Opinion
Equity & Diversity Letter to the Editor

Critical Race Theory Doesn’t Help Kids

October 26, 2020 1 min read

To the Editor:

In the October 7 issue, David E. DeMatthews and Terri N. Watson claim that critical race theory “is not propaganda or anti-American” (“No, Critical Race Theory Isn’t ‘Anti-American’”). They are wrong on both counts.

In the very same sentence DeMatthews and Watson claim the theory is not propaganda, they explain that critical race theory “presupposes that racism is embedded within society and institutions.” If the existence of systemic racism is “presupposed” rather than argued for, that sounds more like propaganda than a conclusion reached after a careful examination of the evidence.

Two of the authors they cite, Richard Delgado and Jean Stefancic, state in Critical Race Theory: An Introduction, "[C]ritical race theory questions the very foundations of the liberal order, including equality theory, legal reasoning, Enlightenment rationalism, and neutral principles of constitutional law.” Because these principles are bedrock to American democracy, a theory that undermines them has a fair claim to be considered “anti-American.”

While the authors claim that using critical race theory will help Black and Indigenous students and students of color, they provide no examples of it doing so. While I can find no examples, either, I do find arguments that appear to use critical race theory to criticize the few schools that are closing the gap in standardized testing scores between white and Black and Hispanic students.

By using disparities of outcome as an unquestionable signal of present racism, critical race theorists are pressuring educators across our country to lower behavioral and academic standards to achieve a shallow version of “equity” that covers up deeper problems.

EdWeek shouldn’t carry water for this nonsensical, destructive, and intellectually shabby ideology.

Dane Roberts

Executive Director

Monticello Academy

Salt Lake City, Utah

Related Tags:

A version of this article appeared in the October 28, 2020 edition of Education Week as Critical Race Theory Doesn’t Help Kids

Events

This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
Sponsor
Future of Work Webinar
Digital Literacy Strategies to Promote Equity
Our new world has only increased our students’ dependence on technology. This makes digital literacy no longer a “nice to have” but a “need to have.” How do we ensure that every student can navigate
Content provided by Learning.com
Mathematics Online Summit Teaching Math in a Pandemic
Attend this online summit to ask questions about how COVID-19 has affected achievement, instruction, assessment, and engagement in math.
School & District Management Webinar Examining the Evidence: Catching Kids Up at a Distance
As districts, schools, and families navigate a new normal following the abrupt end of in-person schooling this spring, students’ learning opportunities vary enormously across the nation. Access to devices and broadband internet and a secure

EdWeek Top School Jobs

Speech Therapists
Lancaster, PA, US
Lancaster Lebanon IU 13
Elementary Teacher
Madison, Wisconsin
One City Schools

Read Next

Equity & Diversity Opinion 'We Can’t Wait Until People Feel Comfortable Talking About Race'
White Fragility and Pushout: The Criminalization of Black Girls in School are two of many books on race suggested by four educators.
15 min read
Images shows colorful speech bubbles that say "Q," "&," and "A."
iStock/Getty
Equity & Diversity Opinion Tackling the 'Taboo' of Talking About Race & Privilege
Four educators share suggestions for books and articles white educators can read to learn more about race and racism.
14 min read
Images shows colorful speech bubbles that say "Q," "&," and "A."
iStock/Getty
Equity & Diversity Opinion How to Make Anti-Racism More Than a Performance
Whether white people are ready or not, policies have to change, writes the co-founder of the Abolitionist Teaching Network.
5 min read
Illustration shown.
Nip Rogers for Education Week
Equity & Diversity Opinion How Teachers Can Get America's Story Right
The attack on the U.S. Capitol shows why we need more inclusive schools, writes a teacher advocate.
Scott Goldstein
3 min read
18Goldstein 1126473545
iStock/Getty