Misinformation muddies school committee campaign

Critical Race Theory language wrongly enters contest


By JOSH RESNEK

The long arm of right-wing protest about how we teach history to public school children has arisen in Everett, according to a letter the Leader Herald received from School Committeewoman Dana Murray.

In her letter, Murray complained that a candidate running for public office is making claims that “we are implementing Critical Race Theory in our schools. We are not,” she wrote.

Murray is referring, in part, to the raging national debate about how and what school children should be taught about our history given the revisionist determinations being made by those the right-wing consider “politically correct.”

Calls for the history that is taught in public school to detail our nation’s relationship with slavery and servitude, racism and oppression and with the new American demographic featuring the near majority of minority people living in this nation is meeting head-on with the conservative right-wing desire to ban such teaching or at least to question it and to control it to let it stand rather than to rewrite it.

This recent nationwide controversy about what should be done dovetails neatly with the taking down of Confederate-era statues memorializing the heroics of Confederate generals who fought for slavery for the Southern secessionists.

Taking down statues of Christopher Columbus due to his slaughter of indigenous peoples wherever he went is another part of this teaching puzzle public school systems and educators are now trying to work out.

The issue inspires a political, social, economic, and religious divide that cannot presently be bridged.

Murray insists that Culturally Responsive Teaching is being used in the Everett Public Schools. She believes it is “misinformation” to spread in error, during a political campaign period, that EPS is teaching CRS.

The EPS is implementing Culturally Responsive Teaching, which happens to use the same acronym (CRT). I realize this is confusing,” she wrote.

She added that Culturally Responsive Teaching is imperative to the schools.

Further, she stated:

Critical Race Theory” is a very complex field of study and exposure to that material happens in college or graduate school.

By contrast, “Culturally Responsive Teaching” is a necessary next step in moving our school system forward. Malicious and/or ignorant rumors will be hugely detrimental to our students and staff, and must not be propagated.”

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