Over half of the nation’s teachers oppose the teaching of critical race theory (CRT) in schools according to a recent EdWeek Research Center survey.
Education Week’s Eesha Pendharkar, who says conservatives have “mischaracterized” CRT as a movement “to indoctrinate white students with a liberal agenda, make them hate themselves, each other, and their country,” reports the survey polled 1,200 teachers on the topic.
Pendharkar also claims CRT “has become a catchall phrase for anything having to do with race.”
Fifty-six percent of teachers surveyed were against teaching CRT when it wasn’t specifically defined (“What is your opinion of teaching students in your district or school about the idea of critical race theory?”).
This figure dropped to 52 percent when the theory was described thusly: “What is your opinion of teaching students in your district or school about the idea of critical race theory as defined as the idea that race is a social construct, and that racism is not merely the product of individual bias or prejudice, but also something embedded in legal systems and policies?”
The percentage dropped another five points when there was no mention of CRT whatsoever.
About 31 percent of school and district leaders also said they had received requests to ban books about critical race theory; 22 percent said they had received similar requests to ban books on race and ethnicity in general.
And about 23 percent of teachers, principals, and district leaders said they would not want their districts to include books about critical race theory, according to the survey, completed in December 2021.
About a quarter of educators—about 23 percent—said in an EdWeek survey in May of last year that they do not believe systemic racism exists. Almost a third of survey respondents also said certain conversations on racism and sexism were not appropriate for schools.
Pendharkar’s past reporting on the issue has been rather pro-CRT. She’s written that various state legislation restricting use of CRT in classrooms is “vague and myopic,” and that demands for CRT are merely to “tell a more complete version of America’s history” which includes the fight against “white supremacy.”