To the Editor:

Around my neighborhood, I see many yards posting “No CRT” signs along with certain school board candidates’ names. As you consider your vote for school board representatives, please be aware that school boards do not determine the social studies content taught in Minnesota public schools. The state department of education determines content by creating and amending the Minnesota State Academic Standards. See https://education.mn.gov/mde/dse/stds/.

These standards are designed to ensure a high-quality education and are reviewed every 10 years. Candidates attempting to link themselves with an anti-CRT agenda are either 1) trying to deceive and win over voters by promising to change standards controlled by the Department of Education or 2) ignorant of how academic content is determined in Minnesota. Anti-CRT proponents have conflated critical race theory, a lens through which to view history and the impact of racism in America with culturally responsive teaching, an educational movement of sensitivity and inclusion with roots reaching as far back as the 1970s with the rise of special education.

Although critical race theory and culturally responsive teaching are not the same, they share an acronym, perhaps contributing to confusion among voters. Culturally responsive teaching attempts to provide a suitable education for every student and to remove barriers that prevent children from succeeding. This practice is just an extension of a general effort on the part of schools to be inclusive of all students, regardless of race, economic status, physical or mental disability, neurotypicality, or level of English proficiency. I hope we can all agree that addressing the specific needs of children is a societal good. Thank you for educating yourself fully on school board issues and voting responsibly. For a nuanced discussion of CRT and the impact of the anti-CRT movement, see https://www.edweek.org/leadership/what-is-critical-race-theory-and-why-is-it-under-attack/2021/05

Roxanne Cornell

Plymouth

Copyright © 2021 at Sun Newspapers. Digital dissemination of this content without prior written consent is a violation of federal law and may be subject to legal action.

Load comments