Oklahoma Superintendent of Public Schools Ryan Walters has put textbook publishers on notice that the propagation of Critical Race Theory (CRT) and other left-wing talking points will not be tolerated in Oklahoma schools.
Walters, who spoke with Fox News, stated that he has warned publishers that “We will be checking for these things now. Do not give us textbooks that have critical race theory in them.” Walters added that Oklahoma schools were primarily concerned with academic knowledge, declaring that “Our kids are going to know the basics. We want them to master it. We want them to do exceptionally well academically.”
Walters made it clear that he and the state of Oklahoma would not abide was “any kind of Joe Biden's socialist Marxist training ground.” Walters directed textbook publishers who did not approve of Oklahoma’s stance on CRT to “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 added that, if CRT and left-wing ideology are something that the textbook publishers want to support, they can “go to California, go to New York.”
A number of textbook publishers appear to have taken Walters’ advice, requesting their math textbooks be withdrawn from the state’s curriculum after Walters made Oklahoma’s position known. Walters’ crackdown was preceded by a statute passed in 2020 which requires additional review of textbooks prior to being recommended to the state textbook community, in order to ensure they were not ideologically slanted or otherwise of questionable quality.
Still, it seems that in this case, Walters’ has decided to save reviewers the time and energy by warning textbook companies of the consequences of attempting to promulgate textbooks with a left-wing ideological bias.
Whereas, in other states, education officials have been responsible for promulgating CRT and other left-wing rhetoric in schools, Oklahomans are, instead, choosing to step up and support the continuation of traditional principles of education.