Superintendent Catherine Truitt and Others are Playing Progressive Politics While the State Faces Faces a Literacy Crisis.
By: Sloan Rachmuth
Superintendent Catherine Truitt's job is to create K-12 standards,educational resources, and assesments for teachers in North Carolina. She was elected, in large part, by parents; thousands with children who are now immersed in lessons on white privilege and transgenderism instead of reading, writing, and math.
Last week, the state received a failing grade for its new Social Studies standards from the Fordham Institute – the leading reviewer of Civics and U.S History standards of every state school system in the nation. Superintendent Truitt had this to say about the standards she helped pass:
"I felt like the standards were not well written. I felt like they were not grounded in the discipline of history. They lack specificity. They are scattered organizationally. And those things combine to form a set of standards that are challenging for teachers to understand and devoid of historical context."
And if you think Truitt's response is a cop-out, check out what her Deputy Superintendent David Stegall said about receiving an ‘F’ from Fordham in last week's Board meeting:
"Historically, North Carolina has never received better than a 'D' grade.”
Casual observers of news might be surprised by the turn of events. Several months ago, Superintendent Truitt made these exact same standards seem like they were a body of work akin to the Federalist Papers. They were drafted by "consensus among hundreds of educators and stakeholders statewide," Truitt assured, and were written with care, “to be both inclusive and encompassing."
Close observers see that the entire process of passing these standards is wobbling like a drunk on his 5th Martini. First, Truitt wrote her own preamble to appease critics like Lt. Governor Mark Robinson and others who were rightly concerned about the anti-American sentiment baked into the standards. Her preamble contained this bit of mumbo-jumbo:
"The North Carolina Board of Education believes that our collective social studies standards must reflect the nation's diversity and that the successes, contributions, and struggles of multiple groups and individuals should be included."
But the Superintendent should have fixed the standards.
Truitt should have known that before students can appreciate our country's history, they must learn about the framing of the Constitution. Students cannot critique minorities’ struggle for equal rights in America without understanding the Declaration of Independence, the Bill of Rights, or our three branches of government. Yet none of these concepts were sufficiently addressed in the standards according to Fordham Institute’s reviewers.
Equally problematic is the glossary that DPI drafted to accompany these standards. The first version was partially plagiarized from Wikipedia, yet Truitt gave the resource two thumbs up when they were introduced to the Board. Then, the second and final version contained these terms: White privilege, systemic racism, and gender identity, the very same concepts Truitt promised that she had removed for good.
But duplicity is not a bug within Truitt's administration; it's a feature.
The Superintendent swears to the Republican base she will fight Critical Race Theory but have you heard about DPI's new teacher training program? With the help of several Progressives that she hand-picked to help her lead the department (Conservatives were overlooked entirely), and with millions in Federal funding, Truitt has initiated a top-down program called “Culturally Responsive Teaching.” A method made of equal parts identity politics and Black Lives Matter; Culturally Responsive Teaching has no high-powered studies to demonstrate its efficacy in improving literacy.
To be clear: North Carolina is in the midst of a literacy crisis. Take a look at this graph found on DPI's website showing the precipitous drop in math and reading scores for 3rd-8th graders from 2008 - 2019. The gold star signifies the date that Common Core, another top-down educational disaster, took root in the state.
Rescuing failing districts is something Truitt spent years doing in her role as a school improvement coach, according to her bio. She also knows her way around the DPI from serving as Pat McCroy's education advisor in 2016. Yet, every time Conservatives question her actions, Truitt blames her "predecessor" at DPI and, in the same breath, laments her own powerlessness in running the DPI.
Typically, we might be inclined to cut the Superintendent a break (maybe there really is a learning curve at DPI). But since Truitt is being joined by RINO megadonors and media enablers in gaslighting the public about DPI's march towards Marxism, this is now starting to get concerningly reckless—not just for public school families, but for the future of North Carolina.
Truitt ran on fixing the state’s broken education system, but now she is contributing to it. To solve the immediate crisis of the state's failure to educate 1.5 million children, Truitt must stop rubberstamping disastrous Progressive policies and become the fully transparent, accountable, and Conservative leader we thought we had voted for.