Scarice Addresses “CRT” Controversy

Thursday’s “06880” post about a website criticizing the Westport Public Schools’ focus on “assertions of racism in our community” — and the hiring of NYU Metro Center to perform an equity audit on our school system — drew over 60 comments.

It also elicited a comment from Superintendent of Schools Thomas Scarice. He says:

Culture wars are not new to public schools. The recent “critical race theory” national discussions have found its stage in local public school settings. Across the country there is evidence of outlandish claims, emotional appeals, inaccurate inferences, and personal attacks, while other honest inquiries stem from curious and inquisitive parents and community members.

In either case, it is important to respectfully address concerns constructively, in a way that surfaces specific claims about the actual practices in our schools in Westport. Finding common ground is essential to the ongoing performance of public schools.

The current hyperbole of “CRT” strays widely from the original academic legal theory studied at the advanced graduate level. To my knowledge, no Westport Public School educator has this advanced training in “CRT.”

In fact, you will have difficulty finding any K-12 educator trained in this theory.  There is no CRT “curriculum” in Westport. We study all types of thinkers and theories in schools. Teaching kids “how” to think, not “what” to think, is an obligation of educators. Teaching kids to use critical thinking skills to analyze, synthesize, evaluate, etc. is a primary goal of education.

In 2017 the Westport Public Schools adopted a 3-year strategic plan. A strategic commitment to diversity and inclusion is explicitly stated by capturing the efforts the district had made under the heading, “We Value Diversity and Inclusion.”

Superintendent of schools Thomas Scarice.

In partnering with the community, that work has continued with a variety of efforts, including the initiation of an equity study. This study, which like most studies will be iterative, encompasses only part of the work that we do with our students every day.

The goals of the study are to assess the extent to which our students feel a sense of belonging and affiliation in our schools, the extent to which there is equitable access to all programs and services that we offer, and to work to enhance programs to prepare all students for the incredibly diverse world they will inhabit as adults.

The study, facilitated by consultants at NYU, has shed light on some of the disparities in outcomes for different groups of students. However, this work is intended to benefit each and every student in the Westport Public Schools.

The professional educators and locally elected Board of Education will determine the action steps as a result from the study, not outside consultants. I am confident that the community will see this work as very inclusive, and unlike the hyperbole around CRT, not divisive.  Ultimately, the findings and action plans will be considered for the Board of Education’s adoption of a long-term strategic plan.

55 responses to “Scarice Addresses “CRT” Controversy

  1. Bruce Fernie - SHS 1970

    Mr. Scarice,
    Thank you for this statement ‘Teaching kids “how” to think, not “what” to think, is an obligation of educators.’
    If only more educators, especially in the Universities and Colleges around America followed this golden rule.

  2. Erica Holmberger

    This is leadership! Thank you for addressing all the misinformation and lies going around regarding CRT!

  3. Thank you Tom! I am fully supportive of your work and that of the BOE in gathering the information you need to operate a school system committed to teaching all students “how to think.”

  4. Regardless of whether we call it CRT or anything else, the teaching and practice of identity politics is very destructive. Our goal should be to bring people together as members of communities and a nation, not to separate and categorize which will create divisions and resentments. Over half a century ago Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. strove to create a color blind society where people would be judged as individuals. Something has been lost since then and many of our academic and political leaders are making matters worse.

    • This isn’t about “identity politics” – another reactionary bugaboo – this is about, well, the racists who didn’t want African-American children to attend public schools as recently as the ’50s and ’60s not wanting their children and grandchildren being taught about how they tried to prevent African-American children from attending public schools just a few decades ago.

      Those who forget history are condemned to repeat it – and people like you want the less savory aspects of American history to be forgotten.

      The gall of people like you quoting MLK in order to justify this racist desire to hide our national history is beyond the pale.

