Some school boards are starting to get the reality check on Critical Race Theory

CHAMBERSBURG – A school district in Lancaster had a major upset on the school board after Tuesday’s election because the school board members wanted to embrace Critical Race Theory in the schools – the K through 12 schools – and the citizens said no. At the ballot box.

All the school board members lost their seats. Every one.

Representative Jesse Topper joined Pat Ryan and Michele Jansen on the local-live morning radio show, First News, to give his views on Critical Race Theory.

Topper spoke to the AP recently about the four ballot initiatives in the election – specifically the third one addressing race and ethnicity.

The reporter asked why would people in your district be concerned about something that sounds so positive.

Topper said, “I said because the left has co-opted certain words. Including the word equality. We all want equality. We all want racial equality, but unfortunately the other side has co-opted certain words to really mean an agenda that has nothing to do with equality. And that’s why I said people are rightfully concerned when they hear certain buzz words.”

The concept of Critical Race Theory is not new for the university system in this country, but it is very new for the K through 12 institutions.

Topper said, “We’ve heard this nonsense from higher ed for years. We’ve let it go unfortunately. I think that needs to change. What I’m finding locally as I talk to superintendents and school boards, that’s where the rubber really needs to meet the road on this. We’ve had several superintendents and administrators come out here locally in Bedford County and say this will not be taught in their school under any circumstances.”

It’s about making certain the public and elected leaders are becoming engaged.

Topper pointed out, “Andrew Lewis has a great bill that advocates any curriculum change be posted online, be posted on the website, parents can see it, they can get involved. We also need to start looking at the funding for school districts, specifically higher ed institutions that are teaching things that are contrary to what we need to be looking at in this country right now. We already have kids who are graduating with degrees that mean absolutely nothing in the real world. This is another example of curriculum that simply is not working for our students and we need to start as they do in Texas attaching funding to results in higher education. If you’re not producing graduates with real degrees, that can go into our workforce right now and fill the jobs we have right now, then you’re not going to get funded. That’s our answer.”

Jansen noted, “It’s not just curriculum. It is pedagogy. It’s the way teacher’s teach. It is the training they get. Social, emotional learning, please look at that more carefully. They are slipping it into that and the training for our teachers. The Intermediate Unit got a two year contract with the Chambersburg School District to give them diversity, equity and inclusion training.”

Topper said, “But that’s not just education. That’s happening across our entire spectrum of corporate America. For years Republicans have been the ones who have said this idea of taxing the rich, taxing corporations is wrong. We shouldn’t just tax people because they’re job creators.”

He continued, “This woke-ism has caused me to look at corporate America and say why in the world am I going to get in front of your train anymore? That’s coming for you? The president wants to raise taxes on the top one percent and the top one percent are some of these CEOs that are encouraging this socialistic movement. So as far as I’m concerned you’re basically cannibalizing yourself at that point. I’m not going to stand and take knives and arrows to defend people who are not defending my ideals.”

Ryan said, “They’re coming after Coke and they’re coming after Nike. They’re calling out the CEOs. The CEO ad campaign. The CEOs don’t want to be talked about, especially in that light here.”

Ryan also talked about the concept of how teacher’s teach. The president of the Chambersburg School Board, Dana Baker, told the radio station to “get a grip” because Critical Race Theory was not being taught in Chambersburg.

But the question is, does he even know what CRT is?

“That’s out of a school board meeting,” Ryan said. “Here’s a PhD. You may not have a textbook, but it’s all the little things that go into baking the cake.”

Topper said, “This is not a new phenomenon coming out of our higher ed system. If you go back to the 1960s, this has been a slow roll that has built up over time with these out of touch, completely left wing professors and administrative staff at these universities. They’re the ones who have framed all of these people. We have let this go for so many years. It’s going to take some new thoughts on how we deal with our higher ed institutions before we can really get a grip on this. That’s where we’re producing those who are in these systems. So to me, that has to be the attack point. We need to pay attention also to our K through 12 to try and limit the damage. We have to start turning funding into results.”