Updated: Mar 13, 2022
After multiple reports and hundreds of phone calls from angry constituents, Catherine Truitt vows to re-visit the contract between the DPI and UNC's Frank Porter Graham Institute.
National media took aim at North Carolina Education officials this week after groups including Education First Alliance (EFA) called for defunding the state's plans to teach disabled preschoolers how to "deconstruct whiteness."
Even Congressman Dan Bishop weighed in on the program via Twitter.
On Friday, a little over a week after presenting the contract to the State School Board (SBE) for approval, the Superintendent backtracked.
It all began when a parent showed Truitt evidence that the pre-K program included concepts like "deconstructing whiteness" and "systemic racism" the day before the State School Board Meeting. According to emails, Truitt denied that the program was related to critical race theory or communism, and moved forward with her plans to seek millions for the program an Janury 5th's State School Board meeting.
During the meeting, Board member Amy White asked Truitt to address concerns she too had about the program containing CRT. In defense of the program, Truitt stated that its CRT-based work was "wholly separate from anything they are doing," despite the fact that the incendiary pieces bear DPI's logo, the same title, and will use the same instructors as DPI's 2021 training according to the contract.
Truitt is solely responsible for entering into contracts for services, but must obtain SBE approval for amounts over $500K. The left-leaning board approved the contract with a vote of 7-4.
Not everyone agreed that the Superintendent bore any responsibility for signing the contract between the DPI and Frank Porter Graham, or for the CRT program for disabled preschoolers.
A.P. Dillon is the education reporter at North State Journal, who has covered Truitt favorably this year.
She claimed to have contacted education reporter Luke Rosiak with the Daily Wire to convince him to change his story to include that the Superintendent did not vote on the contract. Rosiak and other reporters did not mention Truitt's contract vote.
In addition, Dillon denied that the material in DPI's training was actually Critical Race Theory, despite Rosiak's and others' reporting. Backlash followed.
NOT DPI'S FIRST CULTURALLY RESPONSIVE TEACHING PROGRAM
Last Spring, EFA covered another "Culturally Responsive Teaching" program that trained teachers to "disrupt" schools because they are both built on "White Supremacy."
The instructor of this DPI video claims that Gloria Laddsen-Billings founded Culturally Responsive Teaching in response to America's racist education system. Then he promises to show teachers how to "disrupt" schools, and admits that the goal of Culturally Responsive Teaching is to help kids become political activists.
After EFA's expose was published in March, Superintendent Truitt appeared to have discontinued the CRT teachers training program.
CORRECTION: In an earlier version of this article, we wrote that School Board Chair Eric Davis is a Republican. That should have read: School Board Chair Eric Davis is was appointed by a Republican - Pat McCroy.