      • Hear Hear Mr. Grimm- The idea that this group of parents remains ‘anonymous’ speaks volumes. I’d venture to say that given the opportunity, most of them would not even begin to speak to the principles of Marxism. To deny of the ‘concept’ of CRT, is also to deny ones own white privilege and to deny that a complete and total white washing of our history has/is occurring. Many of these CRT deniers haven’t taken one second to think about their privilege and what has been provided to them since birth simple by the color of their skin. It’s astounding they then have the audacity to quote MLK in defense of their utter short sightedness. It’s truly appalling.

    • Could not agree more.

    • Mr. Scarice clearly stated that CRT is not being taught in our schools. Identity politics is not being taught or practiced. An equity study has been done and analysis is being performed. Are you suggesting that equity and diversity are not a good thing? We don’t need to all be “together” in the same categorized group. That is absurd. We ARE different from each other in many many ways. The goal is to identify whether or not our differences are having an effect on EQUITY. We don’t need to BE the SAME. We need to honor our differences and have EQUAL opportunity in our schools. What EXACTLY is the Westport School District actually doing that you think is “destructive”? You are not listening (reading).

  5. Eric William Buchroeder SHS ‘70

    As far as I’m concerned, anybody, teacher, parent, student, politician or street cleaner with an axe to grind can teach CRT until the cows come home (and/or the last tax and spend bill has been passed) as long as they CLEARLY segment the curriculum content between historical FACT and corresponding OPINION. When I was in school in Westport (1957-1970) I never paid much attention to any teacher with an inability to separate opinion from fact or who was confusing the two. If I was confused I asked my dear sweet taxpaying single mom to provide clarification.

    • “an axe to grind” – so you would prefer to not teach a full account of American history because of your white fragility?

      • Eric William Buchroeder SHS ‘70

        In your fearless quest to weaponize history you avoided the point.

        • You made a point? The only point I got from your post is that really dumb people can be ginned up to be extremely angry about things they know nothing about.

          I get that racists would rather not have children learn some of the darker truths of American history. As least this kerfuffle is helping to flush them out. The irony being that these same racists complain about “erasing history” when that is all they want to do here.

  6. Thank you Superintendent Scarice! How nice to have sober, professional leadership in our schools. I appreciate your serious, respectful approach to community concerns. I am also grateful for your plain spoken communication of the facts that cuts through the cloud of misinformation and avoids taking up positions in divisive social media culture wars. Our students and entire community benefit.

  7. Thanks for being a great leader in addressing these concerns.

  8. As a former diversity educator (National Conference for Community and Justice) and Staples graduate (’68), I am so glad to see this study taking place. I worked with Staples students, and many throughout Fairfield County. It was on an elective basis, and parental permission was required. Students were eager to air the ways in which all the “isms” affected themselves and others. I applaud any action that informs policy and curriculum in ways that allow a school or school system to become a more inclusive place.

    If you disagree, or if you do agree, I suggest this article by Peggy McIntosh as an important read:

    https://nationalseedproject.org/Key-SEED-Texts/white-privilege-unpacking-the-invisible-knapsack

  9. For those interested in what the NYU Metro Center is all about, please see this intro video on “CRT” and how it intersects with the Center’s work by its head, David E. Kirkland. PLEASE make the effort to see it end-to-end. You will find it to be fascinating!

    https://steinhardt.nyu.edu/metrocenter/recap-nyu-metro-community-conversation-crt-pt-i

  10. Great statement by the Superintendent.

    The kerfuffle about CRT is another pretty obvious attempt to gin up the right-wingers. Like complaints about “political correctness,” “erasing history,” and “cancel culture,” they are just preying on the fears of stupid people who see a changing and MORE inclusive nation as a threat to their being.

    If these people want to win elections, why don’t they come up with some positive (and popular) policy suggestions rather than fear mongering?

  11. Both of my children had access to all sorts of programs throughout their time in Westport Public Schools… some they chose not to participate in and some they simply weren’t skilled for. Because someone doesn’t have the skills or abilities for a specific club or course or sport does not mean its unfair or others should have those opportunities taken away from them in the name of fairness. I was terrible at math but would never begrudge those who were good at it and took APs. We should be celebrating the diversity of skills and abilities as much as anything and not looking to provide a homogenized program that graduates clones. Everyone has their unique magical powers… and ensure an environment in which those uniquisms are celebrated.

