The House Committee on Oversight and Accountability’s Subcommittee on Health Care and Financial Services held a hearing this week on education oversight in America’s public schools, calling it “America’s Report Card: Oversight of K-12 Public Education.”
According to the Committee on Oversight and Accountability press release, “Lawmakers examined how billions of dollars in taxpayer funds distributed to state educational agencies to mitigate the effects of COVID-19 on elementary and secondary schools and to help them reopen safely were frequently misused to support pet projects and left-wing political agendas.”
[NOTE: Congresswoman Lisa McClain (R-MI) chairs the Health Care and Financial Services subcommittee. Rep. James Comer (R-KY) chairs the Oversight Committee.]
At the hearing, Committee member Rep. Virginia Foxx (R-NC) — recently in the news for yelling “Shut up!” at a reporter who asked House Speaker Mike Johnson about his alleged role in trying to overturn the 2020 presidential election — claimed: “We’ve heard about how serious learning loss and chronic absenteeism are, but the Department of Education doesn’t seem to be focusing on this. Instead, it seems to be spending all its time pursuing radical far-left agenda.”
Pursuing the purported “radical far-left agenda,” the hearing eventually landed on the controversial subject of Critical Race Theory (CRT) — a persistent far-right bugaboo — and CRT’s allegedly prominent role in public school curriculums.
[NOTE: Defining CRT in 2021, Education Week wrote that the 40-year-old concept’s “core idea is that race is a social construct, and that racism is not merely the product of individual bias or prejudice, but also something embedded in legal systems and policies.”]
Contradicting the perception that CRT was embedded in American schools, Denise Forte, President and CEO of the Education Trust — called as an expert witness — told the Congress members that critical race theory is not what is being taught in K-12 education curriculums.
Y’all know you can count on me to cut through the @HouseGOP lies.
This week, they tried it again: blaming ‘Critical Race Theory’ in an Oversight Hearing on declining K-12 student performance.
I fact-checked them in real time: Critical Race Theory is not taught in K-12. pic.twitter.com/bzyDfIFvyX
— Congresswoman Jasmine Crockett (@RepJasmine) February 1, 2024
When House Oversight Committee member Rep. Jasmine Crockett (D-TX) asked Forte, “Critical race theory, is that typically taught in K-12?”, Forte replied, “No.”
Crockett shared the video above from the hearing and reported to her constituents on X:
“Y’all know you can count on me to cut through the House GOP lies. This week, they tried it again: blaming ‘Critical Race Theory’ in an Oversight Hearing on declining K-12 student performance. I fact-checked them in real time: Critical Race Theory is not taught in K-12.”
Note: Rep. Foxx, 80, who is also Chairwoman of the Committee on Education and the Workforce, is running for re-election and this week received the endorsement of former President Donald Trump.