Woke Education Loses Big in Texas Election

Getty Images
May 3, 2021

Voters in a Texas suburb this weekend elected five candidates who oppose "antiracism," bucking a local school board's attempt to create radical curriculum standards for K-12 education.

Conservatives picked up two school board seats, two city council seats, and the mayor's office in Southlake, a suburb north of Dallas. The victorious candidates all opposed the Carroll Independent School District's equity and inclusion plan, a pricey proposal to overhaul the district's curriculum standards and hire an equity consultant.

The Southlake election is the latest demonstration of parents thwarting leftists' efforts to radicalize education. A group of Indiana parents in April criticized their school district for pushing radical standards that divide students based on race. Last month, parents and alumni at New York City's Regis High School penned an open letter condemning the Catholic school's turn toward the "fashionable racism" of critical race theory.

Officials at Carroll Independent schools, a district located in Southlake, first convened a diversity task force in 2018 after a video surfaced of white students shouting the n-word at a party. The task force was charged with developing an equity proposal for the district, which it released in July.

The 34-page, five-year "Cultural Competence Action Plan" called for Carroll Independent schools to hire an antiracist auditor and a diversity director. The district was additionally instructed to revamp K-12 standards with an equity-centric curriculum. Estimates pegged the cost of implementing the plan at north of $1.4 million.

Parents objected to the measure, fearing it would inject the school curriculum with critical race theory, the idea that white supremacy persists through American government systems. One parent sued the district, alleging the school board's "secret deliberations" over the plan violated the Texas Open Meetings Act. A judge in December ordered Carroll Independent officials to stop implementing or revising their action plan following that lawsuit.

Hannah Smith, a lawyer and former Supreme Court clerk who won a seat on the Carroll Independent school board, said the plan would further divide students by race.

"The voters have come together in record-breaking numbers to restore unity," Smith said in a statement to NBC News. "By a landslide vote, they don't want racially divisive critical race theory taught to their children or forced on their teachers. Voters agreed with my positive vision of our community and its future."

More than 14 percent of Southlake's 31,000 residents turned out to vote in the election. Three times as many voters cast ballots in this election as in past local elections.

The election demonstrated that while school board officials are "enthralled" by radical education, they must still answer to parents and voters, American Enterprise Institute research fellow Max Eden told the Washington Free Beacon.

"[Critical race theory] has spread like wildfire throughout American public education because many school administrators are simply enthralled by the ideology," Eden said. "But schools are still accountable to parents, and parents across America are waking up to the hateful and bigoted indoctrination that calls itself 'anti-racist education.' This election proves that parents can roll back critical race theory if they organize … and hopefully this will be the first of many such cases."