Department Of Education Renews Million-Dollar CRT Program For Historically Black College


Chrissy Clark Contributor
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A branch of the U.S. Department of Education renewed a $1.5 million program that initially promised to teach program participants about critical race theory.

The Institute of Education Sciences, the “independent, non-partisan statistics, research, and evaluation” arm of the Department of Education, decided to renew a research program titled Research Institute for Scholars of Equity (RISE) to the tune of $1,533,384. The program will run from 2021 to 2026.

The program was initially funded by the Obama administration in 2016 in partnership with the University of North Carolina Central University (NCCU), a historically black college. The University of North Carolina, Wilmington, teamed with NCCU for the program as well. The Institute of Education Sciences shelled out $1,116,895 in 2016 for the program, according to grant records.

According to the 2016 version of the program description, part of the eight-week summer research program promised to introduce students to critical race theory.

“One core feature of the fellowship is the eight-week summer research institute in which fellows will be introduced to critical race theory … as a means of studying issues such as teacher quality, education policy, and race and social justice in education,” the description reads.



Other universities that partnered with RISE in 2016 include the University of Pittsburgh, University of South Carolina, University of New Mexico, and the New School for Social Research in New York City. (RELATED: Superintendent Who Implemented CRT In Loudoun County Is Overseeing A CRT-Inspired ‘Strategic Plan’ In Texas Schools)

When RISE was renewed in 2021, the description of the program no longer contained the words “critical race theory,” as originally reported by The Center Square. RISE 2.0 uses the phrase “culturally competent” instead, which is often tied to the core tenets of critical race theory as it parses virtually all interactions through the lens of racism.

The updated version of RISE — approved by the Biden administration — will offer a year-long scholarship to 58 students over five years. The program remains at NCCU and will partner with Penn State University. The focus of the program is to understand “the ongoing inequities in education found in American schooling, especially for preK-20 African American and Latino/a students.”

“During this institute, fellows study the sociocultural context of American schooling and learn how to formulate culturally competent research questions,” the RISE 2.0 description reads.

The U.S. Department of Education could not be reached for comment.