College releases '1776 Curriculum' to fight back against critical race theory

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Hillsdale College released what it is calling the “1776 Curriculum,” which is designed to give K-12 teachers the tools to teach students a more patriotic approach to American history.

“Our curriculum was created by teachers and professors – not activists, not journalists, not bureaucrats,” Dr. Kathleen O’Toole, the assistant provost for K-12 education at Hillsdale, said in a press release. “It comes from years of studying America, its history and its founding principles, not some slap-dash journalistic scheme to achieve a partisan political end through students. It is a truly American education.”

The curriculum offers nearly 2,500 pages of materials, broken down into grade-specific lessons, while offering guidance to teachers. 

The materials stand in stark contrast to the New York Times’ 1619 Project, which has gained popularity at some schools as a movement toward more race-based education has gripped the country.

“Unlike the 1619 Project and its politicized curricula, the Hillsdale 1776 Curriculum doesn’t use history as a weapon to fight current political battles,” O’Toole told RealClearEducation. “Instead, the Hillsdale 1776 Curriculum is a reflection of the honest study of history that has been going on at Hillsdale College and its dozens of affiliated K-12 schools for decades. It’s a content-rich curriculum covering American history, American government and civics – the complete story of our nation that is honest, inspiring and unifying.”

The new curriculum promises to teach that “truth is objective,” while also emphasizing that “individuals should be judged based on their specific actions tending toward a certain character instead of their label, group identity, sex, religion or skin color.”

While it will acknowledge that the “United States of America is by no means perfect,” it seeks to remind students that America “is unprecedented in the annals of human history for the extraordinary degrees of freedom, peace and prosperity available to its people and to those who immigrate to her shores.”

The curriculum comes as many states have either banned or introduced legislation to ban the teaching of critical race theory in public schools, with 28 states launching efforts to curtail the controversial lessons.

O’Toole said American history should emphasize the ideas that have made America a force food good.

“The more important thing in American history is that which has endured rather than that which has passed,” O’Toole wrote in a letter to teachers attached to the materials. “That is, America’s founding principles which have outlasted and extinguished from law various forms of evil, such as slavery, racism and other violations of the equal protection of natural rights.”

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