Superintendent Mary Kreger shared a brief statement following her recognitions and reports at the June 14 School Board meeting.
I want to end my report by clarifying the definition of Critical Race Theory, which has been in the news a lot lately and will be the topic of some comments shared during tonight’s meeting. Based on the correspondence we’ve received, we believe there are misconceptions about what Critical Race Theory is and what it means for education. Critical Race Theory is defined as an academic framework most commonly found in law schools that examines the systems, policies and laws that perpetuate racial inequities in our society, and how those inequities can be eliminated. It is used to connect the role that race plays in the construction of our society through multiple viewpoints and looks critically at systems to better understand the origins of racial inequities.
There are people who do not support conversations relating to race in our schools, who define Critical Race Theory differently, and are accusing school districts of teaching Critical Race Theory as they define it. This is a nationwide phenomenon. I want to be clear that District 196 does not have a curriculum that specifically includes Critical Race Theory, nor does the district explicitly teach Critical Race Theory as either group defines it. That said, the district acknowledges the importance of educational equity, including the examination of inequities in student achievement that was first required under the federal No Child Left Behind Act signed into law by President Bush in 2001.
We will continue to promote a culture of acceptance, understanding and achievement for all students and families in District 196. We recognize race to honor and learn from the lived experiences of our students, and we seek to increase inclusivity by acknowledging the diversity within our schools and communities. We remain committed to self-reflection and continuous improvement so that all of our students have equitable opportunities for educational success. The very mission of public education requires no less.