Ohio’s Education Department Added DEI Coursework To Higher Ed Curriculum
Hundreds of people pack into Columbus Circle to hear speeches against police violence while one of them holds a painted portrait of George Floyd in front of Trump International Hotel and Tower at Columbus Circle.
Ira L. Black/Corbis via Getty Images

In October of last year, the Ohio State Board of Education repealed a resolution that required the state’s Department of Education to essentially implement Critical Race Theory (CRT) into teaching and training for students in K-12.

As The Columbus Dispatch reported at the time, Resolution 20 “directed the Ohio Department of Education to examine its curriculums and standardized tests for biases and provide training for all its employees on implicit bias. And it suggested local school districts look at their own curriculums, textbooks, hiring practices and disciplinary policies.”

“Opponents of Resolution 20 said its wording intentionally opened the door for districts to teach ‘disturbing’ and ‘divisive’ material about racism and identity. Lesson plans that went against America’s founding principles and divided kids into oppressors and the oppressed,” the outlet added.

Even though the resolution, which was passed following the May 25, 2020, death of George Floyd at the hands of Minneapolis, Minnesota, police officers, has been repealed, Ohio’s Department of Education still includes similar themes in its coursework. In an administrative document titled Ohio Transfer 36, the Education Department lays out core requirements for Ohio’s public colleges and universities that can transfer between public institutions in the state. The Approved Revisions of this document include guidelines for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) coursework that can be taken as an elective and transferred between public colleges and universities. On page 10 of the revisions, the DEI coursework is specifically mentioned as one of the changes.

Page 12 describes the learning outcomes for DEI courses:

  • Describe identity as multifaceted and constituting multiple categories of difference such as race, color, language, religion, national origin, gender, sexual orientation, age, socio-economic status, and intersectionality as operating by individual and group.
  • Describe how cultures (including their own) are shaped by the intersections of a variety of factors such as race, gender, sexuality, class, disability, ethnicity, nationality, and/or other socially constructed categories of difference.
  • Recognize the complex elements of cultural biases on a global scale by identifying historic, economic, political, and/or social factors, such as ethnocentrism, colonialism, slavery, democracy, and imperialism.
  • Recognize how sociocultural status and access to (or distribution of) resources are informed by cultural practices within historical, social, cultural, and economic systems.
  • Articulate the meaning of empathy and its role in strengthening civic responsibilities and reducing the negative impact of societal stereotypes.
  • Demonstrate empathy by successfully interpreting intercultural experience from one’s own and others’ worldview.

The framework was developed in collaboration with the Association of American Colleges and Universities (AACU), an organization that has advocated for Critical Race Theory. The AACU developed a study for California in 2020, for example, that called critical race theory an “essential lens for creating active and culturally-responsible learning environments.”

AACU’s vice president in the office of diversity, equity, and student success Tia Brown McNair has also publicly advocated for CRT (without calling it by name), and told Inside Higher Education during an interview school administrators have to be “willing to acknowledge that when the term ‘all’ is used, it typically privileges the experiences of white students as the norm and undermines efforts for racial equity. They have to elevate antiracism as an institutional priority by calling out institutionalized racism, whiteness as the accepted norm and white supremacism. They have to develop an agenda to repair for past exclusionary practices. A good example is the University of Chicago’s English department decision to only admit Ph.D. candidates in Black studies during the next academic term.” (Emphasis added.)

The coursework was approved by Ohio Republican Gov. Mike DeWine’s Chancellor of Education Randy Gardner. DeWine’s office did not respond to a Daily Wire request for comment prior to press time.

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