America’s largest teachers’ union has announced it backs the teaching of critical race theory in schools – and wants an October 14 rally to be held in honor of George Floyd‘s birthday.
The National Educator’s Association recently approved a resolution to promote critical race theory through its existing channels, assemble a team to teach it to union members and create a ‘national day of action’ to start a dialogue about systemic racism on October 14 – George Floyd‘s birthday.
The resolution reads that the NEA will ‘provide an already-created, in-depth, study that critiques empire, white supremacy, anti-Blackness, anti-Indigeneity, racism, patriarchy, cisheteropatriarchy, capitalism, ableism, anthropocentrism and other forms of power and oppression at the intersections of our society.’
It continues to say that the NEA plans to ‘publicly (through existing media) convey its support for the accurate and honest teaching of social studies topics, including truthful and age-appropriate accountings of unpleasant aspects of American history, such as slavery, and the oppression and discrimination of Indigenous, Black, Brown, and other peoples of color, as well as the continued impact this history has on our current society.
‘The Association will further convey that in teaching these topics, it is reasonable and appropriate for curriculum to be informed by academic frameworks for understanding and interpreting the impact of the past on current society, including critical race theory.’
The National Educator’s Association recently approved a resolution to promote critical race theory in schools
President Becky Pringle has also agreed to make public statements in support of critical race theory and ‘racial honesty in education’
As part of the resolution, the NEA, whose Washington DC headquarters is pictured, will assemble a team to teach it to union members
In addition to its plans, the NEA will join with Black Lives Matter at School and the Zinn Education Project to create a ‘national day of action’ on October 14 – George Floyd’s birthday – to have a dialogue on systemic racism
The 1619 Project won the Pulitzer Prize in 2019. It was praised by some as shining a light on untold history, but lambasted by others, including former President Donald Trump, for what he said was a jaundiced view of the US
The resolution promises that the NEA will oppose efforts to ban critical race theory and The 1619 Project, a collection of essays, photo essays, short fiction pieces and poems published by the New York Times Magazine in August 2019 to ‘reframe’ American history based on the impact of slaves brought to the US.
In addition to its plans, the NEA will join with Black Lives Matter at School and the Zinn Education Project to create a ‘national day of action’ on October 14 – George Floyd’s birthday – to have a dialogue on systemic racism. Then, on October 15, it will have another day of action to commemorate Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Philando Castile, Tamir Rice and other black lives taken by police.
As of June 29, 26 states have introduced bills or taken steps to restrict teaching critical race theory or limit how teachers can discuss racism and sexism, according to an Education Week analysis. Nine states have enacted complete bans.
It is unclear how the NEA will carry out its plans in these states or how it will get around such bans on critical race theory.
Some of the steps the NEA will take include conducting a virtual listening tour to educate its members on how to implement critical race theory and other approaches to addressing systemic racism in the classroom.
President Becky Pringle has also agreed to make public statements in support of critical race theory and ‘racial honesty in education.’
Following the NEA’s decision, Christopher Rufo, an outspoken opponent of Critical Race Theory, wrote in a tweet, ‘The argument that ‘critical race theory isn’t in K-12 schools’ is officially dead’
Rufo has been working to expose ‘critical race theory indoctrination’ in American companies and institutions including government agencies for at least a year
Parents protested critical race theory in schools at a board of education meeting in Ashburn, Virginia, which is on of 26 states debating a ban on the controversial initiative
Nine states have enacted complete bans on implementing critical race theory in schools
‘USA’s economy/social order is built on interactions between different cultures/races. To deny opportunities to teach truth about Black, Brown, and other marginalized races minimalizes the necessity for students to build efficacy. The ancient African proverb says, ‘Know Thyself,’ ‘ reads the NEA resolution.
Critical race theory examines how racism pervades all aspects of society, and disadvantages black and brown people. Its supporters say it provides awareness of how insidious racism can be, and how to tackle it.
Opponents of CRT say it is overly divisive, and wrong to teach young children that they are either oppressed or oppressors depending on the color of their skin.
While it’s already been approved, the NEA noted that its plans cannot be implemented under its current 2021-2022 budget and would cost an additional $127,600 to carry out.
The NEA represents 3 million public school employees in all 50 states. The union has a $350 million annual budget, and its members span 14,000 local communities.
Following the NEA’s decision, Christopher Rufo, an outspoken opponent of Critical Race Theory, wrote in a tweet, ‘BREAKING: The nation’s largest teachers union has approved a plan to promote critical race theory in all 50 states and 14,000 local school districts. The argument that ‘critical race theory isn’t in K-12 schools’ is officially dead.’
Rufo continued: ‘The union has also approved funding for “increasing the implementation” of CRT in K-12 curricula and for attacking conservative groups who oppose CRT indoctrination.
‘The teachers union has made critical race theory its #1 priority—and want to implement it nationwide.
‘According to a recent YouGov survey, 58 percent of Americans oppose critical race theory, including 72 percent of independents who believe teaching it in schools is “bad for America.”
‘But the teachers union wants to double-down and impose this divisive ideology on your children.
‘The NEA represents 3 million public school employees in all 50 states. They have a $350 million annual budget and an army of operatives in 14,000 local communities. They have now declared war on parents who oppose critical race theory—and parents must fight back!’
Critical race theory explained
The fight over critical race theory in schools has escalated in the United States over the last year.
The theory has sparked a fierce nationwide debate in the wake of the Black Lives Matter protests around the country over the last year and the introduction of the 1619 Project.
The 1619 Project, which was published by the New York Times in 2019 to mark 400 years since the first enslaved Africans arrived on American shores, reframes American history by ‘placing the consequences of slavery and the contributions of black Americans at the center of the US narrative’.
The debate surrounding critical race theory regards concerns that some children are being indoctrinated into thinking that white people are inherently racist or sexist.
Those against critical race theory have argued it reduces people to the categories of ‘privileged’ or ‘oppressed’ based on their skin color.
Supporters, however, say the theory is vital to eliminating racism because it examines the ways in which race influence American politics, culture and the law.