OPINION/LETTERS: Don't gloss over existence of Critical Race Theory in schools

Don't gloss over existence of Critical Race Theory in schools

I always enjoy the frequent Letters to the Editor from my Tiverton neighbor, Will Newman. He can be relied upon to deliver the current thinking of the liberal left.

But several of Mr. Newman’s recent letters have made the claim that Critical Race Theory, or CRT, is not being taught in any public school in the USA. In fact, Mr. Newman is rather emphatic about that.

Well, it took about three seconds with Mr. Google’s Amazing Fact Machine to learn that, oh dear, CRT actually is being taught in public schools all across the country.

Nikolai Vitti, the superintendent of the Detroit schools, says “our curriculum is deeply using critical race theory, especially in social studies.” In the Seattle Public Schools, “Black Studies” classes includes CRT, and it’s also explicitly included in a course at Ballard High School in Seattle.

CRT was an issue in last fall’s Virginia governor’s race. Why? In Fairfax County, social studies teachers are told that CRT is a “frame” for their work. In Arlington County, students have been assigned books by CRT theorists, including Ibram X. Kendi. The Loudoun County public schools paid a contractor to train staff in CRT, including a course in “Critical Race Theory Development.” And the Virginia Department of Education thanked Dr. Kendi for his work which “informed the development of EdEquity VA Framework.”

Christopher Rufo of the Manhattan Institute reports that 30 public school systems in 15 states are teaching a book, "Not My Idea," which claims “whiteness” leads white people to make deals with the devil for “stolen land, stolen riches and special favors.”

There are more: Indiana, Baltimore, Missouri, even our own Westerly, Rhode Island, are either teaching CRT or having teachers trained in the “discipline.”

We can have a debate whether or not CRT is a good idea, one worthy of being taught to our young students. But let’s start by admitting the truth: These controversial ideas are being taught in our public schools, right now.

James Y. Bartlett, Tiverton

This article originally appeared on Newport Daily News: LETTERS: Don't gloss over existence of Critical Race Theory in schools