No Koch?

The Bill of Rights Institute (BRI) had a booth at the recent National Council for Social Studies conference. And while its major funders were not present in person, the Zinn Education Project worked to make them visible through social media demanding #NoKochinSchools.

The Zinn project argues that the Kochs are present throughout US schools by means of curricula promoted by BRI, denying climate change and stressing limited readings of the Constitution. Across the country, Howard Zinn’s A People’s History of the United States is under attack as new AP History tests recommend Zinn’s material, which some – including the state of Texas – say promotes an “ideological basis” contrary to traditional values. More on this here.

No Zinn?

The State Board of Education in Texas, e.g., voted this fall on a resolution specifically identifying Howard Zinn’s work as reason to oppose changes in the College Board’s AP History materials.

WHEREAS Howard Zinn’s book A People’s History of the United States is recommended as supplementary material in the four model syllabi originally presented at the APUSH 2014 Summer Institute and online; and

WHEREAS the Framework omits discussion of various critical topics, including the Founding Fathers and the Declaration of Independence, constitutional principles, significant religious influences, military history, commanders and heroes, as well as individuals who have traditionally been part of APUSH; and

RESOLVED, That the SBOE strongly recommends that the College Board revise the APUSH Framework so that it is consistent both with the course’s traditional mission and with the shared purpose of the CCRS, the TEKS and the Texas Education Code; and be it further
 
RESOLVED, That the SBOE respectfully requests that the College Board revise the key concepts of the APUSH Framework and examination in a transparent manner that accurately reflects U.S. history without an ideological bias and that restores and encourages flexibility to states, school districts and teachers in how to teach the course;…

— Resolution approved by Texas SBOE, full resolution here

A Bunch of Books…

In response to a question about these materials and their place in Newark (MJ) Schools, Mayor Ras Baraka said:

I’m in favor of Howard Zinn. He’s in my personal library. But we don’t have authority to make it part of the curriculum in Newark. And we need that authority…There’s a bunch of books that need to be included.

Listen to full discussion with Mayor Baraka, track three below


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