“Although no formal connection exists between the President’s Advisory Commission of 1776 and the Hillsdale 1776 curriculum, Hillsdale College was inspired by the Commission’s call for a restoration of American education based on a story that is “accurate, honest, unifying, inspiring and uplifting,” “” Kathleen O’Toole, assistant director of K-12 education at Hillsdale College, told POLITICO in a statement, noting that the document is also the product of “decades of training and curriculum development at Hillsdale College and its associated K-12 schools.”
The program, available free online, is a direct challenge to The New York Times Magazine’s 1619 Project, which explored how racism and inequality shaped the founding of the country. Several school districts have adopted programs based on the project.
“Our program was created by teachers and professors – not activists, not journalists, not bureaucrats,” O’Toole said in an announcement about the program. “It comes from years of studying America, its history and its founding principles, not an improvised journalistic plan to achieve a partisan political end through students.”
What’s in the program: Hillsdale’s curriculum includes Trump’s 1776 Commission Report as a resource for teachers at all grade levels and for high school students.
The framework for the program is generally positive, with the United States being portrayed as a remarkable, unique and heroic institution that has made mistakes.
The program is based on a single question, its introduction reads: “What ideas, words and deeds have most shaped the world in which students were born?”
The introduction to the set also claims that students learning a race-based American history would “resurrect and strengthen in students that they should judge, value, and treat people differently” based on their skin color.
Yet racism is not ignored in the Hillsdale package. Slavery is claimed to be the reason for civil war, and the program calls for age-appropriate images to show “the horrors.”
But the program also takes a sympathetic approach to slave owners, noting that George Washington “famously” freed people he enslaved upon his death and that Thomas Jefferson feared “divine revenge” for slavery. in the country.
The program currently covers the founding of the United States, the Civil War, civic education, and government. It will be expanded to cover Colonial America, the First Republic, the Golden Age and the Progressive Era, the Great Depression, the World Wars, the Cold War, and Modern America by the end of the year, according to the announcement.