Stephen Sawchuk: What is Critical Race Theory and Why Is It Under Attack?

Diane Ravitch's blog

Stephen Sawchuk is a staff writer for Education Week. He wrote this article back in May, and I missed it. I think it’s one of the clearest, most balanced explanations of CRT that I have read.

Sawchuk writes:

Is “critical race theory” a way of understanding how American racism has shaped public policy, or a divisive discourse that pits people of color against white people? Liberals and conservatives are in sharp disagreement.

The topic has exploded in the public arena this spring—especially in K-12, where numerous state legislatures aredebating billsseeking to ban its use in the classroom.

In truth, the divides are not nearly as neat as they may seem. The events of the last decade have increased public awareness about things like housing segregation, the impacts of criminal justice policy in the 1990s, and the legacy of enslavement on Black Americans. But there is much less consensus on…

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