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Forming minds: CRT debate has some conservatives calling for a return to classical education


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The Washington Examiner

Jeremiah Poff, Education Reporter

January 03, 2022

Kevin Roberts only took office as the new president of the Heritage Foundation on Dec. 1, but his education-focused vision for the legendary think tank could shift in how conservatives approach the critical issue.

“The greatest fruit of the debate over critical race theory isn't merely that conservatives are winning that debate and thankfully rooting out CRT in a lot of schools,” Roberts told the Washington Examiner. “It's that in the process of doing so, we have recognized that we can use this overreach by the radical Left to remind Americans what education should truly be about.”


But as classical education emerges as a possible answer to critical race theory and other liberal curricula, Roberts noted that the age-old study of Aristotle, Socrates, Virgil, and Homer hasn’t always been appreciated by his political allies.

“I've been frustrated, frankly, with the limited appreciation that so many conservative friends have for great books, classical education,” Roberts said. “And it isn't that they're ill-intentioned, it's that they may not have been exposed to that, as I had the privilege of.”

The Heritage president said that classical education should replace critical race theory because education is not just about teaching students “hard technical skills that allows [one] to get a job or that allows a student to do well on the standardized test.”


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