During the first days of his administration, President Joe Biden signed Executive Order 13985, which would allow the Federal Government to pursue a comprehensive approach to advancing equity for all and identify the best practices for assessing equity issues. And despite the national rejection of race equity programs, the Education Department recently proposed federal grant rules for prioritizing both critical race theory and the ‘dangers of misinformation’ being taught in the classroom. Seems like the ‘woke’ programs are about to go federal.
These grants would advance the effectiveness of funding these programs and pushing them through public education institutions. Instead of strengthening the knowledge among students about how government works, the proposed rule would immediately pivot to learning about critical race theory and how systemic racism has been highlighted throughout society.
The Department of Education states that the grants would offer “culturally responsive teaching and learning” in a post-George Floyd school environment and help students develop the skills necessary to distinguish fact from misinformation. It goes on to cite from the 1619 Project and Ibrahim X. Kendi’s book “How To Be An Antiracist” in talking about the consequences of slavery, significant contributions of Black Americans to society, and validating the diversities, identities, histories, contributions, and experiences of all students.
The proposed grants would prioritize applications from school districts that implement critical race theory, the 1619 Project, and ‘anti-racism’ into the civics curriculum. The DOE would consider applications that propose creating “inclusive, supportive, and identity-safe learning environments” where applicants can note systemic marginalization, biases, inequalities, and discriminatory policies in American history. They talked about how civics education in America could use a “boost” and that understanding the knowledge of the Bill of Rights is one goal.
Executive Order 13985 also cites how our country is facing “converging economic, health, and climate crises that have exposed and exacerbated inequities.” It explains that the historic movement for justice has highlighted the “unbearable human costs of systemic racism” and that our nation deserves an “ambitious whole-of-government equity agenda.”
The DOE would also prioritize applications that encourage students to “learn how to gather and evaluate sources of information, and then use evidence from that information to develop and support their ideas and advocacy positions.” Students would be taught to attack the source of the information itself, rather than dissecting pieces of the information. The DOE even cites a 2017 Brookings Institution report that found investing in news literacy should be high on any government’s agenda.
You can read the full proposal here.
Stanley Kurtz, who wrote about Kendi’s book “How To Be An Antiracist” called the prioritization “reverse discrimination” and even described some of the lessons in Critical Race Theory to Neo-racism. He points out how dangerous it is to make critical race theory a centerpiece of American education and calls President Biden out for trying to use civics education as a ‘vehicle’ for these radical-left narratives.
“The programs immediately targeted by Biden’s new priority criteria for American history and civics grants are small. Once in place, however, those criteria will undoubtedly influence the much larger and vastly more dangerous “Civics Secures Democracy Act.” That bill would appropriate $1 billion a year, for six years, for history and civic education. Support for leftist “action civics” is already written into the priority criteria of the bill itself,” Kurtz said.
The claim about America’s origins is not only rejected by Republicans but historians as well. The 1619 Project, Critical Race Theory, and teaching kids about misinformation is another politically motivated move to present American history through a false lens and teach students to experience everything through the prism of race and racial conflict.