Teach Respect, Not Critical Race Theory (WSJ Op-Ed_

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      Bob_Hatcher
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      Louden County Virginia has been the epicenter of the CRT controversy. Here is an op-ed from one of their board members published in the Wall Street Journal, August 26, 2021 – PDF attached if you want to send it around.

      Mr. Beatty is a member of the Loudoun County School Board.
      Leesburg, Va.

      Shouting matches, tears and overwhelming frustration dominated the Loudoun County School Board’s meeting on June 22. Sitting on the dais, I had a front-line view of the fundamental challenges facing our nation’s education system.

      Before I was elected to the school board, Loudoun County Public Schools in early 2019 spent $400,000 on an “equity consultant” to analyze graduation rates and other data to determine how racist the school district was.

      After breaking down the data by race, the consultant found tiny differences in the graduation rates of black high-school students and white ones. These gaps, often only 1 percentage point, weren’t statistically significant.
      Yet the LCPS superintendent deemed them sufficient evidence to bring in other outside groups, which declared that Loudoun County was systemically racist, and that the administration needed to embrace critical race theory’s concept of equity.

      Critical race theory’s proponents claim America’s entire social structure and fabric—you and me, our laws and rules—are irredeemably racist and must be dismantled. LCPS and school systems like it support CRT by recommending books and teaching resources.

      According to one strongly recommended book, “White Fragility” by Robin DiAngelo, “a positive white identity is an impossible goal. White identity is inherently racist; white people do not exist outside the system of white supremacy.”

      This is a glimpse of what roughly 15,000 teachers are reading and using in their lesson plans for the estimated 85,000 students of Loudoun County.

      While outside groups tell the school board that our curriculum and district are racist and we must atone for this history, many surveys and studies have found that teachers don’t want to talk about race in the classroom.

      A survey released last month by the Association of American Educators, a nonunion trade group, found that less than half of members (44.7%) favor CRT being an option for educators, while only 11% believe CRT should be required or mandated. Yet the National Education Association has vowed to push for mandatory CRT curriculum in the classroom.

      Parents also see the toxicity of CRT and don’t want it in schools. Elected officials’ obfuscation and inaction has driven frustrated parents to take charge through petitions to recall six of the nine members of the Loudoun County School Board for supporting the CRT curriculum.

      If teachers and parents, the two most important groups in education, are uncomfortable with CRT, perhaps bureaucrats and elected officials should think seriously before proceeding.

      Discussions of race and prejudice should begin at home with respect, honesty and kindness. Teachers can support parents by instilling these virtues.

      Our children aren’t racist or prejudiced. They are just kids. They need formation and guidance. By treating others with respect, even those with whom we disagree, we will begin to heal our schools, our counties and our country.

      Mr. Beatty is a member of the Loudoun County School Board.

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