By Ashley Varner for RealClearPolitics
If you think teachers’ unions were discouraged to learn that nearly two-thirds of American adults hold an unfavorable view of Critical Race Theory (CRT) or that their own outspoken advocacy of the curriculum has proved to be political Kryptonite, you’re either overestimating their concern for what anyone else believes or underestimating their determination to turn schools into liberal indoctrination centers.
CRT, which teaches white students they are guilty of racism solely because of their skin color while assuring Blacks they are the victims of institutional racism that permeates every facet of American life, caused a national firestorm starting in 2020, when millions of students were banned from the classroom and forced to learn from home because of COVID concerns.
Perhaps the sole silver lining of the COVID school shutdowns is that it gave parents an unprecedented opportunity to hear firsthand what their children were being taught.
However, with schools now largely reopened and the complicit mainstream media eager to sweep the ugly controversy under the rug, CRT gets few headlines these days.
But don’t kid yourself into thinking unions have seen the light or thrown in the towel on spreading hate.
Last week, in fact, it came out that the 75,000-member Maryland State Education Association (MSEA) — the local affiliate of the 3 million-member National Education Association (NEA) — is offering grants to teachers and local union affiliates using the classroom to inculcate students in the “national demands” of the organization Black Lives Matter at School.
The (MSEA) is offering $1,000 per local affiliate or individual member for “expenses related to activities and events planned to support the Black Lives Matter at School movement.”
Meanwhile, the Biden administration and liberals in Washington are eager to pump millions of taxpayer dollars into a union-backed model of schools that prominently features CRT concepts.
Biden’s 2023 fiscal budget seeks $468 million to fund a so-called “community schools” program focused on embedding “culturally relevant” pedagogy and “restorative justice” practices within its structure, according to the Coalition for Community Schools.
The Department of Education promotes the coalition — which includes the American Federation of Teachers (AFT), the nation’s second-largest teachers’ union — on its community schools webpage.
While proponents of the program hide its true objectives behind banal terms like “restorative justice” and “culturally relevant/responsive pedagogy,” critics note the language is nothing more than new packaging for the same, old bad product.
“When parents hear terms like … ‘culturally responsive education,’ and ‘restorative justice’ … they would be fundamentally correct to go to a school board meeting and complain about Critical Race Theory,” said Max Eden, a research fellow at the Heritage Foundation.
And when they do, the Biden Justice Department will classify them as domestic terrorists, if history is any judge.
The union component in both of the examples cited above — and countless others — is hardly coincidental. Both the NEA and AFT donated millions to the Biden election campaign in 2020, leading the president to promise his would be the most “union-friendly administration you’ve ever seen.”
Anyone who doubts Biden has overperformed on at least this promise hasn’t been watching as the president has championed dozens of programs lavishing potentially billions of taxpayer dollars onto his union cronies.
Other administrations have rightfully been accused of catering to special interests, but the spectacle of the federal Centers for Disease Control allowing the AFT to dictate its policy regarding when students would be allowed to resume in-class learning wasn’t simply a case of the tail wagging the dog.
It is evidence that one has literally taken the place of the other.
AFT’s own internal polling this summer revealed that thousands of its members are fed up with being ordered to proselytize students in the religion of wokeness rather than teach core subjects like reading, math and science, and many said they would consider leaving the profession in the near future if conditions don’t improve.
In the meantime, tens of thousands have already successfully opted out of their union, with more breaking free every day. But rather than eschewing politics, the unions seem determined to double down on radicalism and intransigence.
That anyone other than a race huckster who stands to benefit financially from the movement would espouse the toxic waste being peddled as Critical Race Theory is confounding enough. But for the unions that claim to represent only the best interests of this nation’s educators to embrace so divisive and factually barren a philosophy simply lays bare their true objectives for all to see.
Syndicated with permission from RealClearWire.
Ashley Varner is the vice president of communications for the Freedom Foundation.
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