When I graduated from the Loudoun County Public Schools system seven years ago, LCPS was known as one of the best in the country and it deserved that title. The schools I attended were in excellent condition, the teachers were compassionate and well-educated, and students were given the best space possible in which to achieve. With regards to politics, I remember my school as very neutral, if not a little conservative—John Oliver once lambasted the material used in my school’s abstinence-only curriculum.
Thus, it came as a surprise when LCPS broke out into the news as an epicenter of the Critical Race Theory (CRT) war raging throughout the United States. This seemingly “new” curriculum, which politicizes the classroom and trains young people to view their society and history through an explicitly race-based and confrontational lens, has rightfully upset scores of parents of various races, creeds, and backgrounds and caused them to protest, as they did in Loudoun County, against these curricula.
What is most worrying to me is that a Critical Race Theory-based curriculum is only new in an American sense. As a researcher studying the legacy of Communism in Europe, currently based in Budapest, Hungary, I was unsettled to find the CRT curriculum strikingly similar to the education policy of the Communist Party that ruled Hungary during the Cold War.