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ANOTHER GOOD REASON to REJECT COMMON CORE (and ALL OTHER top-down curricula); PSYCHOBABBLE for HISTORY!

I have contended all along that US History as taught is largely what I call “psychobabble” – anti-America as exceptional, anti-capitalist, pro-big government, not willing to discuss alternatives to the so-called Civil War, globalist, you name it, la de da da!

Now I have precedent on my side again!  Here is the evidence:  A Townhall article on a proposed advanced history curriculum that says this (according to the American Principles in Action and Concerned Women for America [a certain blogger was actually a member of CWA for a year or two and applied to be on their legal team about thirty years ago!] who wrote the letter) stated in summary below:

David Coleman, current president of the College Board and lead architect of Common Core State Standards, has been accused of “inculcating a negative view of American history” in his proposed advanced placement curriculum. In a letter dated August 4, American Principles in Action and Concerned Women for America, presented an exhaustive list of how American oppressors and exploiters are highlighted while dreamers, innovators and heroes are left out.

Here’s the letter!  Here’s a few highlights from the letter:

The new Framework inculcates a consistently negative view of American history by highlighting oppressors and exploiters while ignoring the dreamers and innovators who built our country. Instead of striving to build a “City upon a Hill,” as generations of students have been taught, the colonists are portrayed as bigots who developed “a rigid racial hierarchy” that was in turn derived from “a strong belief in British racial and cultural superiority.” The Framework ignores the rise of democratic institutions such as the House of Burgesses and New England town meetings.  It also omits the colonists’ growing commitment to religious freedom and the emergence of a pluralistic society that lacked an entrenched aristocracy.

The new Framework continues its theme of oppression and conflict by reinterpreting Manifest Destiny from a belief that America had a mission to spread democracy and new technologies across the continent to something that “was built on a belief in white racial superiority and a sense of American cultural superiority.”

The new Framework repeatedly ignores the heroism and sacrifices of America’s servicemen and women. For example, the Framework makes no mention of the sacrifices America’s Greatest Generation made to rescue much of the world from a long night of Nazi and Japanese tyranny. Instead, the Framework focuses solely on the negative aspects of America’s involvement in the war:  “the internment of Japanese Americans, challenges to civil liberties, debates over race and segregation, and the decision to drop the atomic bomb raised questions about American values.”

Framework apologists have argued that the document is not intended to provide a comprehensive list of people and topics. But the expansion of the Framework from five to 98 pages makes it even more significant and troubling that American heroes such as Benjamin Franklin, James Madison, Dwight Eisenhower, Jackie Robinson, Jonas Salk, Neil Armstrong, and Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., have been excluded. While the document does not have room for these heroes it does have space for Chief Little Turtle, the Students for a Democratic Society, and the Black Panthers.

I agree one hundred percent.  My astute readers recall the Texas state board of education’s change to the history texts that caused apoplexy among liberals and my blog posts about it.   The letter continues:

A correlation commissioned by the College Board revealed 181 post-Civil War items required by the Texas Standards that are not covered in the College Board’s new Framework. An analysis of the Georgia US History Standards revealed 132 Georgia elements that are not in the Framework. In addition, the College Board Framework contains at least 60 elements that are not covered in the Georgia Standards.

The Texas Board had (among others) subjects such as this:

1.  A balanced approach to the McCarthy era with references to actual Communists found in the US Government like Alger Hiss;

2. A balanced approach to the Judeo-Christian, Biblical origins of American law and the struggle for liberty;

3. A more respectful treatment of the South and the Civil War;

4.  A study of how the UN adversely affects our sovereignty;

5.  More of a pro-free enterprise and free markets curriculum;

6.  Referring to the US as a “constitutional republic” and discussing the decline in the value of the dollar against gold;

7.  Retaining BC and AD rather than the politically correct BCE and CE;

8.  The doctrine of “American Exceptionalism”, that we are a special place and nation in history;

9.  A mention of people like Phyllis Schlafly and the fiscal health of Social Security and Medicare.

I think anyone appointed to the Hanover School Board ought to supplement the SOL-laden curriculum with such things and add this – from the Texas state School Board:

1. Contrast what the Founding Fathers meant by separation of church and state vs. how it is practiced by government today

***

3. Evaluate efforts by the United Nations to undermine U.S. sovereignty including a gun ban and the redistribution of American wealth

4. Discuss the fiscal health of Social Security and Medicare

5. Discuss government abuse of property rights and the taking of land w/o compensation – and the adverse impact of affirmative action on when more qualified workers are passed over by minority applicants.

And this, too:

Clashes among members of the Texas Board of Education over the content of students’ textbooks have come, in part, to focus on a once obscure intellectual concept — “American exceptionalism” — that has now seen the president of the United States weigh in.

Here’s my conclusion!

Our nation has made mistakes but the experiment in constitutional liberty is indeed uniquely good.  President Reagan echoed the Pilgrims when he called us a “shining city on a hill”; millions of immigrants from many lands came to America (and still do – even illegally!) to seek a better life for them and their children.  The peoples of Europe and Asia liberated in the Second World War and the Cold War might think we are special.  Israel was recognized in 1948 because it was the right thing to do; not because it was politically expedient.  The humanitarian efforts of Herbert Hoover after WWI and the Marshall Plan echo a generous people.  The millions given to Haiti relief speak silently of the goodness of the American people.

Yes we took land in the West.  But that was in our national interest to have a nation from the Atlantic to the Pacific.  But I would like for Professor Oakes to identify the issues and facts that make us feared and hated around the world.  We have had too many interventions, I agree.  But our history is a magnificent arc of increasing liberty and promise.  One Nation Under God.  Reagan was right: We are a shining city of a hill.  Finally, the truth is told.  No wonder the left and their apologists are furious.  I salute the Texas Board of Education.  Praise God!  Ring the bell of Liberty!  May other states and Virginia do the same thing.

I would add two things:  In every generation there are those who insist that our nation be true to its principles:

“We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness…”

And it may have to be carefully worked into the curriculum, and contrary to the recent screed by Ann Coulter, Americans by the thousands took the Gospel to every part of the world and some paid the ultimate price for doing so.

 

 

About Elwood Sanders

Elwood "Sandy" Sanders is a Hanover attorney who is an Appellate Procedure Consultant for Lantagne Legal Printing and has written ten scholarly legal articles. Sandy was also Virginia's first Appellate Defender and also helped bring curling in VA! (None of these titles imply any endorsement of Sanders’ views)

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Tom White Says:

Nothing is more conservative than a republican wanting to get their majority back. And nothing is more liberal than a republican WITH a majority.

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