One of President Biden’s first acts in office was to sign an executive order calling for “an ambitious whole-of-government equity agenda.” In pursuit of this goal, on April 19 the Biden Department of Education proposed a new rule which, if adopted, would prioritize federal education grants to public K-12 schools that promote Critical Race Theory, the 1619 Project, and the work of “antiracist” activist Ibram X. Kendi, who calls for unconstitutional racial discrimination against Whites and Asians. The text of the new rule repeatedly accuses America of “systemic racism.” Here’s what you need to know:
The rule proposes a new priority for grant applications titled “Projects That Incorporate Racially, Ethnically, Culturally, and Linguistically Diverse Perspectives into Teaching and Learning.” Applicants would have to describe, among other things, how their schools will “Take into account systemic marginalization, biases, inequities, and discriminatory policy and practice in American history.”
This language is code for Critical Race Theory and other types of extremist curricula that replace traditional history and civics education with identity politics, an obsessive focus on race and ethnicity, history and civics teaching that is highly biased and politicized, and attacks on America’s moral legitimacy.
The proposed rule lauds the New York Times’ widely discredited 1619 Project as a “landmark” that should be incorporated into the classroom. It encourages the teaching of Kendi’s toxic theories in schools across the country – work that explicitly promotes racial discrimination. “The only remedy to past discrimination is present discrimination. The only remedy to present discrimination is future discrimination,” he says.
The new rule would channel money through the Department of Education’s American History and Civics Education programs. These are federal grants that use taxpayer money to fund projects that teach students about U.S. history, government, the Constitution, and civics. The initial budget for the new rule is small, but once established, it would set a precedent for the implementation of a vastly larger new program that would spend $1 billion per year, for six years, on history and civics education.
We must act now to oppose this new rule.
Please submit a comment through Parents Defending Education’s portal, which will guide you through the process and offer suggested text (of course, you can also write your own!)
The deadline for public comment is May 19, 2021.