The Ohio Board of Education (BOE) this week dropped its Critical Race Theory (CRT) resolution that activists described as “anti-racist,” and critics described as “divisive.”
The original version, called Resolution 20, was implemented in the wake of the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis, which sparked nationwide riots. That resolution has already been pulled offline, but included some of the basic tenets of CRT.
Some of the resolution’s preamble follows:
“Whereas profound disparities between Black, Indigenous and People of Color (BIPOC) students and their white peers exist in all parts of the Ohio education system; and
Whereas a culturally responsive curriculum reflects the history and background of all students, and empowers students to value all cultures, not just their own; and
Whereas “separate but equal” is no longer the law of the land, but systemic inequity in education has relegated millions of children of color to under-resourced, struggling schools; and
The BOE then resolved that it “shall require training for all state employees and contractors working with the Department of Education to identify their own implicit biases so that they can perform their duties to the citizens of Ohio without unconscious racial bias,” and that “the State Board of Education directs the Ohio Department of Education to reexamine the Academic Content Standards and Model Curriculums to make recommendations to the State Board of Education as necessary to eliminate bias and ensure that racism and the struggle for equality are accurately addressed.”
The new version is called Resolution 13, which recognizes that there might be some racial disparities in learning in Ohio schools, but that the BOE, according to Attorney General Dave Yost, does not have the authority to order all of its employees to undergo “implicit bias” training.
It resolves “that the State Board of Education similarly condemns any standards, curriculum, or training programs for students, teachers, or staff that seek to ascribe circumstances or qualities, such as collective guilt, moral deficiency, or racial bias, to a whole race or group of people.”
John Hagan, a BOE member, described the new resolution as “not nearly as aggressive.”
The dueling resolutions were both formed during a time when CRT is a hot topic among parents and schools nationwide.
For example, Nicole Silas, parent in South Kingstown, Rhode Island recently filed a lawsuit against the National Education Association (NEA), America’s largest teacher’s union, to release documents pertaining to CRT curriculum in schools nationwide. The lawsuit was filed after the NEA refused to voluntarily hand over the documents.
That occurred after the local school board threatened to sue her for seeking similar documents.
Meanwhile, some on the political left claim that CRT is simply a “right wing conspiracy theory,” and that it does not exist at all in America’s schools.
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