At the core of the defense by Democrats and their pundit class in the controversy over critical race theory and other forms of the same basic ideology in Virginia schools is denial that any such thing has anything to do with public schooling in Virginia. Yet here we are, the night before Election Day, and the Virginia Department of Education’s “EdEquityVA” website is still live, and it is a treasure trove of precisely this sort of thing. There’s a page on “Anti-racism in Education”:
Anti-racism requires acknowledging that racist beliefs and structures are pervasive in education and then actively doing work to tear down those beliefs and structures. Strategic planning around racial equity that does not include systemic analysis of racism helps to maintain systems of oppression…In classroom practice, anti-racist pedagogy acknowledges the importance of racial and cultural identities, honors voices and experiences of people of color, teaches through collaboration and dialogue, examines power and oppression, examines discrimination as systemic, critiques traditions of schooling, and advocates for social action…Drawing from critical race theory, the term “white supremacy” also refers to a political or socio-economic system where white people enjoy structural advantage and rights that other racial and ethnic groups do not, both at a collective and an individual level.
The page includes numerous suggested reading sources drenched in this kind of rhetoric. Then there’s the “What We Are Reading” page:
Virginia’s #EdEquityVA work is informed by literature, best practice, and research. Below are the resources the Office of Equity and Community Engagement references in the development of our work, as well as texts we recommend:
- Walking the Equity Talk: A Guide for Culturally Courageous Leadership in School Communities by John Roert Browne II
- Culturally Responsive Teaching and the Brain by Zaretta Hammond
- The Dreamkeepers: Successful Teachers of African American Children by Gloria Ladson-Billings
- Culturally Responsive Teaching: Theory, Research, and Practice (third edition) by Geneva Gay
- Pushout: The Criminalization of Black Girls in Schools by Monique W. Morris
- We Want to Do More Than Survive: Abolitionist Teaching and the Pursuit of Educational Freedom by Bettina Love
- How to Be an Antiracist by Ibram X. Kendi
- Pedagogy of the Oppressed by Paulo Freire
- Using Equity Audits to Create Equitable and Excellent Schools by Linda E. Skrla
- Cultural Proficiency: A manual for School Leaders by Randall B. Lindsey, Kikanza Nuri-Robins, Raymond D. Terrell, and Delores B. Lindsey
- Race, Equity, and Education: Sixty Years from Brown by Pedro Noguera, Jill Pierce, Roey Ahram
- Courageous Conversations About Race: A Field Guide for Achieving Equity in Schools by Glen Singleton
- Foundations of Critical Race Theory in Education by Edward Taylor and David Gillborn and Gloria Ladson-Billings
- Making It: What Today’s Kids Need for Tomorrow’s World
- Four Hundred Souls – A Community History of African America, 1619-2019
- Cultural Proficiency – A Manual for School Leaders, 4th Edition
- Breakthrough Leadership – Six Principles Guiding Schools Where Inequity Is Not an Option
If you click the Taylor, Gilborn, and Ladson-Billings link, you get this description:
The emergence of Critical Race Theory (CRT) marked a pivotal moment in the history of racial politics within the academy and powerfully influenced the broader conversation about race and racism in the United States and beyond. Comprised of articles by some of most prominent scholars in the field of CRT, this groundbreaking anthology is the first to pull together both the foundational writings and more recent scholarship on the cultural and racial politics of schooling. The collection offers a variety of critical perspectives on race, analyzing the causes, consequences and manifestations of race, racism, and inequity in schooling. Unique to this updated edition are a variety of contributions by key CRT scholars published within the last five years, including an all-new section dedicated to the intersections of race and dis/ability within contemporary schooling. Each section concludes with a set of questions and discussion points to further engage with the issues discussed in the readings. This revised edition of a landmark publication documents the progress to date of the CRT movement and acts to further spur developments in education policy, critical pedagogy, and social justice, making it a crucial resource for students and educators alike.
“What we’re reading,” indeed. This is what the state government of Virginia, under Ralph Northam’s leadership, endorses. This is what Terry McAuliffe wants to continue, all the while denying that it exists. No wonder Virginia parents are noticing.