Throughout its annual assembly late last week, the National Education Association voted to maintain teaching critical race theory in K-12 schools, according to the Washington Examiner.
The NEA's approved "new business item" established a task force for promoting a curriculum focusing more profoundly on race.
"They are now owning up to deception that they were perpetuating in the media for so long that none of this was part of their agenda," explained Asra Nomani, vice president of strategy and investigations for Parents Defending Education.
In her keynote address throughout the virtual assembly, NEA President Becky Pringle told the membership: "The NEA will lead a movement that unites not just our members, but the nation to reclaim public education as a common good, and transform it into something it was never designed to be -- a racially and socially just and equitable system that prepares every student, every one, to succeed in a diverse and interdependent world."
The increased awareness given to critical race theory has resulted in heated school board conferences and political races across the nation. Progressives have accused Republicans and conservatives of manufacturing the movement against it.
Critical race theory is described by the Encyclopedia Britannica as the concept in which race is a socially built category ingrained in American law meant to maintain social, economic, and political inequalities between whites and nonwhites. It states that the U.S. society is inherently or systemically racist. Progressives have maintained critical race theory is not taught in classrooms nationwide – something difficult to allege in light of the NEA's vote.
The PDE established a way for parents to report policies or lessons that conform to critical race theory. Nomani told the Examiner the curriculum was pervasive.
"What happened is that, as soon as we started documenting this from coast to coast, the teachers unions, the superintendents association, the school boards, and politicians — and unfortunately, willing activists within the community — also have tried to gaslight us and play this game of whether or not the theory is being taught," Nomani explained to the Examiner.
In Loudoun County, Virginia, school officials continue to maintain critical race theory is not taught in any of its classrooms. Though opposition to CRT grew so fierce throughout a school board meeting in June that police arrested at least one person and board members ended the meeting early because of the chaos, according to the Examiner.
Critical race theory critics say the approach could increase racial strains because it teaches children to see themselves, others, and institutions primarily through the lens of race.
CRT advocates maintain that children need to understand the role racism has played in shaping America as they move into the future.