  12. Robert Harrington (Board of Ed Candidate)

    I am running as a Republican candidate for the Westport Board of Education.

    I appreciate this post by our Superintendent.

    I would like to highlight a statement I have made, as a Dad and a candidate related to the WP06880.com website

    Would love you to take a look – and thank you.

    https://www.facebook.com/101060062327657/photos/a.114970200936643/114970114269985/?type=3

    • John D McCarthy

      Anywhere else to see this statement for those of us who choose not to patronize Facebook?

      • Robert Harrington

        Hi John. I understand that not everyone uses Facebook.

        Here is my post. Happy to discuss anytime whatever the viewpoint
        Robertharrington13@icloud.com

        ***A STATEMENT REGARDING WP06880 WEBSITE***
        **FROM CANDIDATE ROBERT HARRINGTON**

        I would like to express my clear opposition to the overall views expressed in a website under the name WP06880.

        To be clear, I am running as a Republican. I believe in Republican ideals and fiscal beliefs. However, I cannot sit silent when running for a Board of Education seat when 37 anonymous Westporters post a website full of misinformation and propaganda meant to instill fear in parents. I am extremely disappointed that these anonymous individuals are seemingly threatened by the mere existence of a racial equality audit. I welcome a constructive discussion in public with any part of the group of 37 or any other community members.

        While they of course have the right to state their views in our open and free society, and I support their freedom of speech and expression, I strongly oppose the views they express.

        In my opinion CRT is such a nonsense debate. Are you against it? Are you pro it? It is simply not factually correct that CRT is taught in Westport schools.

        If I sit on the Board of Education you can rest assured I will not permit anything that suggests white students are inherently racist and are “oppressors”. Seriously?

        Furthermore, the attack on our new Superintendent on the WP06880 website lacks both class and a name next to it. I am sure there will be times when I will be critical of our Superintendent and administration. People know me to be outspoken and direct. However, when I have a criticism of him – I will do it in public with my name next to it.

        To be clear – political and/or systemic bias should not exist in the classroom. I’d rather we all work together to achieve that goal. Can’t we live in a community where we openly try and raise the opportunities and remove barriers for all our students? Must we frame the debate about taking away from others?

        If we take steps to understand why some people don’t feel a sense of belonging in our schools I don’t fear that my three white daughters at Staples will suffer. Yesterday I witnessed positive dialogue on this topic when I sat in to observe administrators and teacher discussions at an Equity Study DEI Meeting at Staples. I didn’t agree with everything I heard – but there were lots of positive interactions.

        One improvement that I do think we need to make – I think there should be far more transparency around curriculum and the Board should be more confident in discussing what is being taught in our schools – but not through a lens of pro or anti CRT – but so our community has more visibility in the education of our children.

        In addition – I do feel the lack of communication from the BoE and the administration has resulted in many questions and concerns from families around the Equity Study. I think the process should have been set up differently and the Board of Education should have discussed and voted on different vendors. But all in I am glad we are doing a study and will look at the recommendations with an open mind.

        I look forward to having a constructive conversation with our community, leaving fear and propaganda at the door, and focusing on removing biases of all kinds in our classrooms.

        Thanks

        Robert Harrington
        *** Candidate for Board of Education ***

  13. Thank you Superintendent Scarice for your continued insightful leadership and your firm response to the misinformed and divisive group that has made themselves known, albeit anonymously. Westport is fortunate to have an expert educator leading the district and endeavoring to make our schools more welcoming safe spaces for all students.

  14. Mr. Harrington; did you vote twice for Donald Trump? If you are hawking votes on this site, I have the right to ask you and you should have he courage to answer.

    • Robert Harrington

      Full disclosure Dan.
      I became a citizen earlier this year and registered as a Republican in May 2021. I didn’t want Biden to win but the result was clear and easy to accept. I congratulated our new President the week of the 2020 election and hope he does our country proud. (I’m still hoping, but sadly not impressed so far). Happy to discuss that or any education issue in Westport if you want?

