Warping American Schools
America’s grammar and high schools have been hijacked.
If you thought the purpose of its educational system was to teach reading, writing, mathematics, science, English, American History and civics to students, you have not been paying attention.
Gradually, over the past several decades, an agenda of Progressive-oriented social and political goals has replaced academics. The problem is not just being discussed in right-wing journals. Last year, the New York Times—-no bastion of conservative thought—discussed objectives some had to the revised material related to advanced placement American History—and what was omitted.
Where was John Winthrop’s ‘City Upon a Hill’ speech? Or Thomas Jefferson and other founding fathers? Why give more prominence to Chief Little Turtle than to Ben Franklin? [on the other hand] a reference to ‘established colonial elites’ who fueled the ‘independence movement’ had been written in…even liberals scratched their heads over a few descriptions, like calling Ronald Reagan ‘bellicose’ in his dealings with the Soviet Union or describing Manifest Destiny as a belief in ‘white racial superiority’ without also explaining its philosophical mission to spread liberty, democracy and technical innovations…Jane Robbins, a senior fellow at the American Principles Project [argued] that the framework had been ‘scrubbed of American exceptionalism.’
The omission of America’s attributes is enforced by course materials. The widespread use of a textbook,
A People’s History of the United States” authored by Howard Zinn, a now deceased writer who was an active member of the Communist Party, explicitly provides an anti-U.S. perspective. Eagle Forum described Zinn’s textbook as “…a very leftwing version of U.S. history, full of multicultural, feminist, and class-war propaganda. It is based on the thesis that America is not a republic but an empire controlled by a few white men. Its heroes are anti-establishment protestors. The book debunks traditional heroes, such as Christopher Columbus and Andrew Jackson, and doesn’t mention great Americans such as Thomas Edison. His book inspires guilt and the belief that success comes only through exploitation. He belittles patriotism, never allowing pride in America. Zinn told one interviewer that his goal in writing this textbook was to start a ‘quiet revolution’ of people taking power from within the institutions.
A study by the Family Research Council critiques the Advanced Placement U.S. History Course (APUSH)
The APUSH course work includes no mention of America’s moon landing, Dwight Eisenhower, Martin Luther King Jr., or Benjamin Franklin, among others…Peter wood, president of the National Association of Scholars, calls the new AP U.S. history framework ‘a briefing document on progressive and leftist views of the American past,’ one which ‘weaves together a vaguely Marxist or least materialistic reading of key events with the whole litany of identity group grievances.’ Author Stanley Kurtz, who formerly taught at Harvard and the University of Chicago, joins in this critique, asserting that the College Board is pushing U.S. history as far to the Left as it can get away with, and stating that the APUSH curriculum is a ‘movement of left-leaning historians that aims to internationalize the teaching of American history.’
In his critique of the liberal education establishment, William J. Dodwell notes:
…in schools and colleges the works and achievements of so-called dead white males have become impolitic. The left suppresses and revises history to fit its agenda that emphasizes oppression…They virtually ignore the U.S. Constitution or even dismiss it as extremist. The education establishment embraces collectivism and downplays individual accomplishment lest it pose a challenge to its power. There is little room for dissent. Such homogeneous thinking invites tyranny, and educational manipulation sets the stage for that outcome.
Former Speaker of the House of Representatives Newt Gingrich believes that U.S. students need patriotism in their education. He has urged both elected and appointed officials to review the matter.
Originally published on the New York Analysis of Policy and Government.