The Education Department has proposed a rule that would prioritize grant applications to school districts wanting to include critical race theory, the 1619 Project, and so-called anti-racism studies into their civics curriculum.
Legal Insurrection reported that the Education Department proposed the new rule on Monday in an apparent move to continue reversing the Trump administration’s prohibition on critical race theory in the federal government trainings. The summary of the rule reads:
The Department of Education (Department) proposes two priorities for the American History and Civics Education programs, including the Presidential and Congressional Academies for American History and Civics(Academies) and National Activities programs, Assistance Listing Numbers 84.422A and 84.422B. We may use these priorities for competitions in fiscal year (FY) 2021 and later years. We propose these priorities to support the development of culturally responsive teaching and learning and the promotion of information literacy skills in grants under these programs.
The public will be able to comment on the proposed rule until May 19.
Legal Insurrection noted that the proposed rule wouldn’t strengthen “the knowledge among students of our form of government, how it functions, and the intent of the Founders” but would instead focus on progressive policies regarding race.
The proposed rule ties COVID-19 into discussions about race, stating:
The Department recognizes that COVID-19—with its disproportionate impact on communities of color—and the ongoing national reckoning with systemic racism have highlighted the urgency of improving racial equity throughout our society, including in our education system. As Executive Order 13985 states: “Our country faces converging economic, health, and climate crises that have exposed and exacerbated inequities, while a historic movement for justice has highlighted the unbearable human costs of systemic racism. Our Nation deserves an ambitious whole-of-government equity agenda that matches the scale of the opportunities and challenges that we face.”
The proposed rule also cites the 1619 Project, which has been widely criticized and condemned by historians for its numerous inaccuracies in favor of a particular narrative, and Ibrahim X. Kendi’s book, which has launched the anti-racism movement that insists white people acknowledge their racism.
“[There is growing acknowledgement of the importance of including, in the teaching and learning of our country’s history, both the consequences of slavery, and the significant contributions of Black Americans to our society,” the rule states, according to Legal Insurrection. “It is critical that the teaching of American history and civics creates learning experiences that validate and reflect the diversity, identities, histories, contributions, and experiences of all students.”
The first priority of the proposed rule is to prioritize grants that incorporate “racially, ethnically, culturally, and linguistically diverse perspectives into teaching and learning,” As Legal Insurrection reported, “Applicants would be encouraged to note systemic marginalization, biases, inequities, and discriminatory policy and practice in American history; and create inclusive, supportive, and identity-safe learning environments.”
The second priority purportedly promotes information literacy skills, teaching students to “learn how to gather and evaluate sources of information, and then use evidence from that information to develop and support their ideas and advocacy positions.” Legal Insurrection noted that this could lead to teaching students to attack a source rather than the information contained therein while also promoting activism – which would most likely be directed toward leftist causes.