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Nikole Hannah-Jones: I Don’t Understand This Idea That Parents Should Decide What Is Taught

nikole-hannah-jones:-i-don’t-understand-this-idea-that-parents-should-decide-what-is-taught

During a special episode of Meet the Press on Sunday titled “Schools, America, and Race”, 1619 Project author Nikole Hannah-Jones said, “I don’t really understand this idea that parents should decide what’s being taught.” Perhaps believing that the Sunday after Christmas would be a slow news day, moderator Chuck Todd dedicated the entire episode to the topic of race and education in America, essentially to dismiss opposition to Critical Race Theory.

After running a series of interviews with students, educators, and elected officials on the ongoing controversy over Critical Race Theory in classrooms, Todd decided it would be a great idea to bring in Nikole Hannah-Jones of The New York Times, and author of the historically inaccurate 1619 Project, to talk with him about how to improve the teaching of American History.

Todd started by asking Nikole Hannah-Jones if she intended for “The 1619 Project” to be part of the curriculum in public schools or rather was her intention to simply start a national debate over how American history is taught. Hanna-Jones stated that she pitched the project as “a work of journalism” and that it is common for New York Times projects to become school curriculums. She then claimed, “it’s only become controversial because people have decided to make The 1619 Project controversial.”

Later on in the interview, Todd asked Hannah-Jones about skepticism over the government’s involvement in deciding what was considered true history:

I know that if government says this is our history, people are going to say, I’m not letting government historians decide what our history is. This seems to be a real challenge in an open society, is how do we get agreement on this, especially when, you know parents want to have — look, a Virginia governor’s race was arguably decided on the strength of how influential should parents be on curriculum. How do we do this?

Focusing on the Virginia governor’s race, Hannah-Jones chalked it up to “the success of a right-wing propaganda campaign that told white parents that they needed to fight against their children being indoctrinated, as race — as being called racist but that was a propaganda campaign.”

She also argued that “a lot” of black and Latino parents in the state want her radical and inaccurate writings taught in schools. In reality, Governor-elect Glen Youngkin (R) won by gaining support among blacks compared to Trump and won the Latino vote by roughly 12 percent.

So, I think we should frame that question properly. And I don’t really understand this idea that parents should decide what’s being taught,” she scoffed. “I’m not a professional educator. I don’t have a degree in social studies or science we send our children to school because we want them to be taught by people who have expertise in the subject area.”

She even scolded Virginia parents for being outraged at failed Democratic candidate Terry McAuliffe:

When the Governor or the candidate said that he didn’t think parents should be deciding what’s being taught in school, he was panned for that, but that’s just the fact. This is why we send our children to school and don’t home school. Because these are the professional educators who have the expertise to teach social studies, to teach history, to teach science, to teach literature and I think we should leave that to the educators.

Hannah-Jones claims she doesn’t understand the idea that parents should decide what’s taught in schools but isn’t she also a parent? Hannah-Jones also said that she isn’t a professional educator, if that’s the case, then why was she given a tenured professorship at Howard University? And she unironically claimed she felt schools “should teach us how to think, not what to think.”

This segment of an elitist journalist thumbing her nose at concerned parents was made possible by Fidelity and Google. Their contact information is linked so you can let them know about the biased news they fund

To read the relevant transcript of this segment click “expand”:

NBC’s Meet the Press

12/26/2021

11:02:05 AM

CHUCK TODD: Did you intend for The 1619 Project to become public school curriculum, or did you intend it to start a debate to improve the curriculum of how we teach American history?

NIKOLE HANNAH-JONES: Well, when I first pitched the project, I simply pitched it as a work of journalism which it is, I mean I’m a journalist at The New York Times, and I pitched a project to run as a piece of journalism in The New York Times. Now, some months in as we were working on the project, we began to talk about that this could be a great learning tool for students, particularly we were thinking about the broadsheet that ran in partnership with the National Museum of African-American History and Culture that talks about, teaches slavery through objects found in that museum. Now The New York Times has an education division, The New York Times regularly turned its journalism into curriculum, as did The Pulitzer Center who we ultimately partnered with. They are constantly turning works of journalism into curriculum. It’s only become controversial because people have decided to make The 1619 Project controversial.

TODD: I think in the last two years a lot of people have come to realize that our teaching of history has been incomplete, to be generous, particularly on I would say, whether it’s reconstruction — I mean we sort of talk about glossing over that or specifically think about the Tulsa Massacre and how so many people have said I didn’t get taught that. I grew up in Miami, Florida, I didn’t get taught about Axe Handle Sunday in Jacksonville. When you look at our public schools, eight in ten public school teachers are white, yet half of the public school students are students of color. How do we improve that aspect of education in America?

HANNAH-JONES: So, I don’t think that we have to have — we should definitely have more black and Latino educators because that is what our country looks like, but I don’t think you have to be black or Latino in order to teach a more accurate history. The problem is that our teacher preparation programs are not equipping educators with the knowledge that they need to teach this history better.

When you look at the survey by Teaching Tolerance, they found that about half or slightly more than half of American educators say they don’t feel equipped to teach about slavery and they really struggle to teach about slavery. It’s kind of ironic that we’re seeing these bills being passed, these anti-history laws to make it more difficult to teach about slavery and racism and our country’s long history of racism when, in fact, we have educators who are struggling the opposite way.

They’re having holding mock slave auctions in their classrooms they’re having students do assignments where they have to list the pros and cons of slavery because they really don’t know how to teach this very well. And that’s because, as a country, we have not honestly grappled with the truth about our history. And the history we learn is often about nationalism and patriotism.

TODD: Right.

HANNAH-JONES: but not about telling the unvarnished truth.

TODD: Where should that come from? You know, I’ve thought about this, and I, you know, I don’t think, I know that if government says this is our history, people are going to say, I’m not letting government historians decide what our history is. This seems to be a real challenge in an open society, is how do we get agreement on this, especially when, you know parents want to have — look, a Virginia Governor’s race was arguably decided on the strength of how influential should parents be on curriculum. How do we do this?

HANNAH-JONES: Well, I would say the Governor’s race in Virginia was decided based on the success of a right-wing propaganda campaign that told white parents that they needed to fight against their children being indoctrinated, as race — as being called racist but that was a propaganda campaign. And there are a lot of black parents in Virginia, there are a lot of Latino parents in Virginia, and they were not being featured in that coverage. And what they wanted for their kids’ education, which is more teaching about race, more teaching about the history of racism, seemed to have fallen on deaf ears.

So, I think we should frame that question properly. And I don’t really understand this idea that parents should decide what’s being taught. I’m not a professional educator. I don’t have a degree in social studies or science we send our children to school because we want them to be taught by people who have expertise in the subject area. And that is not my job.

When the Governor or the candidate said that he didn’t think parents should be deciding what’s being taught in school, he was panned for that, but that’s just the fact. This is why we send our children to school and don’t home school. Because these are the professional educators who have the expertise to teach social studies, to teach history, to teach science, to teach literature and I think we should leave that to the educators. Yes, we should have some say but school is not about simply confirming our worldview. Schools should teach us to question they should teach us how to think, not what to think.

What do you think?

Written by Newsman

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