Sen. Kapenga presses state superintendent for CRT webinar for teachers

(The Center Square) – There are new questions for Wisconsin’s state superintendent of schools about critical race theory, politics and a webinar for teachers in the state.

Sen. Chris Kapenga, R-Delafield, on Monday released an open letter to State Superintendent Jill Underly that asks her a series of questions about a February webinar featuring activist and author Charlene Carruthers.

“Ms. Carruthers defines herself on her website first and foremost as a political strategist, which  makes it concerning and questionable about how the political writings of someone who would  be considered a radical activist by a large portion of my constituents is relevant for training our teachers, or in executing the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act mission to help children with disabilities to excel in school and thrive in society,” Kapenga wrote.

Carruthers’ webinar was based on her book, Unapologetic: A Black, Queer, and Feminist Mandate for Radical Movements.

Kapenga said the most concerning thing about the webinar was Carruthers’ quote.

“Of equal concern was her comment about Critical Race Theory. Ms. Carruthers is quoted  as saying ‘I can tell you for sure [CRT] is not the most radical thing to come out. Wait until you hear what we really think, what we really believe in,’” Kapenga added in his letter.

He’s now demanding answers from the state superintendent’s office about:

  • What are these views that parents and the public would be surprised to learn DPI holds  to and believes in?
  • Does DPI believe it is the duty of teachers to teach the caveats of activism, white privilege, systemic racism, and sexual identity in the classroom?
  • Will DPI be asking speakers with alternative views to be a part of the series to offer an  exchange of views?
  • Will DPI make these webinars accessible on The Network website so that parents and  the public can view the content?

“At a time when our schools are failing our children, as reflected in the already low and declining  proficiency rates we see across our state – even after having received unprecedented amounts  of money – I would think DPI and staff would be more focused on their mission to help raise student scores rather than creating activist, CRT, ‘leadership’ training for publicly-paid  teachers,” Kapenga wrote in his letter.