Virginia DOE includes CRT book on reading list whose author says teachers must embrace theory – Daily Mail

By Natasha Anderson For Dailymail.Com
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The Virginia Department of Education (DOE) has included a book on its online What We Are Reading list that promotes critical race theory (CRT), a controversial concept being debated across the U.S., although the state’s former governor has argued such radical theories are not taught in schools.
The reading list is part of the DOE’s EdEquityVA initiative that is ‘focused on establishing equity targets, measuring equity outcomes … and implementing systemic policy and regulatory changes.’
The list includes several books by advocates for equality and anti-racism, including one by Abolitionist Teaching Network co-founder Bettina Love who argues in favor of CRT.
‘Teachers must embrace theories such as critical race theory, settler colonialism, Black feminism, dis/ability, critical race studies, and other critical theories, that have the ability to interrogate anti-Blackness …’ Love wrote in her book, We Want to Do More Than Survive: Abolitionist Teaching and the Pursuit of Educational Freedom.
Although the reading list is not evidence that CRT is being taught in schools, the books included could add fuel to the fire in a state where education has been a topic of political controversy.
Meanwhile, Democratic gubernatorial candidate Terry McAuliffe – also a former governor, who remains on the campaign trail ahead of Tuesday’s election, has repeatedly said CRT being taught in schools is a ‘right-wing conspiracy.’
The list includes several books by advocates for equality and anti-racism, including one by Abolitionist Teaching Network co-founder Bettina Love who argues in favor of CRT
The Va. Department of Education (DOE) is promoting a book on its online What We Are Reading list that promotes critical race theory (CRT) even though the state’s former governor argues radical theories are not taught in schools (Pictured: Virginians protesting CRT in June 2021)
Democratic gubernatorial candidate Terry McAuliffe (pictured) has repeatedly said CRT being taught in schools is a ‘right-wing conspiracy’
McAuliffe also accused his opponent, Republican Glen Youngkin, of using controversial theories, such as CRT, to be divisive.
‘This is a made-up – This is a Trump, Betsy DeVos, Glenn Youngkin plan to divide people,’ McAuliffe has said previously. ‘It’s not taught here in Virginia.’
The EdEquityVA initiative focuses its ‘efforts to advance education equity, eliminate achievement gaps, increase opportunity, and decrease disproportionality in student outcomes’ in Virginia’s schools.
The DOE says the initiative is ‘informed by literature, best practice, and research,’ hence why they provided educators and residents with a list of recommended reads.
Love’s book, which is included on the list, has sparked controversy because it openly endorses CRT and promotes ‘racially charged changes’ in the American education system.
‘Teachers need to be taught how to question Whiteness and White supremacy, how to check and deal with their White emotions of guilt and anger, and how these all impact their classrooms,’ an excerpt from her book reads.
‘Teachers must demand the end of high-stakes testing and the yelling of slogans at dark children, such as ‘knowledge is power,’ ‘work hard,’ ‘be nice,’ and ‘no excuses,’ because all you need is grit.’  
Bettina Love’s (left) book, We Want to Do More Than Survive: Abolitionist Teaching and the Pursuit of Educational Freedom (right), is included on the list. The book has sparked controversy because it openly endorses CRT and promotes ‘racially charged changes’ in the American education system
The DOE states that although there additional resources, some focused on CRT, shared on the EdEquityVA website, that does not mean the department endorses these views.  
‘Some of the links on the #EdEquityVA pages lead you to websites not associated with the Commonwealth of Virginia Department of Education. VDOE does not necessarily endorse the views expressed or the data and facts presented on these external sites,’ the department claims.
Ken Blackstone, a DOE spokesperson, also reiterated this claim, telling Fox News: ‘Critical race theory is not included in Virginia’s Standards of Learning.’
He did not immediately respond to DailyMail.com’s request for comment. 
The use of CRT in education has been criticized for its message that the US is built on racism with skin color determining the social, economic, and political differences between each. 
Advocates say its teaching is necessary to underline how deeply racism pervades society, critics say it is divisive and paints everyone as a victim or oppressor, with multiple Virginia school board meetings hitting national headlines after parents were filmed clashing with staff over the decision to teach it. 
CRT teachings have been met with backlash in Virginia, specifically in Loudoun County where parents and residents have protested the curriculum at school board meetings. 
CRT teachings have been met with backlash in Virginia, specifically in Loudoun County where parents and residents have protested the curriculum at school board meetings (as seen above in June 2021)
 
The Loudoun County School District in particular has received significant media attention for implementing CRT in student’s education.  
Laura Morris, a fifth grade teacher at Lucketts Elementary School, delivered an emotional speech after she resigned from her position because of the presence of CRT in the district. 
She accused the school board of forcing her ‘to push highly-politicized agendas on our most vulnerable constituents – the children’. 
The district also witnessed an intense altercation between two audience members at a board meeting during a discussion about CRT.
Both parties involved were arrested with one being charged with resisting arrest and disorderly conduct and the other for trespassing. 
McAuliffe, a former Virginia governor seeking election again, denies CRT’s existstence in the state education system.
‘It’s a dog whistle,’ McAuliffe told WAVY News 10 earlier this month. ‘It’s racial. It’s division. And it’s used by Glenn Youngkin and others … to divide people.’
‘It doesn’t matter. I’s not taught here in Virginia so I’m not going to spend my time – I’m not even spending my time because the school board and everyone else has come out and said it’s not taught. It’s racist.’
He continued:  ‘It’s not taught here in Virginia. Here’s what I’ve said all along, and it really bothers me — this whole idea of stirring parents up to create divisions.’
‘Our children are going through such challenges today because of COVID, and we’re talking about something here today wasting precious viewers’ time.’
Youngkin, however, has vowed to ban CRT from being taught in schools if he is elected.
‘We all know education starts with curriculum,’ he said at a rally on Saturday. ‘We will teach all history, the good and the bad.’  
‘America has fabulous chapters and it’s the greatest country in the world, but we also have some abhorrent chapters in our history, we must teach them.
He continued: ‘We know in our hearts it’s wrong. Dr. Martin Luther King implored us to judge one another based on the content of our character and not the color of our skin. Therefore, on day one, I will ban critical race theory in our schools.’
McAuliffe and Youngkin are tied at roughly 45 percent among Virginia’s registered voters, a USA Today and Suffolk University poll revealed Tuesday.
Five percent of voters said they were still undecided.  

The fight over critical race theory in schools has escalated in the United States over the last year.
The theory has sparked a fierce nationwide debate in the wake of the Black Lives Matter protests around the country over the last year and the introduction of the 1619 Project.
The 1619 Project, which was published by the New York Times in 2019 to mark 400 years since the first enslaved Africans arrived on American shores, reframes American history by ‘placing the consequences of slavery and the contributions of black Americans at the center of the US narrative’.
The debate surrounding critical race theory regards concerns that some children are being indoctrinated into thinking that white people are inherently racist or sexist.
Those against critical race theory have argued it reduces people to the categories of ‘privileged’ or ‘oppressed’ based on their skin color.
Supporters, however, say the theory is vital to eliminating racism because it examines the ways in which race influence American politics, culture and the law.

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