The State Education Department says that claim is “patently false.” And political observers say it fits a pattern for Stefanik: importing far-right, national issues into the North Country.
The pattern has been underway for a long time. Stefanik amplified conspiracy theories about the 2020 election. In 2021 she posted campaign ads, accusing Democrats of colluding with immigrants to stage an insurrection. She falsely claimed New York’s school mask mandate was illegal. And in April and May, she made claims about critical race theory.
What do people mean when they talk about “critical race theory”?
For the conservative movement, CRT has become a catch-all for any educational materials related to race and bias. But it’s actually a pretty obscure legal and academic concept that doesn’t have a place in K-12 schools, according to Gloria Ladson-Billings, who helped bring CRT to the field of education. She tried to clear up some misconceptions in a video last year.
“I don’t expect teachers to do anything around critical race theory in grades kindergarten through 12. In fact, I don’t actually introduce the notion of critical race theory to undergraduates. They have no use for it. The theory is important at the graduate level,” Ladson-Billings said.