April 22, 2021

Biden Administration to Push 1619 Project in Schools

  • Executive

By: Amy Jo Underwood

In Brief: 

The U.S. Department of Education has released its plan for K-12 American History and Civics curriculum, in keeping with Biden’s executive order entitled  “Advancing Racial Equity and Support for Underserved Communities Through the Federal Government.” Among the proposed rules are plans to incorporate the controversial 1619 Project and Critical Race Theory. 

The Background:

Biden’s education department released its plan for the K-12 American History and Civics curriculum, and is proposing the integration of the 1619 Project as well as Ibram X. Kendi’s Critical Race Theory. 

The proposed rules by the U.S. Department of Education follow President Biden’s Executive Order entitled “Advancing Racial Equity and Support for Underserved Communities Through the Federal Government.” The Department stated, “[T]here is growing acknowledgement of the importance of including, in the teaching and learning of our country’s history, both the consequences of slavery, and the significant contributions of Black Americans to our society. This acknowledgement is reflected, for example, in the New York Times‘ landmark ‘1619 Project’.” The statement also mentioned Ibram X. Kendi’s work in Critical Race Theory. 

Florida Governor Ron DeSantis said in a statement in March that “Florida civics curriculum will incorporate foundational concepts with the best materials, and it will expressly exclude unsanctioned narratives like critical race theory and other unsubstantiated theories.” Former president Donald Trump referred to the 1619 Project as “revisionist history.” 

The general public will be able to comment on the proposed rules until May 19th. 

Notable Quotes:  

“In an early but revelatory move, President Biden’s Department of Education has signaled its intent to impose the most radical forms of Critical Race Theory on America’s schools, very much including the 1619 Project and the so-called anti-racism of Ibram X. Kendi. (Kendi’s ‘anti-racism’ — which advocates a massive and indefinite expansion of reverse discrimination — is more like neo-racism.) Biden is obviously co-opting conservatives’ interest in reviving traditional U.S. history and civics to deliver its perfect opposite — federal imposition of the very ideas conservatives aim to combat.” - Stanley Kurtz, senior fellow at the Ethics and Public Policy Center

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