College of Education

2021 Impact Report

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States Debate Bills to Restrict How Teachers Discuss Racism, Sexism

by Sarah Schwartz, Education Week (excerpted)

Adrienne Dixson Professor of Education Policy, Organization and Leadership Adrienne Dixson was interviewed by Education Week about how some lawmakers are misinterpreting Critical Race Theory as it relates to academic practice.

Dixson, who has edited several books on critical race theory in education, said that these lawmakers “completely misunderstand” what the practice is.

“Critical race theorists would say, absolutely, that people shouldn’t be discriminated against by virtue of their race or sex. We don’t locate individuals as responsible for structural racism,” Dixson said. Instead, she said, scholars acknowledge that racism informed the country’s founding principles, and that some groups used to study education systems, examining school segregation, and inequities in instruction, assessment, and school funding.