      • Mr. Harrington:

        Given your forceful and positive approach on this matter, I am kind of surprised that you are a Republican!

        If you are unimpressed by President Biden, can I ask if you were more impressed by his predecessor, who would ignore every democratic norm and encourage seditionists?

        Is there a line in the sand that you wouldn’t cross for the GOP? Because supporting a party that covers-up for seditionists is effectively supporting seditionists. And if you can accept sedition within your party ranks, what wouldn’t you accept?

        Respectfully, while I accept your statement about CRT at face value, I know you are also likely reading your audience.

        Signed,

        A long-time Republican who left the GOP after they stopped being the “peace and prosperity” party in the early aughts.

        • Robert Harrington

          Mr Grimm I don’t believe in a one party state – and the State of CT is indeed structurally supportive of a two party system. Do you know how hard it is to run as an independent ? Not win as an independent – but run as an independent! The state and town charter don’t allow for a Democrat party to control 7 out of 7 seats on the BOE

          Furthermore, it is beyond me that a board seat on the board of education is tied to ANY party affiliation.

          That said – I won’t hide and didn’t in my statement about being in the Republican Party. Sadly that isn’t good enough for you. There is nothing I can do about that. I won’t apologize. I’m trying to be measured and moderate but that is not good enough for you.

          I don’t support 3.5 trillion in government spending on many things that have nothing to do with covid – and I am not supportive of leaving American citizen behind in Afghanistan when Biden’s ordered his surrender – so I’m not exactly in rush to jump into the Democrat party at this time.

          I am very comfortable with my personal record on voting rights, conceding the results of the last election and how I responded on Jan 6th. So can I please humbly and respectful ask you to accept my democratic choices. I respect yours.

          • Given that you are “nationalizing” your party affiliation, I think it seems fair to criticize you for turning a blind eye toward sedition while making that choice.

            Clearly, we needed to get out of the 20-year Republican war in Afghanistan. Even Trump knew that when he negotiated terms with the Taliban. Biden was not willing to extend the war indefinitely. It was a withdrawal, not a surrender.

            Since Reagan was President, deficits have pretty consistently gone up due to Republican administration policies and they have gone down due to Democratic administration policies. If you are truly concerned about spending (nationally), you might want to reconsider your affiliation.

            But these are issues, which (as scary as it may seem) are minor compared with throwing in with a party that seems hell-bent on using the destruction of our democratic norms as a political strategy.

            I’m sure Democrats here would welcome a moderate voice.

            I’m not sure how a local candidate for BOE would actually have a record on voting rights, but I know this. One day someone will ask you what you did when a disgraced President urged mobs to storm the Capitol in order to attempt to violently disrupt the peaceful transition of power that takes place every four years. One thing that you won’t be able to deny is that you ran for office the very next year as a member of his political party.

            When I was a Republican, even in the worst days, I thought of the words of LBJ, that it was better to be inside the tent pissing out, than outside the tent pissing in. The tent that holds those that attack our democracy is not one worth saving.

            You are free to make whatever “democratic choice” you want, but I believe that it is a choice that merits a moral consideration. From where I sit, your choice merits a pretty harsh judgment.

            I nonetheless appreciate your take on the anti-CRT crazies.

            • Robert harrington

              Turning a blind eye to sedition? Now you are telling me how I acted on Jan 6th. I don’t think so. I don’t believe in one party rule. You are exactly the reason why people in my party give me a hard time for taking a moderate or balance view – as for some people it will never be good enough. Maybe try and build some fences just one time. I’m your neighbor. In your town. Trying to improve our school system with others and calling out the reaction of some in my own party for their view. Give me a break.

              • Those worthy aims that you have are aims that you can pursue without affiliating yourself with a party that has turned a blind eye to sedition.

