The Maryland State Department of Education (MSDE), as well as many school districts across the state, have incorporated several elements of CRT into their curricula while simultaneously denying the practice. Using similar language as other states, MSDE officials and several local school board members have said they don’t teach CRT in K-12, and even went so far, in once case, as to say they had to look up this unfamiliar concept. However, the MSDE and local boards are all in on such derivative concepts as culturally relevant teaching, privilege and bias training, culturally responsive pedagogy, and the like.

K-12 Education

The Harford County Public School District denied CRT in its curriculum in the face of parent complaints, while simultaneously touting bias training coordinated with the Mid-Atlantic Equity Consortium. (source: https://www.baltimoresun.com/maryland/harford/aegis/cng-ag-crt-schools-20210415-wcj7dkdgefgi5n3rgynwoswg7y-story.html). The Montgomery County Public School District, after spending $450,000 on an “anti-racist audit,” announced it would incorporate anti-racist teaching at all levels, beginning in pre-K. (source: https://legalinsurrection.com/2021/02/school-district-in-maryland-announces-plan-to-push-anti-racist-thinking-in-preschool/). Several schools have social justice classes (source: https://www.judicialwatch.org/press-releases/crt-schools-454k/).

MDSE hosted an Achieving Academic Equity and Excellence for Black Boys Summit in August 2021. (source: https://news.maryland.gov/msde/maryland-state-department-of-education-hosts-achieving-academic-equity-and-excellence-for-black-boys-summit-today-thursday-august-5/)

In its announcement on how it would reopen schools to in-person learning after COVID, MSDE said, in part:

MSDE continues to provide direct support to school systems, communities, schools, teachers, students and parents. Citing specific examples, Dr. Salmon highlighted the regular guidance for special education instruction and curriculum, Judy Centers that have continued support for young families including virtual playgrounds, $2.7 million to continue CTE in the virtual environment, and the publishing of the The New Normal: Understanding and Responding to The New Normal, that provides strategies and suggestions with an equity focus to support students as they transition from isolation to renewed interactions. MSDE is also providing professional development related to psychological services and helping students cope with trauma and social injustice, as well as for instruction in the virtual environment. (source: https://news.maryland.gov/msde/maryland-state-board-of-education-meeting-focuses-on-school-year-20-21-priorities-and-return-to-in-person-instruction/)

Higher Education

The Maryland Higher Education Commission (MHEC) establishes “statewide policies for public and private colleges and universities, and for private career schools. Moreover, the Commission reviews and approves the start-up and continuation of new colleges and universities in Maryland, as well as requests for new academic programs at established schools.” MHEC updates its State Plan for Postsecondary Education every four years. The 2021-2025 plan has not been published yet.