Former President Donald Trump's 1776 Advisory Commission, charged with developing a more patriotic education curriculum, plans to continue meeting in Washington next week despite being abolished by President Joe Biden, the Washington Examiner reported Friday.
Trump created the commission to counter teaching critical race theory and curriculum pieces like The New York Times' 1619 Project in the nation's schools.
The commission's Executive Director, Matthew Spalding, told the Examiner that the commission still sees itself in a ''major role'' in the debate over how to teach American History in public and private schools.
''[The] 1776 Commission — comprised of some of America's most distinguished scholars and historians — has released a report presenting a definitive chronicle of the American founding, a powerful description of the effect the principles of the Declaration of Independence have had on this Nation's history, and a dispositive rebuttal of reckless 're-education' attempts that seek to reframe American history around the idea that the United States is not an exceptional country but an evil one,'' a statement from the last days of the Trump White House said.
In its report from January, the commission said that America has always been evolving to reach the pinnacles of the founding documents and striving — albeit not perfectly — to live up to those principles.
''As we approach the 250th anniversary of our independence, we must resolve to teach future generations of Americans an accurate history of our country so that we all learn and cherish our founding principles once again,'' the commission's report concluded.
This contrasts with The 1619 Project, sponsored by the Times, that concludes the nation was founded more on the slavery trade and the evils associated with capitalism rather than an honest attempt to make all its citizens equal under the law.
''The 1619 Project is an ongoing initiative from The New York Times Magazine that began in August 2019, the 400th anniversary of the beginning of American slavery,'' said a description of the project on the Times website. ''It aims to reframe the country's history by placing the consequences of slavery and the contributions of black Americans at the very center of our national narrative.''
The curriculum based on the Times project, and currently being debated by school boards and education organizations throughout the country, aligns with an older concept known as critical race theory that posits racism as a social construct through public organizations and institutions as opposed to individual bias or prejudice.
This idea began in the late 1970s and early 1980s by legal scholars Derrick Bell, Kimberlé Crenshaw and Richard Delgado, according to an article on the topic from Education Week on May 18.
Examples such as the 1930s practice of ''red-lining'' areas based on race being judged as poor financial risks, are used to express how racism has survived through seemingly benign actions that do not show the true nature of the cause, according to the article.
''When we start going about dividing people by groups, by social identities, and especially by identities that deal with race, and we're starting to make those kinds of divisions, all Americans should get very nervous,'' Spalding, who runs Hillsdale's Washington campus where the commission plans to meet and is a faculty member, said to the Examiner. ''It's a departure away from the historic grounding of civil rights in America, which is that we all are equal.''
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