Corpus Christi educators admit to teaching principles of the 1619 Project but dropping the label
October 18, 2023
Texas may be known as reliably red regarding elections, but educators spanning the Lone Star state are admittedly injecting the principles of Critical Race Theory into classrooms – despite Gov. Greg Abbott’s 2021 ban.
In the latest installment of Accuracy in Media’s in-depth Texas investigation, Corpus Christi area educators admitted to teaching the principles of the debunked 1619 Project by the New York Times Magazine’s Nikole Hannah-Jones.
However, parents wouldn’t know about this. That’s because, according to Calallen ISD curriculum director Jodi Ferguson, they don’t actually mention the 1619 Project.
Abbott signed House Bill 3979 in June 2021. The legislation does its best to prohibit the teaching that some individuals are “inherently racist, sexist, or oppressive, whether consciously or unconsciously.”
But, as AIM’s investigation shows viewers, the law seemingly bears no weight on the educational content decisions of teachers in Texas.
“We probably don’t say ‘1619,’” Curriculum Director at Calallen ISD Jodi Ferguson told investigators on hidden camera.
“But, are some of the concepts in there, in the way we’re teaching it, are they in there? I would say yes,” she said. “But we just can’t say ‘1619 Project.’”
“That would be a terminology we would avoid,” Ferguson said.
After the publication of The 1619 Project by The New York Times Magazine, the work was debunked by historians who wrote in a letter to the publication that “These errors, which concern major events, cannot be described as interpretation or ‘framing.’”
Further, the historians wrote, “They are matters of verifiable fact, which are the foundation of both honest scholarship and honest journalism. They suggest a displacement of historical understanding by ideology.”
Ferguson’s district isn’t the only one where educators are willing to cut parents out.
Karen Mircovich, instructional programs director at Ingleside ISD, confirmed to AIM investigators that teachers in the district will close their doors and teach what they believe to be right when it comes down to it.
“I wish you could meet the assistant superintendent Dr. Porter because she and I are on, you know–feel the same politically, you know,” she said.
She further divulged to investigators on hidden camera that “we have a lot of power because of where we are. And so we’re very open to that and we’ll support teachers that are as well,” referring to the principles of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion, as well as CRT.
Whether there’s a law banning CRT or not, educators across the state of Texas admit that they will teach what they want. It’s simply a matter of whether they can do it out in the open.
They’re willing to close classroom doors and indoctrinate students with highly ideological theories and debunked claims–such as those in The 1619 Project.
While there may have been good intentions behind Abbott’s ban on CRT, it doesn’t appear to work in practice.
The only solution to restore parental rights is to expand school choice.
When parents and families can decide what is best for their children, whether public schooling or alternative education options, schools will be forced to compete and provide the best schooling environment for children.
With no one holding public schools accountable, they are free to do what they want. And when laws are passed, they’ll admittedly change the language to abide by the rules. The content, however, doesn’t change.
When parents get a say, these public schools will face pressure to shape up or lose customers.
This session, several school choice bills have already been introduced in the Texas state legislature.
State Sen. Mayes Middleton (R-Galveston) introduced Senate Bill 176, which would be one of the largest school choice wins in the state if passed.
Middleton’s bill would “establish the Texas Parental Empowerment Program to provide funding for approved education-related expenses of eligible children admitted into the program.”
Under the bill, families of children who have opted out of their public school would receive a payment from the state for the average cost of a Texas student’s education, which is roughly $10,000 a year, per the Texas Tribune.
Middleton states, “What my bill would do is it would empower every single parent in the state of Texas to choose which education works best for their children’s unique educational needs.”