CRT prevalent in American public schools despite claims to contrary, study shows


A new study shows that elements of critical race theory are prevalent in American schools despite claims that the controversial teaching is only promoted at the college level in law degree programs or doesn’t exist at all.

The study, conducted by Manhattan Institute policy analyst Zach Goldberg and adjunct fellow Eric Kaufmann, asked 1,505 Americans aged 18 to 20 years old whether they had been taught, or heard from an adult at school, about four core concepts of critical race theory. The majority of respondents, 82.4% of whom attended public school, said they had been taught or heard about those core teachings.

The study found that 62% of the respondents, who had yet to graduate or had just recently graduated from high school, have been instructed in class or heard from an adult at school that the United States is a “systemically racist country.” More than half of respondents, 57%, said they were taught or heard that White people have “unconscious biases that negatively affect non-white people.”

According to the study, 69% of respondents said they were taught or heard that “white people have white privilege” and 67% reported that they were taught or heard “America is built on stolen land.”

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Opponents of critical race theory protest outside of the Loudoun County School Board headquarters, in Ashburn, Virginia, June 22, 2021.
(Reutersa/Evelyn Hockstein)

In addition to being familiar with the key tenets of critical race theory, the study showed that 53% of respondents said they were taught or heard that “America is a patriarchal society,” and 51% said they were exposed to the teaching that “gender is an identity choice” regardless of biological sex.

The study also found that 62% of respondents were taught that the main reason for wealth and other outcome gaps between genders and races was due to “discrimination.”

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Yorba Linda, CA, Tuesday, November 16, 2021 - The Placentia Yorba Linda School Board discusses a proposed resolution to ban teaching critical race theory in schools. 

Yorba Linda, CA, Tuesday, November 16, 2021 – The Placentia Yorba Linda School Board discusses a proposed resolution to ban teaching critical race theory in schools. 
(Robert Gauthier/Los Angeles Times via Getty Images)

“All told, our findings are hardly consistent with the ‘CRT is not being taught in schools’ narrative,” Goldberg tweeted about the results of his study. “Even assuming exposure is overestimated in the current data, it’s safe to say that a sizable share of the pre-college student population is being subjected to this stuff.”

The study also found that 68% of respondents who were taught about the main principles of CRT were not taught any opposing argument to those concepts or were taught that a “respectable” opposing argument doesn’t exist.

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“We argue that schools and/or educators that want to teach such concepts should be given the choice of either teaching the diversity of thought surrounding them or being barred from teaching them altogether,” Goldberg tweeted. “Full stop’.”

Goldberg tweeted that the findings are the “tip of the iceberg” and that more information will be included in the full report that will be published in the coming months.

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Parents and community members attend a Loudoun County School Board meeting about critical race theory in Ashburn, Virginia, on June 22, 2021.

Parents and community members attend a Loudoun County School Board meeting about critical race theory in Ashburn, Virginia, on June 22, 2021.
(Reuters/Evelyn Hockstein)

The study comes after critical race theory has become a top issue in political campaigns across the country. The curriculum is especially prevalent at school board meetings, where parents have spoken out against the teaching that the United States is a fundamentally racist country.

Prominent Democrats and many media outlets have argued over the past few years that critical race theory doesn’t exist. 

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“So, I think that the real ominous thing is that critical race theory, which isn’t real, turned the suburbs 15 points to the Trump-insurrection-endorsed Republican,” MSNBC’s Nicholle Wallace said on election night in last year’s gubernatorial race in Virginia that was won by Glenn Youngkin, who made opposing CRT a top issue.

Earlier in that same campaign cycle, Democratic candidate Terry McAuliffe claimed CRT “doesn’t exist” in Virginia while calling it a “dog whistle.”

In April of this year, CNN’s Ana Navarro was blasted by conservatives on social media after defiantly tweeting “CRITICAL RACE THEORY IS NOT TAUGHT TO CHILDREN.”

Additionally, Navarro’s network reported in October of last year that critical race theory is “not actually a thing.”





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