critical race theory
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Letters to the Editor — June 24, 2021
A new organization opposed to the promotion of critical race theory to kids is launching a TV ad campaign featuring several city private schools.
Free to Learn, which bills itself as a nonpartisan advocacy group, said it will deploy a seven-figure ad blitz across several flashpoint markets including New York, Arizona and Virginia.
“We want to build awareness around what is happening in our schools,” said Alleigh Marre, president of Free to Learn. “There are a lot of parents out there who are fed up with the politics in our classrooms.”
The group’s 30-second New York City spot targets Grace Church School, Brearley, Dalton, and Heschel, where curricular controversies have exploded in recent months.
“While our students fall behind the world in reading, writing, math and science, Grace Church School leads New York private schools in pushing a political curriculum,” the ad states.
The exclusive Manhattan school became engulfed in controversy earlier this year after former teacher Paul Rossi penned an essay that blasted administrators for fixating on race and “indoctrinating” students.
The new spot includes an excerpt of a conversation Rossi recorded with Head of School George Davison.
“We’re demonizing kids,” Davison said. “We’re demonizing white people for being born.”
The ad concludes that schools should “stop pushing political agendas and teach.”
Free to Learn tailored its ads for each market and asserted that schools are shifting their focus from academic achievement to ideological immersion.
Marre asserted that parents from across the racial and socio-economic spectrum are concerned about receding academic rigor and outcomes.
“Parents want their kids to learn core subjects, not ideology,” Marre said. “The best thing we can do is to build awareness. The only way to get to a resolution on this is to get people involved.”
Marre said Free to Learn and its ad campaign are funded by private donors who oppose critical race theory and aim to organize parent groups to that end.
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