‘Teachers are confused’: Nearly 1 in 4 educators adjusted lessons despite not knowing what CRT laws were in place

Daily Caller News Foundation

  • About a quarter of teachers are changing their lesson plans because of Critical Race Theory laws despite not knowing if there are any restrictions in place, according to a January 2023 Rand Corporation report.
  • Less than one-third of educators working in states with laws that prohibit CRT lessons even knew they were in place, the report showed.
  • “It’s little wonder that teachers are confused, given the fact that unions and activists are deliberately misrepresenting what these laws actually say,” Nicole Neily, president of Parents Defending Education, told the Daily Caller News Foundation.

Nearly one in four teachers say they changed their lesson plans due to laws banning Critical Race Theory (CRT), despite many not knowing which laws are actually in place, according to a 2023 national report.

Nationally, 24% of educators changed their lesson plans because of laws prohibiting the teaching CRT in the classroom, though about 25% of those surveyed did not know if their state had any laws against it, according to a January 2023 Rand Corporation report. Of educators working in states with laws that prohibit educators from giving CRT lessons, less than one-third even knew they were in place. 

“It’s little wonder that teachers are confused, given the fact that unions and activists are deliberately misrepresenting what these laws actually say,” Nicole Neily, president of Parents Defending Education, told the DCNF. “In addition, far too many district administrators and professional associations choose to waste teachers’ time in ‘professional development’ sessions pushing politically-motivated content, rather than educating employees on their obligations under state law.”

CRT holds that America is fundamentally racist, yet it teaches people to consider social interactions in terms of race. Its adherents pursue “antiracism” through the end of merit, objective truth and the adoption of race-based policies.

Currently, 18 states have laws prohibiting CRT from being taught in K-12 school districts, while six have penalties if an educator is to break that law, according to the Education Week tracker. Since 2021, 42 states have introduced legislation to prohibit CRT lessons from schools.

One state with such laws in place is Florida; Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis signed HB 7, or the “Individual Freedom” measure, into law in April 2022 which prohibits educators from teaching students any topic, such as CRT, that will cause student guilt or shame based on their race. In March, DeSantis signed the “Parental Rights In Education” bill, dubbed the “Don’t Say Gay” act by critics, into law, prohibiting discussions and lessons on gender identity and sexual orientation from kindergarten through third grade classrooms.

“If educators are confused about what can and cannot be taught in Florida schools, the blame lies solely on media activists and union clowns who purposefully sow confusion and mislead the public,” Alex Lanfranconi, director of communications at the Florida Department of Education, told the DCNF about the report.

Arkansas is the latest state to outlaw CRT from the classroom; Republican Gov. Sarah Huckabee Sanders signed an executive order on Jan. 10 banning CRT lessons from K-12 schools and prohibiting mandatory CRT training for employees and students.

For the report, 8,063 teachers were surveyed nationally throughout April and May 2022, according to Rand Corporation.

While teachers are confused of what laws are in place, school districts should take on the responsibility and educate them on restrictions, Holly Terei, director of teacher coalition for No Left Turn in Education, a grassroots organization against “indoctrination” in the classroom, told the DCNF.

“Teachers should not be left to their own interpretation of anti-CRT laws, but instead districts need to be intentional in plainly stating expectations that align with these laws,” Terei told the DCNF. “If they have questions on the law, the school district should provide clarification. Legal language can be difficult to interpret, but that is not an excuse for not doing your due diligence to understand the law. These laws do not ask teachers to stop teaching history, they prohibit them from interjecting their political ideologies into their lessons. ”

Rand Corporation did not immediately respond to the DCNF’s request for comment.

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