On September 17, 2020, the 233rd anniversary of the Constitution, the Trump Administration launched the 1776 Commission, a project to promote “patriotic education” in America’s public schools. This program comes in response to initiatives like the 1619 Project and the integration of Critical Race Theory into public school curriculum, which promote a revisionist history of America that paints America as an evil, colonialist nation. Instead, the 1776 Commission seeks to ensure that the education American children receive acknowledges the trials in our history, but also educates them on America’s progress and exceptionalism in the history of the world.
As the Commission notes, America’s public education is in crisis and in need of a major overhaul, specifically when it comes to how our history is taught. Secretary of Education Betsy Devos dishearteningly noted during a briefing on this Commission that studies have found that “more than half of high school seniors have below basic knowledge of American history and civics.” This is unacceptable. Our founding principles, rooted in the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution, are fundamental to every aspect of American culture and our national identity, and these values must be instilled in our children. As Secretary DeVos stated, “Our founding documents and history are not what’s wrong with the world but are the last best hope for the world.” And as the last best hope for the world, “we must fight for the soul of this country, that is, what America stands for,” a call to action that President Trump’s Domestic Policy Advisor Brooke Rollins voiced. Of course, one of the best ways to answer this call is to pass down American values and love of country to our children, just as the 1776 Commission aims to do.
As a young conservative woman who has experienced my own fair share of liberal bias and vilification of America from public educators, I applaud the Administration’s initiative to provide quality education that teaches American children the unique greatness of our country and its founding principles and am greatly encouraged by the strong women such as Secretary DeVos leading this effort.
This post was written by Grace Ogden, NeW Intern.