The fight over CRT in public schools has exploded all over New York, with New York City and Buffalo schools going all in on K-12 curriculum rooted in CRT, and parents protesting. Additionally, New York City is home to many elite—and expensive—private schools that have adopted offensive lesson plans that led to parent protests. The New York State Board of Education oversees both K-12 and higher education policy for all institutions in the state. Because it also sets policy for the University of the State of New York, which oversees all public and private accredited institutes of higher learning in the state, these policies apply to the entire system.
The New York State Board of Regents has adopted a DEI framework for all public schools in the state. From its draft letter, April 2021: “The Board of Regents will discuss a framework on Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion for New York State Schools which will serve as the basis for adopting a policy statement. It is important for the Board of Regents to establish and communicate to all New Yorkers its beliefs and expectations for all students and all entities under the University of the State of New York umbrella–especially at pivotal moments in history. The nation is at such a moment now. With this framework, the Board is ready to address the long history of racism and bigotry, and the corrosive impact they have had on every facet of American life.” (http://www.nysed.gov/diversity-equity-inclusion)
Many elite, private schools (with annual tuition costs in the tens of thousands) in New York have gone all-in on CRT. The Brearly School famously lost enrollment over their embrace of anti-racist curriculum, and The Grace Church School recently saw a teacher object to the required anti-racist teachings. (https://publicseminar.org/2021/04/why-the-howling-that-new-yorks-private-schools-have-been-taken-over-by-critical-race-theory/)
Parent protests that have erupted across the state over CRT curriculum have done little to blunt the momentum of the Board of Regents in adopting its equity lens.
While no explicit state mandate can be found on the website for the New York State Office of Higher Education, state policy for all institutions is crafted through an equity lens. Many colleges and universities in New York have been at the forefront of CRT initiatives and research, as well as anti-racist education.