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IMPROVING NC SCHOOLS

By Diane Lemieux

I am a retired teacher, administrator and college professor. These are my recommendations for Tim Moore’s House Select Committee/ Education System for NC’s Future.

1. Charter/Private Schools

They are more segregated than traditional public schools (TPS).  By race and also for religion. Public funds shouldn’t be used for religious schools.

They use public funds but are not required to tell anyone how they spend it.  Their budgets and books are not required to be transparent.

They have no required curriculum.  This will lead to a generation of students getting whatever skills and information they were taught instead of a generation where students graduated with similar skills.  One religious school decided to teach their students that there were no such things as dinosaurs. 

They have different criteria for meeting the standards than TPS.  In traditional schools, 80% of the students must meet the standard. In charter/private schools/vouchers, only 60% of the students must meet the standard. Comparing how many students meet the standard is comparing apples to oranges. 

They are sold to parents as a choice, when many of them funnel taxpayer money into private pockets, and their bottom line is profit, not students. End the voucher program and cap charter schools.

2. FUNDING

It is criminal that you and the NCGA have ignored the Leandro recommendations for 20 years.  You should be ashamed of yourselves for declaring that some NC students are more deserving than others. I am ashamed of you.

You are facing a teacher shortage currently and in the pipeline. Do you see teachers and superintendents fleeing? Your requests and demands of them, especially without adequate pay and benefits, are chasing them out the door.  Demands to post a year’s worth of curriculum, lesson plans and all materials online, when parents can access that material at school themselves, is outrageous. 

Adequately and equitably fund teachers, students and schools. We already have a blueprint for the future. Implement the Leandro Recommendations.

3. SCHOOL BOARDS

Your desire to make everything partisan has filtered down to school boards. Try to resist the urge to fire up your base with propaganda such as CRT.  K-12 schools simply don’t teach it.  Stop encouraging and training parents how to disrupt school boards over issues like CRT, book bans and masks and let them do their job. Stop using them to gain votes.  Let them follow science to make their decisions. 

Have you surveyed every parent in the school about masks, books to be banned, and their child’s history instruction?  Was teaching American history OK before 2018?  But now, apparently, it hurts some people’s feelings and shouldn’t be allowed. (Talk about snowflakes) Should we not teach civics, American history, Nazi Germany, civil rights, the constitution?

I want my children to learn about all history, so that we might learn from our mistakes, understand the hate that made some history possible, and to make the world a better place. Schools serve the greater community. Curriculum is designed through a statewide, transparent process. It is designed to create a well-rounded, productive member of society. State standards and curriculum should not be taken over by any small segment of the community or state. If parents want to oversee every curriculum decision and lesson plan, let them start their own school. 

Allow school boards to do their job in a non-partisan fashion for what is best for ALL kids, not just the ones with the loudest parents. 

Freedom to Vote

I live in eastern NC and I value the freedoms that we enjoy in our democracy and I’m sure you do too.  Without a functional democracy, we will all lose the freedom of the press, social security, public education, safe working conditions, fair wages and the right to have a say in our government.


The Freedom to Vote Act sets national standards for us to safely and freely cast our ballots, ensure every vote is counted, and elect people who will deliver for us. Our Senators need to deliver the Freedom to Vote Act to the American people, and to do that, they need to fix the Jim Crow filibuster which is blocking progress of this overwhelmingly popular and urgently needed legislation. The freedom to vote is under attack by extremist state lawmakers across the country who want to put up deliberate barriers to make it harder to vote — especially for people of color. 

The Freedom to Vote Act would protect our right to vote, end partisan gerrymandering, counter undemocratic and dangerous election sabotage efforts, and help to eliminate the undue influence of dark money in our elections. The filibuster has stopped the beginning of debate from happening on the Freedom to Vote Act.  The original Senate rules did not include the filibuster rule. The modern-day filibuster took root during the Jim Crow era, when racist southern senators used it to delay passage of important civil rights legislation. Our Senators need to represent us — their constituents — and these rules prevent change from happening. If we reform Senate rules and fix the filibuster, we have a real chance at: 

Protecting the freedom to vote and getting big money out of politics:

Immigration reform

Gun safety

Raising the minimum wage

Action on climate change

Police accountability and racial justice

Our Senators must do everything they can to pass the Freedom to Vote Act, including fixing the filibuster, to realize the promise of democracy for all.

