- Did MTSD hire CRT consultants to advise them on the curriculum?
- What is Critical Race Theory?
- Why the controversy over CRT?
- What is the MTSD school board's position on critical race theory (CRT)?
- Why should I attend the board meetings and how do I do so?
- If I'd like to speak at a board meeting, how do I do that?
Did MTSD hire CRT consultants to advise them on the curriculum?
No. The following consultants were hired for the purposes described below. None of them had anything to do with adding CRT to the MTSD curriculum.
- ICS for Equity – Dr. Elise Frattura, one of the owners, is an expert in the field of special education. She focused on training our teachers and staff about how to provide education equality and equity for our students receiving special education services.
- Donovan Group, LLC – This is a communications consulting group. Joe Donovan, the owner, has been used for marketing and communications work in the past.
- Mindsteps – This company was hired using grant money from the DPI to work with our building administrators (principals and assistant principals) on educator effectiveness, such has how to appropriately and effectively evaluate educators, as well as some smaller projects – building growth plans, for example.
- Blaquesmith Consulting – in June of 2020, the district worked with Dr. Ramel Smith of Blaquesmith Consulting and Dr. Alisia Moutry to offer a webinar to our school community (parents and guardians) on the topic of privilege and race. Based on the positive feedback from that event, the district engaged with Drs. Smith and Moutry in January of 2021 to discuss educational equity in the district. Neither of these events were training for staff – both of these events were offered to MTSD parents and guardians.
What is Critical Race Theory?
The term Critical Race Theory (CRT) refers to a long-standing scholarly theory that aims to explain why America is still wrestling with racism, discrimination, and inequities. CRT is a post-colonial theory influenced by postmodernism thought, focused heavily on how legalized policies affect both majority and minority groups.
The term 'systemic racism', a phrase often associated with CRT, suggests that America’s problems go beyond individual people judging others for their background or skin color. The term systemic racism suggests that the policies, daily practices, rules, regulations, and traditions of organizations can create disparities in how people of differing backgrounds fare in society.
Discussion of CRT and systemic racism has led many to believe that to finally eradicate racism in the United States, Americans need to examine their institutions -- government, legal, educational, and corporate -- to gain an understanding of why the country has not made more progress toward the vision of a united America.
For decades, hundreds of writers, philosophers, historians, sociologists, and other scholars have published articles and books on the subject of systemic racism, sometimes in direct correlation to the particular theory known as Critical Race Theory.
Why the controversy over CRT?
Whether people agree or disagree with CRT, Americans, in general, tend to be wary of any form of instruction that may equate to indoctrination; however, they also tend to oppose censorship. While adults wrestle with contemporary problems and try to find solutions, tension can arise between these two important, deeply held values. Guided by both values, parents seek to protect their children.
The purpose of a theory is to try to make sense of a seemingly inexplicable occurrence. To many, it seems impossible that a democratic society, a society that believes all people are all created equal, should still have ongoing racial conflict. Those who embrace CRT insist it is time Americans examine the systems that are perceived to have failed to create an America where “liberty and justice,” opportunity, and upward mobility unquestionably applied equally to “all.” They argue that CRT creates a necessary framework for discussion of the question of why America still has documented racial inequities.
To understand the concern over CRT, people must acknowledge that a contrasting theory exists: In general, this theory claims that progress has occurred, that the Civil Rights Movement was sufficient, that all can achieve the American dream through hard work, and that ongoing discussion of so-called systemic racism is counterproductive to the pursuit of unity and equality in our nation.
Those in favor of CRT value the way looking at American systems can encourage leaders to make predictions about human behavior, challenge commonly held assumptions, and chart a path forward based on a deeper level of understanding of how structures and organizations impact marginalized groups.
Those who oppose CRT are concerned that examinations of law and other systems through a race-related lens could further divide our nation, assign unfair blame to or vilify White people, and may ultimately discourage patriotism. Proponents consider this a false interpretation, saying the inherent focus of CRT is to bring positive change and greater unity through a broader understanding of how race has impacted American history and contemporary society.
The recent national uprising against CRT can be seen as occurring, in part, as a reaction against a widespread public outcry for curricular reforms not directly related to CRT. In addition to the Black community, many Americans consider curriculum that informs students about American chattel slavery, the WWII Holocaust of millions of Jews and other enemies of the Nazi party, the history of Native American Indian tribes, and other historical events in America’s history incomplete and inadequate and have advocated to have schools include a more comprehensive overview of history. Often, this call for a comprehensive history curriculum is falsely equated to a call to teach CRT.
What is the MTSD school board's position on critical race theory (CRT)?
The Mequon-Thiensville School District has not and does not plan to take a stance on CRT. There are many theories that inform education programs and practices across the district and MTSD does not subscribe to any single theory. Our administrators, specialists, and teachers focus work to implement effective, relevant, and best practices in the classroom while ensuring that educational practice is not directed by ideological and political concerns and instead educational principles.
Why should I attend the board meetings and how do I do so?
The board holds regular business meetings that you can attend virtually or in person. To see the schedule, please visit https://www.mtsd.k12.wi.us/board/meetings. To attend virtually, scroll down to the current date under Meeting Schedule and select "Click here" for virtual meeting access.
If I'd like to speak at a board meeting, how do I do that?
Public comments are allowed during certain portions of the agenda of the regular board meeting. If you would like to speak and are attending in person, you can fill out a comment card when you enter the room, before the meeting begins. If you would like to speak and are attending virtually, at the onset of the meeting, community members who wish to speak on any topic must fill out a virtual registration card using the “Chat” feature in Zoom. Submit notice using this feature to Amanda Sievers. Notice should include community member's name, address, the name of the group represented (if any), and the subject to be covered or the issue to be addressed.
*Please learn more at this website. https://www.mtsd.k12.wi.us/board/meetings