NC Education Groups: Stop Funding CRT Training for Disabled Preschoolers

Jan 11, 2022 by

How North Carolina could boost learning in early childhood - EducationNC

North Carolina education groups urged the state’s General Assembly to halt funding of a program that teaches CRT to disabled preschoolers.

Grassroots education groups in North Carolina have called on the state’s General Assembly to halt funding of a program that teaches tenets of Critical Race Theory (CRT) in preschool special education classrooms.

Education First Alliance, No Left Turn in Education, and NC Citizens for Constitutional Rights — North Carolina’s largest education groups — announced Saturday they are demanding an end to the funding of the statewide preschool program that contains training modules titled “Equity and Cultural Responsiveness in the Early Childhood Classroom.”

The call to halt the funding of the program came within days of the State School Board’s approval of a contract with University of North Carolina (UNC) Chapel-Hill’s Frank Porter Graham’s Child Development Center, a press release stated, adding the $7 million in funding was granted from the IDEA Preschool Handicapped Grant awarded to North Carolina by the Office of Special Education Programs (OSEP) at the U.S. Education Department.

“With this vote, North Carolina’s schools became the most radically divisive education system in America,” said Sloan Rachmuth, president of Education First Alliance, who added:

Yes, we are seeing critical race theory in schools elsewhere, but it’s mainly taught in the higher grades. But preying on disabled 3 year old children – getting them to participate in a political movement, and to hate themselves based on skin color in the process, shows our public schools to be more morally corrupt than all others.

According to the statement, the equity and cultural responsiveness training was provided to special needs pre-K teachers through the North Carolina Department of Public Instruction and aligned with the NC Professional Teacher Standards.

The statement notes especially:

During the program’s “Identity” module, teachers are told that whiteness affects everything outside of the classroom, and that the goal of pre-K is to “deconstruct” whiteness for all students. Deconstructing whiteness, they explain, is challenging whiteness and building skills to be accountable to people of color.

According to the education groups, the program encourages three-to-five-year-olds to “question scientific, social and historical facts,” as well as to “question issues of power and control in their lives.”

One slide presented in the press release states the program seeks to build “racial identity” in young children by urging teachers to:

  • Encourage the children to question social, scientific, and historical facts. We want children to question whether information is true.
  • Talk with children about their identities.
  • Present materials that show children of color in positions of power or authority as main characters.
  • Learn and teach about people of color all year; ensure that children of color see themselves in the curriculum.
  • Provide challenging instruction that encourages children to question what they see around them including issues of power and control.

Another section of the training reportedly states children are never safe from pervasive racism. Teachers must understand that the idea of having “control” over a preschool class is based on white norms and is associated with white supremacist thinking. Teachers are urged, instead, to use social-emotional teaching and learning.

The grassroots education groups observed Friday that when state board member Amy White raised concerns to Superintendent Catherine Truitt about the programming for the early childhood teachers, Truitt said the center’s anti-racist work is “wholly separate from anything they are doing.”

Daniel Tetreault, project manager for the Office of Early Learning, said he could not speak to the philosophy of the Frank Porter Graham Child Development Center.

The center, however, released an “anti-racism” statement in June 2020:

We see the fingerprint of deep-seated systemic disparities and inequities fueled by institutionalized racism, hate, and intolerance. These attitudes permeate all evils in our society, at all levels, and degrade our collective humanity. If one of us feels unsafe and vulnerable, we are all vulnerable. Justice and equity can only work for everyone, or they do not work for anyone.

We will redouble our efforts to enhance our support for diversity and inclusion within our organization and our work at all levels. We commit to doing our share to eliminate disparities in our community representation and our work in the study, evaluation, and practice arenas within child and family research, and we will continue to work to inform policies that aim to eliminate such disparities. This is our shared purpose. This is the mission of our work.

The education groups noted the center scrubbed its website of slides and other training materials soon after the state school board meeting adjourned.

“Hiding this controversial material after questions from the public were raised shows the corrupt and ideological intentions behind these trainings,” said Dr. Nancy Andersen, North Carolina leader of No Left Turn in Education, adding:

I showed the Superintendent document after document from these trainings and that she chose to defend using $7M for the divisive program, rather than delaying the vote as she promised, speaks volumes about the incompetence of the education leadership in the state.

In September, North Carolina Republicans passed House Bill 324, a measure that would have limited how teachers may discuss racial concepts in the classroom, through the state legislature. Gov. Roy Cooper (D), however, vetoed the bill.

In April, the Biden education department proposed a rule urging the development of “culturally responsive teaching” in American History and Civics and held up the “1619 Project” as a model for schools to teach children the United States is fundamentally a racist nation.

The U.S. Education Department announced the rule is in keeping with President Joe Biden’s executive order, titled “Advancing Racial Equity and Support for Underserved Communities Through the Federal Government”:

[T]here is growing acknowledgement [SIC] of the importance of including, in the teaching and learning of our country’s history, both the consequences of slavery, and the significant contributions of Black Americans to our society. This acknowledgement [SIC] is reflected, for example, in the New York Times‘ landmark ‘1619 Project’ and in the resources of the Smithsonian’s National Museum of African American History.

Hannah-Jones was awarded a Pulitzer Prize for her “1619 Project” even though, following criticism from noted historians of all political stripes, the newspaper ultimately scrapped the project’s central theme that the true founding of America was 1619, the year the first slaves were brought to the colonies.

Nevertheless, some school districts have already incorporated Hannah-Jones’ work into their history and civics curricula.

Peter Kirsanow, a member of the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights, said in September 2020, the “1619 Project” is “one of the most significant attempts to propagandize history” he has seen in his lifetime.

This is “an all-hands-on-deck situation,” he warned during a National Association of Scholars web conference.

“We have seen what I believe to be a corruption of history, a distortion of history,” he asserted, adding that Hannah-Jones “is using the tools of a 20th-century form of oppression, to consciously, or not, present her version of, and that of many on the left’s, version of slavery in the United States.”

Source: NC Education Groups: Stop Funding CRT Training for Disabled Preschoolers

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