What Are We Talking About When We’re Talking About “CRT?”

A few weeks ago the National Alliance for Public Charter Schools hosted a great discussion with Sharif El-Mekki and Ian Rowe about the “CRT” debate. You can read about Ian and Sharif via those links. They range across media with podcasts, articles, and more and I’d encourage you to read (and listen) to them. They’re both current or former school leaders and people with interesting backstories professionally and personally. Spoiler alert – they don’t always agree. I’ve learned from both.

As regular readers here know, I think in large part the debate about “CRT” isn’t really about CRT at all. Not in the definitional sense, that schools aren’t literally teaching CRT, everyone knows that is a dodge. But rather, underneath the theater it’s about some important issues, how to teach about history and also about race and racism. Those are important issues that spark strong reactions and counter reactions and raise legitimate questions about how to teach about those issues in a way that respects pluralism and political boundaries in the public space, and is age appropriate for younger students.

That’s why I asked Sharif and Ian to continue, and expand however they want, their conversation here, all next week, while I’m taking a break from the blog. So they will both be guest posting here Monday to Friday next week in conversation and sharing their individual thoughts. I’m very grateful to both of them for taking time out of busy schedules to do this and so pleased they both said yes to the offer.

Ian and Sharif can take it from here.