For those of you who love numbers but not Critical Race Theory, you’re about to be half-happy.
On June 14th, The Heritage Foundation (THF) released a report on American civics education and how it fares in the minds of parents and teachers.
From December 30th, 2020 through February 2nd, 1,004 teachers and 1,012 parents were interviewed.
In an introduction to the published findings, THF contends that “students must learn the truth about America’s heritage.”
That includes, per the organization, the country’s “imperfections as well as its remarkable strengths.”
Every child, THF asserts, “should inherit an appreciation for the nation’s concepts of freedom and virtue, study the architects and practice of self-government, and understand why they themselves carry responsibility to uphold the benefits and responsibilities of citizenship.”
Judging from education stories of the last few years, I suspect we’re a ways from that.
THF singles out a stumbling block to such civic obligation — that of Critical Race Theory (CRT).
As The Heritage Foundation points out, CRT “makes race the prism through which its proponents analyze all aspects of American life.”
That sounds more like the news.
The ideology “underpins identity politics,” THF says, “driving decision-making according to skin color — not individual merit and talent.”
CRT teaches young minds to see the world as divided into two categories, oppressors and their victims, weakening public and private bonds that create trust and allow civic engagement.
Such looks to be our present path.
America has, of late, turned toward ideas of old; whereas once we hailed colorblindness, that practice seems framed in some circles as sin.
The new morality: an old morality — viewing human beings according to pigment.
Cartoon Network Schools Kids on Racial Virtue: You Must Never Be Colorblind
— RedState (@RedState) February 18, 2021
THF waxes on that messaging to the young:
[CRT is] reversing the immense progress this country has made in race relations and equality, as well as stealing major parts of history from students, beginning with small children. Young Americans are taught not to be proud of their country, but to see it as an oppressor.
Of 2000+ surveyed parents and teachers, two-thirds of parents and almost three-quarters of teachers were found to “have a strong desire to see greater emphasis on civics education.”
How does satisfaction over the current content of such rate? Only a third of each group are okay with it.
So what’s the proper content?
As you’re surely aware, over the last few months, parents and education have increasingly clashed.
Moms and dads have protested race-oriented lessons in public schools.
Consider this scene from a May school board meeting at Arizona’s Desert Valley Elementary School:
Or something more blunt at Virginia’s Loudoun County Schools in June:
— Ian Prior (@iandprior) June 9, 2021
Also from Loudoun County in May:
#Loudouncounty parents brought the 🔥🔥🔥 at the school board meeting tonight.
— Ian Prior (@iandprior) May 12, 2021
And this happened in Florida:
Fla. mom, Keisha King, to the State Board of Education: Critical Race Theory "does not teach the truth, unless you believe that whites are better than blacks … Telling my child, or any child, that they are in a permanently oppressed status because they are black is racist" pic.twitter.com/DHJFONDXxx
— Tom Elliott (@tomselliott) June 11, 2021
Other cases in point:
Some state legislatures are moving to oust Critical Race Theory in schools.
And just this week, Texas Gov. Greg Abbott just signed an anti-CRT bill.
At least 21 states have introduced measures to ban or limit the dogma.
But as it’s still a very viable mode of education in most states, where do parents and teachers sit on the topic?
Firstly, as noted by THF, familiarity with Critical Race Theory scored as follows:
- Familiar: 35%
- Unfamiliar: 39.8%
- Unsure: 25.2%
- Familiar: 43.3
- Unfamiliar: 32.4%
- Unsure: 24.3%
And what’s their attitude toward the prism-of-race approach?
Here’s where it gets interesting.
Roughly a quarter of parents viewed CRT as positive.
Teachers exceeded 30%.
- Postive: 25.9%
- Negative: 13.5%
- Neutral: 34.4%
- Unsure: 26.3%
- Postive: 30%
- Negative: 11%
- Neutral: 30.8%
- Unsure: 28.2%
Now, the big question: Who believes CRT should be the focus of civics education from now on?
As you might guess, teachers won out.
But parents weren’t far behind:
SUPPORT CIVICS AS LARGELY CRT-FOCUSED
Those numbers, in my view, are notably high, considering that — until just a few relative moments ago — color was culturally claimed to be largely irrelevant.
And at the rate we’re going — dependent, perhaps upon the course of CRT legislation over the next several months — I wouldn’t expect those numbers to wane.
That which is perpetuated, over time, is accepted. That which is accepted, over time, is promoted.
What will American schools be promoting five years from now?
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