Letter to Editor Templates: Teaching American History

Dear Editor,

The preamble to the new Social Studies Standards, 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.”

3rd Grade SS Standards relating to race and history: See https://www.dpi.nc.gov/media/11814/open    

High School American History 1 Standards: See https://www.dpi.nc.gov/media/11820/open

Critical Race Theory (CRT) is a college level academic discipline that examines how American racism has shaped law and public policy. 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. 

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?

HB324 (Ensuring Dignity & Nondiscrimination/Schools) bans the teaching of concepts including: No race/sex is superior or has unconscious racist biases or that someone’s morality is determined by their race/sex. No race/sex must be responsible for actions committed by prior generations or feel discomfort, anguish or guilt.  Or the fact that the US is a meritocracy (some are better than others). Or that one race/sex created the US for the purpose of oppressing members of another race or sex. Yet, Black Americans were counted as 3/5 of a person and women were not allowed to vote?

WHY IS CRITICAL RACE THEORY RELEVANT TODAY?

The predominant curriculum centers the white narrative and tends to exclude the histories and lived experiences of people of color. Instruction often takes a deficits-based approach, characterizing students of color as being in need of remediation rather than appreciating their talents and giftedness. School discipline policies disproportionately impact students of color, often compromising their educational outcomes. School funding inequities persist; predominantly white districts receive $23 billion more in funding than districts serving students of color.

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

Sincerely,
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