Here is Rob Way and Jared Kofsky of WCSC TV:
South Carolina lawmakers are considering a bill that would require “instruction in United States foundational history” for all public middle and high school students in a way that is consistent with former President Donald Trump’s 1776 Commission Report, and it already has approval from the state’s top education leader.
The Restore America’s Foundation Act, S.534, has been referred to the Senate Education Committee. If passed, it would require “a minimum of thirty hours of classroom instruction” on United States history every year for students in grades six through 12.
Social studies teachers would be required to spend no fewer than five hours on each of the four sections: Examining the lead up to the American Revolution, the Revolution and some of its battles, America’s political philosophy, and the legacy of the Revolution.
State Sen. Dwight Loftis, a Republican from Greenville, sponsored the legislation.
“We have, in today’s society, a lot of disrespect for the flag, the national anthem, and that sort of thing,” Loftis said. “The knowledge of where we came from and why our forefathers did what they did, I think it’s important that we know.”
The proposed legislation would also require the State Superintendent of Education to “review and prescribe suitable texts and online materials aligned with the principles and concepts of the January 2021 report of the 1776 Commission.”
This commission, which included no professional historians, was created by then-President Trump in Sept. 2020, and it released its report in Jan. 2021, aiming to promote a “patriotic education” in schools.
Read the rest here.
Read these posts to understand why I think this might be a bad idea. (Also here). Georgetown University historian Michael Kazin also reviewed of the 1776 Commission Report.
A close reading of this bill reveals the influence of the kind Christian nationalist history taught by the likes of Wallbuilders and David Barton. For example, the proposed unit on the “events leading up to the War for Independence” requires teachers to talk about “the Native American legend” of George Washington’s “divine protection” during the French and Indian War.” This is a common story included in evangelical homeschool materials. Barton even wrote a book about it.
The bill specifically states that “the State Superintendent shall review and prescribe suitable texts and online materials aligned with the principles and concepts of the January 2021 report of the 1776 Commission adapted to the needs of the high schools, universities, and colleges….”
It is worth pointing out that this bill says nothing about how teachers are supposed to teach these subjects or what other primary sources and materials they can introduce to offer a fuller and more complex story of the American past. The more I think about it, the more I realize that I might actually enjoy teaching such a curriculum. It would allow ample opportunities to talk about bias, revisionism, and how to distinguish good history from bad history.
And speaking of the 1776 Commission Report, conservative Hillsdale College just published a new edition.