Why Teachers are Afraid to Teach History
From early November through the end of February I worked on this piece for The New Republic’s April issue and yesterday it went online. I set out to understand how teachers were navigating the pressures around teaching controversial topics with the advent of “Critical Race Theory” bills. I also wanted to understand what parents organizing against CRT think of their teachers’ fears about retaliation. Do they worry about a chilling effect, too?
The piece is relatively long and I don’t want to bog you down with a newsletter giving a mediocre summary. I hope you can find some time to sit down with it, because the battles playing out in our schools over how we frame the story of America, how we define what anti-racism looks like, how we navigate competing visions of identity and opportunity, are the same battles playing out in our workplaces, in our media organizations, and in our politics. Schools just offer different terrain on which to fight those same battles. They also bring people together who otherwise might remain in separate spheres. I finished the reporting with a strong belief that these fights are not going away any time soon, and really touch on some of the most emotional questions in our lives. This story looks at how — like so much else — our public school teachers are caught in the middle.
You can read it here.
Thanks again for your support and ideas. I look forward to continuing covering these issues at Vox, where I start next week.