I remember the fight over national history standards in 1994. The standards, funded by the National Endowment for the Humanities, which would have been available for state adoption, if they wished, were attacked for for anti-Americanism. They crashed and burned.
History isn’t about good and evil, writes Natalie Wexler in Forbes. History is complicated.
President Trump wants the National Endowment for the Humanities to commission a “pro-American curriculum”to counter “left-wing indoctrination,” such as the curriculum based on the New York Times‘ slavery-centric 1619 Project, critical race theory and Howard Zinn’s A People’s History of the United States.
“Those who would paint American history as a virtuous march of progress are clearly missing a lot,” writes Wexler. But the “warts and all” approach tends to be all warts.
Zinn’s book appears on many college reading lists for future social studies teachers, says Sam Wineburg, a Stanford history education professor. It’s very influential, he believes, but not very good.