A Backlash Against Bad History

By The Editorial Board Close The Editorial Board Apri...


Education Secretary Miguel Cardona at the White House in March.



Photo:

Andrew Harnik/Associated Press

Education in America is still mainly a state and local enterprise, and thank heaven for that. Look no further than the Biden Administration’s plan to use federal grants to urge states and local schools to teach bad American history like the

New York Times

“1619 Project” in classrooms.

Thirty-nine GOP Senators led by Minority Leader Mitch

McConnell

wrote Education Secretary

Miguel Cardona

on Thursday expressing “grave concern” with his “effort to reorient the bipartisan American History and Civics Education programs” from “their intended purposes toward a politicized and divisive agenda.”

This includes the destructive 1619 Project, which seeks to replace 1776 with the year slaves first arrived in North America as the country’s true founding. Prominent historians, including many on the political left, have criticized the 1619 Project’s many mistakes, not least its claim that preserving slavery was the driving force behind the American revolution.

The Cardona effort is bound to roil the culture wars and is the opposite of President Biden’s pledge to unify the country. Mr. Cardona should take the McConnell letter as good advice to cashier his history project. The backlash he’s courting will do no one any good.

Upward Mobility (02/18/20): The New York Times’s 1619 Project isn’t about black history. It’s about today’s racial disparities and applying current ideologies to past events. Image: The 1776 Project

Copyright ©2020 Dow Jones & Company, Inc. All Rights Reserved. 87990cbe856818d5eddac44c7b1cdeb8

Appeared in the May 1, 2021, print edition.

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