We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, anglophile, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and above politics. Each of us has had a high-school education (or GED), but all had ADD so didn't pay attention very well, especially the dogs. Each one of us does "try my best to be just like I am," and none of us enjoys working for others, including for Maggie, from whom we receive neither a nickel nor a dime. Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
The failing of a central mission of the study of U.S. history--training future generations of American citizens--is, argues the NAS, based in a misunderstanding of the central mission of colleges and universities: that "they and particular programs within them increasingly think of themselves as responsible for reforming American society and curing it of prejudice and bigotry. When universities and university programs consider it necessary to atone for, and help erase, oppressions of the past, one way in which they do so is by depicting history as primarily a struggle of the downtrodden against rooted injustice . . . The dominance of race, class, and gender themes in history curricula came about through disciplinary mission creep. Historians and professors of United States history should return to their primary task: handing down the American story, as a whole, to future generations."
In my little corner of the college world, I still teach American History (and Western Civ on occasion) the way it should be taught. The extent of my revisionism is to call FDR out for prolonging the Depression, not ending it as almost everyone else says he did.
This is why I teach my kids a homeschooling history curriculum even though they are public schooled. They will know their stuff. But, as I frequently think, I can teach them properly at home (whether it's about history, faith, etiquette, character, whatever) but what will that mean when they join the wider world?
I intend to send them to Texas A&M. I hope the pendulum swings another way in the next few years; academia is nothing if not faddish and I wouldn't be surprised if one of these days someone "discovers" a neo-traditional way of teaching American history. I am not optimistic, however, that it will happen in time for my kids. Oldest one will be Texas A&M class of '21.
Oh no, you are dooming yourself to a life of "Aggie War Hymn" at public events, including your child's wedding! Please reconsider.
Seriously, it pays to remember that wherever you send your child, you will have to apply a corrective. My sons went to Christian schools that erred on the other side, refusing to see any errors in America's behavior.
Every society of human beings behaves with selfishness, greed, and violence. The Anglosphere countries occasionally rise above that, making them historical oddities.
History, from a politically neutral standpoint, tells us of our origins, warns us of dangers, and teaches us what has worked in the past. A basic understanding of it, particularly American history, should be required.
But the teaching of history themed upon the downtrodden seeking justice is right out of the opening line of Marx's Communist Manifesto: "The history of all hitherto existing society is the history of class struggles." It itself is a distorting lens, but when applied selectively to only some periods of time and only some areas, it becomes extremely distorting. It is how so many on the left are taught to hate Western and U.S. culture.
For instance, how many on the left condemn the U.S. for allowing slavery at its inception. Slavery in the U.S. is invariably taught in a vacuum. The reality is that slavery was the single most common economic model throughout recorded history. The ancient origin of the word "slavery" is from the word "slav," as in the Slavic peoples who were enslaved in such numbers over a millennium ago that their very name to denote the condition of slavery. Slavery did not begin with blacks out of Africa, it ended with them.
And in the same vein, the U.S. didn't invent slavery. The reality is that the U.S., along with England, ended the scourge of slavery as an accepted practice in the world. And when you get right down to it, the worst slavers in the world were the Africans themselves.
A little over 600,000 Africans were imported to the U.S. as part of the slave trade. These people were originally enslaved by Africans themselves, then sold off. Moreover, during the period of the active slave trade in the U.S., 1.2 million white Europeans - some of whom were from the colonies - were estimated to have been enslaved by North Africans.
I am not trying to argue that slavery was not evil, but that to condemn our nation for it uniquely is to take the whole issue of slavery wildly out of historical context. History becomes a Marxian weapon to be used to reshape evil Western civilization - while wholly ignoring the evils of the left's world. I look forward to the day when the pendulum swings again, and students begin to rebel against being taught propaganda rather than history.