                You don’t believe in one-party rule… but you are running under the banner that of the party that didn’t have the courage to vote to investigate January 6. The party where Mitch McConnell has manipulated the Supreme Court in unprecedented ways, to best insure decisions that support its ideologies (and setting aside that three members of SCOTUS were nominated by a twice-impeached President who encouraged sedition – that should make any American uneasy). You are running under the banner of the party that responds to losing statewide elections by making it more difficult to vote, largely thanks to the gutting of the Voting Rights Act by a conservative court. (What happened to adopting more popular positions?)

                You might not believe in one-party rule but you are throwing your lot behind those who do.

                I won’t give you a break because you *seem* to have good goals for your community and seem to be a smart and reasonable guy who should know better.

                What I am saying is that you are one of those with whom you choose to affiliate. If you choose to affiliate yourself with the GOP, you have thrown your lot with those who are attempting to destroy our democratic norms. It isn’t simply the outliers, it is the party mainstream.

                Obviously, I know plenty of Democrats and Republicans. And I do differentiate *somewhat* between the rank-and-file and people who choose to run for office. But a lot of Republicans seem to take a “someday Trump will die and we can all just pretend that didn’t happen” approach. Even if I was to pretend that they haven’t done long-term damage to the democracy due to the actions cited above, I really don’t believe Republicans should get off that easy. “I never thought he’d attempt to destroy the democracy, but at least I got my tax cut” is not an excuse. Your GOP moderates have lost any influence in the national party – they get primaried off of the ballot. The New England Republican is as dead as the dinosaur (seriously, look at a Congressional map).

          • Stephanie Frankel

            Mr. Harrington,
            If you do indeed associate yourself with a political party, then we get to ask you the tough questions!
            You talk a little bit about school curriculum not being political…
            As a teacher in another district, and parent in this district, I ask you this:
            How do we teach our kids about Doanld J Trump and the lies he told? How do we teach about his breaking of the oath of office? How do we teach the truth about his lies? How do we teach about his racism pandering, brainwashing, propaganda, and sheer gaslighting?
            Most importantly, how do we teach that he literally attacked our Democracy by aiding and abetting in planning a seditious act to overturn our election results? He literally ordered Pence and others to attenpt to overturn the electtion!
            This is our history! This is real! These are the facts!
            Are you going to call this politics?
            Do you call the teaching of The January 6th insurrection and the facts surrounding it, poltical?
            This is a very serious and important question! We have never been in this position before as a country!
            So school board candidate, please answer the question.

            • Robert Harrington

              You can ask me any questions you want.

              To your question – of course it would be fine to talk about real life events in the appropriate class. It happened. It’s a fact.

              Political events and history should of course be taught in the classroom.

              Political bias from teachers would not be great, allowing all views to be expressed seems appropriate. On something like Jan 6 I would assume there would be an overwhelming consensus from all about how negative and wrong these events were.

      • Stephanie Frankel

        Mr Harrington,
        Do you know how much money is given to schools to recover from learning lost during the pandemic and do you consider this money to be overspending by Biden?

  15. Michael Kliegman

    Remarkably arrogant and dismissive comments from Superintendent Scarice:

    “Across the country there is evidence of outlandish claims, emotional appeals, inaccurate inferences, and personal attacks, while other honest inquiries stem from curious and inquisitive parents and community members.”

    So his critics divide into those who are crazy and those who are merely ignorant and curious.

    But mainly, his scripted “nothing to see here” approach to questions about CRT is a pretty strong admission that a nerve has been hit. The way one waves away allegations that CRT is being implemented in the schools is to refer to it as high level academic doctrine, which is not being taught to students, or even to teachers. Since our teachers don’t know who Derrick Bell and Kimberle Crenshaw are, how could we possibly be bringing CRT into the schools?

    Scarice is not that stupid, even though he hopes the rest of us are. Yes, CRT has come to be shorthand for certain views and the broader agenda with which it has become associated, including the 1619 Project and Ibram Kendi’s “anti-racism” agenda. The questions increasing numbers of parents are asking involve the extent to which efforts are underway to radically change the curriculum, with respect to race as well as other areas of social policy. The greatest concerns center on the younger age levels, where indoctrination would be a more likely outcome than mature intellectual debate.

