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AP

New Mexico proposal opens debate on teaching race

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New Mexico is the new frontier for the debate over how race should be taught in K-12 schools. Education officials are compiling feedback from parents and teachers on new social studies standards that increase focus on Native American history. It also introduces social identity to children as young as 5, and the study of "unequal power relations" between identity groups in high school. Critics equate the increased focus on race to critical race theory, while supporters call it "anti-racist." Parents across the political perspective want students learning America's tough history, but disagree about when learning about race should begin. The education department is reviewing over 1,300 letters on the standards along with dozens of oral comments from an online forum in November. The standards were written with input from 64 people around the state, mostly social studies teachers, and are expected to be published next spring with revisions.

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