Diane Lemieux

REALITY CHECK: Guilt vs Progress

Critical Race theory is not taught in our schools. What is taught is our history, some of which is exceptional and some not admirable. Those attempting to ban the teaching of our complete history would deny our children the opportunity to understand it and correct our mistakes, improving our country. Consider Texas textbooks that describe slaves as immigrants and workers. Or saying that an opposing opinion to the holocaust must be taught. Or Virginia, whose textbooks describe slaves as happy. These folks are trying to cancel entire cultures because it makes them feel bad when the truth is told. “Teaching CRT” is a Republican hoax, designed to whip up the base about a lie.

Teaching our history is not the same as “blaming your children”, who were not even alive. If a student feels sad about something done in the past, they could feel empathy, and work to ensure that all people are treated respectfully. Could there be some projection going on here? You feel guilty, so you’re assuming that your children will feel guilty too? Or maybe you just don’t want to admit that our white ancestors were wrong.

Our children are not going to turn on each other because they learn history.  Indeed, some children already exhibit racism, learned from their families, as early as 5 years old.  Children are never too young to be taught about race. Questions about race and all differences should be responded to in an accepting, constructive manner.

Whose history would you cancel next? Native Americans, who colonized NC before Europeans did and were then killed or had their land taken away? Japanese Americans, who were put in concentration camps? Witches, who were killed by men for their independent contrary views?

What books would you ban? Looking back over history, it is fair to say that our values have changed over time. Books are written to entertain, educate, and expand people’s thinking.

The NC Social Studies Standards preamble, written by NC Superintendent of Public Instruction, Catherine Truitt, states, “However, it is important to remember that history itself doesn’t provide the sole explanation for why we have injustices, racism, and discrimination today, be they institutionalized or localized. Our human failings have at times taken the form of racism, xenophobia, nativism, extremism, and isolationism. We need to study history in order to understand how these situations developed, the harmful impact they caused, and the forces and actors that sometimes helped us move beyond these outcomes.”

School discipline policies disproportionately impact students of color. School funding inequities persist; giving white districts $23 billion more than districts serving students of color. I understand that for some people, racism is hard to “see”. But rest assured that it exists.

REALITY CHECK: How Charter Schools Affect Public Schools in NC

The charter school movement began in earnest in North Carolina in 1997 when 34 schools opened across the state. There are now 200 charter schools in operation. The 1996 Charter School Act established the system of tuition-free, public schools that are not bound by many of the rules as traditional public schools. Democrats are more likely not to support them than are Republicans. 

Conservatives tout charters as school choice options that help families flee low-performing schools. Progressives say they siphon money and resources from traditional public schools, and have an advantage because they don’t have to follow the same rules as traditional public schools. Privatization of schools provides easy access to public funds and often lines the pockets of for profit schools and management companies. Public schools accept all children, while charter and private schools can be selective about what students they accept and have been used as vehicles for the resegregation of schools. And then since the schools don’t have the same populations, attempts at comparing their performance is invalid. Most people aren’t aware that the performance standards for charter schools are lower than (traditional) public school. And one last point, the Department of Public Instruction (DPI) required an entire new and separate administrative unit for charter schools, duplicating everything that they were doing prior to charter schools, and costing taxpayers twice the money.

What conservatives and progressives can agree on is that charter schools are likely here to stay for the foreseeable future. Here’s a by the numbers look at North Carolina’s charter schools according to the most recent data:

200 – charters operating in North Carolina as of Oct. 1, 2020

8.4% –  percentage of North Carolina’s 1.5 million school children enrolled in charter schools

47 – charter schools identified as low-performing/continually low-performing during the 2018-19 school year

$10.37 billion – amount North Carolina spent on public education in the most recent annual budget

$734.7 million – amount it allotted for charter schools 

108 – charter schools that provide bus transportation, or a little over half

24 – don’t provide transportation

73 – n charter schools that participate in the National School Lunch Program (NSLP). 

7 –  new charters that opened for the 2020-21school year

10 – scheduled to open in Fall 2021

33 – average number of charter school applications each year since 1996

25.28% – percentage of yearly charter school applications approved by the State Board of Education since 1997

48 – charter schools that have relinquished charters since 1998. 

17 – have had charters revoked since 1998

10 – charters not renewed by the State Board of Education. 

1 – charters assumed by another charter operator

Source: The NC DPI 2020 Annual Charter Schools Report, NC Policy Watch

Lt. Gov. Mark Robinson Must Be Removed from Office

Lee Nackman Lee Nackman/ October 9, 2021

President, Progressive Caucus of NC Democratic Party

In June of this year, N.C. Lt. Governor Mark Robinson referred to gay and transgender citizens as “filth” during a speech at Asbury Baptist Church in Seagrove, N.C.  When the Lt. Governor calls our LGBTQ+ citizens “filth,” he is talking about North Carolinian families – our sons, daughters, mothers, and fathers.  Calling any group identified by ethnicity, sexual orientation, gender, religion, or race “filth” is pure bigotry and has no place in our state government.  

