June 16, 2021

Critical Race Theory

“Florida’s state Board of Education banned ‘critical race theory’ from public school classrooms [last] Thursday… The Black Lives Matter movement has helped bring contentious discussions about race to the forefront of American discourse, and classrooms have become a battleground. Supporters contend that federal law has preserved the unequal treatment of people on the basis of race and that the country was founded on the theft of land and labor. Opponents of critical race theory say schoolchildren should not be taught that America is fundamentally racist. Governors and legislatures in Republican-led states around the country are considering or have signed into law bills that would limit how teachers can frame American history.” AP News

See past issues

From the Right

The right worries that curriculum changes have gone too far, and argues that focusing on “privilege” undermines personal agency.

From the Left

The left argues that historically schools have not accurately portrayed the treatment of Black Americans, and that curriculum changes are long overdue.

The left argues that historically schools have not accurately portrayed the treatment of Black Americans, and that curriculum changes are long overdue.

A libertarian's take

“Conservatives in Florida, Idaho, and the nation's capitol are attempting to block public schools from teaching Critical Race Theory, an ideology that holds that racism is historically fundamental to how America's political, legal, and cultural institutions are structured. It's an authoritarian proposal that would cut off classroom debate about hot-button political issues. Rather than rejecting the idea of forcing students to learn controversial concepts as though they're facts, it just picks a different side of the controversy and pushes that one instead…

Better to let families decide for themselves. Florida has a pretty good record of supporting school choice: The state currently has 687 charter schools serving more than 340,000 students. And school choice is the ideal way to address these concerns—certainly better than either a mandate or a ban. Letting families choose which schools their children attend means letting them decide what curricula those children will encounter, without either side of this culture war getting a veto over that choice.”
Scott Shackford, Reason

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