Wisconsin schools have embraced CRT to an extent that is little understood by the public. Tony Evers, the democratic governor, used to be the state superintendent of schools. In that position, he oversaw the 2017 implementation of an equity lens for public instruction and culturally responsive teaching—both of which draw from and overlap with CRT. The University of Wisconsin system has implemented Campus Climate Surveys and has dedicated itself to organizational learning and transformation through inclusive excellence, equity, and diversity. The Republican majority in the legislature, in 2021, began working on a bill banning CRT in K-12 education and wrote the regents of the university system to determine the extent to which CRT is in the colleges, but they have encountered significant roadblocks to their efforts.
In 2017, Tony Evers, while serving as state superintendent of schools, authored Wisconsin’s Model to Inform Culturally Relevant Practices. (source: dpi.wi.gov)
The MacIver Institute, a free-market think tank in Wisconsin, has documented the extent to which various school districts have embraced CRT (source: maciverinstitute.com):
- We found that Critical Race Theory (CRT) – or one of the many other names for CRT, like Culturally Responsive Teaching (CRT), equity, antiracism, woke, implicit bias, white privilege – is being taught in many school districts all across the state and is quickly on its way to fundamentally changing K12 education in Wisconsin.
- Parents need to wake up to what CRT is, what CRT will do to their children’s education, and speak up before it is too late.
Republicans in the State Assembly passed a bill in September 2021 banning CRT in Wisconsin schools, and it has sat in committee in the Senate since. The bill is likely DOA if it ever hits Gov. Evers’ desk. (source: cbs58.com)
In September 2021, Republicans in the State Assembly held a hearing in which proponents and opponents of CRT at the university level testified. Those who promote CRT testified that CRT is not taught except in limited settings in law programs, and that students who will become teachers in the future need CRT to understand how to teach BIPOC students. (source: channel3000.com)
The University of Wisconsin System makes this claim on its website:
- Everything we do is rooted in the principles of equity, diversity, and inclusion
- We cultivate an environment where every member of our community can thrive, succeed, and be celebrated for who they are, how they identify, and what they contribute to our universities.
In 2019, the University of Wisconsin System renewed its dedication to teaching through an equity lens by holding a statewide conference on Equity in the Classroom. (source: wisconsin.edu)