Texas becomes latest state to ban critical race theory

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Republican Texas Gov. Greg Abbott signed legislation to ban the teaching of critical race theory on Tuesday.

The legislation details how and what educators can teach as it relates to the history of the United States. The text of the legislation does not actually mention “critical race theory” by name, though it does forbid teachers from “requir[ing] or mak[ing] part of a course” the 1619 Project.

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The 1619 Project, which a group of New York Times reporters created, evaluates the founding of the U.S. through the perspective of slavery, though there have been questions about the factual accuracy of the project.

The text of the law includes language that bans the teaching of the underpinnings of the 1619 Project, saying, “Slavery and racism are anything other than deviation from, betrayals of, or failures to live up to, the authentic founding principles of the United States.”

Several Republican-led states passed laws preventing the teaching of critical race theory, which claims "racism is a normal and ordinary part of our society, not an aberration," according to a seminar developed by Fordham Law School's Center on Race, Law, and Justice.

The law mandates the teaching of various figures, including George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Frederick Douglass, the women’s suffrage and equal rights movements, and the civil rights movement.

States that have banned or restricted critical race theory or related concepts include Arkansas, Idaho, North Dakota, Oklahoma, and South Dakota, while states that have debated and/or partially passed similar legislation include Arizona, Florida, Iowa, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Tennessee, Utah, West Virginia, and Wisconsin.

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Critics of the bans argue that Republicans are using critical race theory as a catch-all term to ban teaching about racism in the United States.

“The specific references by Republicans to banning Critical Race Theory and the 1619 Project make it clear that they want this to be a wedge issue for state and local political races,” said the Texas chapter of the American Federation of Teachers in a May statement. “The bill is part of a national movement by conservatives trying to sow a narrative of students being indoctrinated by teachers. Our members rightfully have expressed outrage against this insult of their professionalism to provide balanced conversations with students on controversial issues.”

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Tags: News, Critical Race Theory, Texas, Education

Original Author: Mike Brest

Original Location: Texas becomes latest state to ban critical race theory

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