After O.C. school district bans critical race theory, it faces Cal State Fullerton backlash

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Months after an Orange County school district banned teaching critical race theory, Cal State Fullerton has told school officials it is pausing placement of its student teachers in the system’s K-12 classrooms, citing concerns that district policies conflict with university goals that promote equity and inclusion in education.

Leaders in the university’s College of Education — among the biggest providers of teachers into the county’s public schools — told officials in the Placentia-Yorba Linda Unified School District that they did not believe the district would be able to support its student teachers whose training is rooted in diversity, equity, inclusion, social justice and tenets of critical race theory, according to a statement from the college.

“Clinical practicums, fieldwork and student teaching are major components of effective teacher preparation,” Lisa Kirtman, dean of the College of Education, said in the statement. “It is critical that we place teacher candidates in districts that support their growth and development.”

She added that she is open to working with the district to provide learning experiences that value “freedom of thought and expression” for the diverse student population.

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