It is important to note that George Floyd died in police custody in Minneapolis in May 2020. That incident was the spark that set off protests and riots across America throughout 2020, and catalyzed many colleges, schools, corporations, and organizations to make explicit statements of support for the Black Lives Matter movement and CRT in the form of DEI, anti-racism, and other derivative concepts. It should come as little surprise, then, that Minnesota schools and colleges have embraced CRT. Parent groups have begun to fight back, causing administrators, unions, and other supporters of CRT to dig in.
The Strategic Plan developed by the Minnesota Education Department (MDE) prominently lists anti-racism, social-emotional learning, and Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion (EDI) among its main goals. (source: https://education.mn.gov/mdeprod/idcplg?IdcService=GET_FILE&dDocName=prod034676&RevisionSelectionMethod=latestReleased&Rendition=K-12)
In addition, the governor convened an educational roundtable for reopening Minnesota schools during COVID that largely agrees with the CRT principles used in the strategic plan. It states, in part:
Why is this necessary?
For far too long, inequities have existed for some students and families. The pandemic and the tragic death of George Floyd have exacerbated and shed a light on the inequities facing our Black, brown and Indigenous communities. In order to ensure each and every student has a world class education, we have to address and push back on beliefs, historical policies, practices, and educational delivery models that have created barriers to the success of some students and families. We have an obligation to provide every student – regardless of whether they live in the metro area or greater Minnesota – with an educational experience that values who they are and supports them to reach their highest potential. (source: https://education.mn.gov/mdeprod/idcplg?IdcService=GET_FILE&dDocName=prod034673&RevisionSelectionMethod=latestReleased&Rendition=K-12)
Parents have protested and filed multiple lawsuits against school districts using CRT as a lens for creating new curricula. (source: https://townhall.com/tipsheet/carsonswick/2021/07/15/crt-protests-erupt-at-minnesota-school-board-meeting-n2592587) (https://www.foxnews.com/us/minnesota-lawsuits-critical-race-theory-retaliation-discrimination)
One fourth grader testified that teachers told her not to tell her parents about the anti-racist survey they forced her to take. (source: https://townhall.com/tipsheet/guybenson/2021/07/29/dont-tell-your-parents-minnesota-fourth-grader-reveals-secretive-equity-survey-administered-by-teacher-n2593170)
Administrators have pushed back.
Minnesota Principals Claim ‘Organized Whiteness’ of PTAs and Unions Ensure ‘Domination’
A group of 162 principals and assistant principals in Minnesota signed a statement suggesting that educators get into “good trouble” by “de-centering whiteness” and “dismantling practices that reinforce white academic superiority.”
The statement by Good Trouble Principals, first obtained by Parents Defending Education, asks educators to “get into good trouble” by “understanding that traditional organized whiteness ensures domination through forms like PTAs and Unions.” It also suggests that “white academic superiority” is reinforced by “bias in testing and the labeling, tracking and clustering that reflect an Americanized version of a caste system in our schools.”
Lastly, the statement suggests “reconstructing ‘school’ upon our full in-person returns where business-as-usual, like schedules and staffing, are open to drastic changes,” as well as “speaking truth to power.” (source: https://www.nationalreview.com/2021/09/critical-race-theory-roundup/)
Meanwhile, the teachers union in Minnesota is defending the use of CRT to reshape social studies curriculum for the entire state. (source: https://www.americanexperiment.org/education-minnesota-defends-critical-race-theory/) (https://illuminedmn.com/is-crt-in-the-standards-let-us-count-the-ways/)
The Minnesota Education Equity Project counts dozens of school districts, colleges, nonprofits, and corporations as partners. (source: https://www.mneep.org/about/members/)
MNEEP’s Big Goal #1: When leaders lead with an equity lens, schools are equity-centered and inclusive. Students can better understand themselves, their histories, and their identities and can begin to build their power to shape themselves and their world. (source: https://www.mneep.org/bbg/big-bold-goal-1/)
MNEEP proudly proclaims the virtues of CRT and why they use it to guide their desired transformation of Minnesota schools. (source: https://www.mneep.org/how-educators-and-school-leaders-can-recommit-to-racial-equity-this-school-year/)
While no state-level mandates currently exist for public and private colleges in Minnesota, some of the most far-reaching CRT mandates have been incorporated by individual schools in the state.