks whose grandfathers were ineligible -- black men -- faced a significant barrier  *  to registering to vote.

And crucially, once that structure was in place, all the actors within the structure simply carried on within it, independent of whether or not they "saw color," or whether or not there was individual "malice" in their individual "hearts."  Someone shows up whose (white) grandfather was eligible -- good to go, no tax owed!!  Someone (dares to) show up whose (enslaved) grandfather was ineligible -- that'll be $$$$$, do you have that? No? Sorry, rules are rules.

Insistence on "colorblindness" to evaluate the provisions renders their effect invisible. If all we look for are WORDS that specify race, and we refuse to look at the EFFECTS of the two provisions in tandem, as a structure that perpetuates over time... we render it invisible.

There are many other examples, but the easiest ones to see are often those at a distance. (Redlining, whose legacy effects on generational wealth continue to the present.)

 

 

 

( *    There were other barriers as well, in white robes wielding guns and razors and ropes, but for the purpose at hand we'll stick to legislative text.)

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23 minutes ago, ktgrok said:

So, if a teacher teaches that institutional racism made it harder for black veterans to secure a college education than for white veterans, that's history, and is okay. But if the teacher points out a current situation, where people of one color are favored, that is not okay? Because if it is okay to say that, for instance, people of color are treated less favorably in the court system, and the person has eyes and can see what color they are, that could be called making them feel like a victim. But...if you don't teach it, is that promoting ignorance? 

In my experience, the big problem is that sometimes these things are taught where blanket statements about issues today are made without showing any evidence to back it up, and anyone asking about evidence is indicated as the problem by the instructor.  
 

My dh had an employee diversity training week with this experience.  Maybe this was just a really inept instructor, and that was why she was unprepared with reasons to back up her statements.  But there is a distinction between teaching established fact and teaching a common but not universally accepted theory without backing it up, and implying anyone who questions your statements is a racist.

A basic tenet of CRT seems to be that systemic racism pervades all aspects of our society today, whether it is apparent or not.  And asking for proof of this beyond disproportionate outcomes (because correlation does not indicate causation) is a good way to get verbally jumped on.

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Here's a non CRT way in which the school I work in is NOT colorblind. 

We have a number of indigenous students. They face particular historical and current disadvantages. As well as classroom social studies incorporating indigenous stories, people and histories, these students regularly attend Time On Country with other indigenous kids in the district. There they engage in education with Indigenous mentors and leaders. Education is both cultural and academic, but recognizes and attempts to heal some very valid feelings of disengagement with school. Their needs are seen as distinct, as stemming from a history of racial violence and dispossession. 

Country time has been shown to improve family engagement at school. 

It's still recognising and dealing with a root problem - settlement has had this outcome for these families - and culturally accepted remedies are being provided at the level of school budget and administration. Increased family engagement tends to increase academic and social success - helping to ameliorate some of the disadvantage they may otherwise experience. 

Now, should the (minority) of white students at school also be getting hauled up in class to understand their privilege? I can't say that I see the utility. One of the white boys is neglected; another has significant family difficulties. More than one is adjusting to life with a life- changing illness. A few have a very white Anglo m/c family background - they are the kids most likely to already know about indigenous history.

Most students are from immigrant backgrounds. A few are refugees.

A CRT framing doesn't meet anyone's needs. 

Can I see it arriving, top down, from head office? Well, every UK and US educational fad eventually does. 

Is it ever going to a grass roots push from staff or families  because this is what the student body needs more than anything? No. 

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1 minute ago, Melissa Louise said:

 

It's still recognising and dealing with a root problem - settlement has had this outcome for these families - and culturally accepted remedies are being provided at the level of school budget and administration. Increased family engagement tends to increase academic and social success - helping to ameliorate some of the disadvantage they may otherwise experience. 

Now, should the (minority) of white students at school also be getting hauled up in class to understand their privilege? I can't say that I see the utility. One of the white boys is neglected; another has significant family difficulties. More than one is adjusting to life with a life- changing illness. A few have a very white Anglo m/c family background - they are the kids most likely to already know about indigenous history.

Most students are from immigrant backgrounds. A few are refugees.

A CRT framing doesn't meet anyone's needs. 

Can I see it arriving, top down, from head office? Well, every UK and US educational fad eventually does. 

Is it ever going to a grass roots push from staff or families  because this is what the student body needs more than anything? No. 

So, why are those kids who are white students told the indigenous students go to that program? Are they told it is to help ameliorate some of the disadvantage they may otherwise experience? If so, that's teaching CRT, right?

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Teaching diverse kids about "privilege" sounds so benign, but what they are really saying is that white kids have the privilege to not get unfairly beat up or shot by a white cop, whereas black kids don't have that privilege.  In other words, white cops have it in for black kids.  It's already all over the media, so now let's make it mandatory for kids in schools to learn and repeat this in order to meet academic requirements.  That's sure to improve community race relations.

Other versions:

  • White bankers have it in for black families.
  • White teachers don't want to see black kids succeed.
  • White doctors don't care about black people's health.
  • etc.

As a fairly intelligent and mature adult, of course I understand the differences between structural racial impacts and "white people having it in for black people."  But when I was a school kid?  The average school kid?  The range of school kids?  Let's be honest with ourselves.

With the money they are spending on these programs, they could fix some of those structural problems now rather than hope that our questionably educated kids grow up and fix them.

Edited by SKL
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