McConnell Urges Ed Dept to Abandon ‘1619 Project’ Curriculum Changes: ‘Buzzwords and Propaganda’

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R., Ky.) addresses reporters following a weekly Senate Republican caucus meeting on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C., April 20, 2021. (Jonathan Ernst/Reuters)

In a letter to Secretary of Education Dr. Miguel Cardona, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell demanded the Department of Education recall proposed changes to public education curricula which rely on the anti-American civics curriculum, the “1619 Project.”

“Your Proposed Priorities double down on divisive, radical, and historically-dubious buzzwords and propaganda,” McConnell wrote in the letter, obtained by Politico. “Americans do not need or want their tax dollars diverted from promoting the principles that unite our nation toward promoting radical ideologies meant to divide us.”

McConnell, speaking on behalf of 37 Senate Republicans, cited plummeting national education standards, such as poor student proficiency in U.S. history and civics, and insufficient popular support as justifications to reject the department’s proposal.

“Families did not ask for this divisive nonsense. Voters did not vote for it. Americans never decided our children should be taught that our country is inherently evil,” he wrote. “If your Administration had proposed actual legislation instead of trying to do this quietly through the Federal Register, that legislation would not pass Congress.”

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The rule changes, or “Proposed Priorities,” specifically cites the controversial 1619 Project, a special feature of The New York Times Magazine which sought to reorient American history around the notion that the preservation of slavery has always been an essential feature of the national fabric, even motivating the American revolution. The 1619 Project authors also develoepd an accompanying curriculum, which as already been adopted by several public school systems across the country. McConnell confirmed that many reputable historians have debunked the projects’s many “factual and historical errors.”

The inclusion of the 1619 Project in the proposal likely triggered the opposition statement from McConnell and GOP senators.

McConnell reiterated the importance of instilling the history and principles of the country’s founding and subsequent chapters that unite American citizens over common ethnicity, race, or language. He insisted that the Department of Education’s initiative is a significant departure from the bipartisan understanding of history that obtained until recently and which held that students should receive a robust, comprehensive knowledge of America’s institutions and historical development.

“Our nation’s youth do not need activist indoctrination that fixates solely on past flaws and splits our nation into divided camps,” he continued. “Taxpayer-supported programs should emphasize the shared civic virtues that bring us together, not push radical agendas that tear us apart.”

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