Overt and outspoken bigotry by our elected officials cannot be tolerated.  Sexual orientation and gender are federally protected classes, and gay marriage is a U.S. Constitutional right.  Lt. Gov. Robinson took an oath to “support, maintain and defend the Constitution.”  Mr. Robinson cannot possibly fulfill that oath when he publicly proclaims hatred and disdain for our legally protected gay and transgender citizens.  

The Progressive Caucus of the N.C. Democratic Party unreservedly and absolutely condemns Mr. Robinson’s statements.  Our caucus calls upon his immediate resignation or removal from office. 

Mr. Robinson is the highest-ranking Republican in N.C.’s executive branch.  As such, he holds one of the highest positions of leadership in the N.C. Republican Party.  He is likely to be the Republican candidate for Governor in 2024.  Our caucus also calls upon N.C. Republican leadership to denounce Mr. Robinson’s statements and to demand his resignation.  Failure to do so can only mean that his prejudice and bigotry are accepted and welcomed in the N.C. Republican Party.  

Our caucus also asks that all N.C. citizens regardless of political affiliation denounce Mr. Robinson’s statements and hold Republican leadership to account for its acceptance of Mr. Robinson’s prejudice and bigotry within the Republican party.

REALITY CHECK: DEMOCRATIC SOCIALISM

Do these words scare you?  Read on…

We are living in a capitalistic society, where profit rules everything. Capitalism exploits workers to benefit shareholders. Taken to its extreme, profits for the wealthy become obscene while the lower classes become squeezed out of housing markets and are forced to have multiple jobs with inconsistent hours and no benefits to survive. True democracy offers everyone a voice through a representative system. While America is a democracy, many would argue that  many voices never get represented.

Democratic socialism is a system where ordinary people have a real voice in their workplaces, neighborhoods, and society. It is the optimum compromise between democracy and socialism and would include considering people as well as profits, like we did in the 40’s and 50’s, when unions had a seat at the table.  Workers need to have their voices represented in corporations.  After all, if you don’t have a seat at the table, you’re probably on the menu. 

Democratic socialism increases business investment and production and includes more women and minorities at the table. Benefits include an increase in profit, innovation, and communication between management and workers. Severe income inequality might be good for those at the top, but it is not healthy for our society and our economy. The last time it was this extreme was before the Great Depression.  

From SpendMeNot, 41.4% of Americans are classified as low-income or low-income families. The top 1% earns forty times more than the bottom 90%. From 2000 to 2018, the average salary for workers in America rose only 17% (while productivity rose 72%). Statista claims that “the average S&P 500 CEO made $15.5 million in 2021, 299 times the pay of the median worker, with Aptiv Plc boss Kevin Clark making 5,294 times his median employees’ pay”. 

In the last 40 years, productivity has increased 4 times more than worker pay. If unions were stronger and more people were properly represented, everyone would have enjoyed increases in pay.  

Those in power are working to ensure that they stay in charge by gerrymandering, purging opposition votes, and allowing dark money to elect similar candidates. They have no platform except to suppress the number of liberal voters. Democratic Socialists want reforms like universal health care, transition to clean energy sources, modified police budgets to include funding community support, a more just life for all Americans.

Most of us enjoy the social benefits of the FDR era, like highways, national parks and Social Security. I venture that none of us are in the 1%. We want a democracy and a society, powered by everyday people, that benefits us all.  The only way we can regain a larger voice is to elect democratic legislators.

REALITY CHECK: WHITE PRIVILEGE

White privilege doesn’t mean that your life hasn’t been hard. It just means that the color of your skin isn’t making it harder. Do you have white privilege? Recognizing it doesn’t mean that you have done something wrong. Awareness of it is the first step in doing your part to make our world a better place.

The dictionary defines privilege as “a special advantage, immunity, permission, right, or benefit granted to or enjoyed by an individual, class or caste”. It is an unearned power that has been systematically conferred upon you. There are many kinds of privilege in this world, but let’s look at white privilege today. Check off the ones that apply to you.

  • If I need to move, the color of my skin won’t be held against me.
  • If I am shopping, I won’t be suspected of shoplifting.
  • I’m pretty sure that my neighbors will act neutrally or positively to me.
  • My name isn’t held against me when I submit a job application.
  • When I read books, most of the characters are white.
  • When I select human emojis, most of them are white.
  • I can go out at night without fear of being stopped or reported because of the color of my skin.
  • I never had to worry about my next meal or a roof over my head.
  • My teachers and administrators were mostly white.
  • My political representatives are mostly white.
  • I have never been ”redlined” out of a mortgage.
  • I can count on my skin color not to work against the appearance of financial reliability.
  • I can do well in a challenging situation without being called a credit to my race.
  • If I ask to speak to the manager, they will usually be white.
  • I can easily buy posters, postcards, picture books, greeting cards, dolls, toys, and children’s magazines featuring people of my race.

