Minneapolis cites CRT as a ‘framework’ for new ethnic studies requirement

A bill introduced last year in the Minnesota House sought to require all students in the state to complete an ethnic studies course. 

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Minneapolis Public Schools explicitly lists critical race theory as a “framework” for its new ethnic studies graduation requirement.

According to left-wing critics, critical race theory is strictly a legal theory developed 40 years ago and since it isn’t explicitly referenced in some K-12 course catalogs, it therefore isn’t taught in the classroom at all.

But “ethnic studies” courses seem to be a popular vehicle for delivering CRT-inspired ideas to young students.

Manuel Rustin, a high school teacher in Pasadena, California, who helped draft a statewide “Ethnic Studies Model Curriculum,” has made that clear.

“Ethnic studies without critical race theory is not ethnic studies. It would be like a science class without the scientific method then. There is no critical analysis of systems of power and experiences of these marginalized groups without critical race theory,” Rustin told EdSource in March.

And in Minneapolis, the local school board approved an ethnic studies graduation requirement in November that explicitly cites critical race theory as a “framework” for the course.

Starting with the class of 2025, all Minneapolis students “must earn a passing grade in an ethnic studies course,” according to a resolution passed by the school board last year.

“It’s our responsibility to provide this opportunity for deep examination of power structures in our society along with identifying ways and developing skills to become agents of change,” states the resolution.

According to the “Ethnic Studies Requirement Policy Proposal” submitted to the board, students in the course will learn “about history and [the] current role of race, racism, and anti-racist work.”

“Just like other disciplines have key vocabulary and frameworks, ethnic studies does too. Examples: critical race theory, anti-racism, privilege, intersectionality,” the policy proposal approved by the board states.

This policy proposal is listed on the Minneapolis Public Schools website for students and parents who want to learn more about the ethnic studies requirement.

Nelson Inz, a school board member, said in November that it’s “important for us to recognize that our history and our understanding of history has been rooted in white supremacy for a long, long time in the United States, certainly, and elsewhere.”

“I think to some extent it’s disappointing that we have to create a separate space for ethnic studies,” he said, suggesting that the state’s educational standards are “embedded in white supremacy.”

A DFL-backed bill introduced last year in the Minnesota House sought to require all students in the state to complete an ethnic studies course.