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Politicized teaching policies won’t stop teachers from prioritizing learning
The topic of critical race theory has become a lightning rod for political combativeness. Educators nationwide have shared stories of parents attributing factual history lessons or discussions to being lessons about CRT, and seeking censorship at the school, city, or regional level. When will teachers reach their breaking point?
Courtney Mauldin is assistant professor at Syracuse University’s School of Education. Dr. Mauldin teaches classes in Educational Leadership, including the EdD seminar course as well as Curriculum and Instructional Leadership for Equity & Excellence.
“Various educators and scholars, including legal scholar Kimberlé Crenshaw who has furthered our understandings of critical race theory (CRT) and intersectionality in her scholarship, have spoken out about this harmful project of painting CRT as divisive in schools. Unfortunately, even with the truth-telling behind what critical race theory actually is, we see that some political leaders continue to attempt to erase relevant and important history and any level of critical engagement for students in schools.
“This reality tells us everything that we need to know. This is not about misunderstanding a theory but rather, something deeper and likely influenced by the consciousness and visible awareness of injustice that Americans had to reckon with after the murders of Breonna Taylor, George Floyd, and so many others whose names we did not hear as often in the mainstream media prior to 2020. We’re seeing these types of regressive policies and practices from various states already – it’s bleeding into our organizations, school districts, and classrooms.
“I’m not sure what the breaking point is for teachers, however I know that we’ve been here before with very similar tactics in place which is unfortunate. Yet, teachers – especially those of color – have persisted and prioritized learning and bringing students’ lived experiences and histories to that learning. You can’t erase that.”
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