So, let’s look at this as an opportunity to learn and be responsible so that we can work towards a more just and inclusive world. What actions can you take?

  • Educate yourself by reading articles, books, studies and other online resources.
  • Demand your workplace, school and other structured environments ensure inclusion and equity at every level.
  • End or re-evaluate relationships with white people who consciously self-segregate from people of color or express racist attitudes.
  • Hold public officials accountable for ending racial profiling, stop-and-frisk policies, police brutality and the shooting unarmed people of color.
  • When it’s clear that preferential treatment is given to whites over people of color in public accommodations, call for fairness.
  • Support commissions that research the effects of slavery on blacks in America and reparations for them.

REALITY CHECK: STUDENT DEBT

HOW THE STUDENT LOAN PROGRAM TRAPPED MILLIONS IN DEBT

AND BECAME A NATIONAL CATASTROPHE

Today more than 43 million Americans owe $1.6 trillion in student debt, a number that’s tripled in the past 15 years. The student debt in the U.S. is the size of Canada’s economy. While university endowments swell to billions, thousands default every day

Today, more than 7 million Americans owe $60,000; one million owe more than $200,000; one hundred owe over $1 million! 8 million borrowers are in default on their student loans, close to the number of people who lost their homes in the 2008 subprime predatory mortgage housing collapse, which caused the Great Recession. In recent years, despite a strong pre-pandemic economy, 3,000 people a day defaulted on their student loans.

Lyndon B. Johnson, himself a beneficiary of student loans, first argued in the 50s for the federal government to create a student loan program. These loans were small, affordable, and easy to repay. The program later evolved into a disaster. Here’s why:

By the 70’s, Congress created Sallie Mae, a government-sponsored enterprise that facilitated the loan process. Pressured by lobbyists, Congress agreed to cover 100 percent of defaults on student loans made by Sallie Mae, guaranteeing profits for Sallie Mae and its banking partners. Facing no risk, Sallie Mae made loans to almost anyone with a pulse: no credit checks, no determination of ability to pay, and no ceiling on loan amounts.

These loosened loan eligibility requirements increased student borrowing from $1.8 billion in 1977 to $12 billion in 1989. To make matters worse, in 2005 Congress amended the bankruptcy laws to block student loan borrowers from seeking discharge of their debts unless they can show undue hardship, which in practice has been almost impossible.

With the proceeds of these loans, now $1.6 trillion worth, flowing to colleges and universities, admissions levels exploded. Tuition costs are up 100 percent over and above inflation since 2000 with some schools jacking prices up three to four times the rate of inflation, dating back to the seventies. Universities have become cash cows seemingly desperate to find places to spend their rivers of government-backed tuition money. One study in 2013 counted $1.7 billion in capital projects at 92 schools, an orgy of building that leads even mid-level schools to look like mini-Taj Mahals! The creation of this student loan/industrial complex monster has harmed so many students and so damaged the economy that there is clear justification for cancellation of, not just $10K or $50K per student, but all federal student loan debt, and the reform of the entire student loan program going forward.               

Source: Josh Mitchell, “The Debt Trap.”

The Fight for Voting Rights Is The Fight For Our Democracy

The Fight for Voting Rights Is The Fight For Our Democracy

July 7, 2021By Hillary Rodham Clinton

When Democrats in the Texas Legislature walked out of the capitol in May to stop a suite of anti-democratic voting laws, they cast a spotlight on a crisis that extends far beyond the Lone Star State. Since the 2020 election with its historic turnout, lawmakers across the country have introduced nearly 400 bills making it harder to vote: purging voters from the rolls, making it more difficult to register, cutting back on early and absentee voting, getting rid of ballot drop boxes, even banning giving out food or water to people waiting in line at the polls.  

Each of these proposals disproportionately prevents people of color from casting their ballots, and each is egregious in its own right.  (They also pose a question: If your best strategy for winning elections is to block huge swaths of the electorate from voting, what does that say about the strength of your candidates and policies?) Combined, they add up to an even bigger problem – one that encompasses redistricting, Trump’s “Big Lie” and the anti-majoritarianism we’re seeing from today’s Republican Party. We are witnessing a concerted attempt to destabilize the democratic process and delegitimize our multi-racial democracy, carried out in full view of the American people. As Democrats, it’s not enough to push back one law, one court case or even one election at a time. We need to fundamentally change the way we think about and fight back against this blatant, sweeping effort.

