Governor Bill Lee (pictured) said he viewed the expansion of the new charter school as part of an effort to develop what he called an ‘informed patriotism’ among Tennessee students
The governor of Tennessee has invited a private conservative college to open 50 charter schools whose anti-revival curriculum will teach students that America is “an exceptionally good country.”
Governor Bill Lee, a Republican, said Michigan-based Hillsdale College could open the schools using public funds, including $32 million earmarked for chartered facilities, the New York reported. Times.
Hillsdale College, which has close ties to former President Donald Trump, has developed the “1776 Curriculum” and is eager to add a curriculum focused on “the centrality of Western tradition” to its network of charter schools. .
This program – which spans 2,400 pages – was put together in response to The New York Times’ 1619 Project, which frames the founding of the United States through the eyes of slaves, and has been lambasted for multiple inaccuracies .
“For decades, Hillsdale College has been the standard bearer of quality curriculum and responsibility to preserve American freedom,” Lee recently told lawmakers. “I believe their efforts are a good fit for Tennessee.”
Tennessee Governor Bill Lee has invited Hillsdale College (pictured), a conservative private school in Michigan, to open 50 charter schools using public funds, including $32 million earmarked for charters.
A map shows Hillsdale Classical Schools across the country, not including the proposed 50 schools that Tennessee Governor Bill Lee has invited Hillsdale to open using public funds
The college’s “1776 curriculum” is currently in use at all two dozen member schools in about 13 states, as well as several dozen more across the country, according to its website.
It comes as battles continue to rage across the United States over what is taught in public schools. Many parents have been outraged by the push for divisive “fairness” lessons based on the teachings of critical race theory, which opponents say is divisive and teaches white children who they are. “oppressors”.
Florida also enacted the Parental Rights in Education Bill – the so-called “Don’t Say Gay” bill, in response to reports of teachers encouraging children confused about their gender identity to hide it from their parents, and even direct them towards medical studies. treatment of transgender people.
Hillsdale has been criticized for its program, which puts a twist on American history and portrays a negative view of the New Deal and global warming.
But for many Republican leaders, Hillsdale is a ‘shining city on a hill’ for its dedication to ‘freedom as an antecedent of government, not an advantage of government,’ Justice Clarence Thomas said in his 2016 keynote address.
Donald Trump and Mike Pence both spoke at Michigan College, which has an outsized influence on American conservatives.
Governor Lee said he views the expansion of his new charter school as part of an effort to develop what he called an “informed patriotism” among Tennessee students, according to The New York Times. .
The Times reported that Lee is considering expansion into suburban and rural areas where, like many Hillsdale charter schools, they would most likely enroll whiter and more affluent children than the average charter student.
Atlanta Classical Academy, one of the schools in Hillsdale, has some of the highest ratings among schools in Georgia, The Times reported.
It focuses on traditional “Western” subjects, including Latin and phonetics.
But the racial demographics of the schools are completely opposite to that of public schools, where 73% of public school students are black and 17% white. Still, the Atlanta Classical Academy is 17% black and 71% white, according to a 2020 state report.
“They cater to white families and affluent families,” said Charisse Gulosino, associate professor of leadership and policy studies at the University of Memphis, whose research found that students at charter schools in suburbs do not outperform their public school counterparts.
Hillsdale, which was founded in 1844 by abolitionists, accepts no state or federal funding, including no scholarships or student loans.
The Times reported that the move allowed the school “to avoid some government oversight, such as compliance with federal Title IX rules governing sex discrimination.”
Instead, the school relies in part on donations from conservative benefactors which are fueled by aggressive fundraising campaigns, The Times reported, including on Rush Limbaugh’s radio show before his death, and in Hillsdale’s widely circulated summary, Imprimis, including a 2017 article in which Russian President Vladimir V. Putin was called “a hero for populist conservatives everywhere.”
Hillsdale President Larry P Arnn in a speech last year outlined his vision for expansion – including plans for a new masters program to train teachers in classical education, a home school division , online students and education centers
Hillsdale College is a private school in Southern Michigan that promotes conservative Christian values and has strong ties to former President Donald Trump.
Hillsdale President Larry P. Arnn and his daughter Kathleen O’Toole, who leads the charter schools initiative, declined interviews with The Times.
But in a speech last year, Dr Arnn laid out his vision for expansion – including plans for a new master’s program to train teachers in formal education, a home school division, online students and education centers.
“It’s a great adventure,” he said.