Taxpayer-funded critical race theory training program draws criticism



(The Center Square) – Critics question taxpayer-funded fund program which trains students in the critical theory of race.

The backlash comes after The Center Square uncovered federal Department of Education grant documents that showed the federal government has awarded millions of dollars to a program that trains future educators in critical race theory.

Experts said the program refutes claims that critical race theory is not encouraged in K-12 schools.

“Critical race theory is inherently fanatic and that is a lie,” said US Senator Ted Cruz, R-Texas, in response to news regarding the funding for the grant. “The federal government should not fund training for a Marxist ideology that teaches people to hate America. That is why I introduced a bill earlier this year to freeze federal funding for the CRT.

Mr. Cruz’s legislation is one of many Republican efforts to thwart the spread of critical race theory, a school of thought that teaches that American history is best read through the prism of racism.

The New York Times’ “1619 Project” captured and popularized the idea, reframing the history of the United States as not beginning in 1776 with the signing of the Declaration of Independence, but in 1619, when the first Africans downsized. enslaved arrived in what was then the Colony of Virginia.

“This is exactly why the governor [Kristi] Noem signed an executive order this year to block federal grants for civic education and history in South Dakota, ”said Ian Fury, spokesperson for the governor of South Dakota. “We will continue to work to make sure our students learn the true and honest history of America.”

Department of Education grant records show that in 2016, under the Obama administration, the federal government granted its first five-year program to agree $ 1,116,895 to the Central University of North Carolina (NCCU) to train students in critical breed theory.

This program is called “The Research Institute for Scholars of Equity” or RISE. Under the federally funded program, participating students receive a stipend of $ 5,000, a travel allowance, and money for food and accommodation. According to promotional materials and grant materials, RISE students learn to use critical race theory as a framework for assessing the quality of teachers, among other things.

Many of the participating students will likely become teachers. The program also emphasizes training students with “research careers that will inform educational policy and practice” on a larger scale, helping to disseminate critical ideas of racial theory in schools. national policy discussions.

The NCCU partnered with several colleges across the country on the program, which offered one-year scholarships to around 60 students.

RISE program “principal investigator,” NCCU faculty member Wynetta Lee, received another five-year grant of $ 1,533,384 under the Biden administration in July of this year. This second grant places RISE at over $ 2.6 million in taxpayer funding.

Pennsylvania State University has partnered with Lee for the second grant, called RISE 2.0, although other educational institutions will likely send students or faculty to participate.

Ms Lee has not responded to repeated requests about RISE and the role of critical race theory in its agenda.

From the 2016 scholarship:

“One of the main features of the scholarship is the eight-week summer research institute in which fellows will be introduced to critical breed theory (as well as mixed-method research techniques) as a means of ‘study issues such as the quality of teachers, education policy and race and social justice in education, “says the 2016 grant.” In addition to courses, fellows will conduct several short research projects and begin to conduct Research related to the RISE theme in Research Interest Groups (RIGs) under the supervision of their academic mentors. Fellows will continue to conduct research through their RIGs during the academic year. “

Casey Harper works in the Center Square office in Washington, DC.

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