“I hadn’t the slightest clue what my privilege of being a white man had brought me… I learned to see my life through a racial lens.” That’s what one Portland student took away from a new controversial course in “Critical Race Theory.”
Dateline Wednesday March 19, 2014 – Portland Oregon: Portland Public Schools teachers participated in a training session where a controversial new curriculum including “Critical Race Theory,” is explained. The curriculum is currently implemented in three charter schools at the K-5, middle school and high school level. The curriculum is expected to be rolled out to all schools in the Portland Public School System: thus the training.
According to Wikipedia, Critical Race Theory or CRT:
“CRT recognizes that racism is engrained in the fabric and system of the American society. The individual racist need not exist to note that institutional racism is pervasive in the dominant culture. This is the analytical lens that CRT uses in examining existing power structures. CRT identifies that these power structures are based on white privilege and white supremacy, which perpetuates the marginalization of people of color.”
In this Part I, we provide excepts from presentations by Principal Carl Reinhold. In one excerpt Reinhold appears to be somewhat apologetic for the school’s entrepreneurial business course actually teaching kids to make money. “”We’d like to think we stay away from focusing on businesses for profit…” explains Reinhold. A few statistics are provided for the school including the fact that 52% of the students receive “free” or subsidized lunches, and that on any given day one-in-five students are absent for class.
“Critical Race Theory” teacher Jessica Mallare then takes over. She explains:
“We went back on forth on this with my former Principal on this name. She wanted it to be ‘American Studies for College Prep Purposes.’ I was really attached to ‘Critical Race Theory’ or ‘Critical Race Studies,'” explains Mallare.
Mallare goes on to state there is no text book, so she has full autonomy to create the curriculum as she sees fit. She explains that she and Principal Reinhold would like to move the curriculum to younger members of the student population. “Carl and I both believe firmly that if we can start younger it just opens so many more doors …”