Oklahoma's top education official is warning textbook publishers that if they can't teach basic academics without "pushing indoctrination," they shouldn't bother bringing their curriculum to the state. "Look, for me, that's absolutely fine. If you can't teach math without talking about transgenderism, go to California, go to New York," Superintendent Ryan Walters remarked to Fox News Digital. The conservative official has been at the forefront of the state's battle against left-wing ideologies in public schools. Recently, several publishers of math texts withdrew their petitions to be included in the state curriculum, after Walter warned them Oklahoma would not accept textbooks that have critical race theory and social emotional learning content. "I sent out a letter to all textbook companies involved with the state and say, Listen, we will be checking for these things now. Do not give us textbooks that have critical race theory in them," he said. AS OKLAHOMA SCHOOLS CHALLENGE ‘WOKE’ CONTENT, TEXTBOOK PUBLISHERS WITHDRAW FROM STATE Oklahoma lawmakers passed a law regarding "subject matter standards" in 2020, requiring an extra review by experts before a textbook is recommended to the state textbook committee, a process they said can filter out textbooks of poor quality or questionable content. Walters said he sent a clear message to vendors that if they violated the law in order to push gender ideology and CRT-type philosophies in their textbooks, they were not welcome to do business in the state. "In Oklahoma, our kids are going to know the basics. We want them to master it. We want them to do exceptionally well academically," he explained. "We're not here for any kind of Joe Biden's socialist Marxist training ground." "And if a vendor cannot produce textbooks that actually help our students understand math and understand better science, well, then they can go somewhere else. We've got plenty to choose from, and I know that there's going to be plenty of folks that are able to get us great materials for our schools," Walters said. Besides challenging incoming texts, Walter said the state has taken several steps to empower parents and teachers, while protecting children in Oklahoma schools. They've passed a parent bill of rights, universal school choice, and a ban on pornographic material. LISTEN UP, TEACHERS: STOP GOING WOKE Walters has also led a fight against teachers unions in his state, whom he says take money away from teachers and promote radical political ideology rather than education in public schools. His state wants to reward teachers and tutors based on free market principles, he said. That's why they recently launched a teacher-recruitment program that will allow teachers to make up to six figures working in the classroom as part of an effort to reward good teachers. His mission to overhaul the school system comes down to getting kids to focus "on the basics," like reading, writing and history, he says, instead of "woke indoctrination." "We're not talking about ‘Flamer.’ We're not talking about ‘Gender Queer.’ We're not talking about make-believe genders. We're talking about truth, reality. And we're going to get our kids ready to go by focusing on the basics," he said. CLICK HERE TO GET THE FOX NEWS APP This ideology not only "lies" to kids and "warps" their worldview, he said, it also is linked to poor academic standards in schools. He gave the example of his investigation into Tulsa Public Schools, which he said first violated the state's ban on CRT in the classroom. Over 95% of students at 15 elementary schools in the district couldn't read at grade-level, he said. "It is not a coincidence that your most woke school districts are your lowest performing school districts. The two are absolutely tied together," Walters analyzed. "Which is why we're not only committed to driving out every ounce of woke indoctrination in our schools, we're also dedicated to using free market principles to stand up and encourage mastery of those basics in our schools." The former high school history teacher pushed back on the narrative that conservatives are trying to ban books that talk about slavery and civil rights from the classroom. U.S. history classes should teach students to look at the principles the country was founded on, and evaluate the country's record of applying those principles as a whole, he argued. "So as you go through, you talk about the times that America has led the free world, that we have continued to be that light. We've done more for individual liberty than any other country in the history of the world. And those belief systems that were there in place, it allowed us to do it. You've got to talk about our Judeo-Christian values. The founders were very clear that that was a crucial part of our success. Then you go through and you evaluate. Are these times we lived up to our core principles? You've got to be honest with kids about our history. So you talk about all of it, but you evaluate it through the prism of our founding principles. Is this a time we lived up to those principles?" he said. The conservative sees his fight in Oklahoma as part of a national battle against the Biden administration's actions in education. "We are absolutely not going to bend the knee to Joe Biden and do the bidding of the most radical administration that we've ever seen in this country," he said. For more Culture, Media, Education, Opinion, and channel coverage, visit foxnews.com/media. Fox News' Alexander Hall and Kendall Tietz contributed to this report.
01 Kasım 2023 - 11:40
Oklahoma Superintendent warns math publishers, 'Go to California' if they can't teach math without CRT
Oklahoma State Superintendent of Public Instruction Ryan Walters explained how he's working to eliminate woke content in schools and why these ideologies are harmful.
01 Kasım 2023 - 11:40