The fight to ensure that every citizen can vote and have their vote counted has long been the defining struggle of our country. This historical thread runs from the Civil War to the Thirteenth and 19th Amendments to the Civil Rights Movement. The Voting Rights Act, and the laws interpreting it, have been at the core of much of the progress we’ve made since its passage – a view that, until recently, was shared by Democrats and Republicans. I was in the U.S. Senate when we voted 98-0 to extend this landmark piece of legislation. We sifted through thousands of pages of evidence and heard hundreds of hours of testimony that showed just how desperately the Voting Rights Act was still needed. After our unanimous vote, the law was signed by a Republican president, George W. Bush.  

It’s heartbreaking and unacceptable that we once again find ourselves fighting the battles of the last two centuries. Today’s voting restrictions are no different from the Jim Crow past, replacing literacy tests and poll taxes with laws that, as one North Carolina judge put it in 2016, “target African Americans with almost surgical precision.” Much of the blame for this backsliding rests with the Supreme Court, which, thanks to the election of President Trump, is even more hostile to voting rights today than it was when it gutted a crucial provision of the Voting Rights Act in 2013. But the problem is more insidious.  

Thirty years ago, Republican operative Thomas Hofeller said, “I define redistricting as the only legalized form of vote-stealing left in the United States today.” He became the primary architect of Republicans’ gerrymandering strategy, collecting data on race and voting behavior, then drawing statehouse maps tailor-made to dilute the influence of Black voters. Groups like the Federalist Society have worked for years to pack the courts with judges more committed to appeasing powerful special interests than to championing the fundamental rights of the American people. The emboldening of white supremacists and conspiracy theorists during Trump’s campaign and time in the White House along with the international movement against liberal democracy have exacerbated this perfect storm. 

All of this has made it harder to vote, particularly for specific groups: people of color, students, the elderly and low-income Americans. This kind of disparity does not happen by accident. It reminds me of one of my favorite sayings from Arkansas: “You find a turtle on a fence post, it did not get there on its own.” It’s no coincidence that the restrictive voting laws passed by Republicans target people who are more likely to vote for Democrats.  

Voting rights should not be controversial – and for the majority of Americans, they aren’t. Yet we have members of Congress who are wildly out of the mainstream, who vote to overturn the results of an election, and who use their powerful platforms to spread lies and disinformation.  As a result, nearly two-thirds of Republicans now incorrectly believe President Biden was not legitimately elected.  They point to debunked claims of voter fraud, discounting the votes of millions of Americans, including 87% of Black voters.  

What happened on January 6th showed that these fanatical ideas can lead to real, even deadly harm. After the insurrection, I wrote about the failure of imagination that hindered our ability to prevent the violence in Washington. I quoted historian Taylor Branch, who asked in Isabel Wilkerson’s “Caste:” “If people were given the choice between democracy and whiteness, how many would choose whiteness?” The months that followed revealed the ugly truth of just how many elected officials in America would choose whiteness. 

In this pivotal moment for our democracy, people in every corner of our country are rightfully asking: “What can we do?”  The answer isn’t an easy one, because there is no one step that will solve this deep-seated problem. Passing laws like H.R. 1 (the For the People Act) and H.R. 4 (the John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act) that make it easier to vote is an excellent start, but we can’t stop there. We need to call these attacks on voting what they are: part of a clear attempt to move away from a pluralistic, multi-racial democracy and toward white supremacist authoritarianism. We need to remain laser-focused on what’s at stake for democracy and people’s lives and refuse to allow Republicans to draw us into piecemeal fights over tactics and technicalities. Voters should have the ability – not just in principle, but in practice – to hold elected officials accountable in the voting booth. We should be doing everything we can to make it easier for eligible voters to cast their ballots.

When the people make their voices heard in an election, we should respect the results. These aren’t partisan statements; they’re attributes of a functioning democracy. Now is the time for anyone who cares about ours to stand up and fight for it using absolutely every tool in our toolbox: legislation, marching and protesting, speaking up, supporting people and groups advocating for a democracy that reflects the diversity of this country, and, yes, showing up to the polls at every election, not just the presidential ones. Democracies the world over have faced this challenge; how we respond will have a ripple effect around the globe.

Hillary Rodham Clinton is a former First Lady of the United States, U.S. Senator, and Secretary of State. She is a bestselling author, podcast host, and the first woman to receive a major party’s nomination for President of the United States. 