    What is most important is, moving away from debate over the labels, full sunshine on the school curriculum. If Mr. Scarice and his colleagues in the school system are open about what’s going on, there is likely to be less misunderstanding.

  16. I am a longtime Westport resident. A parent, not part of any website and politically independent. Up to a couple of days ago I had barely heard about Critical Race Theory (CRT) and definitely hadn’t spent time learning about it. The recent news has changed that and what I’m learning is not good.

    While there is something to be said for the original academic legal theory studied at the advanced graduate level called CRT that our superintendent refers to, it is also clear that the way CRT thinking is applied in K-12 schools around the country is deeply concerning to many parents. It does not belong there.

    Here is a recent fact-based article from my good friend Ian Rowe. Ian spent his entire and very successful career in and around education. It is written together with Bob Woodson, a civil rights veteran. They explain much better than I can why CRT is an unwelcome distraction from what should be the true objective of education: Focus our energies on achieving better outcomes for kids of all races and orientations.

    https://www.newsweek.com/critical-race-theory-distracts-widespread-academic-underachievement-opinion-1629028

    Education in the US, even in our Westport district, is not nearly as good as it could/should be. Let’s keep our eyes on the prize and prepare all our kids for the world out there.

  17. The conspiracy theorists are coming out of the woodwork.

    • Hanna Kesselman

      and the keyboard warrior is back with his Grimm comments attacking people with blanketed statements and assumptions about being Republican, and god forbid people speak up or out about something you do not agree with.

      So much for having an open mind being all about, “peace and prosperity.” You are everything that this town despises.

  18. “Everything this town despises?” It looks like most of the commenters here were anti-racist, like me.

    Making fun of my last name? So mature of you, “Hanna.”

    Hey, if you are a proud Republican, maybe you can answer my question of what is so important that you can turn a blind eye to sedition and even support people who attempt to block the investigation of January 6?

    If you choose to affiliate yourself with the GOP, you are choosing to affiliate yourself with a party whose Representatives in Washington opposed the investigation of sedition. You are choosing to affiliate yourself with a party whose leader, the former President, has continued to lie about the results of the last election. You are choosing to affiliate with a party where, nationally, they have responded to losing an election by restricting voting access (efforts made possible by a conservative Supreme Court gutting the Voting Rights Act. Of course, the anti-CRT numbskulls probably weren’t too fond of the VRA.) These are attacks on our democratic institutions. And it isn’t like the days of David Duke, when it was an outlier tainting the GOP. This is the leadership and the establishment. So I just wonder what is more important to Republicans who would run under that banner than this. If this doesn’t bother you enough to reconsider your party affiliation, what would? Your tax cut is more important? Fetuses are more important? Your freedom to not wear a mask is more important? What’s so important? Because it must be more important than our democratic norms.

    Who’s the keyboard warrior now?

    • Stephanie Frankel

      Bravo Chirs! Anyone endorsed by the GOP essentially endorses Trump! Perhaps Harrington has something written where he publicly denounces Trump? What about Moore? Does she publicly denounce Trump as a Republican? If not, these two are part of the Trump machine of sedition. Period.

  19. In December 2020, a Las Vegas 12th grader named William Clark (and his mother) filed a lawsuit against. his high school, Democracy Prep. William brought this suit against this school because he refused to answer certain questions posed in a class, which he was told he must answer or he would fail the class / would not be able to graduate. The class in question, which is a year-long class entitled “Sociology of Change”, must be taken by all seniors at Democracy Prep. William’s teacher was Kathryn Bass:

    https://ljc-assets.s3.amazonaws.com/2021/07/2020-12-22-Clark-v.-State-Public-Charter-School-Authority-LJC-Complaint.pdf

    The excerpt below is from page 13 of the pdf:

