111 K Street NE
Washington, DC 20002
- Toll Free 1.888.564.6273
- Local 202.783.3870
This month, FreedomWorks Foundation’s Regulatory Action Center and Building Education for Students Together (BEST) initiative have joined forces to push back against federal control of civics education. In a new proposed rule by the Department of Education (ED), the Biden administration is seeking to add new strings to educational grants that would require public schools to teach radical and contentious curriculum like critical race theory (CRT).
The Big Picture
As CRT has come to academic prominence in the last few decades, activist academics have consistently attempted to transition their ideas out of the ivory tower and into the schools and lives of everyday Americans. While critical theories have their place in colleges and universities, requiring primary and secondary schools to teach these theories in the place of traditional history and civics courses is a precarious proposition. Put simply, teaching CRT to younger students who have yet to develop the critical thinking skills necessary to analyze such issues threatens to indoctrinate our students with divisive theories of race and racism.
A Primer on Critical Race Theory:
Biden’s New Priorities:
Why It Matters
The federal government should have no role in determining what sort of curriculum is taught in our schools. States and local school boards should be allowed to teach in accordance with their academic needs and principles. Tying contentious strings to federal grants flies in the face of this local autonomy that lies at the heart of the American education system.
To be clear, CRT, and critical theories more generally, are not inherently dangerous when taught and utilized in the proper environment, namely colleges and universities. There, students should be able to voluntarily engage in thoughtful and critical dialogue about different views of race and racism. The issue with CRT comes when academic theory becomes dogma. Accepting such ideas at face value, as most primary and secondary students do, threatens to indoctrinate our students with the idea that America is inherently racist.
In a country that has historically struggled with issues of race, teaching CRT to our students is more likely to create further racial division. The Biden administration’s goal of creating “identity safe” classrooms is belied by the fact that the theories they espouse are rooted in divisions around racial identity. If President Biden truly wants to bring “unity” to our country, he should start by upholding the principles of federalism and allow localities to freely manage their schools.