This guide was created to help parents evaluate whether your child’s K-12 school is using Culturally Responsive Teaching or Critical Race Theory. Evaluation involves looking at a school district’s instructional approaches as well as strategies. Instructional approaches, strategies, and terminology can vary from one school district to another. Please note that you will more than likely never see the words “Critical Race Theory”, it will most likely be camouflaged with other wording. We highly recommend printing this guide and using it as a checklist. We also highly recommend that you either print or take screenshots of anything containing critical race theory elements so you have solid proof. As parents uncover evidence, that evidence tends to disappear in thin air. You can download the PDF version of this checklist to print at the end of this guide.
While reviewing your child’s school district school board handbook, student and or family handbook, strategic plan, equity statement, equity action plan, etc. keep a close eye out for these specific things:
- Entire groups of people being stereotyped (make broad generalizations about certain groups)
- Extremist instruction
- A radical learning environment
- Targeting “Whiteness” or talk about disrupting “Whiteness”
- Create groups divided by “oppressed” and “oppressors”
- Reformulate common terminology
- Encourage activism (they won’t always use the actual word “activism”)
- Push partisan agendas on students
- Organize protests or lobby for partisan causes
- Advocates to defund the police
- Advocates socialism
- Advocates globalism
- Criticizes capitalism
- Criticizes individualism
- Criticizes meritocracy
- Focus on systems and or strands
- Focus on collectivism
- Concerned with policy
- Teach identity is the single most important determining factor to success
- Teach change can only come from activism
- Teach that quality of life can only be obtained from the government
- Teaching something that divides entire groups of people from another group
- Equity means that one group of students must be disrupted or broken down in order for another group to achieve.
- Equity Audits are used by hired equity consulting firms, school districts and superintendents to help them look for patterns between identity groups which is most often seen between White students and students of color in things such as: Standardized test scores, disciplinary action, class enrollment. If the equity audit results find differences exist, particular actions (such as creating policies) will be implemented in order to correct the difference or close the gap.
- Equity policies that eliminate certain programs, resources, or school observation days
- Use equivalence to prove the root cause of the problem
- History instruction that has altered truly accurate history
- History that is viewed through a lens (such as a cultural lens, may go by other names such as “honest history“)
- Teachings that improperly present historical events
Download the Parents for America’s Critical Race Theory Checklist
Sharing your evidence findings will not only help expose what school districts are doing, it may also help another concerned parent. Once you’ve found your evidence, please consider sending your evidence findings to Parents for America and we will post them on our Evidence Tracker page.