By PENNY STARR
A school district in Texas hired a “consultant” after the death of George Floyd to propose changes in classroom lessons, but now, a bill in the state legislature may stop “critical race theory” from being taught in schools.
The bill tackles a number of educational tactics feared by some Republicans to be nascent trends in the classroom, such as “action civics,” overly political curriculums, and a strain of sociological thought which organizes racism through structural rather than interpersonal terms, translated from academia to popular literacy by bestselling writers such as Ibram X. Kendi and commonly called “critical race theory.”
Specifically, the bill would adjust three key areas of education: the state curriculum, classroom education, and training for teachers and other employees. It would require the State Board of Education to include an understanding of the country’s founding documents in the state curriculum standards, as well as an understanding of “the fundamental moral, political, and intellectual foundations of the American experiment in self-government.”
On top of barring teachers from asking students to engage in political activism, the bill would also forbid teachers from promoting racial preferences or concepts like inherent racism and racial guilt. It bans similar ways of teaching with regards to gender, such as fostering guilt on account of sex, teaching inherent or unconscious sexism, and encouraging worse treatment for one sex over another.
The bill would also prohibit school staff from “training, orientation, or therapy that presents any form of race or sex stereotyping or blame on the basis of race or sex.”
Meanwhile, leftist Democrats in Texas are pushing for “action civics,” including SB 1740 from Sen. Judith Zaffirini. Her bill includes teaching children how to “identify proper media sources.”
The bill’s companion in the Texas Senate, Senate Bill (SB) 2202, passed on the second of three readings Wednesday and is expected to pass to the House Thursday.
The Texan reported the Texas Senate has advanced a number of similar bills already, considering in committee a bill that would teach “informed patriotism.”
The bill orders the State Board of Education to require an understanding of America’s founding documents in the school curriculum.