During his Fourth of July speech at Mount Rushmore, President Trump criticized schools for teaching a view of American history that leads children to hate their own country:
“The violent mayhem we have seen in our streets and cities that are run by liberal Democrats in every case is the predictable result of years of extreme indoctrination, and bias in education, journalism, and other cultural institutions. Against every law of society and nature, our children are taught in school to hate their own country and to believe that the men and women who built it weren’t heroes but villains. The radical view of American history is a web of lies.”
As a parent, I can tell you he is not wrong. I can remember when one of my children came home with the book Lies My Teacher Told Me, Everything Your American History Book Got Wrong. After flipping through the text, I was furious. This book is touted as a non-partisan tome, yet it highlighted the worst chapters of our history, taking the dimmest possible view of everything.
Are there portions of history that are difficult to look at or understand? Absolutely. Does that mean we should take a dim view of the ideals that have given more freedom to more people from around the globe than any other? Absolutely not. The assignment of this book marks the moment when I started to engage in some necessary reprogramming.
By sheer luck, my younger children had a staunch libertarian teacher for American Government in high school. They got an excellent textual understanding of our founding documents and got exposed to the Federalist Papers. They like the play Hamilton, but they know there is a significant amount of license taken with the presentation of the history.
If we are going to have government-funded education, Republican administrations should take some bold steps to reform it. Taxpayers should not be funding a system that leads to another generation of children who take a dim view of America as the singular global villain.
This view makes them more willing to accept the premise of managed decline that globalists have fed us for the last thirty years. The same premise they are ramping up in programs like The Great Reset from the World Economic Forum. Taking the long view, that is not the country we want our grandchildren and great-grandchildren inheriting.
Here a few ideas that may be considered radical, but we should not shy away from insisting our schools function in the national interest.
Trump Eviscerates the ‘Web of Lies’ Behind the ‘Angry Mob,’ Defends Mount Rushmore for Fourth of July
The K-12 curriculum is an excellent place to start. The DOE under Secretary Betsy DeVos should immediately identify history texts written for the Howard Zinn view of history and use funding as leverage to get schools to stop using them. Mary Grabar’s Debunking Howard Zinn makes a case for eliminating his books from our classrooms.
Howard Zinn’s A People’s History of the United States has sold more than 2.5 million copies. It is pushed by Hollywood celebrities, defended by university professors who know better, and assigned in high school and college classrooms to teach students that American history is nothing more than a litany of oppression, slavery, and exploitation.
Next, use funding leverage again to get the horrific 1619 Project out of our schools. Professors of history from the right and the left have criticized the assertions of the project. The New York Times even ignored the fact-checker the paper employed. The project leader Nikole Hannah-Jones is a far-left radical whose recent commentary on riots and looting prove the thesis. She asserts the objections to her project are based on differences in opinion among black and white historians. However, she has also publicly admitted she had overstated her premise. Yet, outrageously, her project is being published as a book, and schools are being encouraged to teach it.
Then make any funds for school construction contingent on states and cities removing limits on the number of charter schools that can form. Economist Thomas Sowell makes an indisputable case for charter schools in his latest book Charter Schools and their Enemies. He asserts that arbitrary limits on these institutions disadvantage students in underperforming districts. President Trump has called school choice the civil rights issue of our time, and Secretary DeVos is a champion as well. Take bold action.
At the collegiate level, use federal student loan programs to support STEM programs and other skills needed by the labor market. Choke the grievance studies departments out of existence or let the elite institutions that spawned them fund them out of their endowments. These fields make our children easier to radicalize. Note that many of the DOJ arrests related to recent riots involve people 25 and younger.
Finally, the primary purpose of a public education system should be to provide a qualified labor force to the labor market. Let’s reconsider merging those departments as former OMB Director Mick Mulvaney proposed. Taking a long-term view of K-12 education and how it needs to evolve to prepare children for careers is more than necessary. It would also help accelerate improvement to the technical school programs that launched with a public-private partnership through the Department of Labor in 2019. Robust apprenticeships and trade programs will help reduce the student debt problem going forward.
Public education should serve the national interest by preparing a workforce invested in our nation’s success. The Trump administration and Secretary DeVos should develop a robust plan to refocus the department on this central mission.