A radio host recently posted pictures of a textbook she says a friend’s Minnesota district is considering for Advanced Placement courses, which are typically the top students’ last U.S. history class ever.
This appears to be a forthcoming 2019 edition of an existing textbook from the global education publishing giant Pearson, whose materials are ubiquitous. The friend highlighted some sections that show clear bias against political conservatives, President Trump and his administration, and Americans of faith. Here are some transcriptions from those images.
In describing the rise of Black Lives Matter in the aftermath of the Ferguson, Missouri shooting: “The nearly all-white police force was seen as an occupying army in the mostly African-American town.” In a section discussing President Trump’s cabinet, the book says “They were largely white males, more so than any cabinet since Ronald Reagan.” In a discussion of the nation’s politics after 2012, it says “Those who had long thought of the nation as a white and Christian country sometimes found it difficult to adjust” to secularization and an increase in people of other races. Elsewhere, it describes Trump’s “not-very-hidden racism.”
A section discussing the 2016 elections returns to these paranoid, highly politicized interpretations of some Americans’ decisions to vote for Trump:
Trump’s supporters saw the vote as a victory for people who, like themselves, had been forgotten in a fast-changing America–a mostly older, often rural or suburban, and overwhelmingly white group. Clinton’s supporters feared that the election had been determined by people who were afraid of a rapidly developing ethnic diversity of the country, discomfort with their candidate’s gender, and nostalgia for an earlier time in the nation’s history. They also worried about the mental stability of the president elect and the anger that he and his supporters brought to the nation.
Let’s be clear: This is overt political propaganda being scooped into the most capable students’s minds under the guise of education. Even if they don’t accept its messages entirely, studying this wastes time that young people deserve to be spending getting actually educated.
Also, exposure to this kind of drivel affects even the unusual students who have the maturity, peer independence, and knowledge base to reject it. Psychological research shows that repeated exposure to fringe concepts conditions people to be more likely to accept such ideas and behavior. This is one reason media bias is such a big deal: even people who are aware of it are influenced by it, and that influence is enough to tip elections. Context matters.
In other words, it’s not just some stupid textbook. It’s the flutter of a butterfly effect.
That Butterfly Effect Is Turning Into a Storm
This effect is more than a few flutters here and there. It’s gaining gale force. Conservatives have been harping on the extreme Left bias of academia for decades, spending billions building university alternatives called think tanks as prime features and leaders of the conservative movement. Yet without the key culture transmission vehicle of students inside these institutions (among other reasons), they have been extremely ineffective. Campaign spending to elect so-called conservatives can in this environment only protract the inevitable retreat.
For decades the Right has used stories of insane campus events to fundraise for institutions that cannot be true alternatives because they lack the sustained, truly life-altering discipleship opportunities one finds only in person over long periods of time. All the while, the professors and administrators coaching and enabling those crazy students have been transmitting their ideas and values to now several compounding generations, including mass conversions of kids who grew up in conservative and religious homes.
That’s the only explanation for surveys like these Pew results showing that as one’s education credentials increase, so does one’s political leftism and apostasy. Well, it’s the best plausible explanation that isn’t “Conservatism and Christianity are objectively more ignorant than neo-Marxism.” So, take your pick.
Where do you think the Parkland high school foot soldiers got their wild ideas? They weren’t born with them. They were taught them. Who taught their teachers, and who taught their parents, and their parents’ teachers? Well, the United States’ monolithically leftist professors. Who writes textbooks, and writes the rules for which instruction materials public schools must use, and the questions on and structure of federally mandated tests, and decides what teachers must know to be allowed into classrooms? These same monolithically leftist professors and their disciples, that’s who.
Instead of using their political power to dismantle the credentialing and funding monopolies that allow the Left to gate-keep all intellectual and cultural pursuits, the politicians the Right elects and instructs within the “conservative movement” typically validate these corrupted credentials. They just need some technocratic tweaks here and there, we hear; maybe with some more input from “the business community” and “stakeholders” whose minds left-controlled institutions have also molded. No wonder it has a ratchet effect: It’s an ideological ratchet!
