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The Critical Problem with Critical Race Curriculum

Proverbs 22:6 offered wisdom that taught ancient Jews that if they were to “start children off on the way they should go…even when they are old they will not turn from it.”

Ever since then, everyone has disagreed as to which way those children should go. These disagreements have recently come to a head over the push to implement critical race theory in school curriculums across the United States.

The National Education Association recently announced that they are in firm support of implementing critical race theory in school curriculums across the nation. [1] Even as leading educators, like the Superintendent of the Greenwich Public School District in Connecticut, attempted to deny that critical race theory was being taught. [4]

One teacher, named Brandon Morrison, who favors teaching about “systemic racism” had this to say: “many of [my students], as fifth graders, already have the knowledge and understanding of social justice and how society works…I don't think we give them enough credit.”

To break down Mr. Morrison’s argument by taking it at its best, let’s start with the fact that one part of what he said is correct: We don’t give children credit…because we shouldn’t.

As much as he may genuinely believe that children understand social justice and society, he might change his mind if he asked them to explain how the government that we have works.

They would be clueless.

That may seem like an unrelated question but the truth is that children cannot even begin to contextualize how justice or society work without knowing the basics of its governmental structure.

Teaching critical race theory to children between first and twelfth grade assumes that children are wise enough to understand that the takeaway message from even a well-meaning dive into critical race theory is not “I am bad/good based on my skin color.”

This becomes especially eye-brow-raising since it is a widely accepted fact that things like “implicit bias” training for adults have largely backfired. How will a curriculum with children who are not yet fully rational adults produce any better results? [6]

Lack of wisdom and experience are the reasons that children, especially young children, have trouble following seemingly simple things like directions. [5]

Let’s be honest with ourselves: Mr. Morrison and everyone else knows that children are not as wise. If they were, we would not have increasingly stringent laws surrounding their use of products like tobacco and alcohol. [2] [3]Children are either intellectually developed enough to grasp the nuances of the harm caused by tobacco and alcohol use, or they are not.

Consequently, it is entirely reasonable for parents of all races, who are fulfilling their God-given role to “bring [children] up in the training and instruction of the Lord” (Ephesians 6:4), to be wary and angry when confronted with the prospect of critical race theory pushing out more balanced curriculums. [7]

Many are simply protecting their vulnerable children from being taught ideas that are likely to produce more racism than they’ll erase. [6]

Foundations of Truth hereby waives all claim of copyright (economic and moral) in this work and immediately places it in the public domain; it may be used, published, edited, and distributed in any manner whatsoever without any attribution or notice to Foundations of Truth.

[1] “We Need to Teach the Truth About Systemic Racism, Say Educators,” National Education Association (May 2021), https://www.nea.org/advocating-for-change/new-from-nea/we-need-teach-truth-about-systemic-racism-say-educators#comment-5404914353

[2] “A Minimum Legal Drinking Age (MLDA) of 21 saves lives and protects health,” CDC (n.d.), https://www.cdc.gov/alcohol/fact-sheets/minimum-legal-drinking-age.htm

[3] “State and Territorial Laws Prohibiting Sales of Tobacco Products to Persons Aged <21 Years — United States, December 20, 2019,” CDC (December 20, 2019), https://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/volumes/69/wr/mm6907a3.htm

[4] Justin Papp, “Superintendent denies Greenwich is teaching critical race theory as she addresses 'misinformation',” Greenwich Time (June 10, 2021), https://www.greenwichtime.com/news/article/Superintendent-denies-Greenwich-is-teaching-16239632.php

[5] Susan A. Miller Ed.D., Ellen Booth Church, and Carla Poole, “Ages & Stages: Learning to Follow Directions,” Scholastic (n.d.) https://www.scholastic.com/teachers/articles/teaching-content/ages-stages-learning-follow-directions/

[6] Matt Martin, “5 reasons diversity training usually fails,” Fast Company (August 3, 2020), https://www.fastcompany.com/90535289/5-reasons-diversity-training-are-not-successful-as-anticipated

[7] Karol Marcowicz, “Kudos to black AND white parents mounting an uprising against race theory,” New York Post (June 23, 2021), https://nypost.com/2021/06/23/kudos-to-black-and-white-parents-mounting-an-uprising-against-race-theory/

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