Most Undergrads Have Encountered CRT in the Classroom, Survey Finds

Progressives frequently claim the racial ideology is not taught in schools

October 13, 2021

Most college students say they’ve encountered critical race theory in the classroom, according to a survey, contrary to progressive claims that the radical racial ideology is not taught in schools.

A national survey from Yale’s William F. Buckley Jr. Program found that 56 percent of undergraduates have learned critical race theory either in college or high school. The results, shared with the Washington Free Beacon, also show that 59 percent of those surveyed support teaching students that "America is founded on white supremacy and most laws and institutions in America today are inherently racist."

Democratic politicians and teachers' unions in recent months have tried to downplay parental concerns about critical race theory. But educators across the country make use of radical curricula. Public school officials in Loudoun County, Va., adopted a "culturally responsive framework" in June 2020 that asks teachers to update curriculum with lessons on identity and privilege. One third grade teacher in California asked students to identify themselves as privileged or oppressed.

Since 2015, the Buckley Program has surveyed undergraduates’ views on the Constitution, hate speech, and campus speech codes. This year’s survey also included questions on race issues.

Seventy-one percent of students said systemic racism remains a "big problem" and that "white people still contribute to it." Sixty-six percent of those surveyed said white Americans should be "re-educated" about American history and "what it means to be actively anti-racist." A plurality of students believe America would benefit from socialism.

Forty-six percent of students support defunding the police, down from 52 percent last year.

The survey also asked students about intimidation and self-censorship. A majority of conservatives students—61 percent—say they’ve felt intimidated in sharing their views in the classroom, compared to just 45 percent of moderate and 48 percent of liberal students.

Lauren Noble, executive director of the Buckley Program, told the Free Beacon that the results reflect a very "concerning situation" for college students.

"This survey is the latest evidence of a disturbing trend in higher education. Instead of being places where the full spectrum of ideas can be debated and explored, college campuses are too often rife with fear, intimidation, and self-censorship," Noble said. "This is a concerning situation for students across the political spectrum and should trouble us all."

Founded in 2011, Yale’s Buckley Program promotes diversity in thought through debates, lectures, and conferences.

Critical race theory has become politically toxic for the Biden administration. The Education Department in April proposed a rule that would have directed federal funding to education nonprofits that "improve" elementary and high school history curriculum with "racially, ethnically, culturally, and linguistically responsive teaching and learning practices." The administration withdrew that rule in July after facing backlash.