Noth Carolina Legislative Building

The Case for House Bill 324

North Carolinians worry about the increased politicization of public school classrooms.  According to the June 2021 Civitas Poll:

  • 65% of survey participants believe that classroom instruction in K-12 schools has become more political over the last five years
  • 72.5% of parents or guardians of current K-12 students observed increased politicization in classroom instruction
  • 57% of survey participants agreed that teachers give their personal beliefs in the classroom to influence the beliefs of children
  • Just over 62% of parents or guardians believe that teachers try to influence the beliefs of children

Public school teachers have adopted classroom activities informed by critical race theory (CRT).

  • In 2019, a teacher distributed a “diversity inventory” assignment at Heritage High School in Wake County.
  • In February, a Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools teacher forwarded a copy of the “Privilege Self-Assessment” worksheet distributed to his middle school students.
  • Selected examples of CRT from the Fairness and Accountability in the Classroom for Teachers and Students (F.A.C.T.S.) Task Force include the following:
    • A parent raised concerns about a “how whiteness is a problem in science” assignment in a high school chemistry class.
    • Another sent a slide of a teacher’s presentation about “color-blind racism” and the “privilege” associated with those who do not identify racism as the cause of “contemporary inequalities.”
    • Multiple parents reported the assignment of “Stamped (For Kids): Racism, Antiracism, and You” by Jason Reynolds and Ibram X. Kendi.

House Bill 324 reinforces the Code of Ethics for North Carolina Educators.

  • As part of their commitment to the profession, all North Carolina educators are required to acknowledge “the diverse views of students, parents and legal guardians, and colleagues as they work collaboratively to shape educational goals, policies, and decisions.”
  • In addition, educators are told to “not proselytize for personal viewpoints that are outside the scope of professional practice.”

House Bill 324 prioritizes academics.

  • The bill is needed because a handful of radical public school teachers fail to understand why families would object to the personally intrusive assignments described above or other types of educationally dubious activities conducted in the name of “equity.”
  • Because of learning loss during the pandemic, public schools cannot afford to waste time on tasks designed to satisfy the ideological or political commitments of their teachers.

Academic transparency is a necessary component of any classroom diversity/nondiscrimination bill.

  • Most school administrators already require educators to use unit and lesson plans to guide daily instruction. Teachers could upload these documents, which unquestionably satisfy the requirements of the legislation with minimal effort.
  • North Carolina public schools are a $14-plus billion industry, yet taxpayers have little information about what happens inside the classroom. An academic transparency requirement is an indispensable way to protect that investment.
  • June 2021 Civitas Poll: A plurality (42.5%) of respondents and a majority of parents (54.2%) support an academic transparency requirement.

Terry Stoops / Director of the Center for Effective Education | John Locke Foundation

Terry Stoops is the Vice President for Research and Director of Education Studies at the John Locke Foundation. Before joining the Locke Foundation, he worked as the progra...