JACKSON, Mich. — Two Republican state board of education candidates – Linda Lee Tarver and Tami Carlone – spoke to a crowd of about 50 people at a Save Our Schools event Wednesday at the Commonwealth Center, saying that critical race theory and social emotional learning are racially divisive, far-left ideologies that are being promoted by the Jackson County Intermediate School District.
“These are plantations,” Tarver said. “They’re crime scenes for children who had been neglected by their liberal Democrat leaders. It suggests that white people are inherently biased from birth, that you who are of a lighter hue are somehow biased from birth and therefore you need to be taught how to acclimate and socialize in a black and brown society that somehow will allow you to be acceptable citizens of the United States.”
Critical race theory is not part of Michigan’s educational standards. It’s taught almost exclusively in college classrooms, though some ideas that are central to critical race theory, liking the lingering effects of slavery, do show up in K-12 schools.
According to Jackson County Intermediate School District Kevin Oxley critical race theory isn’t part of the curriculum.
“I’m quite confident that critical race theory is not taught in Jackson County Schools. It’s a college level curriculum,” he said. “What Jackson County students strive to do is reach every student where they’re at and teach them the fundamental basics of education, math, science, language arts, social studies.”
Save our Schools says schools in Jackson and across the state are neglecting to teach basic reading and math skills while indoctrinating the children instead.
“Education isn’t rocket science. Michigan used to be a top-rated state for education,” Carlone said. “We know how to do it. They’re doing it on purpose. We need to get back to using proven effective educational methods for our children. It’s not rocket science.”
How did these topics get politicized?
“I think the politicization came out of the fear of lack, or the fear that one’s culture was going to be stripped from them,” said Wayne State Multiculturalism Instructor Truman Hudson Jr. “But, critical race theory doesn’t strip culture. It actually gives us an opportunity to unpack and understand a lot of the structural concerns that have led us to the inequities that exist in our current society.”
He says it's important to understand past and present inequalities in American society and critical race theory is an effort to do just that.
“The goal of critical race theory which is similar to the goals in both English language arts, and social studies is for students to understand where they are situated in society and how their experiences influence others and how the others' experiences influences theirs so then they have to critically understand how society has developed from a citizenship disposition as well preparing them go to into a world that is not so called ‘homogenous,’” he said.
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