Two GOP representatives are calling on Congress to pass legislation that would require schools that receive federal funding to make the curriculum they use to teach students available to parents and the public.
Education and Labor Committee Ranking Member Virginia Foxx (R-N.C.) and Rep. Scott Fitzgerald (R-Wis.) introduced the Curriculum Review of Teachings Transparency Act (pdf). The bill stipulates that federal funding can be denied if K-12 schools do not comply with the rule.
Making the K-12 curriculum openly available to parents is an effort by Foxx and Fitzgerald to counter what they call controversial and factually inaccurate ideas being taught in schools under the name of critical race theory (CRT).
“Decisions about what to teach students in school are being made by bureaucrats and teachers unions, often without the input from parents. As a result, parents across the country are flocking to their local school board to demand transparency and to oppose dangerous ideologies, like critical race theory,” said Fitzgerald said in a press statement.
CRT is rooted in the Marxist theory of class struggle, but with a particular focus on race. Proponents of CRT see racism in every aspect of the American public and private life and seek to dismantle American institutions—such as the Constitution and legal system—which they claim to be inherently and irredeemably racist.
While schools have for years been quietly infusing CRT into their curriculums, it wasn’t until last year, during lockdowns enacted in response to the CCP (Chinese Communist Party) virus pandemic, that parents were able to see what their children were being taught. Since then, parents have been increasingly stepping forward to oppose CRT due to its racially divisive and anti-American concepts.
There has been fierce debate over whether CRT or similar initiatives—including The New York Times’ “1619 Project” or diversity, equity, and inclusion training—should be taught to schoolchildren. Parents across the United States have held protests against school boards that have increasingly started to promote CRT or CRT-aligned viewpoints in class.
Meanwhile, some media outlets have claimed that CRT is only taught in higher education settings, such as in colleges and universities, and isn’t being widely adopted by teachers. However, critics of CRT have said there are plenty of examples of young children in school being taught to believe that white people are inherently racist—a key CRT tenet—and that “systemic racism” permeates every U.S. institution.
Foxx wrote in a recent op-ed that education’s goal was originally to produce virtuous citizens who would make the country stronger, adding, “The future of our country depends upon a high-quality education system dedicated to equipping the next generation with the knowledge needed for an active civic life. Critical race theory is incompatible with this mission.”
Jack Phillips contributed to this report.