Connecticut is the previous stop for Miguel Cardona, the Biden aministration’s Secretary of Education. Cardona has attempted to implement CRT throughout the DoE, including in the grant-making process. 20 State Attorneys General have sued him in response. Cardona got his start as the Connecticut Education Commissioner and implemented the nation’s first statewide CRT curriculum. The CT Department of Higher Education does not appear to coordinate CRT in the state’s colleges and universities; however, they have taken the initiative to jump headlong into CRT requirements.

K-12 Education

On the K-12 level, the Connecticut State Department of Education (CSDE) adopted a strategic plan for diversity in 2015. Connecticut’s Equitable Access to Excellent Educators Plan 2015.

The Connecticut State Department of Education (CSDE), in collaboration with a wide range of stakehold-ers, has developed Connecticut’s Equitable Access to Excellent Educators Plan (2015 CT Equity Plan). This plan is developed to ensure all students, regardless of race or income, have equitable access to excellent edu-cators. The CSDE is pleased to submit this plan which complies with (1) the requirement in Section 1111(b) (8) (C) of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) that each state’s Title I, Part A plan include information on steps the State Education Agency (SEA) will take to ensure that students from low-income families and students of color are not taught at higher rates than other children by inexperienced, unqualified or out-of-field teachers or inexperienced school leaders.

Focus of the Equity Plan 2015

The 2015 Connecticut Equity Plan will focus efforts in selected high-poverty/high-minority districts to increase the percentage of experienced teachers and principals, increase retention of teachers and administrators, and increase the number of candidates who are fully prepared, certified to teach and accept positions in Connecticut’s designated shortage areas. (source: https://portal.ct.gov/-/media/SDE/Talent_Office/ctequityplan.pdf)

In 2020, CSDE hired a Director of Equity and Language to help districts meet the “academic and Social Emotional needs” of English Learners. (https://portal.ct.gov/SDE/Press-Room/Press-Releases/2020/Commissioner-Cardona-Announces-Gladys-Labas-Joins-Agency-as-Director-of-Equity-and-Language)

And in November 2020, CSDE became the first state education board to mandate CRT inspired curriculum for all schools in the state.

Miguel Cardona, nominated as President Biden’s Secretary of Education, served as the Connecticut Education Commissioner and steered the new curriculum into being:

Cardona, in his capacity as education commissioner, made Connecticut the first state in the nation to require all high schools to offer courses on African American, black, Puerto Rican and Latino studies.

The requirement was implemented by the state board of education …. under Cardona and Democratic Gov. Ned Lamont.

Listed under the courses’ learning objectives, the curriculum states the goal is to “Analyze how race, power, and privilege influence group access to citizenship, civil rights, and economic power.” (source: https://nypost.com/2020/12/23/biden-education-secretary-nominee-added-critical-theory-classes/)

In 2021, school districts across the state have made national news for the controversy caused by the CRT-inspired curriculum, and the backlash that has included anti-CRT candidates ousting incumbents on several school boards (https://www.frc.org/updatearticle/20210729/connecticut-school).

Higher Education

The Connecticut Department of Higher Education (CDHE) website appears not to have been updated since 2013. An internet search seems to indicate CDHE used to produce annual reports on increasing minority participation in the state’s institutes of higher learning, but none can be found past 2011. Connecticut does not appear to have a statewide mandate for CRT in higher education; however, many colleges and universities have taken up the charge on their own.