News Story

Detroit Schools Is ‘Deeply Using’ Critical Race Theory In Its Curriculum

Media says it isn’t being taught in public schools, but Detroit superintendent says it is widely used

On Aug. 10, Michigan Superintendent of Public Instruction Michael Rice said at a State Board of Education meeting, “Critical race theory is not a curricular issue in pre-K-12 education.”

In a June 27 Detroit Free Press story, Michigan State University professor Dorinda Carter Andrews said it was misleading to suggest the concept of critical race theory is being taught in Michigan schools.

Andrews, a professor of race, culture and equity who also chairs MSU’s Department of Teacher Education, told the Free Press, “I’d be hard pressed to find a K-12 teacher who is doing that in their school district.”

And in a July 6 Bridge Michigan story, Michigan Association of School Boards spokeswoman Shelly Davis Boyd said that the group is not aware that any schools in the state are teaching critical race theory.

Randi Weingarten, president of the American Federation of Teachers union, said, “Let’s be clear: Critical race theory is not taught in elementary schools or high schools.” The Detroit Federation of Teachers is a branch of AFT.

But in a Nov. 15 story published by the nonprofit news site Chalkbeat Detroit, Detroit Public Schools Superintendent Nikolai Vitti said critical race theory is being taught in the state’s largest school district.

The publication reported Vitti saying at a recent school board meeting:

“Our curriculum is deeply using critical race theory especially in social studies, but you’ll find it in English language arts and the other disciplines. ... Students need to understand the truth of history … understand the history of this country, to better understand who they are and about the injustices that have occurred in this country.”

In a subsequent academic committee meeting on Monday, Vitti reiterated that the Detroit school district embraces the basic tenets of CRT. It does so as part of its 2020 anti-racism resolution to “reexamine district-wide policies and curriculum and encourage students and teachers to critically analyze dominant historical narratives and question institutions of power.”

Michigan Capitol Confidential is the news source produced by the Mackinac Center for Public Policy. Michigan Capitol Confidential reports with a free-market news perspective.