Thursday, October 24, 2019

Letter to Betsy DeVos Re 1619 Initiative

The Honorable Betsy DeVos
Secretary of Education
U.S. Department of Education

Dear Madam Secretary:

Yesterday, the National Association of Scholars held a conference call to discuss its 1620 initiative, a response to the New York Times’s 1619 initiative, which is an effort to attack fact-based history and radicalize its teaching.  Today, I received an email from David Horowitz’s organization describing a radical-indoctrination boot camp in Minnesota, the Minnesota Educator Academy, in which teachers are subjected to offensive, far-left indoctrination. Whether or not federal monies are directly being used for this purpose, federal financial support to Minnesota subsidizes it. 

How federal policy needs to respond to improper use of public monies for far-left political purposes depends on how far gone K-12 education already is.  However, I don’t believe that the Department of Education has taken any steps to determine what the political biases in the states’ K-12 systems already are.    How far down the ideological-indoctrination road have K-12 state systems already travelled? How many high schools use the fake history of Howard Zinn?  What is the ratio of Democrats to Republicans among educators?  Are conservative teachers drummed out in states like Minnesota and New York?

One of my colleagues has done ample work on debunking some of the fake history currently used in high schools, but he cannot find outlets to publish his findings.  This suggests a lack of support from the DOE, which receives federal funding to set educational agendas. How much support has the DOE given to scholars who question the conversion of the American education system to far-left propaganda purposes or even to determine whether such conversion has occurred, and if so in what states it has occurred?

I do not believe that there are statistics available about state-by-state curricular and behavioral  differences with respect to use of the K-12 or even higher education system for political purposes.  I have suggested to the National Association of Scholars that a team be put together to evaluate state curricula to see how far gone the states already are and that behavioral research be done to determine how extreme biases have already become in the cultures of state educational systems. A coherent policy response needs to be developed to the 1619 initiative, and there needs to be a jujitsu effort to use it to  reinvent education along lines that support the search for truth and our common culture. 

How much is the Trump administration doing to assist or orchestrate a response to this deepest of deep state perversions?


Mitchell Langbert, Ph.D.

Cc: The President