State Superintendent of Schools Jillian Balow has joined conservative leaders around the country in opposing the Biden administration's proposals for schools to embrace critical race theory in civics education. The administration has put forth a draft rule that would prioritize critical race theory in American History and Civics Education grant programs published in the Federal Register.

In recent years, antiracist thinkers and scholars have mainstreamed critical race theory, which looks at how race intersects with social, cultural, legal and historical issues. Supporters say the movement tells stories that have been suppressed and has the potential to create a more equitable society by interrogating historical power structures.

Detractors, on the other hand, call it politically motivated and partisan. In her statement, Balow called it political overreach and decried the Biden administration's call to use "curriculum related to divisive author Ibram X. Kendi and the New York Times '1619 Project.'"

Kendi is one of the leading antiracist scholars and writers in the United States, and the "1619 Project" was a series of podcasts and stories from The New York Times Magazine that "aims to reframe the country’s history by placing the consequences of slavery and the contributions of black Americans at the very center of our national narrative."

"This is an alarming move toward federal overreach into district curriculum and should be rebuked across party lines," Balow wrote.

To read the draft rule or comment, click here.

Contact Tom Hallberg at 732-7079 or

Tom Hallberg covers a little bit of everything, from skiing to long-form feature stories. A Teton Valley, Idaho, transplant by way of Portland and Bend, Oregon, he spends his time outside work writing fiction, splitboarding and climbing.

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(1) comment

Judd Grossman

I'm glad she is taking this position.

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