Randi Weingarten left no room for doubt. “Critical race theory is not taught in elementary schools or high schools,” the American Federation of Teachers president said in a speech last year. Even if that’s true, a Pennsylvania father’s battle with a school district demonstrates that public-school teachers are being trained in the deeply divisive racial ideology.
In 2018 the Tredyffrin-Easttown School District near Philadelphia signed a contract with Pacific Educational Group. According to the school district’s website, the partnership’s purpose was “to enhance the policies and practices around racial equity.” The district assured parents in an online update last summer that no “course, curriculum or program” in the district “teaches Critical Race Theory.”
The parent of a high schooler in the district wanted to see the materials used to train teachers. He made a formal document request but was denied. Officials told him the materials couldn’t be shared because they were protected by Pacific Educational Group’s copyright.
In April [of 2022], he sued the school district in federal court. Pacific Educational Group declined to defend its copyright claim, and in June the judge in the case vacated a confidentiality order on the training materials.
Our examination of those materials indicates that Tredyffrin-Easttown staff are being trained in critical race theory.
Perhaps districts like Tredyffrin-Easttown think they can shoo parents away by making a distinction between teacher training and curriculum. But what is the point of teacher training if not to inform teachers on how they should teach?
A March 17, 2020, [Pacific Education Group] presentation spells out the “5 tenets of critical race theory” to “better understand the critical intersection of race and schooling.” One tenet is the “permanence of racism,” or the idea that “racism is endemic to all our institutions, systems and structures” in the U.S.