A national parents’ organization that grew out of the battle against the Common Core State Standards is calling for state legislatures to ban Critical Race Theory (CRT) in K-12 schools.
The call comes as the Biden education department proposed a rule Monday supporting the development of “culturally responsive teaching” in American history and civics.
In its proposed rule, the U.S. Education Department held up the widely discredited New York Times’ “1619 Project” as a model for schools to teach children the United States is fundamentally a racist nation.
“The Biden administration’s proposal for American History and Civics Education programs is a federal bribe akin to the Race-to-the-Top grants that landed the failed Common Core Standards in nearly every state,” USPIE told Breitbart News. “The federal grant funds combined with the Civics Secures Democracy Act of 2021 will justify advocates of these harmful programs and make it easier for state and local officials to resist parents and community efforts to block the overreach of the federal government.”
As the trailer to its self-produced documentary film “Truth and Lies in American Education” emphasizes, USPIE is specifically opposed to all federal control of education and backs a return to control by parents and local school boards:
Stanley Kurtz, senior fellow at the Ethics and Public Policy Center, wrote at National Review that, when the Civics Secures Democracy Act was introduced in March, the nation entered the “greatest education battle of our lifetimes.”
Kurtz sounded the alarm:
[W]e are headed toward an epic clash over the spread of uber-controversial pedagogies — Critical Race Theory and Action Civics — to America’s classrooms. I don’t know whether the country will wake up to the danger of this legislation before or after it passes. Sooner or later, however, the truth will out. When it does, the culture war will have merged with K–12 education-policy disputes to a degree never before seen.
The problem, as Kurtz explained further, is that, as with the Common Core standards, Republicans are promoting the Civics Secures Democracy Act right alongside Democrats.
Sen. John Cornyn (R-TX) and Rep. Tom Cole (R-OK) have joined with Sen. Chris Coons (D-DE) and Rep. Rosa DeLauro (D-CT) to introduce the legislation that they say will “restore the importance placed on civics education in American classrooms with targeted federal investments to support and expand access to civics and history education.”
Kurtz spared no words in describing this latest “bipartisan” education legislation:
The Republicans who have co-sponsored the “Civics Secures Democracy Act” in the Senate (John Cornyn) and the House (Tom Cole) have been hornswoggled and hogtied into backing legislation that is about as far from conservative as a bill could be. It should be said in extenuation of their decision that the bill is careful to bury its true ends under anodyne jargon. You have to know a lot about Action Civics, for example, to understand that this bill is designed to force it onto the states. Most conservatives don’t even know what Action Civics is, much less understand its misleading jargon. The very term “Action Civics” is a euphemism for political protests for course credit, something close to the opposite of a proper civics course. That’s one reason why the “Civics Secures Democracy Act” is so egregiously misnamed.
The legislation would allow for $1 billion in federal grants to support K-12 curriculum design, teacher training, and research into instruction in history and civics.
The @CompCenterNet unveiled its Racial Equity and Social Justice collection which examines core obstacles to educational equity including this brief on actionable info regarding racial equity resources, services, and initiatives: https://t.co/PW2ugdQhXl
— U.S. Department of Education (@usedgov) April 21, 2021
Kurtz detailed that “priority” for grants would be given to “evidence-based practices,” which, he wrote, include “out-of-class political protests and lobbying (nearly always for leftist causes) for course credit,” and “internships with (invariably leftist) lobbying and advocacy organizations for course credit.”
Priority for grant funds would also go to “traditionally underserved” students and those programs that have as a central goal the shrinking of the achievement gap between racial/ethnic groups and students of different income levels.
“This gives the inside lane to Critical Race Theory, while largely disqualifying those who believe that American history and civics can unify if presented in a broadly similar manner to students of all incomes, races, and ethnicities,” Kurtz explained, and spelled out the anticipated results:
We are talking about Black Lives Matter protests outside of police stations for course credit. And the grants will be disbursed by President Biden’s Education Department, sure to be staffed by left-leaning bureaucrats who believe — as does the president — that our country is “systemically racist.” Put together the priority criteria and a Democrat-controlled Department of Education and you will see a tremendous number of grants going to Critical Race Theory-based political advocacy programs, all under the label of “civics.”
USPIE notes its advisory board member Dr. Gary Thompson “makes the assertion that in CRT, “racism is assumed and need not be proven.”
“As a matter of fact, he says ‘it is not allowed to be debated as to do so is racist and tantamount to treason,’” the group adds, noting CRT also “takes a dim view of religion and family, two core values most parents treasure.”
USPIE observes how CRT is already becoming embedded in education and the nation’s culture:
Unfortunately, schools across the country are already teaching CRT. Here are just a few of the wrong philosophies enveloped in CRT: racial justice is a journey and the work will never be finished; we must disrupt the current policies and practices; everyone must act, no one can opt out; racism is our country’s original sin; do not say “All Lives Matter,” that is racist; “Whiteness” as a term describes traditional characteristics of success, i.e., hard work, punctuality, correct math answers, and white fragility describes why white people can’t talk about racism.
CRT, the parents say, seeks to “make some children feel guilt and anguish — not because of anything they have done, but solely based on the color of their skin.”
“THIS is racism,” USPIE emphasized, adding that when states pass laws banning CRT and “action civics,” parents will then have grounds to demand that schools eliminate all discrimination, as well as to form a foundation for litigation, if needed.
“USPIE believes Critical Race Theory is in fact child abuse,” the group asserts. “Teaching children they are oppressors or victims based on their skin color, teaching children to judge others based on the color of their skin, teaching children they cannot succeed in America because of the color of their skin is just plain wrong.”