Why State Bans & Flipping School Boards Won’t Stop Critical Race Theory
By Carole Hornsby Haynes, Ph.D. September 22, 2021
My recent article published by Texas Scorecard has alarmed thousands about the federal funding of Critical Race Theory (CRT) in public schools via the American Rescue Plan 2021. In their panic to get rid of the federal funding, people are turning again to state legislators for yet another bill and to state attorney generals to enforce current state bans. Parents have organized to flip school boards. Yet these are not the solution.
Bans have been passed by a number of states yet are being ignored by many. The powerful NEA teacher’s union is funding lawsuits to shut down CRT critics. Emboldened teachers are publicly declaring their right of freedom of speech to teach whatever they want without parents' knowledge. Some states have penalties for violations of their CRT bans while others, like Texas, have no enforcement mechanism at all. In Texas, CRT is banned only in social studies classes.
Flipping school boards is also a futile activity because the local trustees have limited authority to make substantive changes.
I predict that, in the end, Critical Race Theory will follow a path similar to that of Common Core.
Four states, including Texas, refused to adopt Common Core. In my home state of Texas, our legislature banned Common Core, but without an enforcement mechanism because what is taught is legally under local control. As a result, the national standards slipped in the back door and even into some of the state’s curriculum standards. Common Core is found in both public and charter schools as well as in some private and religious schools under various names, including “career and college standards.”
Despite a public firestorm when student academic performance spiraled downward after the implementation of Common Core, the left wing curriculum standards were not abolished at the local or state level. Instead, they were codified at the federal level in the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA). Although touted as ending the draconian No Child Left Behind (NCLB) and returning educational control to the states, the bill actually cemented federal control or influence.
Not only did ESSA codify Common Core, it changed the primary purpose of education from academic to social and emotional learning (SEL).
Government schools are using progressive methods including SEL to instill a new value system including socialism, population control, radical environmentalism, LBGTQ+, social justice, anti-Americanism, anti-Christianity, moral relativism, and Marxist ideology.
The Origins of SEL
The public assumes SEL is just the latest education fad. However, psychologists as far back as the early 20th century were tinkering around with children’s minds, trying to figure out how to condition them for specific behaviors. Colleges of education are especially fond of teaching about Pavlov’s dogs to show how children can be “trained” like animals to obey commands.
John Dewey, the dean of American progressive education, believed the classroom should be used to manipulate the minds of children for social and political change at the expense of academic learning.
Dewey was highly impressed with Soviet education that trained children to live and work in a collectivist society. He introduced similar techniques in American education to train students for the workforce instead of providing a broad academic education. The progressive buzz words have become mainstream in public education: group work, collaboration, group consensus, and problem-based learning (PBL).
SEL was key in Marc Tucker’s plan to centralize education and change it from academic to workforce training for a nationally planned and managed economy. His German-based master plan, which was laid out in the infamous “Dear Hillary letter,” was implemented by Goals 2000, School-to-Work Act, and Workforce Investment Act.After decades of this socialist-style education, the American workforce has gone from being the best educated in the industrialized world to the least well educated.
SEL Connections to Occultists
The term "social and emotional learning was coined in 1994 at a meeting hosted by the Fetzer Institute, founded by New Age guru John Fetzer. Fetzer was obsessed with Alice Bailey, the controversial occultist and organizer of the Lucis Trust. Robert Muller, former assistant secretary-general of the U.N., authored the World Core Curriculum that introduces students worldwide to occult thought. A member of the Lucis Trust, his underlying philosophy was based on the teachings of Alice Bailey.
SEL In Federal Programs
SEL first gained a foothold in federal law in the 1990s with President Clinton’s Goals 2000 which were designed to change student attitudes, values, and beliefs. States had to adopt the statute’s National Education Goals to get federal funding through the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA). With the reauthorization of ESEA in 1994, the federal government now required statewide curriculum standards and tests.
This opened the door to more federalized control of education through No Child Left Behind, Race to the Top/Common Core, and Every Student Succeeds Act. SEL was key in all of these.
Clinton’s Goals 2000 was reauthorized under President Bush as No Child Left Behind which, with its heavy handed federal intrusion, included mental health grants for young children. The Obama administration allocated more than $150 million in mental health grants to test and collect personal data of K-12 students. Under Texas’ Governor Abbott, mental health clinics have been added to public school campuses. Now we’re seeing government taking more control with vaccination clinics on campuses.
The Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) which replaced NCLB provides numerous opportunities for SEL funding through Title I, Title II, Title IV, Title VI, and Title VIII.
State pre-K standards are frequently aligned to Head Start and the National Association for the Education of Young Children’s (NAEYC) politicized Practices that use Critical Race Theory terminology. Through Head Start and NAEYC, SEL is key in most American early childhood programs with CRT being pushed into early childhood education.
The National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) – the “nation’s report card” – is now testing for social-emotional characteristics in violation of federal law and privacy under the U.S. Constitution.
SEL: Vehicle for CRT
Various provisions of ESSA either encourage or even require the inclusion of SEL in schools. All SEL programs include sexuality, gender, race, racism, class, and the nuclear family. SEL psychological manipulations maneuver students into accepting the racist narrative of Critical Race Theory and Black Lives Matter.
The teacher union’s NEA Global Learning Fellow and teacher, Wendy Turner, is quoted, “SEL is the foundation, the heartbeat of the classroom.” Logically then, CRT must be the “foundation, the heartbeat of the classroom.”
The federal government is pushing SEL and Critical Race Theory into public schools through the American Rescue Plan 2021 that allocates $122.7 billion in grants for reopening schools. The requirement is that the school must spend at least 20% on SEL and “free, antiracist therapy for White educators” to get the grant.
The SEL Money Tree
SEL has become a gargantuan business. For vendors, adding CRT programs means new sales. At the district and school levels, these programs are supported by a top heavy staff with six-figure salaries. For investors, SEL is a golden goose.
CASEL, one of the leading companies promoting SEL and Critical Race Theory, is funded by the usual left wing billionaires: Bill Gates, Mark Zuckerberg, and Robert Wood Johnson.
The company’s website boasted, “CASEL is committed to advancing equity and excellence in education through social and emotional learning.” (This statement has now been removed from the website’s homepage.) With the negative publicity about the CRT code word “equity,” the term is no longer on the homepage but can be found elsewhere, such as in the titles of webinars, “SEL as a Lever for Equity and Social Justice.”
It appears that CASEL is committed to advancing the Marxist ideology that is disguised as social and emotional learning.
Can Parents Opt Out of SEL Assignments?
Opting one’s child out of SEL assignments sounds simple enough. In reality, it’s virtually impossible. The U.S. Department of Education’s handbook, “Roadmap to Reopening Safely and Meeting All Students’ Needs,” (page 11), explains that SEL is not only taught explicitly but is integrated broadly within the learning process.
“The teaching of social and emotional skills can be woven into how teachers design instruction and the kinds of learning opportunities they provide to students. Such learning can be developed through explicit instruction in social, emotional, and cognitive skills (including intrapersonal and interpersonal skills, conflict resolution, and decision-making) and integrating social and emotional skills, habits, and mindsets within classroom lessons and activities.”
Conservatives claim they want limited government and personal freedoms. Yet they continue to call for more laws to get rid of problems created by Democrats who seize power and control any way they can, regardless of the legalities or morality. Conservatives go to court to right the wrongs of the radical left only to find the judges are progressive socialists also.
As parents learn the truth about SEL and its ties to CRT, they assume that state bans, flipped school boards, and opting out of SEL assignments are the solution. Yet none of this will stop SEL and Critical Race Theory. As you can see above, SEL is already deeply entrenched in public education including early childhood programs.With billions of dollars at stake if SEL/CRT programs are dismantled, big business is not about to walk away from the cash cow of government education.
The founding principles of our republic will be restored only by the grassroots taking control. People should continue to form local groups and descend in droves upon school board meetings to hold the members accountable. The focus right now should be CRT and pornography as well as books in the school library that promote pornography, radical sex, and "cancel parents." Freedom of Information Act Requests for all kinds of information should be filed en masse.
There is going to be a parallel society where conservatives will form their own organizations, their own worship services, their own social media, their own banks. Small is better as we regroup and go back to the values on which our nation was birthed.
Since the left wants to segregate whites (i.e. anyone of any race, creed, nationality, color, sex or sexual preference who embraces capitalism, free markets, limited government and American traditional culture and values), then let’s segregate and let the left pay for their expensive entitlement programs.
We have no lawful, moral, or religious duty to submit to a government when it violates our Constitution and seeks to seize our God given rights.
There’s also a far easier, cheaper, and more effective way to educate children. Remove them from the Satanic influences in government schools and provide them a free market education through “homeschooling.” Parents will be able then to instill their own worldviews and values in their children.