RealClear Politics published an Op-ed by former President Donald J. Trump on Friday, entitled “A Plan to Get Divisive & Radical Theories Out of Our Schools.”
The piece is well-written; it manages to be poignant and straightforward while maintaining the calm, distinguished demeanor that President Trump’s orations and tweets were often criticized for lacking.
President Trump opens by laying the blame for the recent surge of CRT in public school curricula squarely on the doorstep of the Biden Administration.
His opening lines read, “As a candidate, Joe Biden’s number one promise was to ‘unite’ America. Yet in his first months as president, his number one priority has been to divide our country by race and gender at every turn.”
President Trump goes on to make the case against CRT, which included this statement:
“Instead of helping young people discover that America is the greatest, most tolerant, and most generous nation in history, it teaches them that America is systemically evil and that the hearts of our people are full of hatred and malice. Far from advancing the beautiful dream of the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. — that our children should ‘not be judged by the color of their skin, but by the content of their character’ — the left’s vile new theory preaches that judging people by the color of their skin is actually a good idea.”
He goes on to assert, “Teaching even one child these divisive messages would verge on psychological abuse. Indoctrinating generations of children with these extreme ideas is not just immoral — it is a program for national suicide.” (emphasis added)
President Trump then outlines a list of seven reforms that “…every parent in American should demand,” which are summarized below:
1.) Every State should pass legislation banning taxpayer dollars from funding any school or workplace that promotes CRT – citing violation of federal anti-discrimination laws as the legal basis for such action.
2.) Each State needs a commission (he calls it a “1776 commission”) to examine the content of public school curricula.
3.) States should pass a “right to record” rule, requiring schools to post the teaching materials such as handouts, reading assignments, etc., to an online portal for inspection by parents.
4.) President Trump calls for parents to organize locally to push back against CRT and any initiative to federalize public school curricula.
5.) States should act to allow any parent who objects to their public school curriculum to receive a voucher for their child to attend another school.
6.) States need to make a concerted effort to reign in their administrative oversight bodies, specifically those pertaining to education and credentialing of teachers.
7.) Lastly, President Trump calls for an end to tenure in public schools. While he does not specifically call out unions here, he does claim, “[t]enure was originally supposed to protect competent teachers from being subjected to undue political influence; it has turned into a mechanism to protect incompetent teachers who themselves wield undue political influence over our children.”
The publication of this article may signal the return of President Trump to mainstream political discourse. It will no doubt be interesting to see how the media reacts to it.