Culture Wars/Current Controversies

Transparency is good, but it won’t end the CRT debate

By Samuel Goldman The Week

The next battle in the war on “critical race theory” is here. Bills recently introduced in Congress and several states would require public schools to make information about their curriculum and classroom practices available to the public.

The proposals represent a shift in strategy by the anti-CRT movement. Although they rarely lived up to their billing as outright bans, earlier efforts to discourage the introduction of certain ideas, works, or instructional practices — billed formally as diversity, equity, and inclusion programs — were open to accusations of censorship. The new emphasis on transparency is intended to evade those criticisms.

In principle, transparency is an appealing goal. There’s no reason parents shouldn’t be aware of instructional materials, major assignments, or the identities of outside speakers or consultants involved in educating their children. Some of that information is already available — if you have the energy to seek it out and know whom to ask or where to look. But standardized presentation on easily accessible websites would make it simpler to get an accurate sense of what’s being taught.


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