    “‘Hello my wonderful social justice warriors!’ Defendant Kathryn Bass greeted William Clark and his class on or about September 8th of this year. Miss Bass then requested each student to ‘label and identify’ their gender, racial and religious identities as part of ‘an independent reflection’ exercise which was graded. The next step was to determine if ‘that part of your identity have privilege or oppression attached to it.’ Privilege was defined as ‘the inherent belief in the inferiority of the oppressed group.’ The teacher’s material stated who qualified as oppressors, and who in virtue of their gender and race harbored ‘inherent belief in the inferiority’ of others. As a result, Kathryn Bass assigned moral attributes to pupils based on their race, gender, sexual orientation and religion. William Clark felt that if he had submitted to the terms of this exercise, he would have been in effect adopting and making public affirmations about his racial, sexual, gender identities and religious background that he believed to be false and which violated his moral convictions. He also did not wish to profess his identities on command in a non-private setting.”

    Here is a Las Vegas news article summarizing the case:

    http://www.reviewjournal.com/local/education/charter-school-awaits-critical-race-theory-lawsuit-ruling-2410479/

    For the record, I fully support a school curriculum that encourages learning, awareness and understanding of myriad cultures, experiences, etc. That said, if a curriculum is such that students are taught to identify certain people as oppressors or benefitting from privilege simply because of their skin color, gender, etc, I could not support it. I learned a long time ago that it is unkind to label others.

  20. Stephanie Frankel

    Elaine,
    That would never happen in Westport! Ask any Westport teacher! You have found the most insane and extreme example you could possibly find! Did you ask Tucker Carlson to give this to you to share with parenrs with the intention of scaeing them? Lol! Critical race theory is not taught in Westport schools. Diversity inclusion and awareness is.

    • Stephanie:

      I do not watch or read Fox News. My daily news sources are NY Times, WaPo, Wall Street Journal and Google. I am surprised that you have applied such a label to me (i.e., presumed Fox News fan) when the reality is quite the opposite. I do not mean to “scare” anyone with this information. I only ask that the Westport School District be aware of the approaches that other school districts have taken with respect to the “equity” issue, and use this information to ensure that Westport’s teachers do not follow approaches such as those I have pointed out, no matter how well-intentioned the teachers may be.

  21. Rachel Levinson

    I would add that although the comment above says this is the most “insane and extreme” example and one that would never happen in Westport, if you look up the NYU Metro Center this notion that white people are oppressors and others are victim is right in line with their thinking. Here’s one, for example, that says right up front that “white people have internalized messages, attitudes, and beliefs about white supremacy, regardless of their intentions or awareness, and often act to perpetuate racial hierarchies in our schools and communities. We believe it is the collective responsibility of white people to articulate, address and act to change these white supremacist mindsets.” https://steinhardt.nyu.edu/news/anti-racist-initiative-nyu-metro-center

    Here’s one by that explains that racism starts at birth and that “denial of this reality is both utterly wrong and reflective of privileged white folks choosing to disavow themselves from owning their role in the perpetuation of injustice.”

    https://steinhardt.nyu.edu/metrocenter/perspectives/racisms-hold-my-newborn-child-2019

    I hope you’re right that “this would never happen in Westport” but this didn’t come from Tucker Carlson or Fox News. It came from the group that the same Mr. Scarice hired to consult for the town. And if you don’t think this sort of mentality has taken a hold on schools throughout Connecticut, all of New York City, and throughout the country, maybe you should turn on the news. This would never happen in Westport – I hope you’re right.

    • Stephanie Frankel

      Why are you referring to something that is not impelented in Wesrpoet Schools? We teach about kindess and welcoming diversity. We also teach about slavery and racism. No Westport teacher is teaching white people are all bad and white supremacists, just some, who deserve that label

  22. Stephanie Frankel

    Ask a teacher, any teacher, in Westport what they teach! Go to the source firsthand! You people do not bother to do that! You buy into fear mongering and propaganda! It is shameful to the core!

    • Stephanie Frankel

      Did she say turn on the news to find out if CRT is taking over our schools? Lmfao!!! No, she does not watch Fox 24/7! Lol! Unreal, just unreal!

