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Report Warning About the Teaching of “Critical Social Justice” Wanders Far Beyond Its Evidence

BOULDER, CO (May 2, 2023)—A recent report from the Manhattan Institute presents results of a survey of U.S. adults aged 18-20 to determine the extent to which eight concepts the report equates with what it calls “critical social justice” (CSJ) theory—which the report frowns upon—are taught in schools. The first of the eight concepts, for instance, is, “America is a systemically racist society.”

The report finds the concepts to be pervasive. Faulty assumptions and methodology cast doubt on the report’s conclusions, however, according to Christine Sleeter of California State University Monterey Bay and David Garcia of Arizona State University, who reviewed School Choice Is Not Enough: The Impact of Critical Social Justice Ideology in American Education.

The report finds that the eight concepts are widely taught, even in private schools and homeschooling. Because these CSJ concepts are being taught beyond public schools, the report argues that school choice is an ineffective option for shielding children from this presumed peril.

Further, Sleeter and Garcia note, the report puts forward several conclusions that do not find support from the survey: (a) teachers rather than others outside the classroom are the primary source of exposure, (b) CSJ concepts are being indoctrinated as “truth,” and (c) policy attitudes and political party affiliation are influenced by exposure to CSJ concepts.

Given that the methods do not adequately isolate exposure in school from the many other sources in which young people encounter these eight concepts, and given that no causal relationships are established, Sleeter and Garcia conclude that there is no support for the report’s highly intrusive policy recommendations—even setting aside the underlying ideological assumptions.

Find the review, by Christine Sleeter and David R. Garcia, at:

Find School Choice Is Not Enough: The Impact of Critical Social Justice Ideology in American Education, written by Zach Goldberg and Eric Kaufmann and published by the Manhattan Institute, at:

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