Banning Indoctrination Is Harder Than It Looks

Source: The Atlantic
by Conor Friedersdorf

“I sympathize with fears that some educators try to indoctrinate rather than educate public-school students about race and that some left-progressive perspectives about race veer into racial essentialism, discrimination, or crude racial stereotypes, like the notion that showing up on time or revering the written word is an attribute of ‘white culture.’ Any teacher actively promoting the concepts targeted by the North Carolina bill should meet public resistance. For lawmakers or parents to object to curricula that promote ideological dogma about race is neither illiberal nor authoritarian, any more than objecting to Lost Cause mythology in public schools is illiberal or authoritarian. Yet North Carolina’s relatively well-written bill illuminates a flaw in all such legislation: Any prohibition broad enough to exclude pernicious dogma risks prohibiting or chilling legitimate instruction, while any bill so narrow as to avoid a chilling effect is unlikely to effect significant change.” (07/08/21)