Critical race theory (CRT) is being debated across the state and country after last year’s protests for racial justice. In some states, lawmakers are proposing bills that would ban teaching the academic premise in schools.
Republican lawmakers, pushing bills that would limit teaching concepts such as racial equality and systemic racism, say they believe teaching these subjects creates further divides.
But others say lawmakers are misusing the term as a way to stand in the way of anti-racist education efforts, as the concept is not currently taught in schools.
Earlier this year, 20 attorneys general wrote a letter to the U.S. Secretary of Education saying that his department’s funding through the American History and Civics Education Programs included language that would impose CRT’s teaching in schools.
And groups like the Indianapolis Urban League have spoken out against a document Attorney General Todd Rokita published in June titled “Parents Bill of Rights,” which criticized the theory. The group said he was using the term to misrepresent the goals of diversity advocates in education.
According to the American Bar Associations, CRT operates on principles such as: race is not biologically real, but socially significant, acknowledgment that racism is a normal feature in society embedded within its systems, recognizes that racism is embedded in public policy, and embraces the lived experiences of people of color.
A Reuters poll from July shows many Americans misunderstand the theory. Of the 57 percent of adults who said they were familiar with CRT, 22 percent said they thought it was taught in school. Another 33 percent of the people polled who said they were familiar with it said they thought it said “White people are inherently bad or evil,” which it also does not say.
On this week’s Noon Edition we will talk with education and legal experts about critical race theory and why it’s become a topic of national conversation in recent months. Right after this hour’s news.
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Note: This week of our guests and hosts will participate remotely to avoid risk of spreading infection.
Hardy Murphy, Clinical Professor, IUPUI School of Education
Constance Iloh, Associate Professor, Department of Higher Education, School of Behavioral and Applied Sciences, Azusa Pacific University
Cleveland Hayes, Associate Dean of Academic Affairs, IUPUI School of Education
Kevin Brown, Richard S. Melvin Professor of Law, Maurer School of Law