The COVID-19 pandemic and heightened tensions over the teaching of racial and social issues have made curriculum, school boards, and education transparency a top priority among grassroots, parents, students, and politicians alike. Grassroots (citizen activists in a community) must have the tools they need to advocate for transparent and quality spending of their tax payer dollars.
As our students go back to school, it is more important than ever that grassroots activists have the resources they need to actively engage in students’ education and make sure schools are held accountable. Roughly 56 million students are attending elementary and secondary schools in America, and taxpayers have the right to transparency and accountability in their school district.
In a recent poll from Parents Defending Education, 80 percent of people opposed the use of classrooms to promote political activism. When asked, the overwhelming majority of Americans did not want students taught political propaganda that America is structurally racist, indoctrinated with anti-scientific ideas that there is no such thing as biological sex, taught that white students are inherently privileged and oppressors toward other minority groups, and/or taught historical distortions about America’s founding being rooted in racism.
Despite the opposition to these dubious teachings, the political rise of “wokeness” and ideas such as Critical Race Theory (CRT), The 1619 Project, and action civics have brought these race-centric concepts and policies into thousands of schools across the country (Burke et al., n.d.-a). Examples across the country include:
- An elementary school in Philadelphia forced fifth-grade students to simulate a black power rally, and the 10 and 11-year-old students marched on a stage with signs that said “Jail Trump” and “Black Power.” The entirety of the Philadelphia Public School System has adopted a new “Antiracism Declaration,” and the local teachers union put out a video denouncing the United States as a “colony built on White supremacy and capitalism.”
- Evanston/Skokie School District 65 in Illinois is teaching K-8 students that “Racism is a white person’s problem and we are all caught up in it,” that “White people have a very, very serious problem and they should start thinking about what they should do about it,” and that white students should “sit in [their] discomfort” (Southeastern Legal Foundation, 2021).
- North Carolina’s largest school district launched a campaign against “whiteness in educational spaces” and instructed teachers to ignore parents’ concerns about their equity programs (Rufo, 2021c).
- In Cupertino, California, an elementary school required third graders to analyze their racial identities and rank themselves according to their “power and privilege” (Rufo, 2021a).
- The lesson plans of public schools in Buffalo, New York, suggest that when students are in kindergarten, teachers ask students to compare their skin color and watch a video that illustrates dead black kids speaking to them about the dangers of being killed by “racist police and state-sanctioned violence” (Rufo,2021b).
- Oregon Department of Education has adopted CRT in mathematics, going as far as to say that White supremacy is reinforced by the belief that teachers are teachers and students are students and that valuing independent work is White Supremacy culture.
- California education officials are urging teachers to adopt “A Pathway to Equitable Math Instruction: Dismantling Racism in Mathematics Instruction.” The guide is geared explicitly toward math but provides a “collective approach to dismantling white supremacy.”
- Rockville Center High School in New York gave out a homework assignment that “demonized” the police.
- This is proof that grassroots have the right to be concerned that these teachings could come to their schools. The United States has worked hard to develop into a country driven by character, work ethic, and virtue, not a race and biological identity. The growing movement of race-centric, anti-American thought and rhetoric in our schools threatens to dismantle that very achievement. These policies are a step back into a time when it was acceptable to treat people differently based on the color of their skin.
Public schools and state and local district school boards are accountable to the taxpayer. With the appropriate tools, grassroots can become involved and ensure that students are receiving the best possible education. There has never been a more critical time to advocate for our students and the preservation of America.
This toolkit provides 8 ways for grassroots to ensure that students have access to quality education.