Senatorial Minority Leader Mitch McConnell said Wednesday he was “concerned” about teachers trying to “denigrate” historic events in US history as some schools heat up to teach a critical program of racial theory.
McConnell, R-Ky., Said, however, that he doesn’t think the government should prescribe what is taught in classrooms, but schools should be open to hearing public comment on what is appropriate. .
“I am concerned that efforts to downplay important pieces of American history have been extremely important,” McConnell told reporters Wednesday at an event in Shelbyville, Ky.
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McConnell’s comments come as Republicans campaigned against critical race theory amid complaints from outspoken parents that schools are teaching children to feel bad about being white.
Bringing a “balance” in the curriculum to express divergent points of view is not necessarily bad, but teachers should not downplay important dates in history like 1776, when the Declaration of Independence was signed, a McConnell said.
“I think trying to completely denigrate and degrade American historical moments like 1776, 1787 [and] 1965 – critical times – is a mistake, “said McConnell.” But I don’t think the government is better at prescribing what should be taught, than the universities themselves, but they should be open to criticism on what they are doing. “
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McConnell and his Senate Republican colleagues have been outspoken in the past about a new proposal for a Biden administration grant in K-12 schools to promote “more culturally sensitive teaching and learning.” The proposed guidelines for the minor grants program suggest teaching the 1619 project as a positive example.
“Americans do not need or want their tax dollars diverted from promoting the principles that unite our nation towards the promotion of radical ideologies designed to divide us,” McConnell wrote to the secretary. Education Miguel Cardona in April.
On Wednesday, McConnell reiterated his concerns about the New York Times Project 1619 which examined the long-term consequences of slavery in America. It was released in 2019 to coincide with the 400th anniversary of the first arrival of African slaves in colonial Virginia in 1619.
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McConnell took issues with The Times associating slavery in 1619 “as uniquely American.”
“There was a lot of slavery in the world in the early 1600s,” McConnell said Wednesday. “We fought the civil war in order to put our original sin behind us. We passed the Voting Rights Act in 1965 to further empower minorities in our country. It has been a long arc of trying to improve relations. racialism in this country. “