A multimillionaire businessman hoping to become the first Republican governor of Virginia in over a decade has accused the state of derailing children’s education, in an effort to become more ‘woke’.
Glenn Youngkin, 54, appeared on Tucker Carlson’s Fox News show on Tuesday to blast a proposal to remove advanced and remedial math classes in state schools while at the same time introducing lessons on critical race theory.
Youngkin, who has never held elected office, is one of seven Republicans competing in the May 8 nominating convention.
Democrats hold theirs a month later, and all are looking to succeed the current governor, Ralph Northam, a Democrat, who cannot serve consecutive terms. The election will be held on November 2.
He told Carlson that one of the reasons he retired as co-chief executive of the Washington private equity giant Carlyle Group – a job which saw him earn an estimated $254 million – is to correct Virginia’s course.
‘In education, they want to teach our kids what to think,’ said Youngkin.
‘They want to teach them critical race theory and they want to take accelerated math out of the curriculum.
‘I want to teach our kids how to think and not have critical race theory in the curriculum, and actually yes, teach accelerated math.’
Gubernatorial hopeful Glenn Youngkin appeared on Tucker Carlson’s show on Tuesday night
Youngkin retired from the Carlyle Group to run for governor, having earnt $254 million
The issue of math in schools has become a hot topic in the state, after the Virginia Mathematics Pathways Initiative (VMPI) launched a consultation to look at ‘modernizing’ the curriculum.
Critics were angered by the group proposing doing away with both accelerated and remedial math classes, so that all students studied the same topics.
They were also upset at the suggestion of getting rid of the labels ‘algebra’ and ‘geometry’, in favor of lists of ‘essential concepts.’
State officials denied they were getting rid of the various math levels, but parents remain unconvinced.
And critical race theory – an academic framework that looks at how policies contribute towards systemic racism – has united all the Republican candidate in opposition.
One area of Virginia, Loudoun County, has for months been riven by a dispute over whether CRT should feature in classrooms.
Youngkin told Carlson that Virginia was trapped by Democrat dogma, claiming the state’s officials wanted to remove Fourth of July celebrations from the curriculum, and get rid of things that ‘unite us as Americans and Virginians.’
Youngkin, who has never held elected office, is one of seven Republicans competing in the May 8 nominating convention
He attacked the leading Democratic contender, Terry McAuliffe – who was governor of the state from 2014-18 – as being ‘on the wrong side of every issue’.
Youngkin said: ‘It just seems that Terry McAuliffe and the left liberal Democrats here want to take our education policy from having everybody in the fast lane to putting everybody in the broken down lane.
This is exactly what we are seeing from the Democrats, and particularly from Terry McAuliffe, is that they are on the wrong side of every issue.’
Youngkin said he would maintain Virginia’s current Right To Work law, which prevents employees being forced to join a union.
He said he would support law enforcement, and protect their qualified immunity, while also defending the First and Second Amendments.
Terry McAuliffe (above) is considered the most likely Democrat nominee for November’s vote
Asked by Carlson how Virginia had become ‘so radical’, he replied: ‘This is why I quit my job last summer.
‘You know, I actually could not recognize my home state of Virginia.
‘Virginians are ready for a change. We are ready for a governor who has got a business career.
‘He knows how to get things done and deliver results, not empty promises, and to put Virginia back on the path to be the best state in the country to live, work, and raise a family.’
Youngkin’s rivals include retired Army Colonel Sergio de la Peña; former think-tank executive Peter Doran; businessman Pete Snyder and former Roanoke sheriff Octavia Johnson.
His most centrist opponent is Kirk Cox, a veteran state delegate and retired teacher who served two years as House speaker.
He also faces a challenge from the stridently pro-Trump state senator Amanda Chase, who said that the conviction of Derek Chauvin for the murder of George Floyd made her ‘sick’.