Concerned parents are speaking out all over the state about the implementation of critical race theory in Minnesota public schools.
Parents from Otsego and Elk River recently spoke at the ISD 728 school board meeting to share their opposition to critical race theory and the racial equity lenses being used in school curricula.
Jack Johnson, a parent from Otsego, said he is most concerned that CRT teaches BIPOC students that they cannot accomplish anything on their own.
“I think it teaches our BIPOC children that they are starting from a place with less than other children, and it teaches them that they’re not capable to achieve and be successful on their own without a third party leveling the playing field and giving them something,” he said.
He believes that morals and values, while some parents don’t think these should be taught in the classroom, do play a role in children’s social lives at school and teach them how to act appropriately in society. Critical race theory does not uphold good morals and values, Johnson implied.
“When we teach critical race theory, we’re teaching the white, Latino, and Asian students that they are inherently inferior, and I think it teaches them that they shouldn’t try too hard, because their accomplishments won’t be their own, and they might be taken from them,” he said. “And I want all of our students to try their best because they’re our future.”
Elk River parent Wendy Nelson told the school board that while CRT is an “umbrella term” that looks positive on the surface, it is actually very destructive for all children.
Nelson shared a case study on Edina Public Schools, which used to be fifth in the state for test scores. In 2013, Edina adopted an equity plan called “All for All,” which required “that all aspects of education were going to be viewed through the limited lens of race,” she said.
“By 2017, after adopting the equitable approach, the [Edina] High School literacy rate decreased by 14%. They went from fifth in the state to 29th in the state,” Nelson stated. She added that other subjects followed a similar trajectory from 2013-2017.
Nelson read from a 2017 Star Tribune article that says Edina children are “instructed that their personal, cultural ‘identity’ is irrevocably tied to their skin color.”
That same article, written by the Center of the American Experiment’s Katherine Kersten, says, “At Edina High School, racial identity politics are the leading edge of an agenda that includes an angry, male-bashing feminism and left-wing calls to activism in classrooms.”
Nelson said she hopes the school board and educators in the district will promote curricula that enhance outcomes for students, not the opposite.
“Please, if you care about our kids, let’s get back to high-quality academics. It’s so important,” Nelson added.
A tour called Raise Our Standards, hosted by the Center of the American Experiment, is currently making its way across Minnesota, with the aim of teaching people about the dangers of critical race theory, the leftist agenda it promotes, and its un-American values that harm students.