The Vetting: Bell's Critical Race Theory Promoted in Public Schools

A radical organization known as the Pacific Educational Group (PEG) is actively promoting Derrick Bell’s Critical Race Theory in public elementary and high schools nationwide, with an intense focus on what PEG calls “Systemic Racism.”

With the approval of the Obama administration, and under the guise of closing achievement gaps between black and white students, PEG is promoting teaching methods that discourage “black and brown” students from conforming to an inherently “white” -- and therefore racist -- curriculum. 

PEG also encourages teachers to conform to the presumed cultural backgrounds of students, rather than focusing on norms of assessment and accountability. was alerted to the activity of PEG within schools by readers who responded to our reporting on President Barack Obama’s endorsement of Bell, and his use of Critical Race Theory in his lectures at the University of Chicago. 

Subsequent investigation led to the revelation that Critical Race Theory is being introduced nationwide through the efforts of PEG.

Glenn Singleton, the founder of PEG, explained in an undated interview with WMEZ of Macon, GA that the organization uses Critical Race Theory as a foundation to encourage teachers, students, and school systems as a whole to talk about race:

More formally, we engage in what is called systemic transformation, which is operating from a framework of whole system change that works with everyone in the system from the board of education to beginning teachers...

Critical Race Theory...helps the educator now be able to understand how race influences our day-to-day experiences and the historical implications of race...

A promotional video for PEG explains that the organization targets “white culture” as the source of the problems that minority students face:

Narrator: Education experts agree that educators must be given the tools that help them examine and address the role that race plays in the success or failure to educate and engage black, brown, and Native American Indian students.

California teacher Matthew Kertesz: When our black and brown students underperform, it’s not based on any lack of ability, but it’s because equal resources isn’t the same thing [sic] as equally served.  So our schools often falsely assume that kids of color can and will simply change and thrive in an environment based on white culture.  Now, when our schools and society truly value our black and brown youth -– and that’s shown through school culture, and practice, and policy –- then we’ll start to see equal performance.

Singleton claims that PEG has worked with “hundreds” of schools. As the promotional video explains, PEG’s goal is to work directly with teachers as they are being trained:

Narrator: The consultants at PEG design and deliver individualized, comprehensive support for school districts in the form of leadership training, coaching, and consulting.  Working at all levels -– from the superintendent to beginning teachers –- PEG helps the educators focus on heightening their awareness of institutional racism.

Yet PEG has triggered local opposition, and occasional alarm. As long ago as 2007, organizations such as the Competitive Enterprise Institute have dismissed Singleton, saying he has “become a rich man by preaching racism, hate, and scapegoating” (original links):

Previously, Singleton embarrassed the Seattle Schools. In 2002, they hired him to indoctrinate their students and staff about racism. As a result, they redefined racism consistent with Singleton’s extreme and radical beliefs. The Seattle Schools defined “individualism” as a form of “cultural racism,” said that only whites can be racist, and claimed that planning ahead (“future time orientation”) is a white characteristic that it is racist to expect minorities to exhibit.

Regardless of widespread criticism and a controversial history, Singleton’s PEG continues to expand into new public schools, soaking up more tax dollars. 

PEG also holds an annual conference at which school districts, activists and policymakers come together. 

Last year, Russlyn Ali, President Barack Obama’s Assistant Secretary for the Office of Civil Rights in the Department of Education, accepted an award from PEG at the conference.

Critical Race Theory, which began at the margins of the legal academy, has been picked up by race-obsessed radicals and is being woven deeper into the fabric of government education--with Obama’s apparent blessing, and at taxpayer expense.


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