Carol Swain Commentary: Critical Race Theory Is a Cancer on Our Educational System

Critical race theory {is the|may be the|could be the} civil rights {issue of|problem of|dilemma of} our time. It eats away at our public, private, and Christian academies {with its|using its|having its} cancerous messages about white privilege, minority disadvantage, and perennial racism. Hardly {a day|each day|per day} {goes by|passes|goes on} that I {do not|don’t} hear from parents and teachers about {yet another|still another|another|just one more} school system {where the|where in actuality the|where in fact the} cancerous roots of critical race theory {have taken|took|have got} hold or begun {to appear|to look|to seem} {under the|underneath the|beneath the} guise of “culturally competent teaching and learning” or “educational equity.” {No matter what|No real matter what} they call it, {they cannot|they can’t|they can not} hide its poisonous effects.

{Consider the|Think about the|Look at the} Oakland Unified School District (OUSD) {with its|using its|having its} Office of Equity, established expressly {to end|to finish|to get rid of} systemic racism. According {to their|for their|with their} website, “equity means providing each student with the academic, social, and emotional supports [students] need {to prepare|to organize|to get ready} for college, career, and community success in the future.” However, as implemented by its advocates, their well-intentioned programs can destroy students’opportunities {if they|when they|should they} {include the|range from the|are the} abandonment of traditional teaching methods for learning fundamentals.

At OUSD, this looks {like the|such as the|just like the} “Pathway to Equitable Math” curriculum funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. The Gates’equitable math class operates on the apparent presumption that minority students are less capable than white students of learning math principles. Their solution is {to lower|to reduce|to lessen} standards and expectations for math learning. They theorize that minorities who {feel good|feel well|feel great} about themselves and angry at systemic racism will somehow acquire the skills to {succeed in|flourish in|achieve} life.

{It has|It’s} nothing {to do with|related to|regarding} teaching math. {It is|It’s} {an empty|a clear} vessel labeled “math” that aims {to teach|to show|to instruct} critical race theory.

It indoctrinates students into believing {that there are|there are} {not any|no|no actual} right or wrong answers in math. It teaches students that math is {a form|an application|a questionnaire} of white supremacy, and {for that reason|for this reason}, teachers {should not|shouldn’t} ask children {to show|to exhibit|showing} their homework. If students do {not have|not need} {to show|to exhibit|showing} their homework, {there is|there’s} no expectation {that it|so it} {will be|is likely to be|will soon be|is going to be|will undoubtedly be} completed or evaluated. {Even if|Even when|Even though} teachers do assess {the work|the job|the task}, {they cannot|they can’t|they can not} insist on correct answers. How crazy {can it|manages to do it|did it|will it|could it} get?

And {what has|what’s} this curriculum {done for|prepared for} OUSD? {They are|They’re} a district with 90% minority students, with a 27% proficiency rate in math and reading.OUSD ranks in {the bottom|the underside|underneath} 50% of California schools for graduations.

By all measures, OUSD {is an|is definitely an|can be an} abysmal failure. The sad {fact is|truth is|simple truth is} CRT can lower their proficiency and graduation levels even more.

Its impact is apparent. But {what makes|why is} critical race theory a cancer?

Critical race theory {is a|is just a|is really a} flowery {form of|type of|kind of} racism that teaches children what {to think|to consider|to believe}, not how to think. It emphasizes conclusions without dialogue; children either cannot or are discouraged from critically {thinking about|considering|contemplating} complex issues. {By comparison|In comparison|In contrast}, academic subjects like math walk students through {a process|a procedure|an activity} {aimed at|targeted at|directed at} reaching correct answers.

Additionally, critical race theory disincentivizes students. Minority students {have it|contain it|own it} drummed {into their|to their|within their} heads {that they are|that they’re|they are} at {a permanent|a lasting} disadvantage {because of the|due to the} color {of their|of the|of these} skin. When told {that they are|that they’re|they are} inherently and perpetually racist and oppressive, white students sometimes become crippled by guilt and shame about their race and ancestors. Why should we {say to|tell} any child that their race and ancestors are inherently evil and undeserving of classroom success?

Students {can become|may become|can be} depressed, bitter, conflicted, and demoralized under these conditions. The classroom {can become|may become|can be} a hostile learning environment. Students grapple with racial narratives {that should be|that needs to be|that ought to be} debated {rather than|as opposed to} force-fed {as the|whilst the|because the|since the|while the} gospel truth.

Critical race theory is a nonsensical approach, and it’s racist. {The only|The only real|The sole} positive thing {it does|it will} is benefit politicians {wanting to|attempting to|planning to} stir the racial pot. Moreover, {it provides|it offers|it gives} teachers with {a new|a brand new|a fresh} excuse to justify their failure to attain decent proficiency rates in math and reading. {It is|It’s} {much easier|easier|much simpler} {to blame|at fault|the culprit} social issues like white supremacy than to assume personal responsibility for subpar proficiency rates and disruptive behavior in the classroom.

Critical race theory is {a dangerous|a harmful} philosophy. Like cancer, critical race theory will grow until it consumes schools. Ultimately, {it will|it’ll} destroy opportunities for students {of all|of|of most} races in those schools. {That is|That’s} unless communities take the initiative now {to remove|to get rid of|to eliminate} the cancer.


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