White House supports teacher unions and CRT programs

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The Biden administration on Friday signaled its support for teaching the “anti-racism” curriculum in public schools, engaging in an ongoing cultural war against critical race theory unfolding in cable news and on television. school board meetings across the country.

When asked about a recent decision by the National Education Association to support controversial progressive teachings on race, White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki told RealClearPolitics that President Biden believes “children should learn more about our history, “including the view that” there is systemic racism that still has an impact on society today. “

Psaki continued that the President and the First Lady, who is also a longtime educator, believe that “there are a lot of dark moments, and it’s not just slavery and racism in our history”.

“And he believes, as I believe, as a parent of children, that children should learn more about our history. So as the wife of an educator, “added the press secretary,” he continues to believe that children should learn not only the good ones, but also the challenges of our history, and that is part of that. which we are talking about here, even as it has become politically charged.

Almost underlining Psaki’s argument that the issue has become politically charged, an account managed by House Republicans responded on Twitter: “Critical race theory is NOT ancient history. It is an ideological program intended to divide us.

The press secretary’s response was the clearest expression to date of the White House’s position in a larger ideological battle for the soul of the nation. Progressives who espouse critical race theory argue that whites should embrace the benefits of systemic racism woven into the fabric of this country’s past and present. The Conservatives reject this qualification. While agreeing that school children should learn about slavery and racism, they say the current approach pushed by progressive educators goes too far.

In a similar vein, Russ Vought, president of the Center for Renewing America, told RCP that the White House “may continue to confuse”, but people already know that teaching theory “is not about learning it. ‘story is the indoctrination that America is systematically racist and people should be judged by the color of their skin, rather than the content of their character. “

Vought, who drafted former President Trump’s executive order banning CRT in the federal government, argued that Biden had made the theory “the governing paradigm of his administration, insisting on dividing the country on the basis of race”.

The back and forth comes as schools across the country prepare to welcome students to class in person later this summer, and the country’s two largest teachers‘ unions pledge to support their members in the teaching theory.

At its annual meeting, the National Association of Educators adopted an agenda item stating that “it is reasonable and appropriate for the program to be informed by academic executives to understand and interpret the impact of the past on present-day society, including critical race theory ”.

NEA President Becky Pringle urged teachers to embrace similar teachings in their lesson plans, saying, “If this great experiment in democracy is to be successful, if the people of our nation are to prosper, we must continually do the work to challenge ourselves and others to dismantle the interconnected racist systems and economic injustices that have perpetuated systemic inequalities.

The NEA and the American Teachers Federation are preparing legal challenges to state laws that remove these lessons from the curriculum. At least six states have passed new laws limiting how breed can be taught in the classroom, The Associated Press reported, and similar proposals are being considered in more than a dozen more.

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott passed a bill last month that prohibits schools from teaching students that anyone “should experience discomfort, guilt, anguish, or any other form of psychological distress. Because of their race or gender. Freedom and equality, by law, should be taught as “genuine founding principles”, not slavery or racism, according to a majority of Texas lawmakers.

It’s no surprise that the White House is siding with the teachers’ unions. On the first full day of the new administration, Dr Jill Biden hosted a summit to celebrate educators, and only two guests were invited to the White House: the heads of the country’s two largest public teacher unions. “I am so proud that you are leading the NEA, which as you probably know is my union,” the first lady told Pringle. Weingarten, the AFT chief, has been described the first lady as “the kind of general who is never far from the front lines”.

She promised that with her husband as president, unions “will always have a place around the table.”

“Together, we will transform the education system in our country. And when we do that, we will change the course of our future forever, ”she added. “And if you ever wonder if it’s possible, remember that the First Lady of the United States is one of you.”


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