At a time when many schools are embroiled in controversy over the teaching of Critical Race Theory (CRT), new Rasmussen Reports surveys found voters still think it is important that kids
learn traditional values in school.
In two separate Rasmussen Reports surveys, for example, overwhelming majorities back the teaching of traditional Western “values” and fear that CRT will make race relations worse.
A new national telephone and online survey by Rasmussen Reports found that 78% of Likely U.S. Voters say it’s at least somewhat important for schools to teach the traditional values of Western Civilization, including 52% who say it’s Very Important. This is virtually unchanged from four years ago, and in line with surveys dating back to 2013.
Rasmussen Reports survey said that 43% of voters polled said the teachings would make race relations worse. Just 24% said it would make relations better.
But the partisan divide is much wider on CRT. Some 67% of Republicans said critical race theory is divisive, while Democrats, by a 43% to 18% margin, believe it will make relations better.
The issue of racism has long been a hot topic and turned inflammatory over the 2020 debates of police shootings and Confederate monuments, noted the Washington Examiner’s Paul Bedard in his analysis of the Rasmussen surveys. Under President Joe Biden, it has become white-hot and helped to push through some changes, including the newly passed law making June 19 a federal holiday to celebrate Juneteenth, heralding the post-Civil War emancipation of slaves.
Rasmussen said that Biden voters are most supportive of teaching CRT.
“President Joe Biden’s strongest supporters are most likely to support teaching Critical Race Theory in public schools. Among voters who ‘Strongly Approve’ of Biden’s job performance as president, 52% believe teaching CRT will make race relations better in America. By contrast, among voters who ‘Strongly Disapprove’ of Biden’s performance, 80% think teaching CRT in public schools will make race relations worse,” read the analysis.
However, the teaching of Western values is supported by most groups, including blacks and Democrats.
“Teaching Western values in schools is considered at least somewhat important by 78% of whites, 74% of black voters and 77% of other minorities. Black and other minority voters are more likely than whites to think most schools don’t do a good job of teaching traditional values,” said Rasmussen.
The Western Values versus Critical Race Theory debate has quickly become a defining issue in many school board elections, just as it featured in the deliberations of many 2021 state legislatures.
And with these poll numbers showing just how unpopular Critical Race Theory is versus Western Values education, conservatives should be on the lookout for the “rebranding” of CRT – or in some cases Leftist education bureaucrats just plain lying about it.
American Federation of Teachers President Randi Weingarten gave a speech recently in which she said, “Critical Race Theory is not taught in elementary schools or middle schools or high schools.”
The first and most obvious “tell” that Ms. Weingarten is lying is that her union has established a legal defense fund for teachers who run afoul of states’ newly passed anti-CRT laws. If CRT isn’t being taught, then clearly no teachers would need to be defended from the consequences of teaching it.
What’s more, as Christopher F. Rufo observed in an op-ed for the New York Post, the National Education Association (NEA), Weingarten’s equally Leftwing rival union, recently held its annual Representative Assembly, with delegates from across the United States voting on priorities and allocating funding for the upcoming school year, with the ideology of critical race theory — a form of race-based Marxism — taking center stage.
The union, which represents 3 million public school employees, approved funding for three separate items related to this issue: “increasing the implementation” of “critical race theory” in K-12 curricula, promoting critical race theory in local school districts, and attacking opponents of critical race theory, including parent organizations and conservative research centers.
The NEA’s militant stance on critical race theory provides much-needed clarity on the issue, wrote Mr. Rufo. Progressives such as MSNBC host Joy Reid can no longer disingenuously claim that critical race theory is only taught in law schools or that it is only a “lens” for examining American history. The teachers union has nationalized critical race theory and committed to the full range of left-wing radicalism, including opposition to “capitalism” and “anthropocentrism.”
With a significant majority of voters skeptical, if not downright hostile, to Critical Race Theory and significant majorities in favor of teaching Western Values, conservatives should embrace these issues for values-based campaigns for school board and state legislature. We must also be on alert and ready to oppose the continued efforts of the Leftist teachers unions and education bureaucrats to rebrand or otherwise sneak this Marxist ideology into our classrooms.
Critical Race Theory (CRT)
School Board Elections
American Federation of Teachers President Randi Weingarten
National Education Association
race based Marxism