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School board: Critical race theory not taught in Kansas

TOPEKA, Kan. – The Kansas State Board of Education on Wednesday released a statement saying that critical race theory is not part of state academic standards after hearing from at least one candidate for office who is claiming that it is.

Board Chairman Jim Porter, a Fredonia Republican, said it was important for the board to issue a statement partly because he had read a comment from a candidate for office, whom he wouldn’t name, that inaccurately claimed that critical race theory is being taught in Kansas schools.

Board Member Jean Clifford, a Garden City Republican, said that not commenting on the issue could be interpreted as a statement in itself.

“I think it’s important to let everyone know where we stand on this,” Clifford told The Associated Press.

Critical race theory centers on the idea that racism is systemic in the nation’s institutions and that they function to maintain the dominance of white people in society. There is little to no evidence that critical race theory itself is being taught in K-12 public schools nationally, though some related ideas, such as lingering consequences of slavery, have been.

The Kansas board’s statement said that critics are conflating critical race theory with “federal and state policies and requirements for measuring achievement, fairness and opportunity in education.”

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