(July 20) Common sense and decency finally won when Secretary of Education Miguel Cardona abandoned a proposed requirement that grants for civic education incorporate the outlook of the badly flawed 1619 Project.

Likewise, it is reasonable and appropriate for the nation’s schools to teach children about the evils of slavery and Jim Crow without pushing noxious themes common to critical race theory (and its near-equivalents), themes including the assertions that whites are inherently racist, that racism is the defining theme of U.S. history, and that Western civilization writ large and the ideal of the nuclear family both should be undermined.

Cardona’s decision to reverse course came after his department received tens of thousands of public comments against the original proposal, which risked violating three separate federal laws while pushing the historically inaccurate 1619 Project and critical race theory as authoritative assessments of U.S. history.

Last Friday, Cardona wrote of his new approach that the grant program in question “has not, does not, and will not dictate or recommend specific curriculum be introduced or taught in classrooms. Those decisions are — and will continue to be — made at the local level.”

In place of the specific recommendations, the grant program will include as one of two “invitational priorit[ies]” the encouragement of “projects that incorporate racially, ethnically, culturally, and linguistically diverse perspectives into teaching and learning.” In theory, this should be unobjectionable, indeed praiseworthy. But that is assuming that bureaucrats administering the program don’t implement a backdoor, de facto test effectively meaning that the only “diverse perspectives” acceptable are those that push racialism. (Congressional overseers and outside analysts should track the grants to guard against this.)

The most important takeaway is that there’s no “binary choice” between the extremes of teaching critical race theory claptrap on one side and neglecting to teach about historical slavery and racism at all…. [The full column is at this link]


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