TEACHING AMERICAN HISTORY

NC Social Studies Standards 2021              Standards Development Process

Social Studies Curriculum 2021

The preamble, written by NC Superintendent of Public Instruction, Catherine Truitt, states that “the standards are a framework intended to teach the full spectrum of history to best help students learn and use the information they acquire in the course of learning experiences. However, it is important to remember that history itself doesn’t provide the sole explanation for why we have injustices, racism, and discrimination today, be they institutionalized or localized. Our human failings have at times taken the form of racism, xenophobia, nativism, extremism, and isolationism. We need to study history in order to understand how these situations developed, the harmful impact they caused, and the forces and actors that sometimes helped us move beyond these outcomes.”

3rd Grade SS Standards relating to race and history

3.B.1 Understand how values and beliefs of individuals and groups influence communities.

3.B.1.1 Explain how the values, beliefs, and cultures of various indigenous, religious, racial and other groups contribute to the development of local communities and the state.

3.B.1.2 Compare values, beliefs, cultural practices and traditions of various groups living in local and regional communities.

3.H.1 Understand how various people and historical events have shaped local communities.

3.H.1.1 Explain how the experiences and achievements of women, indigenous, religious, and racial groups have contributed to the development of the local community.

3.H.1.2 Explain the lasting impact historical events have had on local communities.

3.H.1.3 Use primary and secondary sources to compare multiple interpretations of various historical symbols and events in local communities.

High School American History 1 Standards  relating to race and history

AH.B.1 Evaluate American identity in terms of perspective, change, and continuity.

AH.B.1.1 Critique multiple perspectives of American identity in terms of American exceptionalism. AH.B.1.2 Critique multiple perspectives of American identity in terms of opportunity, prosperity, and crisis.

AH.B.1.3 Critique multiple perspectives of American identity in terms of oppression, stereotypes, diversity, inclusion, and exclusion.

AH.B.1.4 Critique multiple perspectives of American identity in terms of individualism and conformity. AH.B.1.5 Explain how various immigrant experiences have influenced American identity.

AH.B.1.6 Explain how the experiences and achievements of minorities and marginalized peoples have contributed to American identity over time in terms of the struggle against bias, racism, oppression, and discrimination.

AH.B.1.7 Explain how slavery, xenophobia, disenfranchisement, and intolerance have affected individual and group perspectives of themselves as Americans.

AH.C&G.1 Evaluate the relationship between the American people and the government in terms of freedom, equality, and power.

AH.C&G.1.1 Explain how various views on freedom and equality contributed to the development of American political thought and system of government.

AH.C&G.1.2 Critique the extent to which various levels of government used power to expand or restrict the freedom and equality of American people.

AH.C&G.1.3 Explain how various individuals and groups strategized, organized, advocated and protested to expand or restrict freedom and equality.

AH.C&G.1.4 Explain how racism, oppression, and discrimination of indigenous peoples, racial minorities, and other marginalized groups have impacted equality and power in America

Critical Race Theory (CRT) is a <college level> academic discipline that examines how American racism has shaped law and public policy. CRT emerged in the legal academy in the 1980 as an offshoot of critical legal studies. (NC Policy Watch) CRT is not currently in NC Curriculum Standards. People who are upset about CRT claim that teaching American History will cause their children to hate America, themselves and each other. No teacher is teaching that. Once a student learns the facts about history s/he could very well decide to make our country a better place to live.

The best way to ”ensure dignity and nondiscrimination” of all is to examine our history, learn from it and make the future better, not by banning the teaching of the effects of our history on discriminatory practices today.  HB324 is designed to ensure dignity and nondiscrimination of white students. It is racist. Does the NCGA care that minority students have had their dignity taken away and have been discriminated against for hundreds of years?

Critical Race Theory explained in 5 minutes

HB324 bans the teaching of these 7 concepts:

  • One race or sex is inherently superior
  • An individual, because of their race or sex, inherently has conscious or unconscious biases that are racist, sexist or oppressive
  • An individual should be discriminated against or receive unfair treatment
  • An individual’s morality is determined by their race or sex
  • An individual, solely because of their race or sex, must be responsible for actions committed by prior generations of that same race or sex
  • Any individual, solely because of their race or sex, should feel “discomfort, guilt, anguish, or any other form of psychological distress”
  • The belief that the U.S. is a meritocracy is an inherently racist or sexist belief, or that the U.S. was created by members of a particular race or sex for the purpose of oppressing members of another race or sex.

WHY IS CRITICAL RACE THEORY RELEVANT TODAY?          

