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    Critical Race Theory is ridiculous, but banning it won’t fix our schools

    By AlaskaWatchman.com

    Critical race theory is a worldview in direct conflict with our long-held principles of enlightenment thought that helped us progress into the modern era. Critical race theory questions the very concept of objective reasoning and egalitarianism among all people. It is a worldview with an entirely new way of thinking – one that is circular in nature and abandons the basic conventions of logic.

    Worldviews are something which everyone has. Some of us include God in our worldview and people will call it “religious.” Others leave God out of their worldview and they might label it “secular humanist” or something similar. Both, however, are distinct worldviews – a point of reference or philosophy from which to orient one’s entire perspective. They affect how we look at science, interpret history, view art and evaluate everything that could possibly be related to how we educate our children.

    The secularism that we thought would protect us from unnecessary arguments ended up muzzling free speech and thought in profound ways.

    It is impossible for people or organizations to operate without a worldview. Many of us, however, act and speak with the assumption that our worldviews can be separated from how we live our daily lives. If you separate your worldview from your daily life, how is it a true worldview that you take seriously?

    But this is what secularism has attempted to do in the sphere of education. We have assumed that it is possible to educate students without utilizing or imparting to them any particular worldview. We expect teachers to leave behind their own worldviews and just teach the 3 R’s (along with science and social studies — topics that are highly subject to worldview bias).

    Secularism pretends that if we avoid direct conversations about politics or religion we will remain “unbiased” in the public sphere.  We’ve followed this line of thinking not only in schools, but in workplaces, media, and many other areas of life. In effect, we have essentially censored ourselves from all worldviews except that of secular humanism.

    Until we realize that the system is fundamentally flawed, there will always be more controversies and struggles ahead.

    Secularism, however, has slowly eroded our First Amendment freedom of religious thought and expression in schools for years. We are in a culture in which worldviews are clashing, not only on the local and national levels, but on a global scale. While we had our eyes closed repeating the mantras of “secularism,” we failed to notice the many viewpoints that began to be silenced in schools one by one. Instead of allowing many different viewpoints to be discussed openly and freely, we banned books that were religious in nature. The secularism that we thought would protect us from unnecessary arguments ended up muzzling free speech and thought in profound ways.

    This presents a profound challenge to parents, most of whom don’t have the means of sending their children to schools that will support and uphold their worldview.

    Now, when an obviously flawed worldview such as critical race theory is introduced in our schools, we are outraged. We can raise our concerns with school board members, and contacting them may do some little good, but they will ultimately decide what curriculum our children are exposed to.

    Until we realize that the system is fundamentally flawed, there will always be more controversies and struggles ahead. Until we take our freedom of speech back in the form of educating our children the way we want them educated, and demand full school choice options, the war between this worldview and that will only intensify.

    Without having access to real school choice options (as is currently the case for most), I would indeed seek to ban everything that is stupid and unhelpful. That’s better than allowing stupidity to be the only dominant worldview taught in schools. There is, however, a much better option than entrusting our students to the whims of a few school board members. Instead, individual parents should be able to choose their student’s teachers and how their children are educated – and they should have access to tax dollars if needed to do just that.

    School board members get away with disregarding parents because most families don’t have many financially viable options. If there was a clear and obvious threat that they might vote with their feet and pull children from public schools, school boards might take parents a lot more seriously.

    Parents should be empowered to use their children’s portion of education funds to send them to whichever school they deem as the best fit.

    Universal school choice is the answer going forward. Freedom of religion and thought have been banned for quite some time in public schools. So, a ban of ridiculous concepts like critical race theory may be necessary as a temporary measure, but this cannot be our “go-to” strategy. The way to overcome hollow philosophies is to employ better speech, better thinking, and better arguments. School choice will facilitate this.

    The views expressed here are those of the author.

    Click here to support the Alaska Watchman.

    Leigh Sloan
    Leigh Sloan
    Leigh Sloan is a podcaster, coach and consultant at "Brave Nation" where she empowers leaders to create significant cultural reform in their spheres of influence.

