Schools are making it harder to focus on academic subjects such as economics, history, math, and science, by forcing students to waste time taking classes that indoctrinate them in left-wing ideology, such as “critical theory” or critical race theory.
The College Fix reports on a recent example. Northern Arizona University will soon require students to take four diversity, equity and inclusion courses rooted in “critical theory” to graduate. The requirement will go into effect in 2024 at NAU, which has 29,000 students:
The four diversity courses must come from the categories of “global diversity,” “indigenous peoples,” “intersectional identities,” and “U.S. ethnic diversity,” according to an internal memo from campus administrators. The 12 credits of diversity requirements were approved in October 2021 as part of the university’s updated General Studies Program…“These Diversity Perspectives courses must … embrace the philosophical underpinning of identity politics,” reported John Sailor, a research associate at the National Association of Scholars. “According to notes from the university’s Liberal Studies Committee, foreign language courses fail to qualify for diversity designation. Why? ‘Because they do not incorporate critical theory which the [Diversity Curriculum Committee] expects of the courses it approves.’”
The course requirements are the implementation of a Diversity Strategic Plan drafted in Fall 2020 which “focuses and prioritizes the university’s attention and resources around diversity, inclusion, and a culturally competent environment for all.” While the plan called for an increase of 20 percent of students taking DEI courses, the General Studies requirements approved by the Arizona Board of Regents on October 1, 2021 apply to all students.
Arizona taxpayers’ state funding for Northern Arizona University comes in at more than $132 million annually. Matt Beienburg, director of education policy at the Goldwater Institute, told The College Fix via email that “Unfortunately, DEI programming appears to be crowding out more scholarly and civic-minded content throughout higher education around the country, including in Arizona.”
Critical theory and critical race theory are also proliferating in K-12 schools. The Minneapolis and St. Paul Public Schools in Minnesota have adopted Ethnic Studies requirements as a high-school graduation requirement. “Less than half of high school students in St. Paul Public Schools (SPPS) are proficient in math or reading but” soon all of them “will be required to take a Critical Ethnic Studies (CES) course before they can graduate,” reports the Center of the American Experiment. “Course concepts will include: identity, intersectionality, race, dominant/counter narratives, racism, white supremacy, racial equity, oppression, systemic oppression, resistance and resilience, social/youth-led movements, civic engagement, hope and healing, and transformation and change.”
These courses use critical race theory texts such as How to be an Antiracist, and other texts that “support CRT’s key concepts, including race essentialism, systemic racism, active racial discrimination and anti-capitalism.” Critical race theory is a radical ideology that is hostile to the free market economy, equating it with racism: “To love capitalism is to end up loving racism. To love racism is to end up loving capitalism….Capitalism is essentially racist; racism is essentially capitalist,” says the best-selling book promoting critical race theory, “How to Be An Antiracist.” That book is a “comprehensive introduction to critical race theory,” gushes the leading progressive media organ Slate. It advocates discrimination against whites, saying, “The only remedy to past discrimination is present discrimination [against whites]. The only remedy to present discrimination is future discrimination.”
The St. Paul schools also cite the protocol “Courageous Conversation” as part of Critical Ethnic Studies. That CRT-influenced protocol has “guided school districts to deem traits such as the ability to plan ahead and ’emphasizing individualism as opposed to a more collective ideology’ as attributes of ‘whiteness.’” Schools have also disparaged individualism and planning ahead as signs of “cultural racism,” under its baneful influence.
These school systems are not alone. Detroit’s school superintendent, Nikolai Vitti, says critical race theory is deeply embedded in his school system: “Our curriculum is deeply using critical race theory, especially in social studies, but you’ll find it in English language arts and the other disciplines. We were very intentional about…embedding critical race theory within our curriculum.”
“Unequivocally, critical race theory is taught in K-12 public schools,” said the Heritage Foundation’s Jonathan Butcher, noting he wrote a research paper detailing numerous instances of school districts openly using the phrase “critical race theory” in curriculum plans.
Seattle Public Schools noted that its “Black Studies” class includes critical race theory. “Critical Race Theory” is also “explicitly included in a course at Ballard High School in Seattle,” reports the conservative Washington Examiner. Seattle is reportedly injecting critical race theory into its curriculum, including a mandatory Black Studies course “that will be required for graduation from Seattle Public Schools.”
“Minnesota’s proposed new social studies standards” would mandate “Ethnic Studies” embedded with concepts found in critical race theory, according to the Center of the American Experiment. Police have existed since the ancient Sumerian civilization, thousands of years ago. They did not originate with slave patrols, and organized U.S. police forces began in the northeast, not the slaveholding south. But Minnesota is apparently preparing to teach students the false claim that policing began with slave patrols.