In a perfect world, educational equity would ensure that all students have access to high-quality curriculum, instruction and funding. But we don’t live in a perfect world, so racial inequality manifests in a number of ways in American education. For example:

CRT PROVIDES A RELEVANT, RESEARCH-BASED FRAMEWORK THROUGH WHICH EDUCATION LEADERS AND POLICYMAKERS CAN THINK ABOUT THE SOCIAL CONSTRUCT OF RACE AND THE IMPACT OF RACISM ON STUDENTS OF COLOR.          Education Post

WHY ARE SOME STATES OUTLAWING CRITICAL RACE THEORY IN SCHOOLS?        

Even though CRT itself is not a topic in most K-12 curricula, some legislators and elected officials have referenced it in connection with any lesson or training that acknowledges racially oppressive practices as districts around the country have started to embrace the idea that Black, Latinx and Indigenous students will do better in school if the systems around them change.

This has led to some challenging new practices in our schools and classrooms, such as:

For school systems that have operated the same way for decades, these are big changes. There are some who would like to see less change, and believe that the steps above are forcing a new worldview on their kids—even calling it “indoctrination.” In Idaho, Florida, Arkansas and Tennessee, for instance, state governments are acting out of direct concern that critical race theory is at the root of these changes.

And about that, they might be right. They needn’t worry that grade-schoolers will start reading legal texts and academic monographs, but the critical race theory movement certainly has played a huge role in the broader reexamination of our society through the lens of race and racial oppression. And schools are a big part of that.                Education Post

PW special report: The right’s coordinated assault on Critical Race Theory in North Carolina

This report details the attack by conservatives, including Republican State Superintendent Cathy Truitt, who “ told a group of Republicans in Orange County this month that she will do everything in her power to “eradicate” CRT from the state’s public schools.”

Request for Proclamation Against HB 324 | by Min. Paul Scott | May, 2021 | Medium

Durham School Board to Support Critical Race Theory 6/24 | by Min. Paul Scott | Jun, 2021 | Medium

HB 324 Ensuring Dignity & Nondiscrimination/Schools

Durham school board opposes bill they say would limit teaching about race, sex biases

State GOP leaders decry Durham City Council’s support of critical race theory

NC State Board of Education approves new guidance for how students will learn about history, race :: WRAL.com  A bill in the North Carolina legislature, related to school COVID-19 provisions, seeks to delay implementation of the standards by a year. It passed the House but not the Senate and is being re-worked in committee.


TEACHING AMERICAN HISTORY

NC Social Studies Standards 2021              Standards Development Process

Social Studies Curriculum 2021

The preamble, written by NC Superintendent of Public Instruction, Catherine Truitt, states that “the standards are a framework intended to teach the full spectrum of history to best help students learn and use the information they acquire in the course of learning experiences. However, it is important to remember that history itself doesn’t provide the sole explanation for why we have injustices, racism, and discrimination today, be they institutionalized or localized. Our human failings have at times taken the form of racism, xenophobia, nativism, extremism, and isolationism. We need to study history in order to understand how these situations developed, the harmful impact they caused, and the forces and actors that sometimes helped us move beyond these outcomes.”

3rd Grade SS Standards relating to race and history

3.B.1 Understand how values and beliefs of individuals and groups influence communities.

3.B.1.1 Explain how the values, beliefs, and cultures of various indigenous, religious, racial and other groups contribute to the development of local communities and the state.

3.B.1.2 Compare values, beliefs, cultural practices and traditions of various groups living in local and regional communities.

3.H.1 Understand how various people and historical events have shaped local communities.

3.H.1.1 Explain how the experiences and achievements of women, indigenous, religious, and racial groups have contributed to the development of the local community.

3.H.1.2 Explain the lasting impact historical events have had on local communities.

3.H.1.3 Use primary and secondary sources to compare multiple interpretations of various historical symbols and events in local communities.

High School American History 1 Standards  relating to race and history

AH.B.1 Evaluate American identity in terms of perspective, change, and continuity.

AH.B.1.1 Critique multiple perspectives of American identity in terms of American exceptionalism. AH.B.1.2 Critique multiple perspectives of American identity in terms of opportunity, prosperity, and crisis.

AH.B.1.3 Critique multiple perspectives of American identity in terms of oppression, stereotypes, diversity, inclusion, and exclusion.

AH.B.1.4 Critique multiple perspectives of American identity in terms of individualism and conformity. AH.B.1.5 Explain how various immigrant experiences have influenced American identity.

AH.B.1.6 Explain how the experiences and achievements of minorities and marginalized peoples have contributed to American identity over time in terms of the struggle against bias, racism, oppression, and discrimination.

AH.B.1.7 Explain how slavery, xenophobia, disenfranchisement, and intolerance have affected individual and group perspectives of themselves as Americans.

