“Although there is no formal link between the 1776 Presidential Commission and the 1776 Hillsdale Curriculum, Hillsdale College was inspired by the commission’s call for a restoration of American education based on a story that is’ accurate, honest, unifying, inspiring and is ennobling. ‘”Kathleen O’Toole, Assistant Prostess for K-12 Education at Hillsdale College, told POLITICO in a statement, noting that the document was also the product of” decades of education and curriculum refinement at Hillsdale College and the associated K -12 schools is. “
The free online curriculum is a direct challenge to the New York Times Magazine’s 1619 project, which examined how racism and inequality influenced the founding of the country. Several school districts have adopted curricula based on the project.
“Our curriculum was created by teachers and professors – not activists, not journalists, not bureaucrats,” said O’Toole in a curriculum announcement. “It comes from years of studying America, its history and its founding principles, rather than a journalistic scheme, to achieve a partisan political goal through students.”
What’s in the Curriculum: The Hillsdale Curriculum includes the Trump Commission’s Report of 1776 as a resource for teachers of all grades and for high school students.
The curriculum framework is generally positive, touting the US as a remarkable, unique, heroic institution that has made mistakes.
The curriculum is based on a single question, the introduction says: “Which ideas, words and actions have shaped the world into which the students were born the most?”
The introduction to the package also claims that students learning an American story with an emphasis on race would “revive and reassure students that they should judge, rate, and treat people differently,” based on skin color.
Yet racism is not ignored in Hillsdale’s package. Slavery is recognized as a cause of civil war, and the curriculum calls for age-appropriate imagery to demonstrate “the horrors” of it.
But the curriculum also takes a compassionate stance towards slave owners, noting that George Washington “famously” freed people he enslaved after his death, and Thomas Jefferson feared “divine retribution” for slavery in the country.
The curriculum currently includes the Foundation of the United States, the Civil War, civics, and government. According to the announcement, it will expand to Colonial America, Early Republic, Gilded Age and Progressive Era, Great Depression, World Wars, Cold War and modern America by the end of the year.