Reclaiming the Narrative
February 01, 2023
Appears in February 2023: School Administrator.
Pushing back to protect good teaching, important content and students’ sense of belonging
In the past three years, public schools have become culture war battlegrounds as politically motivated groups targeted initiatives around race, equity, social emotional learning, gender identity and diversity and inclusion concepts.
In Florida, adopted textbooks were removed for supposedly promoting social emotional learning, social justice and critical race theory. The Forest Hills, Ohio, school board eliminated the district’s annual Diversity Day and banned from student instruction, staff training and hiring practices anything perceived as critical race theory, intersectionality, identity or anti-racism curriculum. In Texas, the Grapevine-Colleyville Independent School District board restricted how teachers discuss race, gender and sexuality and which bathrooms transgender students may use.
A UCLA study titled “The Conflict Campaign” found nearly 900 school districts serving 18 million students were subjected to anti-CRT campaigns in 2020 and 2021. Nationwide, superintendents were ousted or resigned as newly elected board members challenged directions around equity and other district priorities.