AH.C&G.1 Evaluate the relationship between the American people and the government in terms of freedom, equality, and power.

AH.C&G.1.1 Explain how various views on freedom and equality contributed to the development of American political thought and system of government.

AH.C&G.1.2 Critique the extent to which various levels of government used power to expand or restrict the freedom and equality of American people.

AH.C&G.1.3 Explain how various individuals and groups strategized, organized, advocated and protested to expand or restrict freedom and equality.

AH.C&G.1.4 Explain how racism, oppression, and discrimination of indigenous peoples, racial minorities, and other marginalized groups have impacted equality and power in America

Critical Race Theory (CRT) is <a college level> academic discipline that examines how American racism has shaped law and public policy. CRT emerged in the legal academy in the 1980 as an offshoot of critical legal studies. (NC Policy Watch) CRT is not currently in NC Curriculum Standards. People who are upset about CRT claim that teaching American History will cause their children to hate America, themselves and each other. No teacher is teaching that. Once a student learns the facts about history s/he could very well decide to make our country a better place to live.

The best way to ”ensure dignity and nondiscrimination” of all is to examine our history, learn from it and make the future better, not by banning the teaching of the effects of our history on discriminatory practices today.  HB324 is designed to ensure dignity and nondiscrimination of white students. It is racist. Does the NCGA care that minority students have had their dignity taken away and have been discriminated against for hundreds of years?

Critical Race Theory explained in 5 minutes

HB324 bans the teaching of these 7 concepts:

  • One race or sex is inherently superior
  • An individual, because of their race or sex, inherently has conscious or unconscious biases that are racist, sexist or oppressive
  • An individual should be discriminated against or receive unfair treatment
  • An individual’s morality is determined by their race or sex
  • An individual, solely because of their race or sex, must be responsible for actions committed by prior generations of that same race or sex
  • Any individual, solely because of their race or sex, should feel “discomfort, guilt, anguish, or any other form of psychological distress”
  • The belief that the U.S. is a meritocracy is an inherently racist or sexist belief, or that the U.S. was created by members of a particular race or sex for the purpose of oppressing members of another race or sex[1] [2] 

WHY IS CRITICAL RACE THEORY RELEVANT TODAY?          

In a perfect world, educational equity would ensure that all students have access to high-quality curriculum, instruction and funding. But we don’t live in a perfect world, so racial inequality manifests in a number of ways in American education. For example:

CRT PROVIDES A RELEVANT, RESEARCH-BASED FRAMEWORK THROUGH WHICH EDUCATION LEADERS AND POLICYMAKERS CAN THINK ABOUT THE SOCIAL CONSTRUCT OF RACE AND THE IMPACT OF RACISM ON STUDENTS OF COLOR.          Education Post

WHY ARE SOME STATES OUTLAWING CRITICAL RACE THEORY IN SCHOOLS?        

Even though CRT itself is not a topic in most K-12 curricula, some legislators and elected officials have referenced it in connection with any lesson or training that acknowledges racially oppressive practices as districts around the country have started to embrace the idea that Black, Latinx and Indigenous students will do better in school if the systems around them change.

This has led to some challenging new practices in our schools and classrooms, such as:

For school systems that have operated the same way for decades, these are big changes. There are some who would like to see less change, and believe that the steps above are forcing a new worldview on their kids—even calling it “indoctrination.” In Idaho, Florida, Arkansas and Tennessee, for instance, state governments are acting out of direct concern that critical race theory is at the root of these changes.

And about that, they might be right. They needn’t worry that grade-schoolers will start reading legal texts and academic monographs, but the critical race theory movement certainly has played a huge role in the broader reexamination of our society through the lens of race and racial oppression. And schools are a big part of that.                Education Post

PW special report: The right’s coordinated assault on Critical Race Theory in North Carolina

This report details the attack by conservatives, including Republican State Superintendent Cathy Truitt, who “ told a group of Republicans in Orange County this month that she will do everything in her power to “eradicate” CRT from the state’s public schools.”

Request for Proclamation Against HB 324 | by Min. Paul Scott | May, 2021 | Medium

Durham School Board to Support Critical Race Theory 6/24 | by Min. Paul Scott | Jun, 2021 | Medium

HB 324 Ensuring Dignity & Nondiscrimination/Schools

Durham school board opposes bill they say would limit teaching about race, sex biases

State GOP leaders decry Durham City Council’s support of critical race theory

NC State Board of Education approves new guidance for how students will learn about history, race :: WRAL.com  A bill in the North Carolina legislature, related to school COVID-19 provisions, seeks to delay implementation of the standards by a year. It passed the House but not the Senate and is being re-worked in committee.