Critical Race Theory (CRT) contributes to defeat of public school levy
Controversial Critical Race Theory (CRT) appears to have contributed to the defeat of a public school levy in Moses Lake, a trend that may be repeated as CRT is adopted by school districts statewide.
CRT is a race-based curriculum that tells students and teachers to judge each other based on appearance, that white students are “oppressors” guilty of “implicit racism” and that their fellow students of other ethnicities are “oppressed,” regardless of their true experiences. In April Governor Inslee signed SB 5044, a bill to require mandatory Critical Race Training in Washington public schools.
CRT seeks to undermine the accomplishments of the civil rights movement, and is a violation of state anti-discrimination laws and the voter-passed Washington Civil Rights Act. (For more, see the Washington Policy Center study, Know Your Rights – A Guide to Critical Race Theory.)
Two publicly-funded advocacy groups, the Washington School Board Directors Association (WSSDA), and the Washington Association of School Administrators (WASA) have been promoting CRT in public schools. In a mandated session on June 23rd, the controversial training was given to members of the Moses Lake School Board.
My review shows that the CRT materials used in the session contain clear racial bias and ethnic discrimination by a government entity. The training curriculum includes:
- An “Identity Map (pages 93 – 97) that requires participants to assign a range of color identities to students and teachers on the basis of race, even for people who identify as more than one ethnicity, or report none at all
- A mandated “Privilege Walk” that arbitrarily places participants as “oppressors” or “oppressed” based entirely on their assigned race identity (page 122).
- Identity Cards that are assigned on the basis of race, sex and religion (page 114)
- Race identity material on “What Does it Mean to be White?” is provided from the writings of known CRT advocates Robin DiAngelo, Gay, Nieto, Freire and Ladson-Billings (page 63)
- The promotion of racist tropes like, “as early as age 3, children pick up [from parents] terms of racial prejudice (page 131)
- Use of “equity” to determine outcomes based on race, and an effort to divide community along contrived race and ethnic lines (page 23), as shown in the graphic below:
Source: Critical Race Training materials, Moses Lake School District, June 23, 2021
Further, the CRT trainers tell board members to push back against parent complaints and public scrutiny. School officials are told to “avoid a quorum of the board” to evade the disclosure of CRT meetings under Washington’s comprehensive Public Meetings Act.
CRT trainers told Moses Lake school board members to use pre-set “Talking points”, to “avoid terms like critical race theory and equity” and to “anticipate pushback [from parents]...and stay on message” (pages 23- 39). The training recommends school officials post law enforcement at public meetings and to be prepared to “turn off the microphones” to silence critics.
Records show that WSSDA/WASA training materials in Critical Race Theory are being provided to the 1,447 school board directors in Washington state, following the implementation of SB 5044. WSSDA uses the harmful White Supremacy Pyramid to stigmatize white students and parents and to create community division among Asian, black and brown students. See for example the presentation by Marion Smith, Jr. at WSSDA’s recent Equity Conference. All of WSSDA’s funding is taken from local school budgets. See RCW 28A.345.050.
Many parents in Moses Lake have already indicated they do not want school officials to teach that some children are bad because of their outward appearance. School officials did not listen. As a result, barely five weeks after SB 5044’s CRT program was implemented, Moses Lake voters on August 3rd defeated a $7 million school operations levy tax increase.
CRT is also fueling an unprecedented school choice movement, as parents seek positive learning alternatives for their children.
It is clear SB 5044 and CRT are dividing communities and now might be undermining public support for public schools. As anti-civil rights curricula are imposed, public opposition to funding harmful and race-segregated schools is likely to increase, that could result in failed levies and more families leaving the system.
Maybe when their funding is threatened school board members will start listening to the people they represent, and turn their focus to educating all children equally, without regard to what the kids look like.