Opinion — The ABCs of schooling

Published 8:18 pm Sunday, October 17, 2021

Once upon a time, families sent their children to school to learn the basics of education. We called that the ABCs, but the goal was to teach them math, reading, writing proper English, science, history, government and how to interact with others. Less formally, many of us also learned what were the three Rs. Originally, this was short for reading, ‘riting, and ‘rithmatic, but for those in rural community, it was translated into “the road to (depending on where you grew up) Richmond, Raleigh or Roanoke.” Now there is a new focus — CRT.

Critical Race Theory

Abbreviated to CRT, this is not the traditional civil rights movement which sought to provide equal opportunity and dignity without regard to race. Rather, critical race theory, and the training to implement it, is a radical ideology that focuses on race as the key to understanding society and objectifies people based on race. An outgrowth of the European Marxist school of critical theory, critical race theory is an academic movement that began in the 1980s and has only now become widely understood. CRT seeks to link racism, race and power while turning away from equality, instead focusing on equity of outcome with no regard to the effort of the individual. Unlike the civil rights movement, which sought to work within the structures of American democracy, critical race theorists challenge the foundations of the basic society, such as rationalism, constitutional law and legal reasoning. Its applications have focused, until recently, in colleges where the ideology first developed and where many individuals have been indoctrinated in the last several years. However, some states, such as Virginia, have incorporated CRT into kindergarten through high school.

Parents throughout Virginia are irate. National attention has focused on Loudoun County; however, every county is faced with it. Not only is CRT directly being woven into classrooms by Richmond bureaucrats, but also by de-emphasizing scholarships. The bean counters put into leadership positions by Governor Northam are pushing to eliminate higher math classes because the racial mix is not to their liking. Rather than encouraging students, their solution is to dummy down and reduce advanced opportunities.

Terry McAuliffe, rather than investigating what is happening, has repeatedly tried to claim that CRT does not exist. When questioned by reporters, he denied it was being taught. The follow up question was what is CRT?  He was so determined to protect the teachers’ union, he refused to answer.

Parents

Sadly, all of this has caused a rift between parents and the school boards elected to oversee our school systems. What began as parents concerned about reduced academic opportunities has now evolved into some school boards being offended that concerned parents are questioning their leadership. In too many instances, frustrations have led to vocal exchanges. Some boards have chosen to squelch those speaking out about their concerns.

Terry McAuliffe again opined with the callus and insensitive remark that parents should not be involved in the policies that effect their children’s education. President Biden, also focused on rewarding the teachers’ unions, has now asked the Justice Department and the FBI to investigate concerned parents as terrorists. No one knows where this will lead, but, traditionally, the FBI only becomes involved in cases where they are invited to be involved by state or local law enforcement. To date, no locality has requested such assistance.

As if this was not enough, some school systems have allowed books to be incorporated into their schools that celebrate pedophilia and other alternate sexual activity. These books have been found in middle and high school levels. Instead of focusing impressionable young people on norms of society, they have chosen deviation.

Is it too late to redirect our schools back to the basics of education? Hopefully not! Colleges are challenged to offer remedial classes to raise students to the level that is expected of entering freshman. Employers are dealing with job applicants that lack basic skills needed to perform entry level positions.

Parents must keep pressure on school systems to maintain high standards for our young people so they can experience successful satisfying careers.

How you vote in this fall election will set the course for a new direction or continue to please unions and this Governor’s administration and the previous one.

Frank Ruff Jr. serves as the 15th District senator in Virginia. He can be reached at Sen.Ruff@verizon.net, (434) 374-5129 or P.O. Box 332, Clarksville, VA 23927.