The Alabama Board of Education has not yet adjudicated the issue of CRT in primary or higher education. A bill has been introduced to ban CRT in elementary, secondary, and higher education across the state, but has not yet been taken up by the legislature.
July 13, 2021: Alabama State Board of Education takes up critical race theory (https://www.wsfa.com/2021/07/14/alabama-state-board-education-takes-up-critical-race-theory/)
MONTGOMERY, Ala. (WSFA) – The debate over race studies is playing out between school boards and parents across the country. On Tuesday, the critical race theory debate was taken up by the Alabama State Board of Education.
Since the murder of George Floyd in Minneapolis, institutions across the country from schools to businesses and even the U.S. military have started to re-examine how racial discrimination should be taught. Some are turning to critical race theory, a controversial concept that has been around for decades.
Now, it’s triggering passionate and angry debate among those who are for and against teaching it in the classroom.
The Alabama State Board of Education has proposed a resolution critiquing the theory, but board members have not yet come to an agreement as to what specific language the resolution would include.
The Alabama chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union sent a scathing letter to the state school board last week urging board members to reconsider passing an anti-Critical Race Theory resolution.
State school Superintendent Eric Mackey says the board wants to deal with issue head on, but in a way that makes parents comfortable.
“We want parents, no matter where they live, no matter their race, the race of their children, their background, to all feel like they can go to school and their children are going to be safe, they’re going to be cared for. They’re not going to be bullied, they’re not going to be indoctrinated. And I hear that from all sides. That’s what people want. But sometimes it’s hard for adults to agree on the steps to get there. And I think that’s the process we’re working on getting through now,” Mackey said.
Some board members want something in place before the start of school while others want to take a little more time to handle the matter.
University of Alabama education professors ask for support in critical race theory debate (https://www.al.com/education/2021/06/university-of-alabama-education-professors-ask-for-support-in-critical-race-theory-debate.html)
Education professors at the University of Alabama say proposed legislation and resolutions that target critical race theory would hurt their ability to train good future teachers.
The college’s Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Committee sent a letter this week asking higher education officials to join an effort to resist recent efforts in Montgomery to limit how schools approach issues of bias and racism. The committee calls critical race theory a useful lens that helps educators understand the importance of diversity and systems that leave behind minority students and families.
“I would say it’s really important to establish for everyone that UA professors and Alabama K-12 educators are not saying, nor do they think, that anyone is inherently racist,” said Sara McDaniel, a professor who is chair of the committee. “That is not being taught. That is not being discussed. That is not a part of anyone that I know’s value system or beliefs.”
Teachers and professors “have a moral obligation” to talk about slavery, racism, segregation and other painful parts of the country’s history without fear of repercussions, and also need to be able to participate in training that helps them treat all students fairly and equally, the committee wrote.