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Press Release



July 2, 2021
Contact: Christina Mazzanti

AAE Releases Survey Results on Critical Race Theory and Culturally Responsive Teaching


Mission Viejo, CA – The Association of American Educators (AAE), a national, non-union, professional association serving educators in all fifty states, today releases the results from a national AAE member survey on educator sentiment regarding critical race theory (CRT) and culturally responsive teaching. The AAE survey found that the majority of respondents had not incorporated critical race theory in their curriculum nor were they expecting to be doing so in the 2021-2022 school year. Only 4.1% of respondents report being mandated or required to teach CRT at this time.


  • Less than half of respondents (44.7%) are in favor of CRT being an option for educators. Only 11% believe CRT should be required or mandated.

  • However, a high percentage of respondents (81%) think that curriculums should include the stories, experiences, and narratives of a diverse group of cultures.

  • Slightly more than half of respondents (53%) expressed apprehension about saying the wrong thing regarding race and negative repercussions, while 39.4% of respondents report experiencing discrimination based on their race or perceived race.

  • Survey respondents by an almost three to one margin (60.4% vs 21.2%) believe the media is paying too much attention to CRT, with an even higher percentage of survey participants (78 %) agreeing outside factors, including sensationalized headlines are interfering with a productive and necessary discussion regarding race in America.

  • Survey respondents overwhelmingly (85%) feel that society should be just and inclusive but only (44.3%) feel it is currently just and inclusive.

  • On average, the respondents report that 42.8% of the students with whom they interact daily are students of color.

  • The survey respondents were nearly unanimous (99.5%) in wanting their classroom to be a healthy learning environment for all children.

“This sample of educator perspective confirms that the vast majority of educators want a healthy learning environment for all children and most believe curricula should reflect a diverse group of cultures, but are far less sure about the value of critical race theory. Six in ten respondents think the media is paying too much attention to the issue and more than half of respondents reported being apprehensive about saying the wrong thing regarding race and getting in trouble. 83.2% of respondents are concerned about any policies that treat children as group members rather than individuals which may speak to the reasons educators are concerned with CRT.


A key determinant on CRT appears to be whether racism is perpetuated by individuals or by institutions. Respondents who believe that racism is embedded within systems and institutions were far more likely to support teachers having the option of teaching CRT in classrooms, though still not as supportive of it being required teaching. Respondents who believe racism is perpetuated by individuals, not by systems or institutions were more likely to oppose even the option of CRT in classrooms, with almost none supporting it be required teaching.


“It is tremendously important that this national dialogue over critical race theory and related topics is discussed in real terms about what is actually being permitted or required by our districts, expected by our parents, taught by our educators, and experienced by our students,” noted AAE Executive Director Colin Sharkey. “That means transparency, educator and parent engagement, and responsible reporting about a topic as important as addressing racism.”


“The educator voice is essential in the examination of how we discuss race and how we teach the history of race in this country as we educate and serve a student population that is more racially and culturally diverse than ever before,” added AAE Foundation Director of Advocacy Kira Tookes.


The AAE educator survey on critical race theory and culturally responsive teaching was conducted online from June 24, 2021 through June 30, 2021. All AAE members, who are mostly public district and public charter educators serving in all fifty states, were invited to participate in the survey. A total of 1,136 educators completed the survey by the deadline and results are not weighted, and not presented as representative of the entire teaching profession. An infographic of the survey’s key findings is available at


The Association of American Educators (AAE) is the largest national, nonunion, professional educator organization, advancing the profession by offering a modern approach to educator empowerment and advocacy—promoting professionalism, collaboration, and excellence without a partisan agenda. AAE is committed to a teaching profession that is student oriented, well respected, and personally fulfilling. AAE serves members in all fifty states and welcomes professionals from all education entities. Membership is $16.50 per month and includes $2 million professional liability insurance, employment rights coverage, professional resources, and many other benefits. Classroom teachers, paraprofessionals, administrators, student teachers, university professors, and supporters can learn more at