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Lawrence Phillips

While I may disagree with your overall assessment of critical race theory, I am glad to see your analysis is directing the conversation at the right level of governance. The issues of the curriculum rests at the SBDM in KY.

The representativeness of these council is an interesting policy question. Your argument seems to advocate for increased parent representation. However, I hope you would consider the role of students in these council. While student representation may be difficult at the lower educational levels, student representation at the secondary level would provide a valued perspective as they live the outcomes of these decisions.

Nevertheless, on a sincere level, do you know how many SBDMs have adopt curriculums which assume a critical race theory framework in KY? Do you have any insights on how critical race theory differs in practice from cultural response teaching pedagogies?

Gary Houchens

Thanks for the thoughtful comments.

I believe that if the SBDM statute was amended to include equal parent-teacher representation AND a non-parent community representative, then this entire discussion could stay at the local level.

I also like the idea of student representation. When I served on the Kentucky Board of Education we approved several SBDM waivers from high schools that wanted to include non-voting student members in their council.

To my knowledge no school has officially "adopted" CRT materials. But there's no doubt that teachers are using CRT-inspired materials and there are few ways to know how that is being done or make it more transparent. I wrote more about this here: https://schoolleader.typepad.com/school-leader/2021/06/equity-and-diversity-are-good-crt-is-not.html

Finally, I think depending on the author there are some linkages between CRT and culturally responsive teaching practices but here too I think everything comes down to HOW a strategy is being used and with what age level of students. I use Zaretta Hammond's book in one of my classes and find its perspectives very useful, especially for teachers who may not have worked with many diverse learners. But I think it's also possible to use culturally responsive instructional materials that do not rely on - and in fact reject - some of CRT's assumptions. The 1776 Unites materials are a good example: https://projectforeverfree.org/1776-unites-celebrates-black-excellence-and-rejects-victimhood-culture/

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