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Students wearing masks sit in a Denver high school classroom. The students have open laptops on their desks. Several students are raising their hands.

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Efforts to restrict teaching about racism and bias have multiplied across the U.S.

A classroom conversation in Denver, Colorado, in April 2021.
| Eli Imadali for Chalkbeat

Over the last several months, officials nationwide have raced to enact new laws and introduce new policies meant to shape how students discuss the nation’s past — and its present.

Many of these efforts have attempted to ban critical race theory, the academic framework that examines how policies and the law perpetuate systemic racism. In other states, lawmakers have tried to restrict specific kinds of antiracism training or the teaching of “divisive” concepts. The picture is varied, though, and other states are adding ethnic studies courses or incorporating more about people of color into their learning standards.

The impact of these discussions on classrooms remains to be seen. But this map provides a snapshot of this turning point in American history and education. We’ve also created a timeline of key events and key documents that trace the critical race theory backlash from its beginnings in the Trump Administration.

Chalkbeat is committed to following these developments, and we’ll update our map regularly. If you have information about bills, policies, and events from your state or hometown, please email us at

Johann Calhoun, Jason Gonzales, Koby Levin, Pooja Salhotra, Maia Spoto, and Samantha Smylie contributed reporting.

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