Douglas Andrews / July 21, 2021

Biden’s Ed Secretary Backpedals on CRT

Nationwide awareness and outrage seem to have gotten the attention of the Biden administration.

When a Washington Post headline reads, “Education Department tries to tamp down controversy over U.S. history/civics grant program,” you can bet some Beltway bureaucrats are doing some serious backpedaling.

In this case, the most beleaguered of those bureaucrats is Miguel Cardona, Joe Biden’s secretary of education. It’s his program, after all — a program that incentivizes bribes schools to teach Critical Race Theory — that’s come under fire from conservatives and concerned parents nationwide, including perhaps most famously in Cardona’s proverbial backyard in Loudoun County, Virginia.

“The department published a notice Monday in the Federal Register,” the Post reports, “that dropped references to published anti-racism works that had been mentioned in proposed rules released in April for the American History and Civics Education grant program, and that had drawn the ire of conservatives.”

We sounded the alarm about Cardona back in early January, when he was still just a nominee for education secretary. He had a history, though — one that included pushing CRT while he was Connecticut’s commissioner of education. “There,” as our Brian Mark Weber wrote, “the Anti-Racist Teaching and Learning Collective helped develop the curriculum and provides teachers with professional development opportunities so they can become ‘anti-racist’ advocates. Their recommendation to the State Education Resource Center also prepares students to become anti-racist leaders in their communities.”

The Post tries to imply that the Right’s righteous indignation was much ado about nothing, noting, “The proposed rules did not actually suggest the contested material would be required for grantees to use,” and that Cardona made clear “that curriculum decisions will not be dictated by the federal government.”

Uh-huh. Far be it from the federal government to strong-arm certain behavior at the local level by waving federal funds in front of cash-strapped states, cities, and school districts.

This walk-back from the DOE may appear minor, but it’s a win for all Americans who find it repugnant that our children are being indoctrinated by racist ideologues such as Ibram X. Kendi and rotten historians such as Nikole Hannah-Jones. Our kids are told that they belong to “oppressed” and “oppressor” classes based solely on the color of their skin; that America was founded not with its Declaration of Independence in 1776 but with the landing of the first slave ship on its shores in 1619; that we fought the Revolutionary War to preserve slavery; that blacks were mostly on their own in the fight to abolish that vile institution; that “The only remedy to racist discrimination is anti-racist discrimination. The only remedy to past discrimination is present discrimination. The only remedy to present discrimination is future discrimination.”

As Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell remarked Monday: “Glad that [the Department of Education] listened to Senate Republicans and many, many Americans and is shelving plans to let divisive, debunked propaganda take over programs for promoting civics. Students deserve a rich, rigorous education in civics and our nation’s history.”

The backlash has been building for months now, and there’s leftist blood in the water. With vigilance and unrelenting pushback, historical accuracy and civic decency can yet win the day.

Let’s celebrate this good news, and gird ourselves for the next CRT battle. And the next. And the next.

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