Oregon's new standards for social science exchange colorblindness for racialism. This is not progress.
This was a really very good 1,000 word elaboration of . . . common sense. It's a shame it even needs to be written (and 25 years ago I'm pretty sure it wouldn't have been necessary).
One point that stood out for me was your wonder whether any of the people behind these guidelines have ever met a five-year-old. Frankly, it has been apparent to me for a long time that most people high in the political realms of the education industry have not only never met any children, but don't even remember being children.
There is absolutely no denying that racism exerts a profound and negative effect in public education. In Pittsburgh one need look no further than the radical disparities between Black and White standardized state scores in math, science and reading. It is absurd however to pretend more racism will fix this. And CRT is racism. Taken to its logical conclusion, CRT and its ilk will simply reduce the amount of math, science and reading that all children are taught, and worse these racist policies will mean funding dearly needed to improve teaching to help our underserved children succeed, will instead be wasted on a social experiment that has no evidence of helping our kids learn. Higher math and literary masterpieces will simply be eliminated from the public school curriculum, and wealthy children will hire private tutors to learn them just like the hire music teachers today. This is a coming catastrophe for Black and poor children. We need better teachers and better schools of education not reduced learning. The blame of this is clearly on American Schools of Education. My worst students for over 30 years as a college professor have generally been the elementary education students. The least well educated faculty I have met have been the professors of education. That is the problem. And that will be much harder to fix. CRT is a delusion.
In my daughter's kindergarten class, she was taught about race as part of an "All About You" unit. The children drew and narrated their physical characteristics (hair color, eyes) as well as their interests (ice skating), families, and pets. As part of the unit, the teacher explained that some people have more and some people have less melanin in their skin, and our daughter colored in a picture of her arm and a picture of another child's arm. The teacher wrote on her behalf, "Abby has more melanin in her skin" "Kate has less melanin in her skin." I thought it was a great way to introduce racial differences, which children do notice, and explain them in a way that communicates that race is a small part of who we all are.
This makes an awful lot of assumptions, without a lot of supporting evidence.
A 4 or 5 year old does not see race or racism? That could only happen when they live in a white space which, alas, is most of Oregon. We lived in a city neighborhood which was adjacent to Black neighborhoods and my 4 year old initiated the discussion about race and racial prejudice. It was clear to her that her Black friends were poor or near poor and her white friends were not. Fortunately she was not fed colorblindness or individualism which would have limited her understanding of the issues that she and her Black friends faced. Worst of all the "individualism" of the American culture places the responsibility on the individuals. She would have learned that her Black friend's families were poor because the parents lacked talent or were just lazy.