Former President Donald Trump’s 1776 Commission, formed to establish patriotic education, met on Monday to discuss how the group’s 1776 report could be used to shape curriculum across the country. They also discussed the Biden administration’s proposed critical race theory education rule, as well as decide the future of the Commission.
“History is complete and cannot be changed,” said host Chair Larry P. Arnn, president of Hillsdale College. “These controversies about history can only be resolved by looking at the facts. To help the young know this history is the work of the commission, and its importance has not diminished since inauguration day.”
During the meeting also hosted by Vice-Chair Carol Swain, retired professor of law at Vanderbilt University; and Executive Director Matthew Spalding, vice president for Hillsdale College’s Washington, D.C. operations and dean of the Van Andel Graduate School of Government, the Commission concluded that “the restoration of American education can only be grounded in a history of America and its principles that is accurate, honest, unifying, inspiring, and ennobling” and that parents must be agents of change.
“This decades-long restoration will only succeed through the great efforts of the millions of good-willed, intelligent, and patriotic Americans, who long, as all human beings long, to know the truth,” the Commission said in a statement. “There is no more powerful force than parents’ love for their children, and this restoration will depend on mothers and fathers demanding that their children are no longer taught false narratives or fed hateful lies about our country. We affirm, as a bulwark for the protection of American principles, the core constitutional principle that parents have the natural right to direct the education of their children.”
In addition to encouraging parental involvement, the Commission urged those “concerned about education in America” to participate in local and school elections.
“Through that and other means they can restore the natural sovereignty in education of the school, the place where students, parents, and teachers are united in the sublime work of helping children to grow,” the statement continued. “Parents and local school boards will be strengthened in this effort by greater choice and variety in curriculum at the state and local levels.”
Lastly, the Commission expressed concern over the Biden administration’s proposed rule pushing “Critical Race Theory or under the misleading name of ‘anti- racism'” as gospel-truth instead of calling it what it is.
“[It] actually encourages and seeks to direct federal funds to the teaching of racial discrimination in America’s elementary and secondary school systems. This Proposed Rule should be withdrawn, and individual states should oppose any such race-based pedagogy as part of their curricula, especially if that curricula is imposed by the federal government,” the statement claimed.
The Commission believes the federal government does not have the constitutional “authority to impose national curriculum standards.” They continued:
The federal government should not circumvent this obstacle by using federal funding to entice states and localities to adopt what it wants taught in the nation’s schools. We learned from the failed Common Core experiment that one-size-fits-all national models are a blueprint for trivializing and mechanizing learning. Instead, we encourage a genuine civics education that will rebuild our common bonds, our mutual friendship, and our civic devotion and eagerly look forward to the forthcoming release of curricula designed in the true spirit of 1776.
Just last week the Commission spoke out against the Biden administration’s proposed rule to incorporate anti-American and hatemongering curriculum into schools by offering up part of its own report as a public comment for review.
In a letter sent to the Department of Education on Monday, 1776 Commission’s Executive Director Matthew Spalding explained that the Biden administration’s proposed rule not only hides behind the “misleading” term “anti-racism” but it also uses federal dollars to fund “teaching of racial discrimination in America’s elementary and secondary school systems.”