To the Editor:
After reading in various sources about the Illinois Assembly's Joint Committee on Administrative Rules (JCAR) considering on Feb. 16, 2021, a recommendation from the Illinois State Board of Education to adopt the "Culturally Responsive Teaching and Learning Standards" (CRTL) for K-12 and for certified teachers, I felt it imperative to write this letter.
These standards, if adopted, will affect what is taught in the classroom as well as be a political litmus test for individuals to get and/or keep a job as a teacher in Illinois. The goal of education, I believe, is to teach students how to think critically and not what to think. The latter is a goal of the CRTL.
Explanations for the CRTL standards can be found on the internet by searching "Culturally Responsive Teaching and Learning Standards" in Illinois. Ted Dabrowski of Wirepoints.org has a good explanation of the proposal and its effects on making our schools an arm of the progressive left ideals and students required to be engaged in activism. Stanley Kurtz has a detailed analysis of the mandate in the National Review on Jan. 19, 2021. Both authors share the opinion that the CRTL standards will politicize the educational process.
State Sen. Terri Bryant has a petition on her website, senatorbryant.com, that citizens opposed to the implementation of the CRTL can sign and which will be forwarded to the proper committees and individuals. Also, the members of the JCAR committee are six state representatives and six state senators, evenly divided by political affiliation, who can be contacted by going to www.ilga.gov/commission/jcar where the contact information for members is listed. Paul Schimpf, retired senator, has more information and a video on his Facebook page.