Let’s Stop Playing This Rigged Game
Angelo Codevilla has a must-read related column on how we on the Right must begin constructing our own ways of life if we are to rescue our families and neighborhoods from the Left’s war against America.
When one side rejects persuasion in favor of war, what are the other’s options? To convince our opponents to accept us as equals? The culture, the institutions, bureaucracies, corporations, they have made their own will never again admit us as equals. To reform them? Fat chance! To punish them? To push them to the margins before they push us? What is the good of that?
…Safeguarding, restoring or re-growing, the precepts, habits, and institutions with which and in which we have lived freely requires acting on our own behalf, almost as if the other side did not exist…Separating from the educational establishment is essential to securing a culture in which we can thrive socially and politically. It is discrediting itself academically, and by showing enmity to the rest of America.
At the heart of a culture is families. At the heart of a family is children. As the kids go, so goes the nation. If you’re worried about the nation, start worrying about those kids. And don’t just worry. Do something.
Many parents wouldn’t let their kids physically ingest even trace chemicals that haven’t been conclusively proven to hurt anyone, yet they send their kids to mental cafeterias that plentifully serve ideas proven to cause human misery and slavery. This is madness. For lawmakers from the Right to allow their political antagonists to maintain monopolies on instructing future voters, it’s suicidal.
Your Silence Equals Consent
It would be very tempting to dismiss this as a fluke, as something that’s not happening in your local schools or state, some crazy thing that only affects other people and other people’s kids. That would be an act of willful, destructive ignorance. The truth is that leftist, anti-knowledge, and anti-Christian bias has permeated U.S. education for many decades as part of the Left’s deliberate targeting of all cultural institutions.
Reviewers at the National Association of Scholars forecast this result in AP textbooks by reviewing its curriculum and test guidelines, which were revamped starting in 2012. This crazy textbook is not just a one-off, but a product the College Board specified through curriculum and testing designs. These telegraph to teachers what will get their students high scores on tests that garner college credit. College Board receives millions in taxpayer subsidies through various agencies and programs, and through both its Advanced Placement programs and its PSAT and SAT college entrance and scholarship exams it mediates access to higher education.
Back then, conservatives complained the College Board’s U.S. history class specifications, among other significant faults, portrayed “a consistently negative view of the nation’s past,” emphasized racial grievances and other ahistorical identity politicking, and omitted key statesmen such as James Madison and Martin Luther King Jr. They provided myriad documentation and meticulous footnotes. The College Board responded essentially by saying “We have to teach this because it’s a college prep class, and this is the way academia views U.S. history.”
In other words, they are consciously working to extend the neo-Marxist uniformity of higher education down into lower education. Want more proof? Only 4 percent of history professors call themselves Republicans. After English, it is the most homogenously and far-left of any academic discipline. These are the people deciding what your kids and their teachers will learn about history.
The proof is in the pudding. For just one example:
• 66% of millennials (age 18-34) don’t know what Auschwitz was. (compared to 41% of all U.S. adults)
• 22% of millennials haven’t heard of the Holocaust or “aren’t sure” what it was. (11% of all U.S. adults say the same)https://t.co/L2ME01JDfW
— Frank Luntz (@FrankLuntz) April 12, 2018
Surveys and studies have been finding for decades now that the U.S. education system graduates students of this caliber. You don’t need studies to prove this. Just look at what passes for public discourse. Look at the decisions your fellow citizens keep making through our political process. Look at their capabilities of creating and sustaining healthy, happy families and communities. Do Americans seem generally well-informed, thoughtful, and constructively engaged? In other words, are we still as a people good at governing ourselves, at running our own lives?
If you think not, then it’s time to confront the truth that this is happening in your state, your town, your schools, and to your kids. You might not be interested in politicized and dumbed-down curriculum, but it’s interested in your kids. Passivity enables its strengthening dominance.