      • Stephanie Frankel

        Teachers are really treted like crap by these people. It is so incredibly sad and sickening. They do not bother to ask the teacher what they teach in class! They do not bother to look up the curriculum outline for the district! It is so beyond lazy!

  23. Careful, Stephanie is so unhinged she may report you as, ‘domestic terrorists’.

    • Stephanie Frankel

      No,only if you were at the insurrection, or get violent at a school board meeting about masks, vaccines, or teaching about racism!

  24. Rachel Levinson

    Let’s see if I can recap:

    E.M: I support awareness and understanding of myriad cultures, but not a curriculum that teaches students to identify people as oppressors or benefitting from privilege simply because of their skin color. Here’s an example where that is happening.

    S.F. That would never happen here!! Ask a teacher!! LOL no CRT here! Go back to watching Fox News!!

    E.M: I don’t watch Fox news. I only said people should be aware this is happening elsewhere.

    R.L.: Scarice hired one of the leading CRT proponents to review Westport schools and who do in fact believe that if you have white skin you are inherently a white supremacist and perpetuate racism unless you own up to that, an ideology that is supported in schools in CT and around the country.

    S.F. Fox News Fox News Fox News! LMFAO!! You are sad and sickening!! Teachers don’t teach CRT!!

    Does that about sum it up?

  25. Stephanie Frankel

    Rachel,
    Where does it say in the Westport School Curriculum guide that it teaches CRT? Show me in the curriculum guide and map!
    I am telling you what you said is NOT taught in Westport!
    What you found, is what is talked about in right wing media!
    I stand by all these facts!
    What is the name of the person who Scarice hired who said we are all white supremacists?
    I need a name, a specific name, attached to your claim to verify it myself!
    Also, have you gone to every school and school district to see if these claims are even true? Nope!
    You just fear mongered and attempted to brainwash9

  26. Rachel Levinson

    Stephanie – where did I say CRT is anywhere in the Westport School Curriculum? That’s not what I said. What I said was that Scarice contracted with one of the leading CRT advocacy groups. That is absolutely a true fact. Not saying they teach or use CRT now and not even saying that CRT is on the horizon here. But why have a pro-CRT group on the far side of the spectrum run this study?

    The person who was originally running the Westport equity study from NYU Metro that Mr. Scarice hired is Natalie McCabe Zwerger. The second link from NYU that I included earlier is from Ms. Zwerger, but by all means google her yourself and let me know if you think that she doesn’t believe that based only on the color of their skin, that our teachers (and perhaps even you) are part of a system of white supremacy and oppression. Here’s another example, from her remarks at a “decolonizing education” conference:

    “It is my belief that the heavy work of decolonizing education must be done by the colonizers. The heavy lifting, in disrupting and dismantling inequities and disproportionalities, must be done by white folks. By folks who could all decide to stay home tomorrow. Not even get out of bed. And would still reap the rich and effervescent privileges of their own unacknowledged supremacy.”

    Here is the link to that one: https://everydayraceblog.com/2018/05/23/my-commitment-to-decolonizeed-conference-remarks-by-nyu-css-director-natalie-mccabe-zwerger/

    I’m not saying that I disagree with everything she or others at NYU have ever said or written. I’m not. And you’re free to agree with Ms. Zwerger that all white people are colonizers who come from a history of oppression and that is something that we need to teach and instill in all of our children in public schools. I suppose you’re fine with that which is your right. But please respect that some people in Westport disagree with that and that doesn’t make them the right-wing conspiracy theorist MAGA-wearing Fox News junkies that you seem to think they are.

    • Stephanie Frankel

      Rachel,
      I must be confused! Are you stating that you are against learning about racism and how we all can contribute to it? We live in an all white suburb, primarily! What are you afraid of? I contribute to living in an all white area. I need my kids to learn about other races and cultures!

  27. Stephanie Frankel

    Rachel,
    we do have inequities! Look at Westport vs Bridgeport! We need to look in the mirror amd not be scared to do so! Bring it on! We were all taught the lie about Columbus! Time for a change!

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