top of page

Local Opinion: What did you learn in school today?

Michael Schaller, regents professor emeritus of history at the University of Arizona, discusses Critical Race Theory (CRT) in his opinion article in yesterday's Arizona Daily Star. This article resonates with us (read our own blog article on CRT here), so we decided to share an excerpt with you. Prof. Schaller writes:

What did you learn in school today?

"As the midterm elections near, voters are deluged with claims that “woke” educators and their Democratic enablers use public schools as radical laboratories teaching children to loathe themselves for being white and to disrespect their country. ... Many Republican legislators and candidates in Arizona, as in several states, have denounced Critical Race Theory (CRT) ... as threats to the republic. They have promoted initiatives such as “patriotic education” ... as antidotes. ...

CRT, the current educational bogey man, is a methodology originally developed in law schools. It examines how laws and policies may have intended or unintended racially disparate impacts. A typical example I’ve used in my college U.S. history classes is the National Highway System begun in 1956. Although the law had no overt racial content, it impacted urban minority communities in profound ways. Since highway builders were required to economize by plotting roads along the least expensive routes, in cities that path routinely led through minority communities where property values were low. In cities such as Miami, this resulted in expressways either demolishing minority enclaves or fracturing them with multilane highways. There are many similar “race neutral” policies, such as zoning codes prohibiting multi-unit construction, that differentially impact minorities.

Acknowledging these facts neither “shames” white students nor undermines American ideals. Rather, it calls on us to recognize the complex role of race in so many aspects of our national life. Nevertheless, in Arizona and other states legislators have moved to ban CRT without understanding it and to shift public education funding towards unregulated private and religious schools. Some conservatives counter the left’s appeal of “defund the police” with a cry to “defund the schools.”

I worry, however, that if the more extreme candidates for state government are elected, a new generation of educators will be forced to swear their antipathy towards Critical Race Theory and other “subversive” concepts(.)"

12 views0 comments
bottom of page