August 4, 2023

Good News: 1776 Curriculum Is Taking Off

The battle for the minds of our children is difficult, but it is far from lost.

We’ve all heard of the New York Times’s 1619 Project, the subsequent book, and the curriculum spreading throughout our schools. And we know the project is rife with errors, exaggerations, and outrageous claims that portray America’s founding as fraudulent and inherently racist.

There have long been political leaders, academics, writers, and social theorists peddling ideas (or should we say ideology) as part of a movement to delegitimize the principles and institutions that our country is founded upon while trying to teach young people that everything they’ve learned about America is a lie.

Fortunately, people are finally starting to take note and reconnect with the miracle of 1776 that sparked a wave of freedom and prosperity that we all enjoy today.

Back in 2020, President Donald Trump’s administration set up the 1776 Commission on Patriotic Education, partially in response to the deadly, violent, and destructive Black Lives Matter riots that swept across the country earlier that year. The commission also sought to address leftist education programs in K-12 schools, including 1619, until President Joe Biden terminated the project via executive order.

Fortunately, that doesn’t mean the battle for our kids’ minds is lost. For example, Hillsdale College in Michigan continues moving forward with its objective of teaching about the ideals and triumphs of America’s great founding by offering a wide range of courses for students and the public far beyond its own humble campus.

Hillsdale has launched the 1776 Curriculum to bring this education to students in elementary through high school. This didn’t start as a knee-jerk reaction to woke history, though. Far from it. Hillsdale’s The Collegian notes that the groundwork for the curriculum took place more than 40 years ago.

The program is now being embraced and implemented in schools around the country. And the Leftmedia is taking note.

“Amid national battles over what children should learn in public schools,” reports NBC News, “Hillsdale is working to export this vision by setting up charter schools in over a dozen states and publicizing its 1776 Curriculum, which emphasizes American exceptionalism. The college says over 8,400 administrators and teachers have downloaded the curriculum, and a growing number of state and local policymakers are also seeking Hillsdale’s guidance.”

The 1776 Curriculum covers the period from Colonial America through the modern era and does not mandate the teaching of American history in any particular way — unlike the 1619 Project, which forces teachers to frame all lessons and activities around radical race-based theories. 1776 does not overlook America’s mistakes and failures, but those subjects are not taught through an ideological prism. Instead, students learn how the principles of our nation served as a catalyst to overcome these obstacles.

Indeed, the statement in the Declaration of Independence that “all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness” obliterated the centuries-old assumption that our rights can only be parceled out by a monarch or other authoritarian ruler. This new belief enabled progress toward making the Declaration’s ideas a reality for millions.

How anyone could oppose such an idea seems unfathomable, especially now that we have nearly two and a half centuries of proof that it works in powerful ways.

But the Marxists and socialists who contributed to the 1619 Project do oppose the words in the Declaration because their vision for humanity requires subservience to a powerful elite, submission to tyranny, and a surrender of individual rights. Then, and only then, will they be able to build a “new” society that takes us back into the oppressive past.

If they think America’s founding documents and history left out some groups of people, imagine if those groups didn’t have these rights to hold onto during the darkest times in our history. Indeed, the ideas of 1776 are what make America an exceptional nation.

In his famous “I Have a Dream” speech, Martin Luther King Jr. said, “When the architects of our republic wrote the magnificent words of the Constitution and the Declaration of Independence, they were signing a promissory note to which every American was to fall heir.”

Even King knew that the words and principles of our founding in 1776 challenged all of us, empowered all of us, to work toward making them a reality for all people. And thanks to the 1776 Curriculum, students across America will soon be learning real American history again.

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