Q&A – Is Critical Race Theory Being Taught In Florida’s Schools?

Today’s entry: Brian, do county or city governments spend any taxpayer money on Critical Race Theory or similar training?

Bottom Line: Critical Race Theory isn’t a new concept and the effort to introduce it into our education establishments isn’t either. The first publication of Critical Race Theory took place in 2001 after the project to introduce the theory began during the Clinton administration in 1993 but had widely been ignored by education establishments until recently. The proliferation of social justice adaptation by companies, sports leagues, and other aspects of our society in recent months has helped the movement accomplish more in the past few months than they had in the prior two decades. 

First, here’s a look at what Critical Race Theory teaches. CRT is based on the five following assumptions:

  1. The notion that racism is ordinary
  2. The idea of an interest convergence (where the majority, whites, allow for repression of minorities for personal benefit)
  3. The social construction of race (Where public policy/perception is different based on race)
  4. The idea of storytelling and counter-storytelling (Where the majority, white values, are the focus of culture/education to the detriment of minorities)
  5. The notion that whites have been recipients of civil rights legislation (where whites have benefited from policy crafted for the benefit of minorities)

As for the adaptation by schools, the reason is driven by the 1619 Project, based on CRT which was created by the New York Times and perpetuated by the Pulitzer Center. The 1619 Project was awarded a Pulitzer Prize and subsequently shared to 4,500 schools across the country by the Pulitzer Center which included South Florida’s schools. Now, does that mean it’s being taught? No, at least not as part of the curriculum. The Florida Department of Education sets the curriculum which is currently in transition from Common Core and it doesn’t include CRT. Now, is it possible for a teacher here and there, or perhaps even a school to go rouge? I guess it’s possible, but I’ve not heard any concrete examples of this in our schools. That’s not the case elsewhere. There is currently an effort to offer a class as an elective in the Palm Beach County School District entitled, Prejudice and Power for middle school students which appears to have tenants of CRT within it, however, it’s not been approved by the state.

CRT has been adopted by the California public school system, along with Buffalo, Chicago, and Washington D.C.’s school districts including it within its history education. The Trump administration is challenging California’s adaptation.

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Photo by: Getty Images North America

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