Parents Defending Education (PDE) applauds the decision by Education Secretary, Miguel Cardona, to change course on the new federal grants for the American History and Civics Education programs by withdrawing the requirement that grantees incorporate curriculum and instruction based on or similar to the 1619 Project or the works of Ibram X. Kendi. It is our hope that this change is a sign of the administration’s recommitment to historical accuracy and civics education over ideology and advocacy.
According to the federal register, 33,967 comments on the proposed grants were submitted to the Department of Education; the vast majority expressed concern over the Biden administration’s support for making racism and slavery the centerpiece of American history. PDE played a significant role in helping parents and other stakeholders express their concerns — 11,371 comments, or over 33 percent of the total — received by the Education Department were facilitated by our comment portal.
PDE agrees wholeheartedly with Secretary Cardona that the aim of the grants should be “to improve the quality of American history, civics, and government education to provide more students the opportunity to learn about the rich history of our nation and build the skills needed to fully participate in civic life.”
“Thousands of Americans across the country responded to the federal government’s request for comment on this issue, and sent a clear message that this was not an appropriate use of tax dollars,” said Nicole Neily, president of Parents Defending Education. “We are gratified that the Biden Administration has responded to this feedback.”
(This has been updated from our original statement.)