In the wake of K-12 schools across the country being revealed as places that educate students into believing America is a racist system and unredeemable nation, the small liberal arts school in the south of Michigan is planning to challenge “leftist academics” by partnering with states in the development of charter schools based on its academic tradition to provide an alternative.
In fact, Hillsdale developed the “1776 Curriculum” to combat the false history that has emerged from the New York Times' “1619 Project” and the critical race theories — something leftist school districts have introduced into their classrooms.
The college is one that Justice Clarence Thomas called the “shining city on a hill” for its dedication to “liberty as an antecedent of government, not a benefit from government” in his commencement address in 2016. The school’s plan has already received $32 million of public funds from the Tennessee Governor Bill Lee (R) to establish 50 charter schools, which will be added to the existing list of 24 schools across 13 states. Lee described Hillsdale's strategy as “informed patriotism.”
“For decades, Hillsdale College has been the standard-bearer in quality curriculum and in the responsibility of preserving American liberty,” Lee stated. “I believe their efforts are a good fit for Tennessee.”
In what is believed to be a hit article on Hillsdale as it relates to the K-12 realm, The New York Times — evidently without irony — claimed these advancements are “pushing the boundaries on the use of taxpayer money for politically tinged education.”
The Times also criticized Hillsdale for its “glossy spin on American history” and for its “negative take on the New Deal and the Great Society” – both of which fundamentally changed relations with American people and governments strongly favoring the power of government.
Hillsdale appears to be responding to an appeal from families and lawmakers to offer an alternative to failing schools run by activists and established educators who seem uncomfortable at the thought of a challenge to their current status.
“I've been following charter schools over the last 25 years, and I've never seen a governor attempting to use charters in such an overtly political way,” University of California – Berkeley Public Policy and Education Professor Bruce Fuller told the Times. “You've had governors who've encouraged the growth of charters to provide more high-quality options for parents, but it's highly unusual to see a governor deploy the charter mechanism for admittedly political purposes.”
The charters Hillsdale establishes aren't controlled or managed by the college. Schools choose to utilize the curriculum, and the college offers free education for staff and faculty.
One of the critics of the Hillsdale curriculum claimed that it offers the view of an “overly positive” view of America's past.
“It talks about the enormity of slavery, but in almost every case, everything that's bad about America will be undone by what is good,” Dr. Sean Wilentz, a Princeton professor who also decried the “1619 Project,” told the Times. “Almost, literally, that American ideals will overcome whatever evils may be there.”
The Times also complained that the curriculum is a critical look at the seismic attacks on federalism, such as those of the New Deal and the Great Society programs from the 1960s as well as 1930s respectively, and its absence of any the term “climate change” in science courses.
The newspaper admits that schools are able to produce higher than average SAT scores for their student population.