Tuesday, December 5, 2023

Virginia governor bans critical race theory and appoints anti-CRT supporters to key education positions

During his first term in office, Virginia Governor Glenn Youngkin fulfilled his campaign promise by banning the state’s public schools from teaching critical racial theory, which he called an “inherently divisive” concept.

Youngkin, who was sworn in as governor of Richmond on Saturday, signed nine executive orders and two executive directives to address some of the thorny issues he admires, with the first on the list aimed at stopping “the use of divisive concepts, including critical races.” Theory in public education”.

“Concepts that are inherently divisive, such as Critical Race Theory and its offspring, teach students to view life only through the lens of race and
suggests that some students are consciously or unconsciously racists, sexists, or despots, while other students are victims. This deprives our students of the opportunity to receive important facts, basic knowledge, formulate their own opinions and think for themselves,” the order says.

“Our children deserve much more from their education than from being told what to think.”

Specifically, the executive order directs the Virginia Superintendent of Education to review all policies, programs, academic standards, and curricula in the Department of Education to determine if they promote or endorse divisive concepts such as CRT. The order also prohibits any superintendent from “directing or otherwise compelling students to personally affirm, accept, or adhere to inherently separative concepts.”

The order defines “separative concepts” as ideas that violate federal anti-discrimination laws, such as that one race is inherently superior to another race, that any person should be discriminated against or treated badly because of his or her race; that everyone should be held accountable for the actions committed in the past by others of the same race; or that a person’s moral character is inherently determined by his or her race.

Youngkin appointed two women to senior leadership positions to ensure that his order was carried out. Both appointees are prominent critics of progressive activism in K-12 schools and advocates for parents to have more say in their children’s education.

Jillian Balou, who has served as Wyoming’s superintendent since 2015, resigned last week to accept Youngkin’s job offer as principal. In September 2021, she joined two Republican senators to announce a bill (pdf) that would require schools to post online a list of all the teaching materials they use.

“K-12 classrooms are not the right forum for radical political theory like CRT,” Balou said. “This bill gives parents the tools they need to oversee what is being taught in their district and provides districts with guidance on comprehensive U.S. history and civics education.”

Elizabeth Schultz was appointed by Youngkin as the next Assistant Superintendent. A senior fellow at parental advocacy group Parents Defending Education, Schultz has actively fought attempts to implement CRT in Fairfax and Loudon County, two of the largest counties in her state.

“Despite the protests of school boards in Fairfax and Loudoun that they do not ‘teach’ this, for many years there has been a comprehensive, deliberate and manipulative effort by school staff and school boards,” Schultz wrote in his article. last year, pointing to a number of initiatives aimed at promoting “fairness” and social justice.

Meanwhile, the current version of the Virginia Governor’s website no longer includes a page for Chief Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI), a position Janice Underwood held during the Northam administration. The Epoch Times contacted the Yongkin administration to confirm whether the DEI office at the cabinet level had been liquidated.

Bill Peng

To follow


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