EducationLocal NewsDual Credit Course at Fort Worth ISD Raises Questions About Anti-CRT Law

An English class in Fort Worth ISD offered through a UT Austin program includes books that have concepts heavily associated with critical race theory.
April 8, 2022
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Fort Worth Independent School District (FWISD) has been the subject of repeated protests about its inclusion of the concepts associated with critical race theory (CRT) in its training and curriculum.

Recently, Carlos Turcios, a FWISD graduate and concerned resident, was made aware of assignments in an OnRamps English class at Southwest High School with a long list of books that he believes violate the law. 

The book list includes titles like “How to Be an Antiracist” by Ibram Kendi, “Biased: Uncovering the Hidden Prejudice that Shapes What We See, Think, and Do” by Jennifer Eberhardt, and “The Black Friend: On Being a Better White Person” by Frederick Joseph. 

The list was part of a research assignment given to the class about race, gender, or ethnicity.

In the second special session of the 87th Texas Legislature, Senate Bill (SB) 3, which became effective on December 2, prohibits schools from “requiring or making part of a course inculcation in the concept that ‘(i) one race or sex is inherently superior to another race or sex; (ii) an individual, by virtue of the individual’s race or sex, is inherently racist, sexist, or oppressive, whether consciously or unconsciously;…or (v) an individual, by virtue of the individual’s race or sex, bears responsibility, blame, or guilt for actions committed by other members of the same race or sex.’”

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Sen. Bryan Hughes (R-Mineola) told The Texan that “If Fort Worth ISD or any school district in Texas is including reading material in its OnRamps courses that advances concepts associated with critical race theory, the school district is in violation of state law.”

“The course syllabus that I have been shown includes, among other troubling items, Ibram X. Kendi’s ‘How to Be An Antiracist,’ one of the most prominent texts in support of critical race theory,” Hughes said.

“In this book, he writes, ‘The only remedy to past discrimination is present discrimination. The only remedy to present discrimination is future discrimination.’ Our teachers do not want to be forced to teach these harmful and discriminatory concepts to our children,” he noted.

OnRamps is a program developed by the University of Texas (UT) at Austin in 2011 to offer dual enrollment and distance education to high school students. 

While SB 3 relates specifically to K-12 education, Hughes believes it also applies in this case because the dual enrollment class is being taught to high school students. 

Turcios was enrolled in OnRamps when he was in FWISD. He told The Texan, “I am concerned that dual credit classes and high school classes are slowly embedding woke ideology. The UT OnRamps class is one I took when I was in high school and was filled with woke ideology of gender and race.” 

He hopes that the state will examine this program because “dual credit and other regular non-history classes can still have divisive premises such as CRT embedded.”

In January, FWISD Superintendent Kent Scribner, who has been criticized for low student performance and inclusion of woke ideology within the district, publicly announced he’d be retiring from his post. On March 29, the board of trustees voted to accept his resignation as of August 31, 2022, about two years before the official end of his contract. 

Additionally, one of the board trustees who has vocally supported equity and inclusion policies within the district, Jacinto Ramos, resigned his position on March 8. 

FWISD did not respond to a request for comment about the OnRamps class before the time of publication.

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Kim Roberts

Kim Roberts is a reporter for the Texan in the DFW metroplex area where she has lived for over twenty years. She has a Juris Doctor from Baylor University Law School and a Bachelor's in government from Angelo State University. In her free time, Kim home schools her daughter and coaches high school extemporaneous speaking and apologetics. She has been happily married to her husband for 23 years, has three wonderful children, and two dogs.