Rebecca Kleefisch, Wisconsin GOP governor-elect candidate for the 2020 election, published Monday’s video. She said that there was evidence to show that Wisconsin educators are advocating critical race theory in order to ensure students from kindergarten through grade 12.
Right there, on the agenda for an education conference in the state, was a session called “CRT: How to build relationships, empower student voice and respect cultural perspectives.”
But the problem is that CRT doesn’t stand for “critical race theory,” according to conference organizers.
Critical race theoryIt is an academic framework that is used in universities to examine how racism is embedded into American institutions and society. But for Republicans, it has become a catch-all for teaching anything about race and racism in schools ― something that they oppose.
Kleefisch, who served as Wisconsin lieutenant governor from 2011-2019, was wearing a “Moms for Liberty” t-shirt in the video she posted to Twitter Monday. The materials she showed included information about the state-wide conference for teachers that offered CRT training.
Kleefisch said the session was to “teach your kids’ teachers about critical race theory, so they can teach it to your kids.”
“The saddest part of this is it’s for grade levels kindergarten through 12. You can find it right here. Experience level: novice,” she added. “Why do Democrats keep lying to us and telling us that CRT is not being taught in our schools?”
She singled out Wisconsin Democratic state Sen. Chris Larson for saying that there are “zero public schools in the state” teaching critical race theory and promising to give $100 to the first person who can prove otherwise.
But the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel talked to conference organizers, who said that CRT stood for “culturally responsive teaching.” Indeed, in the description that Kleefisch herself showed on-screen, it says “culturally responsive classroom” and “culturally responsive activities.” It never says “critical race theory.”
“Session 84 is NOT about Critical Race Theory it is about Culturally Responsive Teaching. We did update the online schedule so that we do not refer to the session as CRT without spelling out Culturally Responsive Teaching,” Jim Lynch, executive director of the Association of Wisconsin School Administrators, told the Journal Sentinel.
Kleefisch’s campaign refused to back down in a statement to the paper, claiming that the organizers “changed the description to avoid scrutiny” only after she released her video.
Larson mocked Kleefisch on Monday night via Facebook.
“Wait until she finds out about the Calculus Readiness Test. Oder Community Resource Teams. She might also discover Crunchy Red Tacos from Taco Bell. Extra dangerous if you put the Fire sauce on them,” he wrote.
Kleefisch, the Republican most prominent candidate to replace Democratic Governor, is the best-known. Tony Evers. In October, former President Donald Trump said he’d like to see former Rep. Sean Duffy (R) run, saying he’d be “virtually unbeatable.” Duffy has so far not announced his candidacy.
Critical race theory has jumped to the front of campaigns since Republican Glenn Youngkin won the governor’s race in Virginia last month. Although he attempted to portray himself as moderate, leaned into the culture warsAdvocate for conservative parents’ grievances about critical race theory and transgender equality, as well as COVID-19 precautions.