The state of New York used federal American Rescue Plan (ARP) coronavirus relief funds to advance critical race theory indoctrination in elementary and secondary public schooling.
U.S. Secretary of Education Miguel Cardona approved of the plan, saying it “lay[s] the groundwork for the ways in which an unprecedented infusion of federal resources will be used to address the urgent needs of America’s children and build back better.”
The Empire State’s Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief (ESSER) plan is federally funded to the tune of $8,995,282,324, and “highlights” its commitment to “provide social emotional support within a Culturally Responsive-Sustaining Framework.” [Italics in original].
“Equity warriors are working to create school communities that are more diverse, more equitable, and more inclusive than ever before,” the ESSER plan says. “Many of New York’s education stakeholders and their organizations have elevated this issue to the very top of their agendas.”
Further, according to the 263-page ESSER plan, “Culturally Responsive and Sustaining Education (CRSE)” initiatives help “educators create equitable learning environments that: affirm racial, linguistic, and cultural identities; prepare students for rigor and independent learning; develop students’ abilities to connect across lines of difference; elevate historically marginalized voices; and empower students as agents of social change.” [Emphasis added].
As Breitbart News has reported, given the emergence of critical race theory as a major political issue, institutions that wish to implement it may surreptitiously refer to it by other means, or camouflage it behind phrases like “culturally responsive teaching” — which uses the same CRT acronym — “culturally competent,” “social emotional learning,” “anti-racist,” and “equity.”
On its CRSE framework web page, the New York Education Department claims that “a complex system of biases and structural inequities is at play, deeply rooted in our country’s history, culture, and institutions.”[Emphasis added].
“This system of inequity,” it continues, “which routinely confers advantage and disadvantage based on linguistic background, gender, skin color, and other characteristics — must be clearly understood, directly challenged, and fundamentally transformed.” [Emphasis added].
Education stakeholders in New York can “contribute” to CRSE by “Believing that critical and continuous self-reflection is required to dismantle systems of biases and inequities rooted in our country’s history, culture, and institutions.”
In doing so, stakeholders can:
Employ a critical lens (racial, gender, sexual identity, linguistic, religious, ability, socioeconomic, or other salient cultural identities) when developing resources and intervention frameworks to de-center dominant ideologies and pedagogies that ignore or marginalize diverse students. [Emphasis added].
Furthermore, stakeholders must “assess and reflect on one’s racial literacy skills … and seek opportunities to practice and develop racial literacy with peers and students.” [Emphasis added].
New York will also “Provide opportunities for teachers and leaders to receive trainings on topics related to diversity, equity, and inclusion, such as: critical self-reflection, disproportionality, anti-bias, developing racial literacy, combating racism and microaggressions, etc.”
Part of New York’s plan is to “advance high-quality SEL [social emotional learning] in schools everywhere.” The state plan references several goals for its SEL push: to “leverage SEL to work together toward a more just world” and cultivate “justice-oriented citizenship, with issues of culture, identity, agency, [and] belonging.” [Emphasis added].
“Transformative SEL elaborates on the core competencies from an educational equity lens,” according to the plan.
In what appears to be a mission statement, New York’s SEL plan is a response to the “compounded difficulties of a global pandemic, an economic recession, and civic unrest in response to structural racism.”
The challenge, according to the government, is really an opportunity to redefine public education. “To meet these challenges,” the mission statement says, “individuals must start with the inner work of healing their own hearts and minds, finding the capacity within themselves to support healing for students, families, peers, and communities.”
Reacting to the approval of the plan, neither Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY), nor Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) mentioned the emphasis on race. Despite the fact that both were instrumental in securing the ESSER funding for their state, they only referenced issues regarding being able to open school safely after the pandemic.
Breccan F. Thies is a reporter for Breitbart News. You can follow him on Twitter @BreccanFThies.