The coronavirus pandemic has disrupted pretty much everything about our lives. That’s especially and devastatingly true for the education of America’s students.
Too many young students today are falling behind during their formative years of learning either due to unevenly applied or generally ineffective “hybrid” learning models, or due to their schools being closed altogether.
Parents are also increasingly more aware of what their students are — or are not — learning. And they’re not happy with what they’re seeing.
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This pandemic has laid bare a number of things about American education, not the least of which is that it’s not entirely American; in too many places, students are taught outright anti-American material.
Look no further than the infamous 1619 Project launched by The New York Times. It’s a debunked reframing of history.
The 1619 Project contends that because of slavery, America’s “founding ideals of liberty and equality were false when they were written.” It also states that “nearly everything” about our country sprang forth from racism, and that our Founding Fathers and other early Americans in the colonies fought the Revolutionary War to “protect the institution of slavery.”
These insidious lies and more have been exposed and refuted by many scholars, including one of the project’s own fact-checkers. Yet too many children across America are already being indoctrinated. More than 4,500 schools use the Project 1619 curricula, according to the project.
From the beginning, this historical revisionist campaign was intent on infiltrating America’s schools and infecting young American minds. It was easier to do because so few students were learning history or civics as they should.
Appallingly, more than half of high school seniors, according to the Nation’s Report Card, have a “below basic” knowledge of our history. In the real world, that means our rising generation doesn’t know what the Lincoln-Douglas debates were about; nor could many of them describe who those men were nor the significance of that time in our nation’s history.
Parents are demanding better. A Braun Research poll conducted over the summer found that half of parents don’t want their children using material that offers the idea that slavery is the “center of our national narrative.”
Parents know that the idea at the center of our national narrative is freedom. And they’re demanding more of it. Parents today are more aware today of the bad civics and American history education their children are receiving.
The 1776 Commission, which President Trump launched recently, will help focus the national conversation on the great American story and the importance of ensuring the rising generation understands the values of our founding, the contents of our Constitution and the critical need to be engaged citizens.
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Instruction that misconstrues American history or outright lies about it is not instruction at all. Worse still when it’s the only option for too many families. That underscores the massive unmet demand for more education options.
This Trump Administration strongly supports the bipartisan School Choice Now Act, which would directly fund families and allow them to choose the best educational setting for their child.
In fact, a majority in the U.S. Senate already voted in favor of that provision. It must be part of any future legislation to help all students continue learning.
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Families could use scholarships to enhance distance learning or to pay for other costs tied to educating children at home. The scholarships could be used for tutoring, career and technical education, or transportation to a different public school. The scholarships could also support students attending the school that best meets their needs or that doesn’t teach fake history.
Ultimately, the Trump administration wants everyone to have the freedom, the flexibility, and the funds to make the best decisions for them. Parents, students, and our country would certainly be better off for it.