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K-12 Conferences For Teachers Of Every Subject Now Focus On Race Instead Of The Subject

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Groups like the National Council of Teachers of English and the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics provide training and standards for K-12 teachers of those subjects across the country. But the governing bodies appear to have given up celebrating their chosen fields, trading scholarship for one-note repetition of ideas about race.

The summer and fall conferences or workshops hosted by seemingly all of these groups are focused on “anti-racism,” according to a review of conference materials by the Locke Society, a conservative group focused on K-12 education.

For the second year in a row, the National Council of Teachers of English annual conference will focus primarily on race. Last year, it opened with a lecture on “Boys of Color on the Page and in the Classroom,” a note that was repeated in various permutations until the closing of the general session by Black Lives Matter co-founder Patrisse Cullors.

This year the theme is still race, not English, with the official theme of the 2021 conference “Equity, Justice, and Antiracist Teaching.” Program Chair Valerie Kinloch described the conference essentially as a place to radicalize teachers, saying she hopes “we will leave more knowledgeable, invested, challenged, and involved in the work of equity, justice, and antiracist teaching with students, with families, with communities, and with each other.”

The National Council for the Social Studies has advocated for teaching the 1619 Project despite criticism about its accuracy from across the political spectrum, writing “We stand with all of the schools, school districts, and teachers who use resources like the 1619 Project to accurately depict the history of slavery in the United States, broaden the horizons of their students, and prepare citizens for a just democratic society.”

The president of the group’s board spends his time unleashing unhinged vitriol against Republicans on Twitter. “Anton Schulzki does not need to like the President of the United States, but one who claims to be a leader of educators should act like one and engage in the appropriate discourse for disagreement,” the Locke Society wrote.

One might think it would be harder to find a way to make the hard sciences about race, but the National Science Teaching Association has found a way. A summer conference entitled “What IS Social Justice Teaching in the Science Classroom?” begins by racially segregating the attendees so they can hear different messages, and culminates in a keynote speech from teacher Jason Foster, who focuses “on anti-racist pedagogy, BlackCrit, and Critical Race Theory.”

The National Council of Teachers of Mathematics 2021 conference is focused on training math teachers to apply “an antiracist, asset-based lens” and apply “social justice.” No math teacher’s day could be complete, of course, without “facilitating transformative conversations about race in education.”

Then there is the National Art Education Association. Dr. James Haywood Rolling, Jr., President of the NAEA’s Board of Directors, says that “When the practice of slavery was abolished and profiting from the unpaid labor of nearly 4 million Black bodies became illegal, slavery was replaced by targeted policing practices, the depiction of Black men and women as dangerous, and the incarceration of as many Black bodies as possible… Any national organization that is not actively anti-racist is complicit with the outcomes of a society that has long institutionalized its racism.”

Finally, no child could be permitted to enjoy good music without pivoting to a discussion about racial oppression. The National Association for Music Education has that covered.

The Locke Society explains how these groups play an essential role in propagating critical race theory-style thought in K-12 schools:

These organizations are the ones behind the trends and changes in education; what they declare trickles down into schools across the nation… The organizations listed above provide the real resources that real teachers are using in classrooms today.

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