Alabama Governor Kay Ivey has made the decision to remove a teacher resource book from the state’s pre-K programs. The book, the National Association for the Education of Young Children Developmentally Appropriate Practice Book, has been identified as promoting concepts related to Critical Race Theory (CRT) and gender ideology. The governor’s decision was based on concerns that the book contained “woke concepts” that are divisive and not appropriate for any age level, especially for the state’s youngest learners.
— Margaret Auburn Grad 1776 (@MargaretAUGrad) April 22, 2023
Governor Ivey stressed in a report from her office that her primary focus is the education of Alabama’s children. Therefore, any material or idea that could divert attention from this mission is deemed inappropriate. The “woke concepts” featured in the book are not in line with the values and beliefs of both the Ivey Administration and the residents of Alabama. The teacher resource book promotes the idea among educators that there are “systemic forces” that perpetuate methods of white privilege.
The teacher resource book promotes the tenets of Critical Race Theory (CRT) by asserting that structural and institutional racism has infiltrated every institution and system via policies and practices that oppress people of color and restrict their opportunities. Furthermore, the book advocates for gender ideology by recommending that schools convey messages of dignity, equality, and worth to children from LGBT families.
Following the concerns raised about the teacher resource book, Governor Ivey requested the resignation of Barbara Cooper, a bureaucrat who supported the book, from her position as Secretary of the Alabama Department of Early Childhood teaching. Ivey’s spokesperson, Gina Maiola, has pointed out that pre-K children should concentrate on fundamental subjects such as reading and mathematics, rather than on ideology. Alabama’s First Class Pre-K program is widely considered as the best in the nation, and Governor Ivey believes that these children are at a critical stage in their educational growth and development.
Subsequently, the removal of this book has sparked a heated debate about the role of CRT and gender ideology in the classroom. Critics argue that the book’s contents are necessary to understand the systemic and structural racism present in society, and that children need to be aware of these issues from a young age. Proponents of the governor’s decision, on the other hand, argue that children in pre-K are too young to understand these complex issues, and that focusing on ideology may distract from the basics.
Governor Ivey’s decision to withdraw the teacher resource book highlights the ongoing discussion on the place of Critical Race Theory (CRT) and gender ideology in education. While there are varying arguments regarding this matter, Governor Ivey has emphasized that her topmost priority is the education of Alabama’s children. In her view, these concepts are unsuitable for pre-K programs.