North Carolina’s school superintendent walked back plans to implement a statewide curriculum that would teach disabled preschoolers to “deconstruct whiteness,” according to a report from Education First Alliance.
Catherine Truitt, North Carolina’s superintendent of public instruction, said she “will not sign” a contract proposal that would teach disabled preschoolers that “we are all products of a racialized society” and that “Whiteness affects everything … inside and outside the classroom.”
“Instead, I will create a new contract proposal that has strict guardrails and new accountability measures to ensure the true needs of our youngest and most vulnerable learners are met,” Truitt said. “As long as I am superintendent, our pre-K classrooms will remain places of play and learning.”
Education groups such as Education First Alliance, No Left Turn in Education, and North Carolina Citizens for Constitutional Rights called on the North Carolina General Assembly to stop funding a statewide program that would teach ideas aligned with critical race theory to special education students, according to an EFA press release.
Critical race theory holds that America is fundamentally racist, yet it teaches people to view every social interaction and person in terms of race. Its adherents pursue what they call anti-racism through the end of merit, objective truth, and adoption of race-based policies.
North Carolina’s Equity and Cultural Responsiveness program defines whiteness as how “customs, culture, and beliefs operate as the standard by which all other groups are compared.” The program encourages “deconstructing whiteness” by “challenging it” and “developing a personal vision for racial justice, and building skills to be accountable allies to people of color.”
During a Jan. 5 meeting, the North Carolina Board of Education approved the extension of a contract with UNC Chapel Hill’s Frank Porter Graham Child Development Center, which has worked since 2013 with the Office of Early Learning of North Carolina’s Department of Public Instruction.
“While we are heartened to see that the superintendent is willing to backtrack on her plans to inject racism into the disabled preschool curriculum across the state, we are keeping a watchful eye on how this process will unfold,” Education First Alliance President Sloan Rachmuth told the Daily Caller News Foundation.
“We’ve been disappointed at the lack of transparency throughout the entire process, and we expect that this procedure will be handled in full view for the public,” Rachmuth said.
Truitt initially denied that the state program was related to critical race theory and moved forward with the contract to allocate millions for the program, according to emails released by EFA.
State school board member Amy White voiced her concerns about the program to Truitt at the board meeting after receiving messages saying that the curriculum teaches the ideas of critical race theory and anti-racism.
The program’s “anti-racist work” is “wholly separate from anything they are doing,” Truitt said at the Jan. 5 meeting.
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