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    19 Comments

    1. Great article. Parents need to practice civil disobedience as did the Civil Rights activists of the 1960s. Remove your children from the public schools during the 3 week October student count period. That is the period the State uses to determine school funding. The only thing the public school officials understand is money. Starve the beast!

    2. I don’t think the public school system or our colleges can be restored to education as the only mission until the NEA/AFT are removed from the classroom and accountability is demanded of our teachers.
      The only way to break the undue influence of gov’t in our classrooms is to refuse to take DoEd money. End the federal money, Common Core and any other federally mandated, sponsored, supported or imposed program goes away. Contract law.
      The colleges will require a complete reset. End the Stafford Loan program. Refuse federal funding to any college that bars free speech and has a majority of tenured Marxists. Money is the 900 gorilla that can force immediate change in the colleges.
      Reinstated the Stafford Loan program only for those with majors in engineering, the sciences, technology or other relevant industry relevant courses of study. Offer a discounted payoff upon completion of the degree program and a penalty for not completing the program–increase in interest.
      We are falling behind the world, because of a Marxist inspired initiative to dumb down Americans. It is working. Time to end it.

        • . I just caught all of my typos too, after posting of course! What can I say, alas, another ps grad….. but an ancient one!

        • The lazy parents are the cause for most of this crap because years ago when we tried to warn everybody that this was happening. They couldn’t be bothered with it so they sat on their asses

      • Larry, I totally agree.
        All, We parents need to decide that academic and faith-based education is worth our support, time, and money and we need to do it without government funding and intervention. One disappointment I have in the Catholic Church in Alaska is that its funding of Catholic schools is so low. … and yes we do educate our own children without government intervention.

    3. The Church started parochial schools in this country to combat the discrimination against Catholic students. I would like to see the churches (all denominations) and parents support private education more strongly for our students whether at in-person private schools or through quality, accredited home-school correspondence schools. I’d prefer to keep government funding out of these schools entirely. Where the government funds, the government will dictate. The children are the future faith leaders. Let’s educate them in faith, values, and rigorous academics, starting at home.

      • Until we open up government funding to the schools that choose to participate, there will always be a huge gap in quality between socio-economic classes of students. As it is, better schools remain a choice for some, not all. If we stopped funding education altogether, that would be different. But I don’t see that happening anytime soon. And I’d rather have a greater measure of freedom for all families than the status quo.

    4. Well said. I will add though thar Alaska has some of the best parent autonomy in the nation for making educational decisions for their children. This is already in place via our home education laws, allowing for parents to freely educate at home without any government interference or tracking. This gives parents a lot of power. I wonder how many school board members are unaware of this state statute? I know far too many parents are very unaware and as believe the department of ed likes it that way. The ideal situation of course would be what the author has put forth, complete school choice with the funds basically following the child. This is actually how education is funded in the Netherlands. Parents can put their children in any school of their choice, be it Christian or secular, and they get to use educational funding to do so.

      We homeschooled, privately. It was not easy as I stayed home to undertake this huge responsibility. We gave up a number of amenities, drove old vehicles, did not have any ATV’s or other toys snd shared one PC, and television. The budget was very tight but we do not regret one minute of it and would do it again. By the time high school sports became important to our students, we did end up joining Matsu Central and received money for extra activities and some curriculum. We had a wonderful experience with Matsu Central and while we were with them they showed great respect for parent autonomy. All in all parents need to exercise their rights, now. Anchorage has some pretty amazing private schools and a number of home education support systems already available!

    5. The solution starts at home and the Fed needs to stay out of it.
      If the indoctrination system needs to go then we will find another way.
      -America does not negotiate with terrorists, foreign or domestic.. and there are domestic terrorist in Alaska, some hold office.

    6. Millineal parents who just wanted to drop their kids off at the babysitter (public school) so they could go back home and play their video games all day are the reason your in this mess now.

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