Despite the victorious claims of opponents of critical race theory (CRT), the Biden administration still appears to be promoting the concept to public schoolchildren.
Following outcry from conservatives, including members of Congress, Education Secretary Miguel Cardona wrote Friday on the Department of Education’s (DOE) blog, Homeroom, that American History and Civics Education program grants “will not dictate or recommend specific curriculum be introduced or taught in classrooms.” DOE received more than 35,000 public comments from concerned citizens about the rule-making process, The Washington Times reported.
However, he wrote, DOE is still “encourag[ing] projects that incorporate racially, ethnically, culturally, and linguistically diverse perspectives” in classroom instruction as part of American History and Civics Education program grants. American History and Civics Education program grants are disbursed by DOE to “improve [the] teaching and learning of American History, government and civics for teachers and students.”
Cordona added that this priority in the granting process is “invitational,” meaning that “applicants are not required to address the priorit[y], and earn no additional points and gain no competitive advantage in the grant competition for addressing these priorities.”
Cardona did not address, however, a part of the initial instruction that requires applicants for an American History and Civics Education grant to explain how their teaching “take[s] into account systemic marginalization, biases, inequities, and discriminatory policy and practice in American history; incorporate[s] racially, ethnically, culturally, and linguistically diverse perspectives and perspectives on the experience of individuals with disabilities; [and] encourage[s] students to critically analyze the diverse perspectives of historical and contemporary media and its impacts.”
Therefore, DOE is still “encouraging” schools to implement CRT-based curricula, and is requiring them to explain how they do so in their grant requests.
CRT holds that America is fundamentally racist, yet it teaches people to view every social interaction and person in terms of race. Its adherents pursue “antiracism” through the end of merit, objective truth and the adoption of race-based policies.
DOE announced April 19 that it would use the program to “support teaching and learning that reflects the breadth and depth of our Nation’s diverse history and the vital role of diversity in our Nation’s democracy.” The document cited the “importance of including, in the teaching and learning of our country’s history, both the consequences of slavery, and the significant contributions of Black Americans to our society. This acknowledgement is reflected, for example, in the New York Times’ landmark ‘1619 Project’ and in the resources of the Smithsonian’s National Museum of African American History.”
It also approvingly cited Boston University professor Ibram X. Kendi’s definition of “anti-racism” and praised “schools across the country [that] are working to incorporate anti-racist practices into teaching and learning.” (RELATED: Psaki Claims ‘Responsible’ Education Includes Teaching Kids Critical Race Theory, 1619 Project)
In response to Cardona’s announcement, CRT critics, including Manhattan Institute fellow Christopher Rufo and the advocacy group Parents Defending Education, expressed vindication.
“VICTORY: The Department of Education has canceled its plan to tie federal K-12 grants to critical race theory implementation,” Rufo tweeted.
WINNING: The Department of Education has canceled its plan to tie federal K-12 grants to critical race theory implementation. @SecCardona had wanted to incentivize CRT nationwide—but after 35,000 public comments slamming the program, he backed down. https://t.co/Il8PVNhDC5
— Christopher F. Rufo ⚔️ (@realchrisrufo) July 19, 2021
“Parents Defending Education (PDE) applauds the decision by Education Secretary, Miguel Cardona, to change course on the new federal grants for the American History and Civics Education programs by withdrawing the requirement that grantees incorporate curriculum and instruction based on or similar to the 1619 Project or the works of Ibram X. Kendi,” Parents Defending Education said in a Saturday press release.
President Joe Biden has instructed government agencies to promote ideas associated with critical race theory throughout his presidency. On his first day in office, he revoked an executive order signed by former President Donald Trump that purported to ban critical race theory in federal diversity trainings. Biden later ordered all government agencies to conduct race-conscious diversity training and engage in race-conscious hiring.